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3.1
Parameters related to land use designation and building density

The land use and building density parameters will be reflected in the boroughs’ urban planning by-laws, as will the goals and objectives of the Master Plan that affect the by-laws.

Zoning is the main type of by-law used for implementing the Master Plan. It sets the various zones within the City in order to control the use of land and buildings in each, as well as the layout, form and appearance of buildings.

Other urban planning by-laws grant discretionary power to adapt the insertion of projects in light of the special character of the environment or a particular context. These are Site Planning and Architectural and Integration Programs (SPAIP), Comprehensive Development Programs (CDP), conditional uses and specific projects. This allows a management approach that can adapt to circumstances while still conforming to the Master Plan.

In contrast to a strictly normative approach, the Master Plan prescribes a regulatory framework that does not require a major revision of borough zoning by-laws. Since most of the City’s land is already built up, the Plan prescribes relatively broad land use designation and building density parameters for established areas whose character is to be preserved.

These parameters are more detailed in areas to be built or transformed, as well as in areas in which the Plan prescribes an intensification of activities. In accordance with the Charte de la Ville de Montréal, boroughs must enact concordance by-laws to conform to the regulatory parameters of the Master Plan within twelve months of its adoption.

The following principles derive from the planning approach of the Master Plan and apply to the formulation of land use designations and building density parameters :

  • Maintain the built form and uses of established areas and integrate the prescriptions of the Plan for the areas to be built or transformed;
  • Maintain the City’s human scale, by ensuring that changes to the built environment take into account the general character of the neighbourhood;
  • Support the diversity of the Central Business District’s activities and concentrate the City’s highest-density construction within its limits;
  • Intensify development near specific metro and commuter train stations in order to promote the increased use of public transportation;
  • Ensure adequate building density on sites to be built for residential purposes in areas designated for increased housing;
  • Favour a more intensive land use in employment areas by supporting the intensification and diversification of employment activities.

The Master Plan’s complementary document, presented in Part III, assures coherence in the City’s development by translating its objectives and development parameters into rules and criteria to which the boroughs’ urban planning by-laws will conform.