Pontiac council report - updated planning bylaws passed
Mo Laidlaw
Pontiac

More than 30 members of the public attended the October 1 special council meeting, held in Luskville. This was like a regular meeting, brought forward because of the November 3 council elections. In addition to the council and assistant director general, the urbanist Stéphane Doré, and head of the planning department Julie Galipeau were present.

The planning bylaws
Robert Perrier has a specific concern about the new zoning bylaw. He bought a commercially zoned lot on highway 148 in Breckenridge to start a business after the highway improvements are carried out. The lot is zoned residential on the new zoning map. Mr Doré explained that this is to do with the MRC’s regional plan. Only local businesses are allowed in that sector. The planning department will assist him. Benoit Perrier added that because it is an unbuilt lot they have no mailbox and did not receive notice of the public consultation. Mayor Eddie McCann suggested the Perriers check the municipal website from time to time, and ask the Post Office for a mailbox. 

Sheila McCrindle had two main comments about the proposed bylaws: “There is no definition of wildlife habitat, which is important if you are trying to preserve it. Secondly the regulations about architecture; it’s hard to regulate taste. We should encourage gorgeous modern architecture as well as heritage houses. Row housing can be beautiful and is economical.”

Bill Twolan said, “Thank you for the heavy equipment,” and wanted to know how many chickens people could keep on residential lots. The answer: a maximum of 6 chickens on 3700 m2 (0.9 acre).

The eight updated bylaws on Town planning, Zoning, Subdivision, Building, Permits and certificates, PIIA (architectural integration), CCU (advisory committee), and Minor exemptions were all passed by a majority of council, as was the Notice of the first draft of the MRC’s revised development plan (schéma d’aménagement). In each case, councillors Howard, Larose and Middlemiss voted against. Mr Larose has said he’s not against the bylaws, merely the timing.

Mr McCann repeated that the French version is the official one, and recent updates may not have been translated into English yet, although council has discussed them. Mr Doré said that Ms. Galipeau and the planning department will keep a list of any changes required for the next issue of the bylaw.

There were further questions from the public at the end of the meeting. Sheila McCrindle asked about the next steps for the bylaws. Mr Doré replied that they will go to the MRC to check for conformity, then there will be a registry on the zoning and subdivision bylaws. If a sufficient percentage of all residents sign the registry a referendum will have to be held. Finally MAMROT (Municipal Affairs etc) will have to approve the bylaws.

Nancy Maxsom asked if owners will be notified if the requirement for a minimum lot size of 2 acres for newly cadastred lots in the south east of the municipality (mostly south of ch Braun) applies to them. Bill Twolan claims there is plenty of water in this area so smaller lots are sufficient. However, water is not the problem: a hydrogeological study carried out in 2008 recommended minimum lot sizes of 8000 m2 in this area to allow for septic systems that will not pollute groundwater. Clay and rock are not good substrates for septic systems, which may only last 15 years in such conditions. The large lot size allows for replacement of the tile bed.

Other Planning department business
The Quebec Ministry of Natural Resources (MRN) will be asked for $10,000 to help carry out an inventory of wetlands.

Quotes from two surveyors will be obtained to survey the land around the Lions Hall in Quyon (already owned by the municipality) which will be given to the municipality by Quyon Ensemble.

Surveyor Richard Fortin is given the mandate to describe the lots necessary for a right of way for ch Hurdman (at the west end of ch Elm).

Michel Grenier is approved to develop phase II of his housing project, Village des Plaines, first accepted by council in 1995. An ecological study was carried out as required, and submitted to council in August 2013.

Alain Larose was given approval for his subdivision, creating 6 lots on ch Lac-des-Loups, close to route 148. “This has already received CPTAQ authorization,” according to the minutes of special meeting September 24, 2013 - but this was not true. The CPTAQ decision of 21 May 2013 clearly refused the request for 6 residential and one commercial lot, and there are no later appeals listed. http://t.soquij.ca/Zc78A (Updated 2014 07 07).

School zone on St. George street in Quyon.
Gary Bélair is concerned about safety for children on St George Street. “The school zone starts too close to St Mary’s school and drivers are speeding, passing stopped school buses and driving dangerously. By the time the police arrive the bad drivers have long gone. At night there are cars and bikes revving their engines and racing. There is no sidewalk on St George street and many children walk along it going to and from both schools.” Mr McCann said he would pass on the concerns at his monthly meeting with the Police Chief. 
Councillor Lynne Beaton proposed a motion to improve the school zone and lower speed limits, which was passed. At the end of the meeting Ms Beaton announced she is not running again for council.

Jean-Claude Carisse is named as the Pontiac representative on the Commission Culturelle des Collines, replacing Inès Pontiroli when she is absent.

Money matters
The following were approved at this meeting and at special meetings on 17 and 24 September:
Invoices for September amounting to $69,814; incurred expenses for October of $40,650.
$528,885 to Raymond Bélisle for snowploughing sector G for 3 years.
A borrowing bylaw for $300,000 for paving the Lusk Project (ch Brady, Kerr, part of Crégheur, and cr. Ivan and Lusk).
$604 to Drain Spec.
$500 to repair a cement block wall at the Ecocentre.

Archived reports are at: http://www.heritagepontiac.ca/Municipality 
The Action Pontiac blog at http://actionpontiac.blogspot.com has information about local events.