Step 1: Consult the relevant by-laws
Determine which by-laws apply to your particular situation. These include, but are not limited to, zoning, subdivision, building, and demolition by-laws as well as the plumbing and fire codes.Step 2: Consult the design guidelines
New buildings and alterations which affect the exterior of a building must also respect the Guidelines for Renovating and Building in Westmount
. The introductory text outlines how to proceed and assists in determining what kind of work is suitable for your building or property.
The Urban Planning Department can advise on the legality and advisability of planned renovations at the earliest stages. A copy of the Character Area Information Sheet for your area can be obtained as well as specific Guideline Booklets. See this page
for more information about where to get help.Step 3: Prepare your proposal
Based on your needs and budget as well as what is permitted in the by-laws and guidelines, determine the scope and nature of your project and have drawings prepared. Step 4: Submit application
Submit an application including the documents and information listed in the Submittal Requirements table, available for download below. Please note that the application form is carbon copy and is only available at the Urban Planning Counter at City Hall
A fee is charged for the permit. It is based on the total cost of the construction project. A member of the staff at the Urban Planning Department can inform you of the present rates.
In order to avoid unnecessary cost for the preparation of detailed plans that may not be approved, in the case of all but the simplest project, you should submit a preliminary proposal for approval in principle
, before proceeding with the detailed working drawings.Step 5: Plans reviewed by City
All applications for building permits are examined by the Board of Inspections
to ensure compliance with the applicable by-laws. Applications submitted before the end of day on Tuesdays will generally be reviewed at the Board’s weekly meeting on Thursday morning.
Where the proposed changes affect the exterior of the building, the application is referred to the Planning Advisory Committee
. The Committee meets every second Tuesday and applications approved by the Board of Inspections
at the previous meetings, will generally be reviewed at the Committee’s next meeting. The Committee may require changes or deny approval of a project for reasons of planning and aesthetics.
You can call the Urban Planning Department the day following the meetings to obtain the unofficial results of the review of your submission. Official minutes of both meetings are generally confirmed within one to two weeks and are sent to the applicant immediately thereafter. If the proposal was refused, you can make the necessary corrections and submit the revised proposal.
The recommendations of the Planning Advisory Committee
are finally presented to the Council meeting for approval.Step 6: Obtain permit
The building permit must be posted in a window or other prominent place at the construction site. A copy of the approved plans associated with the issuance of the permit must be kept on the site. Any changes from the plans must be brought to the attention of the Urban Planning Department immediately and requires review and approval in the same manner as the original application.
A building permit expires after six months if no work was undertaken at all or was started and then suspended for four consecutive months. A new request must be submitted to renew an expired permit, which must comply with any new by-laws or guidelines. Work on the exterior of a building must be completed within 12 months; work on the interior within 18 months. Refer to by-law 1300 concerning permits and certificates.