Harmonization of Montreal’s park contribution system

May 12th, 2017

The City wishes to adopt a new by-law on Park Contributions (“Contributions”) that will apply throughout its territory. In other words, Montreal intends to harmonize the Contribution rules that apply across its entire territory. Accordingly, the new by-law introduces major amendments to the Contribution system.

Under the new by-law, the City will require a Contribution for:

  • any application for a subdivision permit involving the approval of a cadastral operation for the purpose of subdividing a lot;
  • any application for a permit to build a new main building on a property that is a separate lot but for which a subdivision permit has never been issued because it resulted from cadastral renovation and, were it not for such cadastral renovation, its creation would have entailed park fees;
  • any application for a permit to build a main building containing more than two (2) dwellings; and
  • any application for a permit to transform a building resulting in the creation or addition of two (2) dwellings within a period of five (5) years.

The situations where the City can require the payment of a Contribution will therefore be more numerous than before.

The new by-law provides for an exemption from the obligation to pay a Contribution where the site or a part of the site has previously been the object of a Contribution in the form of a transfer of land to the City. This exemption is total when the transfer in question was made for the entire site, and is partial if the land transfer was made for a part of the site.

Another new aspect: there will no longer be any exemption from the obligation to pay a Contribution when an amount has already been paid as a Contribution in respect of the site upon a prior permit application. The person applying for the new permit must then pay the difference between the amount the City may require under the new permit application and the one that was already paid upon any prior permit application. The result of this new aspect: the City can require a greater number of Contributions.

The City may not claim any Contribution for the construction of social and community housing. In addition, the inclusion of social and community housing in a project will reduce the amount claimed as a Contribution.

Doubtless, the new by-law will lead to an increase in the amounts the City claims as Contributions. In fact, the value of the site will no longer be determined on the basis of the value listed on the property assessment roll. Instead, it will be determined by a chartered appraiser mandated by the City, at the property owner’s expense. The new by-law does however contain transitional provisions stipulating the rules that will apply during the first six (6) months following the entry into force of the said by-law for the determination of the value of the site. During that six-month period, the site’s value must be determined by reference to the property assessment roll.

Between the adoption of the draft by-law in late April 2017 and its entry into force, there will be a freeze in all the boroughs on all permit applications that will require a Contribution following the entry into force of the draft by-law but which, under the current by-laws, would not entail the payment of a Contribution.

To sum up, the situations where the City will require the payment of Contributions will be more numerous. Furthermore, the amounts of the Contributions claimed by the City will be higher.

The new City of Montreal by-law contains other rules that are not summarized here. Therefore it is important for anyone applying for a construction or subdivision permit to analyze the new by-law, or have it analyzed, so they can know what their rights are.

For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Joseph-André Roy at 418 649-5496.