Sherbrooke adopts new ordinance on demolition of listed buildings


By William Crooks

Initiative for local journalism

On May 27, Lennoxville Borough Council reviewed and discussed the adoption of new heritage preservation bylaws under Ordinance 1277, affecting the demolition of buildings throughout Sherbrooke City. This new bylaw is intended to replace the existing Ordinance 1208, passed in 2017, and is a response to recent legislative changes aimed at better preserving buildings as heritage sites.

Background and legislative changes

On April 1, 2021, the Government of Quebec passed Bill 69, which amends the Heritage Act and other legislation, including the Spatial Planning and Development Act. This law introduces new policies and solutions for the demolition of buildings, particularly those with heritage value. These legislative changes required the City of Sherbrooke to update its demolition regulations to reflect the new requirements.

Effective June 1, 2023, the City's Planning Commission approved the repeal of Ordinance 1208 and the implementation of Ordinance 1277. Following this approval, on October 3, 2023, the City Council passed a resolution initiating the procedures to implement the new ordinance. This new ordinance will apply uniformly throughout the City and ensure that all demolition work meets updated standards.

Key elements of Regulation 1277

The new Regulation 1277 introduces several important changes designed to improve the protection of listed buildings. The main elements include:

  1. Mandatory review by the Committee:

– All listed buildings scheduled for demolition must now be inspected by the Demolition Committee. Previously there were exceptions to this requirement, but the new regulation removes these exceptions to ensure a thorough inspection.

  1. Extended definition of listed buildings:

– The regulation extends the definition of listed buildings to include:

– Buildings that fall under the Monument Protection Act.

– Buildings within cultural monuments.

– Buildings built before 1940.

– Buildings listed in municipal inventories.

– This expanded definition ensures that a larger area of ​​buildings is protected.

  1. New evaluation criteria:

– Demolition applications are assessed based on several criteria:

– The physical condition of the building, including structural integrity and level of contamination.

– The monument value, rated from A (exceptional) to E (low).

– The impact on the quality of life in the neighbourhood, taking into account factors such as safety and aesthetic coherence.

– The costs of restoration, renovation and requalification.

– The displacement of tenants and the resulting impact on housing needs in the area.

  1. Compatibility with other regulations:

– The regulation complies with the new instruments and guidelines of the Ministry of Culture and Communication.

– It ensures coherence with Regulation 12-02 regarding permits and certificates, modernises the demolition regime and simplifies application procedures.

  1. Special provisions for state approval:

– Buildings for which official approval is required for demolition include:

– Listed buildings.

– Buildings within a protected area of ​​a listed building.

– Buildings within a classified cultural heritage site.

– These buildings require approval from the Ministry of Culture or the Minister.

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