TBL is studying a right of first refusal on certain properties

By Francine Bastien 

Quebec now grants municipalities the right to exercise a right of first refusal on certain immovables in its territory. The Town of Brome Lake intends to take advantage of it and to this end is studying a new bylaw that will allow it “to assess the advisability of a transaction at the time of the sale of the building and to withdraw, if necessary.’’ 

Thus, the bylaw aims to identify the territory, the lots and the buildings on which the right of pre-emption for municipal purposes may be exercised, at the discretion of Council. A dozen “municipal purposes” are identified in the bylaw such as housing, the environment and the conservation of its natural state, natural space, playground, access to water, park, recreational trail, local economic development, public infrastructure, public transport and heritage interest. 

Thus, the owners of buildings that may be acquired by the town must be notified individually of the fact that their building is subject to the right of preemption. Also, the town will have to identify by resolution the immovable subject to the right of first refusal. The owner of such a building must notify the town before selling it. 

Five bylaws amended 

Furthermore, the zoning bylaw 596 is amended by adding or clarifying sometimes technical definitions affecting, for example, the height of accessory buildings, fences, parking lots, water management, embankment, etc. The subdivision bylaw is also amended, as well as the one relating to permits and certificates and construction. 

Bylaw 134 on minor derogations specifies that an exemption can- not be granted with respect to zoning or subdivision standards that were “specifically adopted for the purposes of protecting the environment, for public safety or for the general well-being”. 

Prior to the adoption of the final version of these regulations, a public consultation session has been scheduled for the end of April since these provisions may pave the way for the holding of a referendum.