Frequently Asked Questions

PERMIT

 

Why is a permit application compulsory?

A permit is indispensable because it guarantees compliance with the bylaws and assures public safety. It also makes it possible to avoid several problems that could arise when reselling your property. What type of problems can a permit avoid? Ask Mr. Tremblay.

Mr. Tremblay’s story:

Mr. Tremblay had a wonderful in-ground pool built two years ago, but he neglected to apply for a permit. When he put his property on the market, a potential buyer decided to have the premises inspected. Unfortunately, the inspector discovered that the swimming pool not only contravenes the bylaw that prohibits construction of a pool on the front facade portion of a lot, it also encroaches on the neighbouring lot. Mr. Tremblay has only one choice: he must demolish the pool and sell his house at a loss.

Mr. Tremblay could have avoided all of this unpleasantness if he had duly applied for a permit.A permit is required for all types of construction, repair, renovation, modification or expansion of a main building (residence) or outbuilding; for a septic or water catchment (well) installation; or for itinerant sales, occasional sales, and Christmas tree sales.

For more information on the different permits, click here. ico_pdf
To fill in a permit application form, click here.
To contact the Urban Planning and Environment Department, click here.

What is the waiting period before a permit is issued?

The municipality will respond to your application as soon as possible. You should expect a 30-day waiting period from the time the application is completed. However, it is impossible to process an application when it isn’t signed or when a document is missing. To speed up processing of your application, make sure that you have all the necessary information and documents in your possession.

For more information on the different permits, click here. ico_pdf
To fill in a permit application form, click here.
To contact the Urban Planning and Environment Department, click here.

What are the steps to follow if I want to buy land to build?

You’ll save time by being well informed from the start!

Note: The municipality does not do real estate development. However, you can consult the directory of developers for more information on this subject.

Note: The municipality does not manage any sewer or aqueduct service, with the exception of Sylvie Street sector.

Before buying land:

  1. Make sure that you know your lot number: you can ask the current owner or the developer, or take note of the nearest intersection or civic address of the neighbouring property.
  2. Find out the zone in which the land is located: First consult the zoning map ico_pdf and identify your land. Then look up the zone where your land is located in the Table of Authorized Uses and validate these data with the Urban Planning and Environment Department before proceeding with the purchase.

If you have bought land:

  1. To access the land: you must apply for a certificate of authorization to build a culvert, etc. Note: Certain standards must be observed. For more information, contact the Public Works Department.
  2. Note: Non-vacant land must be wooded, grassed or developed within 24 months after the construction permit is issued.
  3. Note: You must obtain a construction permit before proceeding with any clearing to implement your construction project.
  4. Note: A percolation test is required for any septic installation project.

If you are ready to begin construction:

  1. You must have duly completed the application forms.
  2. You must have the documents in your possession certifying that you are the owner of the land (notarial deed).
  3. You must wait until the permit is issued before beginning construction, tree cutting, excavation or blasting.
  4. Note: Any construction permit lapses if the work has not begun within six (6) months after the date the permit is issued.
  5. Note: Residences must have a minimum area of 75 m² (807 ft²) and a façade at least 8 m (26 ft) long, excluding garages and other non-habitable components.

During construction:

  1. The work must conform to the standards of the National Building Code (including the standards for smoke detectors) and the municipal bylaws.
  2. You will have twelve (12) months after the date the permit is issued to complete the exterior finishing work.
  3. Note: You may begin the work only when the permit is officially issued.
  4. certificate of location must be provided to the Urban Planning and Environment Department when construction is completed, including a certificate of location for any outbuilding on a permanent foundation.

Can I add an annex to my existing residence? Can I build a three-story house? What are the characteristics of main buildings?

For complete information on the characteristics of main buildings, please refer to the full bylawico_pdf

How much does a permit application cost?

We invite you to refer to the French version on the website, or contact the municipality by e-mail, or by phone at 450 539-2258, for more details.

How much does it cost to apply for a certificate of authorization?

We invite you to refer to the French version on the website, or contact the municipality by e-mail, or by phone at 450 539-2258, for more details.

