Revamping of urban planning tools 2023

Revamping of urban planning tools 2023

The process of revamping our urban planning tools is a long-term one that has involved several important steps resulting in the adoption of the urban plan and its bylaws at the regular meeting of the municipal council on September 18, 2023.

Initiated in 2019, this revision of the urban planning bylaws was necessary, as the last revision was in 2008, and needless to say, these bylaws are now obsolete. This revision is also mandatory by virtue of the Loi provinciale sur l'aménagement et l'urbanisme; the urban plan must comply with the Schéma d'aménagement et de développement de l'agglomération de Longueuil adopted in 2016, so it is urgent to proceed with the adoption of our new bylaws.

This proposed new version is the fruit of a long democratic process. In 2022, a first draft was presented to the population, but was interrupted by the referendum register. In the face of strong opposition to the proposed early childhood center (CPE) in Préville, the Council completely withdrew the zoning amendment that would have allowed the project to go ahead.

In spring 2023, our land-use planning tools were updated to reflect our eco-responsible vision and our population's desire to enjoy a town with an exceptional quality of life. Consultations were held to present these updated tools.

Following the public consultations, the municipal council listened to citizens, took into account the comments received and then proceeded to modify its urban plan and by-laws before adopting them.

Great advances

The plan adopted unanimously by the municipal council on September 18 will allow Saint-Lambert to make great progress in protecting the environment and improving our quality of life.

  1. Allowing bi-generational housing
  2. Better protecting our green spaces (parks, golf courses, and the Du Limousin forest)
  3. Giving priority to the protection of trees over accessory constructions (swimming pools, parking lots, garages, etc.)
  4. Permitting green roofs
  5. Restricting the height of future redevelopment projects
  6. Authorizing the keeping of laying hens and the creation of vegetable gardens in front yards
  7. Allowing tiny homes on properties that already have an existing house, for members of the same family
  8. Authorizing the conversion of roof spaces and attics
  9. Restricting the size and footprint of extensions to existing homes
  10. Authorizing sidewalk cafés in winter to energize the downtown core all year round
  11. Requiring parking spots for bicycles on community, commercial, and multi-unit residential building lots
  12. Allowing moderate densification of the Village to enhance its vitality
  13. Imposing greater obligations with regard to the greening of private properties
  14. Simplifying the rules applicable to door and window replacements, colour changes, and residential roof covering products
  15. Prohibiting synthetic surfaces for landscaping
  16. Further restricting development along railroad tracks
  17. Requiring development fees from real estate developers
  18. Requiring a financial contribution from developers for any additional infrastructure required as a result of a redevelopment, if applicable.
  19. Providing better oversight of redevelopment projects
  20. Increasing penalties for urban planning violations
  21. Adding sustainable construction standards for all types of buildings

Rectifying the myths

Unfortunately, there's a lot of misinformation out there about the new plan, and it's time to correct some of the myths about it.


The new Urban Plan does not reflect Saint-Lambert’s identity and threatens the lifestyle we cherish.


Quite the contrary. Our Urban Plan is structured around the following five orientations, which are aimed precisely at strengthening the city’s identity components:

  • ORIENTATION 1: Preserve and enhance Saint-Lambert’s identity.
  • ORIENTATION 2: Encourage sustainable mobility and offer alternatives to solo driving.
  • ORIENTATION 3: Strengthen living environments by enhancing our parks and protecting our green spaces.
  • ORIENTATION 4: Ensure development based on a diversity of land uses to better meet the needs of our community.
  • ORIENTATION 5: Enhance the attractiveness of the municipality and stimulate the local economy.

The Urban Plan even includes new measures to make Saint-Lambert eco-friendly. This is an important issue that emerged from numerous public consultations. The Urban Plan that was unanimously adopted by City Council on September 18 will help preserve an enviable living environment, a compact city on a human scale, a rich built heritage, abundant forest cover, and strong social cohesion. In short, everything that makes Saint-Lambert a great place to live.


The Urban Plan adopted by City Council on September 18 does not respect the orientations and objectives of the Agglomération de Longueuil’s Land Use and Development Plan.


Nothing could be further from the truth. The Urban Plan complies with every aspect of the Agglomération de Longueuil’s Land Use and Development Plan. In fact, the City received written confirmation of its compliance from the Agglomeration on November 6, 2023.


The City will no longer have the right to use the snow dump adjoining Seaway Park, behind Champlain College as the Agglomération de Longueuil’s Land Use and Development Plan designates this land as residential.


The City can use the snow dump in zone PB-26 to deposit cleared snow for as long it needs, as it benefits from an acquired right.


Snow dumps could start appearing in random spots throughout the city.


