Without prejudice

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Chronology of events

Chronology of the borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro’s work with Daniel Arbour & Associes, work ongoing from June 2007 to the summer of 2010, to convert 10 existing urban planning and zoning bylaws and harmonize and update them into 5 unified bylaws.

Of concern:
– Procedures used by borough appear to be very risky for when it comes to clearly protecting the public interest
– almost $300,000 spent to consultants since June 2007
– more than 1050 pages of bylaws to replace existing bylaws yet residents have extremely limited information as to how new bylaws differ from existing bylaws
Click here to view letter sent to MAMROT outlining some of the concerns of the residents
– A request was submitted to the Montreal Ombudsman for assistance, back in March 2010
Ombudsman responses:
Ombusdman response from Nov 1 2010 (French only)
– Final response from the Ombudsman: Final part 1of2Final part 2of2
– Council apparently approved the revamped zoning bylaws without having read the 1000+ pages
– Information is not provided to show that new bylaws respect and are conformal to the urban plan
– With the information made available to the public, it could be argued the new bylaws may actually go against sustainable development guidelines of the urban plan
A new bylaws on conditional uses is introduced and it is not clear how this bylaw will be used in the future, especially for controversial installations such as cell phone towers. (Click here to read MAMROT information related to this bylaw (in French))
– Even though the bylaws would come into effect July 19 2010, it would only be on Sept 10 2010 that the borough would publish the promulgation notices on their website, and this, after a resident had pointed out to the borough director the notices of promulgation appeared to be missing.
– In June 2011, the borough had to adopt a large number of corrections in order to correct its newly adopted zoning bylaws of errors that likely slipped through during the original adoption of the bylaws
– Residents were never able to clearly see how the new bylaws differed from previously existing bylaws.
– Below is a more detailed chronology of the details that may not be quite up to date

2011-07 – Responses from the Montreal Ombudsman
– Recall a request was submitted to the Montreal Ombudsman in March 2010
Ombudsman responses:
Ombusdman response from Nov 1 2010 (French only)
– Final response from the Ombudsman: Final part 1of2Final part 2of2
– Notice the Ombudsman response is delivered to residents after the adoption and corrections of the borough zoning bylaws have been applied.

2011-06-06 – Ajustments, corrections required in zoning bylaws
– The borough adopted a number of corrections to its relatively new zoning bylaw CA29 0040.
– This, about 1 year after the APRPR had warned the borough of the risks of adopting bylaws without a thorough review beforehand

2011-01-05 – An example of the importance of words in our bylaws
Click here to read an article published in the Burlington Free Press that demonstrates the importance of words in our zoning and urban planning bylaws.
– In this case, there was much discussion between the Urban planners and Developpers as to the meaning of the word « should » contained in the bylaw concerning the requirement that « 35% of a houses windows should face south »

– Meanwhile, back in Pierrefonds-Roxboro, during the May 31 2010 public consultation on harmonizing bylaws, a resident asked if we could use the opportunity to add words to our bylaws to encourage a greater use of sustainable energy like passive solar energy in our residential developments.
– The borough mayor responded by asking the resident if he was asking some kind of « trick question »
– The borough council went on to approve over a thousand pages of zoning related bylaws without having read bylaws prior to adopting them

OCPM consultation on the Montreal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities Click here to view brief submitted by APRPR member

Part 1 of 2 – Response from Montreal Ombudsman concerning request for assistance submitted March 24 2010
Part 2 of 2 – will be delivered at a later date

2010-10-08 – Final versions of bylaws still not available
– A visit to Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough hall by Lewis Poulin confirms that the official final versions of CA29 00[40,41,42,43,44] are still not available to residents even though these bylaws have apparently been in effect since July 19 2010.
– It would only be sometime after this date that the borough bylaws would become available on the city of Montreal bylaws web page

2010-10-04 – P-R council meeting
– During public question period, it is confirmed the official final versions of CA29 00[40,41,42,43,44] are still not available to residents at borough hall or on the City of Montreal web site
– Ms Labouly, urbanist, says the documents should be available on Friday Oct 8 2010
Click here to view letter sent to MAMROT outlining some of the concerns
An investigation by the Montreal Ombudsman is still ongoing
It appears the final official versions of the harmonized bylaws is still not formally available to the public
– A visit is made to the borough office to consult the official final versions of harmonized bylaws
– It is not clear that official final versions are available.
– Documents provided did not have cover pages completed with full information as per final version of bylaw
– Also, signature of urban planner appeared missing on an important map
– Was noticed that day that definition H4-7-390 in Annex A GRIDS of CA29 0040 contained information from 1047-214 yet the borough had not clearly informed residents of this change prior to register vote of June 21-22 2010
– See note to MAMROT above on this important point
– Borough offices post notices of promulgation after a question from resident

Courriel de l’arrondissement
Subject: Demande faite à M. Jacques Chan
From: suzannerochon at ville.montreal.qc.ca
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2010 13:03:20 -0400

Les règlements d’urbanisme de la refonte CA29 0040, 0041, 0042 et 0044 ont été adoptés à la séance du conseil d’arrondissement du 7 juin 2010. Le règlement CA29 0043 a été adopté à la séance du 28 juin 2010.

