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Quebec Land Use Planning (1-QC-a)

Information current as of 2019
In Quebec, land use planning, with the exception of public or agricultural land, is a shared responsibility between the provincial government and municipalities. The Land Use Planning and Development Act establishes the legal framework for land use planning and development in Quebec. The Quebec – Department of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy (Department) ensures compliance with the objectives and policy directions that the Government, its ministers, mandataries of the State and public bodies are pursuing with respect to land use development by authorizing metropolitan plans, RCM plans and interim control by-laws related to the process of amendment or revision of such plans. Planning and Development Powers in Quebec Summary p. 2.


The Municipal Powers Act establishes the powers of local municipalities, as well as those powers exercised by regional county municipalities concurrently with local municipalities and those which are exclusive to RCMs. Planning and Development Powers in Quebec Summary p. 2.



Land Use Planning Process


1-QC-a.1 – Review Strategic Vision Statements

A developer should review the strategic vision statements applicable to the territory where the project will be carried out to ensure that the project is in compliance. Every responsible body is required to have a strategic vision in place for cultural, economic, environmental and social development in its territory. R.S.Q. 2003, c. A-19.1 s. 2.3. “Responsible body” means every metropolitan community that must maintain a metropolitan land use and development plan or every regional county municipality (RCM) that must maintain an RCM land use and development plan. R.S.Q. 2003, c. A-19.1 s. 1 (7.1). Every metropolitan community is a responsible body with respect to a metropolitan plan. R.S.Q. 2003, c. A-19.1 s. 2.1. Every regional county municipality is a responsible body with respect to an RCM plan. R.S.Q. 2003, c. A-19.1 s. 2.2.

1-QC-a.2 – Review Metropolitan Plan

A developer should review the metropolitan plan for any metropolitan community where the project will be carried out to ensure that the project is in compliance. There are two metropolitan communities in the province of Quebec: the Montreal Metropolitan Community and the Quebec Metropolitan Community. Quebec – Department of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy – Planning and Development Powers in Quebec Summary. Each metropolitan plan defines policy directions, objectives and criteria to ensure the competitiveness and attractiveness of the territory of the metropolitan community, in keeping with sustainable development. R.S.Q. 2003, c. A-19.1 s. 2.24.

1-QC-a.3 – Review Regional County Municipality Plan

A developer should review the RCM plan in the counties where the project will be carried out to ensure that the project is in compliance. Each RCM is made up of all the local municipalities in the same territory which form an administrative entity. Planning and Development Powers in Quebec Summary p. 2. The RCM plan also includes a complementary document which sets out rules requiring the municipalities located within that regional county to adopt by-laws that align with the RCM plan. R.S.Q. 2003, c. A-19.1 s. 5.

1-QC-a.4 – Review Municipal Zoning By-Laws

A developer should review the municipal by-laws in the municipalities where the project will be carried out to ensure that the project is in compliance. R.S.Q. 2003, c. A-19.1 s. 113. A municipal council may make by-laws on the placing of wires, including wire burial. R.S.Q. 2005, c. C 47.1 s. 16. A zoning by-law may:

  • Classify structures and uses to divide the municipality into zones;
  • Specify, for each zone, the structures and uses that are authorized and those that are prohibited, including public uses and buildings, and the land occupation densities;
  • Specify, by zone, the open space that must be left between structures and the different uses, between structures or between the different uses, whether the structures or uses are grouped together or not, and whether they are situated in the same zone or in contiguous zones, and to prescribe where applicable, the use and development of such open space;
  • Specify, for each zone, the proportion of a landsite which may be occupied by a structure or use;
  • To regulate or prohibit all or certain land uses, structures or works;
  • To permit, by zone, groups of structures and uses of a determined classification and prescribe the specific rules applicable in such a case;
  • Determine, for each zone, the uses permitted in any part of a structure R.S.Q. 2003, c. A-19.1 s. 113.

1-QC-a.5 to 1-QC-a.7 – Application for Authorization of a Specific Proposal

A developer must apply to the council of a municipality for authorization of a specific proposal (variance) if the project does not comply with a municipal by-law. The council of a municipality may adopt a by-law concerning a specific construction, alteration or occupancy proposal if the proposal does not comply with a by-law. R.S.Q. 2003, c. A-19.1 s. 145.36.

1-QC-a.8 – Consult with the Planning Advisory Committee

The council must consult with the planning advisory committee before deciding on an application for authorization of a specific proposal. R.S.Q. 2003, c. A-19.1 s. 145.38. A planning advisory committee is established by municipal by-law and is composed of at least one member of the municipal council and other members who are chosen from among the residents of the municipality. R.S.Q. 2003, c. A-19.1 s. 146.

1-QC-a.9 to 1-QC-a.10 – Review Application for Completeness

The council of the municipality must review the application for administrative and technical completeness.

1-QC-a.11 to 1-QC-a.12 – Review Application for Approval

The council of a municipality must review the application for authorization of a specific proposal for approval. To be authorized, the project must be consistent with the aims of the municipality’s planning program. R.S.Q. 2003, c. A-19.1 s. 145.36.

1-QC-a.13 – Authorization for a Specific Proposal

The council may authorize a specific proposal subject to any condition that must be satisfied in connection with carrying out the project. R.S.Q. 2003, c. A-19.1 s. 145.38.


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Edit Quebec Department of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy
Communications 418 691-2015 communications@mamhabbazabbagouvabbazabbaqcabbazabbaca Visit Website