Of course not! The Ville de Saint-Lambert has a snow dump in zone PB-26, adjoining Seaway Park, behind Champlain College. Snow dumps have always been authorized there, and this site meets all our needs. Snow dumps are considered a public utility and fall under a mixed-use classification.


The Du Limousin forest and the golf courses are under threat. The city does not protect them as required under the Agglomération de Longueuil’s Land Use and Development Plan in orientation 3, objective 1.


This is completely false. In accordance with the Agglomération de Longueuil’s Land Use and Development Plan, the Du Limousin forest and the golf courses are identified as important wooded areas in Figure 18 of the Urban Plan.

In addition to this designation, concrete actions have also been included in the Urban Plan under orientations 1 and 3 as follows : 1: Preserve and enhance Saint-Lambert’s identity, and 3: Strengthen living environments by enhancing our parks and protecting our green spaces.


It will no longer be possible to build any addition to a house if there is a tree in the way.


In light of the significant number of trees that have been felled in the city in recent years and bearing in mind their vital role in combating global warming, City Council has made it a priority to protect them. Residents will now need to factor in the protection of trees on their property when planning projects such as swimming pools, garden sheds, and parking spaces, among others.

In the case of major projects, such as an extension or a new building, exceptions may be granted through the SPAIP process if residents demonstrate that they have no other option than to remove trees.


The City intends to close four schools in the municipality as they are situated in zones where educational usage is not permitted.


Of course not! There was an omission, and they were therefore incorrectly identified in the zoning by-law. That was corrected by the City Council on November 6..


The City is removing Notre-Dame Avenue from the sectors of interest to favour developers.


This is false. Due to its lack of homogeneity, one specific stretch of Notre-Dame Avenue, featuring parking lots and buildings devoid of architectural quality, has been deemed to not be a sector of interest.

Any future development or renovation in this area will have to comply with the City's Urban Plan and the regulatory approval process specific to our city.


The City wants to eventually get rid of Maison Desaulniers to build an apartment building.


Maison Desaulniers is on the list of buildings of interest in the annex to the SPAIP and Demolition by-laws. Were the City eventually to sell the land and the building, it would be on condition that any real estate project integrate and enhance Maison Desaulniers, in addition to complying with all our City's by-laws.


The City is doing nothing to protect its built heritage.


Quite the opposite! In the Urban Plan, the City recognizes that its rich built heritage is a key component of Saint-Lambert's identity. Indeed, an entire section is dedicated to preserving and enhancing this heritage.

Since 2019, the City has maintained an inventory of buildings of heritage interest throughout its territory. To ensure their protection, this list is an integral part of the Site Planning and Architectural Integration Programs (SPAIP) and Demolition by-laws, which were adopted in 2023.

Lastly, to prevent our built environment from falling into disrepair, the City is currently working on an occupancy and maintenance by-law, which will oblige owners to ensure that their buildings are properly maintained.


The City wants to demolish City Hall to build condos.


City Hall was added to the list of buildings of heritage interest in an appendix to the Site Planning and Architectural Integration Programs (SPAIP) and to the Demolition by-law, at the express request of City Council; it was not included in Patri-Arch's heritage inventory in 2019. The current municipal council therefore recognizes its value, and any intervention on this building will be analyzed according to the strictest criteria.

It should be noted that the maximum number of storeys permitted on the site of City Hall is six.


The City will allow 12-storey high buildings along Riverside, next to the railroad tracks, where the gas stations are located.


The Urban Plan was amended following public consultations in 2022 to reduce the maximum number of storeys in this location to three.


The City could have maintained the industrial zoning on Saint-Charles Street. It would have been able to collect more taxes that way.


Under the Agglomération de Longueuil’s Land Use and Development Plan, the Ville de Saint-Lambert is required to convert the industrial use of this zone to a residential use with a minimum density. This Land Use and Development Plan is essentially equivalent to a law. A number of cities in Quebec have tried to circumvent this type of obligation, only to be only to be overturned by the courts.


The Urban Plan contains lot numbers that don’t exist!


Those lots were developed or redeveloped between 2012 and 2021. Since then, these properties were divided into a number of smaller lots to create a vertical subdivision, since condos were being built on them. For simplicity’s sake, the City used the lot numbers on the building permit applications at the time for the purposes of the Urban Plan.


The City has removed the maximum-height map from the new version of the Urban Plan to give it carte blanche over the size of projects.


The map was removed because the illustrations of the different perspectives and scales were causing confusion. Maximum heights are still shown and can be consulted in the table in the Zoning by-law.


The town centre will soon be surrounded by towering residential buildings.


The Ville de Saint-Lambert’s downtown area is already home to buildings ranging in height from 2 to 13 storeys, all built over the last few decades. Under the new Urban Plan, the City has stipulated that new buildings planned for the town centre be a maximum of six storeys. This number is the result of a compromise that was reached following various citizen consultations undertaken since 2021.


