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.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. the extension or the alteration of a non-conforming building or the establishment of a non-conforming development on a site.
  3. the reconversion or change of use of a building.
  4. 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;
  • 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


To apply for a SCAOPI or to inquire about the procedure, please contact the Urban Planning Department of the City of Westmount.

  • Please note that the City of Westmount does not reply to individual comments.