A specific construction, alteration or occupancy proposal for an immovable (SCAOPI) is a regulatory tool that enables the Municipal Council to authorize a project that is at variance with the City’s urban planning by-laws, without it being necessary to modify applicable standards for the particular zone or for the entire territory. Nevertheless, the proposal must be in conformity with the objectives of the City’s Planning Programme. If the project requires demolition in whole or in part, it may be subject to the Demolition By-law.
A Specific Proposal is an exceptional procedure adapted to major projects and those that present complexities inherent to their particular features. In principal, this tool provides a framework for urban development on a case-by-case basis and facilitates the development of problematic sites.
An application for authorization of a Special Proposal is limited to the following:
- the siting, the construction, the extension, or the renovation and redevelopment in respect of a proposal for a residential, multifamily immovable with six (6) or more units, a commercial immovable, an institutional immovable or a combination of at least two (2) of the aforementioned uses.
- the extension or the alteration of a non-conforming building or the establishment of a non-conforming development on a site.
- the reconversion or change of use of a building.
- the replacement of a variant use protected by vested rights by another variant use.
An application for authorization of a SCAOPI must be preceded by a preliminary study conducted by the City of Westmount’s Urban Planning Department.
The City Council may grant or refuse an application for authorization of a proposal submitted to it pursuant to the By-law only after it has received the opinion of the departments concerned and of the Planning Advisory Committee (PAC). In addition to the requirement to consider Planning Programme objectives, the application for authorization of a Special Proposal will be assessed in accordance with the following criteria:
- conformity with the general volume, height, siting and density of the existing and proposed constructions on the land and, integration into the built environment;
- conservation and enhancement of the original architectural elements:
- preservation of a heritage building;
- enhancement of the immovable and the neighbouring sectors with careful and adapted landscaping treatment and high quality construction;
- impact on the urban environment
- ecological design and integration of sustainable environmental features
- quality of the functional organization of the proposal
- balance between individual and collective interests
- advantages of the cultural and social components of the proposal
A project submitted for SCAOPI must obtain a satisfactory evaluation grid for its approval at City Council. Generally, a satisfactory grid consists of criteria with “High” or “Very High” levels of consideration.
Given the derogatory nature of a special project, it is important that all concerned parties (owner, neighbours, city) must benefit from an improvement upon the current situation or at the very least not experience any additional inconvenience.
To apply for a SCAOPI or to inquire about the procedure, please contact the Urban Planning Department of the City of Westmount.
Before submitting a SCAOPI request, it is recommended to submit an preliminary study request in order to assess, on the one hand, the admissibility of the request and, on the other hand, whether other urban planning tools could be considered for carrying out the project.
A request for a preliminary study, although optional, makes it possible to assess the admissibility of an application before it is officially submitted. The preliminary study, carried out by the Urban Planning Department, also provides guidance to applicants at the start of their project. This procedure enables applicants to assess whether or not to proceed with their project, without having to file a formal application and pay the associated fees.
The opinion issued by the Urban Planning Department is for informational purposes only and in no way guarantees a favourable decision on the project by the municipal council following the submission of a formal application, where applicable. It is also possible that the opinion of the Urban Planning Advisory Committee, when applicable, may differ.
The application fee for a preliminary study is laid out in the by-law establishing tariffs for the current fiscal year. This fee may be deducted from the applicable fee for a formal application if the application is filed within twelve (12) months following the preliminary study.
Depending on the type of project, it may take between one (1) and four (4) months to obtain a preliminary opinion from the Urban Planning Department following the submission of a request for a preliminary study.
No ongoing applications at this time.
2023 (processed applications)
- By-law 1489 – Adoption of the final resolution at the Council Sitting on January 16, 2023
- Document presented during the public consultation meeting on October 24, 2022
- Watch the public consultation meeting held on October 24, 2022 (video)
- First draft of resolution adopted at the regular Council Sitting of September 19, 2022
- Architectural Plans and sun study (in French only – last update July, 2022)
- Traffic study
- Geothechnical Study
- By-law 11489 – Adoption of the final resolution by Council on 6 March 2023
- Public notice – Application to open a registry- January 24, 2023
- 2nd draft of a resolution adopted at the Council Sitting on January 13, 2023
- Public consultation – December 13, 2022: Video
- Public consultation – December 13, 2022: Presentation
- Architectural plans (October 2022 – update)
- 1st draft of a resolution adopted at the November 21, 2022 council meeting