Ils sont tous entrés en vigueur le 19 juillet 2010, date à laquelle le certificat de conformité de Montréal a été délivré.

Ces règlements ont été promulgués le 30 juillet dernier dans le journal Cités Nouvelles.

Toutefois, nous venons de nous rendre compte que l’avis public de promulgation n’avait pas été diffusé sur le site Internet de l’arrondissement et nous nous en excusons. La demande de diffusion a été faite à la personne désignée pour ce faire et cet avis (du mois de juillet) devrait probablement apparaître sur le site le vendredi 10 septembre 2010.

Suzanne Rochon, secrétaire , Bureau d’arrondissement

Letter received from the Syndic of the Order of Quebec Urbanists in response to a letter sent to that office by Lewis Poulin July 7 2010
We learn at the August 2 2010 council meeting that the new bylaws came into effect on July 19 2010
2010-08-01Local democracy shouldn’t be this hard – The Gazette
2010-07-27 System obviously flawed – The Gazette
2010-07-14Interesting article of concerns, similar to ours, but at the federal level APRPR contacted Professor Franks to inform him that residents are also concerned about procedures used by local governments. Professor Franks responded by email by saying: « As one would say in French: « Je me consterne! » – Ned Franks »
2010-07-06 – A letter is sent to the office of the Syndic of l’Ordre des Urbanistes du Quebec
2010-06-28 – Extraordinary council meeting where the new bylaws are adopted by council.
2010-06-22– A first letter sent to l’Ordre des Urbanistes du Québec (OUQ) asking what recourse may be possible to residents concerning concerns regarding decisions made by urban planners involved in the project
2010-06-(21,22) – Results of the register

There was an important vote on June 21-22 2010 in the borough. Unfortunately the vast majority of residents were not aware of this vote. As a result, those who did not sign the register « voted » in favor of the new zoning bylaws which they were not familiar with. It appears council has also approved bylaws they had not fully read and may not have been familar with.

The APRPR thanks the more then 429** residents who signed the register against the new zoning bylaws. The APRPR continues to watch the harmonization of bylaws project very closely as it still maintains the manner in which this project is managed is very risky to proprietors and residents. The APRPR is also awaiting the final report of the Ombudsman of Montreal who is currently investigating on this matter.
** Oddly, one resident who signed late on june 22 thought that the number beside his name was closer to 500 and that with the remaining people left to sign that the total number of signatures would have easily been between 500-600.

Click here for a list of concerns regarding the June 21-22 2010 register

IMPORTANT REGISTER protesting zoning bylaws
Bring ID: drivers license and health care card
No drivers license? Bring a bill showing your name and address, ex: Hydro or telephone bill.
Borough hall beside the Pierrefonds library
Click here to read why you should sign the register

2010-06-08 Montreal Gazette – Proposed zoning changes still angering Pierrefonds residents
2010-06-07Scheduled meeting of Pierrefonds-Roxboro Council
2010-06-06Click here to read The Risky Business of Harmonizing Bylaws
2010-05-31 – Details of the public consultation
Click here for a summary of questions and answers from this consultation meeting of May 31 2010
APRPR Notes (French only) Part 1 Part 2
Announcement of second public consultation Harmonizing of bylaws project – Monday May 31 mai 2010, at 19 h, at borough hall, 13665, boulevard de Pierrefonds.
2010-05-29Click here for an overview of issues from perspective of residents
Attention Registers: June 21-22 and possibly July 2010
– June 21-22: public register expected for zoning and subdivision bylaws
– TBD July 2010: public register conditional uses – Cancelled June 28 2010 because of confusion during resident application for register
– In both the above cases, more than 1288 signatures are necessary to demonstrate that residents are opposed to the bylaws.
– 1288+ valid signatures required for residents to indicate opposition to zoning bylaw(s)
Click here to read about concerns regarding the public register
2010-05-30 Survey results
Click here to view results of APRPR survey on harmonizing urban planning bylaws
2010-05-03 Conseil Pierrefonds-Roxboro In particular see points 40.02 to 40.06 – Notices of motion for proposed bylaws (except urban planning bylaw)
2010-04-22: Pierrefonds residents ask ombudsman to investigate borough’s new bylaws – The Gazette, West Island section
Some of the comments submitted by residents as part of public consultation

