PONTIAC – Over 50 members of the public were present at the Municipality of Pontiac’s public consultation on the updated zoning bylaw, September 14, at the Luskville Community Centre. The entire council was there, as well as Director General, Sylvain Bertrand; Assistant DG, Ben Kuhn; urbanist (planner), Stephane Doré; head of planning department, Julie Galipeau; and secretary, Natacha Papillon.
Doré explained that the main changes are removal of allowed uses to ensure conformity within the MRC des Collines, and for safety. Provincial laws on shoreline protection and landslide risk zones are now included. The main addition is the PIIA (Plans d’implantation et d’intégration architecturale), dealing with architectural integration.
“Does this mean that all houses will have to look the same?” asked Carl Hager about the PIIA. Mayor Eddie McCann replied, “No, we don’t want all houses looking the same, but we do want to preserve our old and historical buildings.” The PIIA will be enforced through building permits.
Kevin Brady suggested that some of the guidelines in the PIIA may conflict with energy efficient housing. “My house is oriented south to take advantage of the sun, to reduce heating costs in the winter (passive solar heat).” Doré conceded that this is a good point and he will take a look at it.
Many people had questions about their own zone, while questions on individual properties will be dealt with by staff in the following days. Pierre Robillard was told that R4 (the McKay subdivision and adjacent residential areas), is subject to exactly the same restrictions as before.
Jacques Lizotte, owner of a farm next to a residential zone worried if this would decrease the value of his farm. “You give permits to build houses next to my farm. What if I want to sell to a pig farmer? Galipeau replied that permits are issued according to what is there now, not what may be there in the future.
Some of Barrie Marfleet’s questions were to do with definitions of terms in the English translation, which confusingly included the word “coastline” as well as “waterline.” “Coastline” is a translation of “littoral”, meaning from the high water line towards the centre of the watercourse (the shore), as distinct from “shoreline” or “rive”, used to describe the area above the high water mark (the riverbank).
McCann expects the bylaw to be passed at a special public meeting at the Luskville Community Centre, 7:30pm October 1.