Pool

I want to install a pool (in-ground, above-ground, inflatable, hot tub). What is the procedure?

certificate of authorization is required when you want to install an in-ground, above-ground or inflatable pool, or a hot tub. Why? Ask Mr. Tremblay.

Mr. Tremblay’s story:

Mr. Tremblay had a wonderful in-ground pool built two years ago, but he neglected to apply for a permit. When he put his property on the market, a potential buyer decided to have the premises inspected. Unfortunately, the inspector discovered that the swimming pool not only contravenes the bylaw that prohibits construction of a pool on the front facade portion of a lot, it also encroaches on the neighbouring lot. Mr. Tremblay has only one choice: he must demolish the pool and sell his house at a loss.

The pool must be located at least 2 m (6.5 ft) from the property lines and from all buildings. It must be located within the back or side yard and must not extend beyond the main building façade. For corner lots, it is preferable to consult the Urban Planning and Environment Department.

In addition, the pool may not occupy more than 30% of the land area.

Any in-ground or sunken pool deeper than 1.2 m (4 ft) must be surrounded by a fence at least 1.22 m (48 in) high.

Any patio serving as access must be 2 m (6.5 ft) or more from the property lines and must be equipped with a safety lock inaccessible to children. The guardrails must conform to National Building Code standards.

The filtration system must be installed so that it does not serve as access to the pool. The premises must be safe. It is important to pay attention to electrical wiring and the septic installation.

For more information, consult the full bylaw. ico_pdf

Trees

Must I apply for a permit if I want to cut down a tree?

You must obtain a certificate of authorization to cut down a tree, even if it is dead, anywhere in the territory and especially in the Shefford mountain zone. This zone is bounded by Chemin Saxby-Sud, Chemin Jolley, Chemin Picard, Highway 112 (Chemin Denison-Est and Chemin Robinson-Ouest) and Highway 241.

For full information on the provisions for cutting and planting trees, consult the bylawico_pdf

Outbuildings

Must I apply for a permit if I want to build an outbuilding (shed, garage, gazebo, etc.)?

A permit is required to build any secondary building, particularly for safety reasons. Once the form is duly completed, you must produce a construction plan (sketch) and a site plan, or even better, provide a copy of your certificate of location if you have the document in your possession.

The area and number of outbuildings will vary according to the area of the existing buildings and the land, etc.

Moreover, the outbuildings must be located in the back or side yard and must not extend beyond the main building façade. For corner lots, it is preferable to consult the Urban Planning and Environment Department.

  • Margins to respect: 2 m (6.5 ft) from the property lines and 3 m (10 ft) from the main building and from any other building.
  • Verify the maximum area for detached garages.
  • Exterior claddings accepted: treated wood, pre-painted sheet metal, aluminium, wood or vinyl siding, stone and brick. For roofing: pre-painted sheet metal and asphalt shingles.

To find out the complete regulations for outbuildings, consult the bylaws. ico_pdf  Before starting construction, obtain adequate information and contact the Urban Planning and Environment Department.

 

What must I know about temporary vehicle shelters?

It is permissible to install two (2) vehicle shelters or one (1) double vehicle shelter or temporary carport between October 15 and April 15 of the following year. The vehicle shelter must be installed at least 1.5 metre (5 ft) from the municipal property limit of the street and the lateral line of the lot.

However, at street intersections, a minimum distance of 3 metres (10 ft) from the edge of the municipal property limit must be observed for the first 15 metres (49.2 ft). Finally, the frame must be made of materials that can be easily dismantled, capable of withstanding bad weather, and able to support a snow load.

To find out the complete regulations for temporary vehicle shelters, consult the bylaw. ico_pdf

Septic installations, ponds, lakes

Must I apply for a permit if I want to drill an artesian well?

Did you know that certain distances must be respected when drilling an artesian well? The government of Québec has adopted a Groundwater Catchment Regulation. When you apply for a permit, the Urban Planning and Environment Department can tell you the specifications.

For full details on the development standards, consult the bylawico_pdf

Must I apply for a permit if I want to install, repair or modify a septic installation?

permit is required before proceeding with the installation, repair or modification of a septic installation.

What is the procedure for pumping my septic tank?

