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(Only) a handful of projects have been affected by the combined effect of (our) new demolition bylaw

Montreal councillor Alex Norris, who has taken some heat for the city's "Park Fees" on renovations deemed to be "complete demolitions" in the Le Plateau neighbourhood, has defended the legislation with a post on our site


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March 21, 2014 by Steve Payne

Last week, we published a post – based on a CBC report from Montreal – about the “Park Fees” in the Le Plateau area of that city. These fees – 10 per cent of property values in this high-end area of Montreal – apply if “more than 35 per cent” of a property is renovated, which the City would then deem to be a “disguised demolition” rather than just a renovation.

Several contractors posted their concern about the City of Montreal levying such a stiff “tax” on renovations.

But Alex Norris, who represents the area on Montreal City Council, has now posted on Canadian Contractor that, essentially, it’s not as bad as all that.  Here’s his post:

“The original CBC story on which you based this post was riddled with errors. A good half a dozen lines in the story, plus the headline itself, all had to be corrected. A new bylaw with a clearer definition of what constitutes a demolition had to be introduced because we were witnessing many “disguised demolitions,” in which contractors took advantage of vague language in the previous bylaw to demolish most of a building, sometimes leaving it so weakened that the entire thing had to come down. We are not talking about standard renovations here, but rather extreme makeovers of buildings in which so much of them comes down that it constitutes a de facto demolition.

As for park fees, we are hardly the only Montreal borough that charges them. None of these measures has prevented real estate values from soaring; the real-estate market on the Plateau is at an all-time high and the borough remains one of the most coveted locations to live in the entire city. Nor have renovations or construction projects slowed down. Less than half of 1% of renovation/construction projects on the Plateau are so extensive as to legally constitute a demolition. A handful of projects have been affected by the combined effect of the new demolition bylaw and park-fee provisions — fewer than six projects altogether. We have posted information on the borough website so that contractors and private individuals can calculate whether their project is so extensive that it constitutes a demolition.”


Steve Payne

Steve Payne

Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine
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