The City will henceforth prohibit restaurant owners from offering any form of live entertainment, including singers, on their terraces.


This has been prohibited under the zoning by-law since 2008. To preserve the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood residents who requested it, the City chose to maintain this regulation.

Artists and musicians may, however, perform inside restaurants.


More than 1,200 new homes will be built in the Saint-Charles sector.


The initial plans submitted by the new owner of the former Dare factory site did indeed call for this number of units. At the time, it was envisaged that the zoning would allow eight storeys. Since then, however, the number of floors permitted has been limited to three. The revised project now provides for approximately 225 units.

As for the former Coupal site along Mercier Street, the zoning also limits the height of buildings to three storeys. This means that any potential construction will be similar to the former Dare factory site.


By prohibiting restaurants on Desaulniers Boulevard between Victoria and Notre-Dame, the Urban Plan will negatively impact the vitality of the downtown sector.


The two restaurants already located on this short stretch of street may remain there indefinitely. In addition, they will be able to change ownership or management and continue to operate. During public consultations held by the City, many nearby residents asked that their tranquility be respected and that no additional restaurants be allowed to open on this block. The City agreed to this request, which it deemed reasonable under the circumstances.


The City will allow a community garden in Houde Park, thereby creating a “spot zoning” situation, which is illegal!


Every park in our city can have a community garden. It is one of the uses permitted in all Saint-Lambert parks under the Zoning by-law.


The Urban Plan designates the Coulée verte as a multi-use path. This represents yet another change of vocation for this corridor.


There has been no change in vocation for the Coulée verte. Its designation remains as it was. As is the trend in municipalities throughout the province, the City encourages the harmonious coexistence of all users of this type of active mobility path, including walkers and cyclists.


Special interests must be accommodated at Grand-Trunk Park. The Urban Plan does not protect this park.


This is completely false! Grand-Trunk Park is now part of the PA-33 zone, in the Recreation, Parks and Green Spaces land-use group. No special interests will be privileged.


The By-law concerning the specific construction, alteration or occupancy proposal for an immovable (PPCMOI) will radically transform the city, as it allows projects to be built without height limitations.


The PPCMOI is rather a tool that makes it easier to study and establish a framework for large-scale real estate projects that would derogate from certain provisions of the urban planning by-laws. All proposed projects must comply with the objectives of the Urban Plan and be subject to the same rigorous approval process by the City and its community, including public notice, public consultation, and referendum approval (with a few exceptions, such as RPAs [private seniors’ residences] or CHSLDs).


The City wants to allow the construction of condos in parks such as Grand-Trunk, Renaissance, Union, and others.


Quite the contrary! The City is maintaining park zoning for all its parks and further reinforcing their protection through a request made to the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) to designate some of them as green spaces in perpetuity.

What’s more, from now on, the City will require 10% of the market value of land to be redeveloped, which it will invest in our city’s parks and green spaces.


The baseball field in Saint-Charles Park will disappear with the development of this sector.


This land belongs to the City and is zoned as a park. There are no plans to move the baseball field, and the City also has no intention of selling the land, which is essential to the vitality of the neighbourhood to be redeveloped.


The City is not protecting the quality of life of its residents because the Urban Plan allows for the possibility of telecommunication towers being erected in its parks.


Given Saint-Lambert’s geographical location in relation to the existing telecommunications network, it is highly unlikely that additional towers would appear on our territory.


There’s no chance that the Coulée verte will be extended to Victoria Avenue.


The City already has a right-of-way on lot 4232186 (on the former Coupal property, along Mercier Street) for the development of the Coulée verte. The owner of the neighbouring lot will be contacted in due course regarding its continuation to Victoria Avenue.

Process summary

The process of revamping our urban planning tools is a long-term one that involves several important steps.

Main steps (from newest to oldest)

Monday, September 18, 2023, 7 p.m., multi-purpose centre Adoption of the plan and by-laws by City Council
Wednesday, September 13, 2023, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., multi-purpose centre Information session: Presentation of the modified Urban Plan
Between May and September Submission of consultation report and revision of the plan and regulations following public consultations
Tuesday, May 16, 2023, 7 to 9 p.m., multi-purpose centre Public Consultation Meeting # 2
Tuesday, May 16, 2023, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., multi-purpose centre Members of the Urban Planning Department team will be present to answer your questions
Tuesday, May 9, 2023, 7 to 9 p.m., multi-purpose centre Public Consultation Meeting #1
Tuesday, May 9, 2023, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., multi-purpose centre Members of the Urban Planning Department team will be present to answer your questions
Thursday, April 27, 2023, 7:30 p.m., multi-purpose centre Public presentation of the Urban Plan (UP), the Specific Planning Programs (SPP) and the regulations
Monday, April 17, 2023, 7:30 p.m., multi-purpose centre Adoption of proposed by-laws at City Council

Revised urban plan and by-laws adopted at the meeting of April 15, 2024

At the City Council meeting of April 15, 2024, the Municipal Council adopted the urban plan and its by-laws.