Septic tank pumping is regulated by the MRC, and is done every two years. You can consult the full bylaw and the septic tank servicing map ico_pdf for more information.
For more information on the procedure and the sequence of operations, click here ico_pdf (document designed by the MRC).

Must I apply for a permit if I want to dig a lake or an artificial pond?

You must first contact the ministère du Développement durable, Environnement et Parcs (the nearest office is located in Bromont). You must check whether a provincial certificate of authorization is required and, if so, send a copy of it to the municipality to apply for your municipal certificate of authorization. You may start digging only when the permit is granted. For more information, consult the full bylawico_pdf

Burning/open fires

Must I apply for a permit if I want to burn debris?

You absolutely must apply for a permit for any burning (leaves, branches, etc.) The permit is free and is mainly intended to assure your safety. Several conditions can influence the issuance of a burning permit: the location, the atmospheric conditions (drought, winds, etc.), and other influencing factors.

It should be noted that burning synthetic materials (tires, plastic, etc.) is strictly forbidden.

If you have a fireplace made of fireproof bricks or metal, or a metal drum, you do not need to obtain a permit in advance, only if you are making a bonfire or cooking fire.

For more details, contact the municipality at 450 539-2258, ext. 402, or at prevention.incendie@cantonshefford.qc.ca.

Animals

Are pets regulated by a bylaw?

All dogs must have a licence and each property may keep a maximum of two dogs. Beyond this number, your property will be considered a kennel and will be subject to the bylaws of this zone. Also, it is forbidden to let dogs run free outside the limits of your property.

A stray dog is roaming on my property. What can I do?

First of all, caution is essential: keep your distance. If the animal doesn’t seem aggressive, you can check if it’s wearing its licence tag. You will find a date and number on the tag which will allow the municipality to locate the owner.

During Town Hall office hours, you can notify us at 450 539-2258 or at info@cantonshefford.qc.ca. Outside office hours, you must call the Sûreté du Québec at 450 310-4141.

What should I do if I find a dead animal, such as a deer, by the side of the road?

If you find a dead animal within the municipality’s territory, you have two options. If the animal is found on a numbered highway (112, 241, 243, etc.), you must call the Ministère du Transport at 450 539-1426. Otherwise you must contact Mrs Chantal Morissette, Director of Public Works.

Miscellaneous

Must I apply for a permit to build a retaining wall, a gate, a fence or a hut?

It is important to obtain a certificate of authorization when you want to build a retaining wall, a gate, a fence or a hut. For more information, consult the full bylaw. ico_pdf

What should I do in case of a fence dispute or a conflict between residents or neighbours?

To prevent the situation from becoming too contentious, the municipality may appoint an officer who will act as arbitrator. However, please note that fees are charged for this service.

Must I apply for a permit if I want to install, repair or modify a sign, an illuminated sign, or lighting equipment (lamp post)?

You must obtain a certificate of authorization when you want to install such equipment. For more information, consult the full bylaw. ico_pdf

Must I apply for a permit if I want to hold a garage sale?

You must obtain a permit, in advance from the municipality. This permit is free and valid for two consecutive days and cannot be renewed in the same calendar year. In case of rain during the first day, the permit may be renewed, free of charge, for one additional day.

For more information on the reasons for or the application of the bylaw concerning garage sales, consult the full bylaw. ico_pdf

Must I apply for a permit if I want to do renovations?

Every renovation, modification or repair project requires a renovation permit. You must also provide a plan and the details of your project.

For more information, contact the Urban Planning and Environment Department.

How do I dispose of my old tires?

Citizen can dispose of their automobile and bicycle tires without rims (48.5 inches or less) at the MRC ecocenters. For tires with rims or greater than 48.5 inches, contact the MRC at 450 378-9976, ext. 2231, they will direct you to available disposal sites.

Is there any charge when my alarm system goes off accidentally?

The first false alarm may cost, for a natural person, a fine of 30$, plus fees. The fine is of 100$, plus fees, in the case of a legal person. For all subsequent false alarms, the cost of the fine is doubled in each case.

This document is based on the planning bylaws and is meant to be an informational tool. In case of a discrepancy with the applicable bylaw, the official text of the bylaw will prevail. – May 2007