Mme Benavides,Pierrefonds sector
M. Guy Billard, Roxboro sector
M. Normand Gagnon, Roxboro sector
Mrs Martha Bond, Pierrefonds sector
M. Lewis Poulin, Roxboro sector
2010-03-16 – 14-21h Open house, Tuesday, council chamber Pierrefonds-Roxboro
2010-03-09 Public Consultation
Notes: Part-1 Part-2 Part-3 Part-4
2010-03-25 – Ombudsman of Montreal investigating
The Ombusdman of Montreal is investigating to determine, among other things, if the information and procedures presented by the borough respect the Montreal Charter of Rights and Responsibilities
The Ombudsman is collecting information up to April 27 as part of the first stage of the investigation
2010-03-24 – Request made to the Ombudsman of Montreal
French: Summary of the problems and desired corrections
Complete version of the request as submitted to the Ombudsman
Strong support for the APRPR from CSSS on this matter

Click here to read some comments concerning the documents available at the Roxboro library concerning this project
2010-03-04,10,16: Information from the MDDEP
Concerning lot 1 171 908 See letter sent to the MDDEP
Answers from the MDDEP: Part 1 – 10 march 2010 Part 2 – 16 mars 2010
How do the new bylaws differ from existing bylaws?
The borough and consultants have not provided key documents for residents to be able to easily compare the new proposed bylaws against the bylaws currently in effect.
2010-02-09 – Herculean (Olympian) task for residents
The borough publishes 1050 pages on its web site and invites the public to familiarize themselves with them.
The proposed documents are intended to replace Pierrefonds bylaws 1047, 1048, 1051, and 1109 and Roxboro bylaws 93-0555, 93-0556, 93-0557, 93-0558, 94-0572). A Herculean challenge during the 2010 Olympic games!

Here are more details on proposed changes to bylaws:

A proposed urban planning bylaw (54 pages) to replace both 1051 of Pierrefonds and 93-0558 of Roxboro (This bylaw was eventually withdrawn and would be adopted at a later time)

A proposed minor variances bylaw (12 pages) to replace Chapter XII of 1047 Pierrefonds and 93-0557 of Roxboro

A proposed subdivision bylaw (25 pages) to replace both 1048 of Pierrefonds and 93-0556 of Roxboro

A proposed « plans d`implémentations et intégrations architecturale (P.I.I.A.) » bylaw (80 pages + Annexe A et Annexe B) to replace both 1009 of Pierrefonds and 94-0572 of Roxboro

A new conditional uses bylaw for Pierrefonds-Roxboro. It is not clear how this bylaw will be used in the future, especially for controversial installations such as cell phone towers

A proposed zonging bylaw (358 pages and 12 Annexes of about 500 pages) to replace both 1047 of Pierrefonds and 93-0555 of Roxboro. This bylaw contains over 65 zone changes. Normally each zone change brings in $5000 to the borough. In this case the borough has decided to NOT collect the $5000 for each of the zone changes.
Reference information for residents

(1) French – Modification du plan et des règlements d’urbanisme – Manuel de procédure, (Québec) Ministère de Affaires municipales, février 1997
(2) Read about the Risks of harmonizing borough bylaws while province is updating urban planning and other laws

(3) $287,364.96 spent since June 13 2007
Pierrefonds-Roxboro has paid almost $300,000 to Daniel Arbour & Associes for the work to harmonize the urban planning and zoning bylaws.

(4) May 2007: Previous public consultation
Residents had indicated in 2007 that it was difficult, if not impossible, to participate in a public consultation if too much information is presented. The OCPM aggreed.

(5) Changes to Minor Variances bylaws (dérogations mineures)
Click here to see an attempt at comparing the prposed and existing minor variances bylaws of Pierrefonds-Roxboro.

(6) Subdivision bylaw (reglement de lotissement)
Click here to see a comparison of the tables of contents between the proposed and previous subdivision bylaw of Pierrefonds-Roxboro
Looking for assistance from urban planning experts to assist residents

(7) Urban planning students and experts who would like to assist Pierrefonds-Roxboro residents can assist by helping in comparing existing bylaws against the new bylaws. If you would like to participate please constact

See this document for information on how a school project could be of great interest to urban planning and law students while providing a community service to borough residents.

Other information:
See table 2 in this document for a table presenting the new bylaws and the bylaws they will replace. Table 2 also provide links to draft versions of the new bylaws