You’ve been thinking about your project for months, if not years, but the time has finally come and you’re ready to dive in head first. Here is all the information you’ll need to start this great adventure on the right foot.
The venture path
Section 1 — Where should I locate my project?
The city’s planning inspector is the best contact person to advise you on where to site your project. He not only is well aware of sites available in the market but can also point you toward areas of the city where your project is already allowed under planning bylaws, and if necessary, to available land. A meeting with an inspector very early in the process for implementing your project can spare you many unnecessary steps.
In some cases where city planning rules may not allow your project on a given site, that site may be grandfathered. In that case, the inspector will inform you about the limitations on the grandfathered rights and the constraints this may pose for your project.
Section 2 - Does the intended site possess the necessary infrastructure to accommodate the planned construction or use, and does it meet the required environmental conditions?
If a street or water or sewer line must be extended:
- An agreement on extending utility lines or a street must be approved by City Council. The inspector can help you steer your application through the technical services process.
- To extend water, sewer or storm drain lines, a project must be submitted to the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCCC), to obtain the required approvals.
If a simple connection to existing systems is needed:
- The inspector will forward your application to the city’s technical section.
With the assistance of a specialized company, the purchaser should ensure that the site is free of environmental constraints, such as:
- Soil contamination;
- Presence of wetlands or a watercourse.
Section 3 — What planning standards apply to my construction project?
All new projects must comply with the planning bylaws in force. You should contact a planning inspector to learn about these BEFORE you apply for a permit. These bylaws specifically govern:
- Outdoor storage;
- Layout of parking lots and service roads;
- Commercial signage;
- Building security;
- Spaces for bins (waste, recyclables, organics).
Note that some types of construction are subject to the Architects Act.
In this case, the permit application must be accompanied by plans produced by an architect.
You should contact a planning inspector to determine the cases in which this requirement applies.
Section 4 – Plans to perform work on an existing building without changing its current use
You must meet with an inspector to check the planning bylaws applicable and obtain a permit for your work.
If the building is located in the central district (Lafontaine Street) or in a heritage area, all work with an impact on the building exterior (including a change to commercial signage) is subject to a special approval process.
- The project must be analysed by the planning advisory committee (CCU), which meets once a month. (Calendar of CCU meetings)
- After receiving the CCU’s recommendation, the Municipal Council must pass a resolution authorizing issue of the construction permit.
Section 5 – Your project involves a change of use of the building, since you are establishing a company with different operations than those previously conducted on the site.
You must meet with a planning inspector to obtain a building occupancy certificate.
The planning inspector will tell you whether the change in use requires a building upgrade under the building code to make it safer.
If so, you will be required to submit architect’s plans detailing the required upgrades or certifying building compliance with the building code.
The building inspector will validate whether the change in use will be subject to parking standards. A new use often entails different parking requirements. If so, you may be required to complete development work.
Note that the installation or redevelopment of parking spaces may include a requirement to install runoff retention structures. If so, the inspector will refer you to the city’s technical services office which can inform you of the applicable requirements.
If you plan to perform work on the building, section 4 applies, in addition to this section.
Section 6 – An amendment of planning bylaws is necessary.
You must submit a motion for amendment to the Municipal Council, which will make a decision based on the CCU’s recommendation. The fee for filing a motion for amendment is $20.
Once your motion has been approved by council, the bylaw amendment process begins. The steps in this process are stipulated by the legislation.
This process generally includes a public consultation and publication of notices to enable citizens to request that a log be opened and a referendum be held.
In a “normal” situation where passage of the amendment encounters no opposition, you should allow two or three months between adoption of the initial draft bylaw and the date it takes effect (by receipt of the notice of compliance from the MRC).
To request an amendment, two approaches are possible.
- Expedited adoption, which starts the process as soon as your request is approved by council. However, this approach involves a cost of $1,000 for publication of the legal notices.
- Inclusion of the requested amendment in a “biannual bundle of amendments.” This option is free. Two bundles are adopted each year: usually at the end of spring and the start of winter. To use this option, applications must be submitted to the Planning Department before mid-October or mid-April.
For any additional information about your business venture, do not hesitate to contact us:
Economic Development Director
Phone : 418 867-6625
Urban Planning Director
Phone : 418 867-6699
Permits and Licences
The City of Rivière-du-Loup is a member of the PerLE service that lists all necessary permits and licences to operate a business in Québec, regardless of which level of government (federal, provincial, municipal) issues them.
Visit the portal for this service.
Starting a business
The Economic Development department acts as a facilitator and guide for bringing your entrepreneurial dreams to fruition. From a simple request for information, through networking, to the search for a site to locate your company, we are at your full disposal.
The following organizations can also support you in carrying out your project.
Innovation forms the core of the City of Rivière-du-Loup’s 2017-2022 strategic plan for economic development. Consequently, the Economic Development department encourages your initiatives and ensures that you receive personalized support for implementing your ventures. You may also find the following resources useful.
Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits
Supporting the growth of existing companies and attracting new ones to our area is one of the Economic Development department’s roles. As the gateway for various city services, we also strive to maintain an active network of contacts consisting of officials from various organizations, to more effectively support and guide developers consistent with their needs.
The Economic Development department can assist you with your export ventures by providing guidance and referring you to the appropriate technical and financial resources.