Revised urban plan and by-laws adopted at the meeting of September 18, 2023

Approval steps to come

Once they are adopted, they will be submitted for the following approvals:

  • To find out more about the conformity request to the Commission municipale du Québec, consult the public notice.
  • To find out more about the compliance request to the Commission municipale du Québec, click below.

Register dates will be announced in the public notice.

The Agglomération de Longueuil will have 120 days following the date of transmission of the adopted by-laws to validate their compliance with the land-use plan.

Information session (September 2023)

Following the public consultations held in the spring, the municipal council listened to citizens, took into account the comments received and then proceeded to modify its urban plan and bylaws. The revised plan was presented by Mayor Pascale Mongrain, accompanied by Anik Fortin, Head of the Urban Planning Department, at an information session held on September 13, 2023.

You can consult

Consultation report (July 2023)

In July 2023, the public consultation report was made available. This report includes comments received during the various stages of the consultation process, as well as written submissions.

To access the consultation report

Presentation and public consultations (April-May 2023)

At the April 17, 2023 meeting, City Council adopted the draft urban plan and by-laws (construction, zoning, subdivision, etc.). These drafts were presented at a public meeting on April 27 and at two public consultations on May 9 and 16, 2023. From May 9 to 17, 2023, citizens also had the opportunity to submit their memoirs.

Why do so?

This new proposal for the Urban Plan will allow us to better plan the future of our City while respecting its heritage style and the environment and ensuring the protection of all our parks and green spaces. The purpose of this overhaul of the planning tools is not to transform the City, but to ensure its sustainability by proposing updates that meet your vision for the future and respect legal obligations. It represents many benefits for our community.

1. Preserve and enhance Lambert's identity

  • Ensure protection of the built heritage through regulatory measures to provide a better framework for the architectural and landscape approach to projects;
  • Adopt a development framework that ensures harmonious urban development, respectful of Lambert's reality;
  • Protect and enhance the public and private canopy through stringent regulations;
  • Increase coolness islands through greening requirements for public and private spaces;
  • Introduce a new system of development charges to finance infrastructure.

2. Encourage sustainable mobility and offer alternatives to the solo car

  • Develop an active transportation network;
  • Make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to get around in summer and winter;
  • Adopt regulatory measures to encourage car-sharing, car-pooling and the electrification of transport.

3. Strengthen living environments by enhancing our parks and protecting our green spaces

  • Recognize the ecological, cultural, social and sporting contribution of Saint-Lambert's parks;
  • Submit to the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), as part of the revision of the next Plan métropolitain d'aménagement et de développement (PMAD), a request to identify the territory's two golf courses as green spaces to be preserved over the long term;
  • Encourage the emergence and sustainability of urban agriculture initiatives on public and private land.

4. Ensure mixed-use development to better meet the needs of our community

  • Develop a new, diversified housing and service offer that meets the needs of the entire population;
  • Enable the creation of big-generation housing;
  • Promote development close to services.

5. Strengthen the area's appeal and stimulate the local economy

  • Strengthen the vitality of the downtown area by promoting a diverse commercial offering;
  • Relax parking requirements for downtown merchants.

Reference documents

As part of the five-year review of the city's land-use plan and its by-laws, which began in 2019, City Council adopted the following by-laws on July 11, 2022:

- Rapport de consultation 2022;
- Règlement de construction (2022-203);
- Règlement de lotissement (2022-202);
- Règlement sur les permis et les certificats (2022-204);
- Règlement de zonage (2022-201);
- Règlement de zonage - Grille de zonage;
- Règlement de zonage - Plan de zonage;
- Plan d'urbanisme (2022-200) (révisé en date du 22 août 2022);
- PPU Saint-Charles;
- PPU secteur du centre-ville;
- PPU secteur central du boulevard Sir-Wilfrid-Laurier.

Following the review process, a register was opened on November 21, 22 and 23, 2022 to allow persons qualified to vote to request that the zoning by-law (2022-201) and the subdivision by-law (2022-202) be submitted to a referendum.

A sufficient number of signatures having been obtained on the register, Council decided at its December 12, 2022 meeting to halt the adoption process for the land-use plan and by-laws rather than proceed with a referendum vote.

The 2008 by-laws therefore remain in effect for the time being until City Council is able to propose new zoning (2022-201) and subdivision (2022-202) by-laws. You can consult the Territorial development section for the detailed by-laws.

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