Rights acquired with the issuing of a building permit and the application of an architectural implementation and integration plan regulationBy Joanne Côté Lawyer
On August 1, 2013, in 4164857 Canada inc. v. Ville de Montréal (2013 QCCA 1306), the Court of Appeal determined whether a real estate developer could claim rights acquired prior to an amendment to a municipal regulation due to the simple fact that the company had requested approval for an architectural implementation and integration plan (plan d'implantation et d'intégration architecturale (PIIA)) but not a building permit.
In this case, it was established that the developer submitted an architectural implementation and integration plan to the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough on January 11, 2010, to build a 12-floor residential building. A borough council must approve the plan before the issuing of the building permit.
On February 22, 2010, a notice of motion to the effect that only buildings of three floors or fewer would be authorized in the area was presented to the borough council. This amendment to the zoning regulations was to take effect on July 19, 2010.
With regards to the developer's rights relative to the construction of a 12-floor residential building, the Court of Appeal determined that the notice of motion (with a "freezing effect") and the resulting zoning regulation were effective against the developer since, when the notice was filed, the company had not submitted a complete application for a building permit to the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough. According to the Court, in order to claim rights, a developer must submit a complete or substantially complete building permit application using the forms issued by the borough, pay all applicable fees and have obtained or at least concurrently submitted an architectural implementation and integration plan (PIIA).
As such, the rights acquired with the issuing of a building permit are not crystallized when applying for a PIIA but rather only when submitting a complete or substantially complete building permit.