New zoning and planning changes in municipality of Pontiac
Mo Laidlaw

Nancy and Melvin Maxsom of the Eardley sector of Pontiac spotted the ad for a public consultation to be held on September 14, on eight bylaws dealing with urban planning and zoning. They contacted the Pontiac Journal with their concerns, and also sent a 10 page document to the mayor and councillors, suggesting that misleading information, errors and omissions should be corrected before the bylaws are passed.

Mayor Eddie McCann confirmed that council hopes to pass these bylaws before the November 3 election. “The last regular council meeting before the election is September 8 but we will hold a special meeting to pass these bylaws,” he said. He brushed aside concerns about errors and omissions saying “We’ve spent a lot of time on this, there’ll be no problems.”

Some of the Maxsoms’ comments:
“The municipal profile, dated May 2010, is out of date. It describes 8 active churches (now 6), and the Quyon Fair that has been held since 1920 (now replaced by Jamfest). It does not mention the Luskville dragway (operating since 1960), or newer attractions such as the AirPark, the Quyon Go Cart track, or Jamfest and other yearly events. The statistical data are from the 2006 census, although data are now available from 2011.

“One of the bylaws is on Site planning and architectural integration (Plans d’implantation et d’intégration architectural) and is intended to preserve the picturesque character of the village of Quyon by setting aesthetic objectives and criteria, however the second paragraph states that the bylaw refers to new construction or changes to a building in the entire municipality (l’ensemble du territoire municipal), except where no change is visible from the road.

“Classes of business have been made more specific, which could restrict those not listed.” Ms Maxsom continued, “There’s no place that a café can exist in this municipality. The paragraph on restaurants describes them as ‘commercial establishments whose only activity is to offer meals including take-out, and the service of alcoholic drinks.’ (ML translation)

“Similarly businesses selling car parts, doing motor vehicle repair and maintenance, autobody repair, car washing and selling gas are described in terms restricting what they can do. Washing and waxing is included with autobody repair. And gas stations (Poste d’essence) are allowed to sell food, (and maybe coffee?) but not if associated with car repair (Station-service).

“The agricultural group of business classes fails to mention that for most land in the farm zone the person must follow CPTAQ rules. Approximately one acre surrounding the residence falls under municipal jurisdiction regarding bylaws,” explained the Maxsoms. “When CPTAQ authorizes a use other than agriculture, such as building a house, the resident must then abide by municipal bylaws. The zoning map should be updated accordingly. Parking or storing commercial and industrial equipment used for non-farm activities must have been approved by the CPTAQ, and again then the area is covered by municipal bylaws.

“Parking and storing heavy equipment (more than 3.5 tonnes) is allowed anywhere in the municipality except residential zone 4 (the McKay and Lilas subdivisions), in the new zoning bylaw. This equipment must be stored in the back yard and surrounded by a 1.8 metre fence or an evergreen hedge that will grow to at least that height.”

The Maxsoms suggest that passing the bylaws as they stand will not reflect favourably on the municipality.
The public consultation will take place at the community centre in Luskville on Saturday, September 14, between 1 pm and 5 pm. Paper copies of the proposed bylaws will be available from September 9, and they are now online at 
www.municipalitepontiac.com/en/urbanism-and-permits/draft-replacement-laws/ and
www.municipalitepontiac.com/fr/urbanisme-et-permis/projets-de-reglements-durbanisme/