Canadian Institue Of Planners

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Elevation 2.0 - SS-22: Laval: From an Outdated Land Use Bylaw to a Progressive Form-Based Code

July 06, 2022 | Posted byPublié par : CIP | 2.0, Elevation
The City of Laval is the second-largest city in the Greater Montreal area, the third largest in Quebec and an archetypical suburb. The land use bylaw in application since 1970 had never been fully revised and multiple amendments have changed it to Kafkaesque proportions. In 2021, the city adopted the draft of the Code de l’urbanisme (CDU), a new form-based code, which had never been done at this scale so far in Canada. A rigorous process was put in place to prepare this serious change and to allow innovation. Preliminary studies were done for months early in the project. In 2019, the city launched a comprehensive communication and consultation. Over three years, several tools were developed in that respect, such as a virtual open house as well as virtual public hearings. A continuous attention was also given to the transition within the city departments to make sure people were both made aware of what was coming and guided during the process. Recognizing the opportunity, the city wanted to distance itself from Euclidian zoning by regulating the urban development with a form-based code. The CDU represents a major shift in the way the city views and regulates its territory. Inspired by some of the best North American examples, the CDU is based on a transect. It thus applies this ecological concept of a spectrum of natural environments and their symbiotic elements to human habitats.




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