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Balconies, galleries and platforms

Definitions 

Terrace: Outdoor platform not covered with a roof.

Balcony: Platform projecting beyond the envelope of a building, generally surrounded by a railing, that can be accessed only from inside the building.

Gallery: A general term designating an interior or exterior passageway, covered with a roof, either supported or not by columns, including porticos.

Portico: A gallery attached to a building, located outside the perimeter of the foundations of the building, entirely open (from floor to ceiling) on at least one of the two longer sides and on at least one of the two shorter sides.

Porch: A closed construction projecting from the building, located either within or outside the foundations of the building, designed to protect the entrance door

General information

No balcony, terrace, or gallery may be converted into an extension of the main building without meeting all the requirements of the town planning by-laws concerning a main building (notably concerning setbacks, lot coverage, etc.) and all the requirements of the construction by-law(notably concerning foundations).

Any balcony, terrace, gallery, portico, or porch attached to a main building must be built on a foundation or cement post having a minimum depth of 1.37 m (4.5 ft.) below finished ground level.

If the floor of a balcony, terrace, gallery, portico, or porch is more than 60 cm (2 ft.) above finished ground level, it must be fitted with a railing:

  • at least 1.07 m (3.5 ft.) in height if the floor is more than 1.8 m (6 ft.) above ground level;
  • at least 90 cm (3 ft.) in height if the floor is 1.8 m (6 ft.) or less above ground level and serves only one dwelling.

The openings of a railing must not allow a spherical object 10 cm (4 in.) in diameter to pass through.

The railing may not have any attachment, projection, or opening located between 10 to 90 cm (4 to 36 in.) above the floor surface that would facilitate climbing

Garden structures

The maximum allowable area for a pergola or gazebo is 15 m2 (161.5 sq. ft.), and the maximum height is 4 m (13 ft.).

If the structure is 3 m (9.9 ft.) or higher, it must be located at least 1.2 m (4 ft.) from any property line, and the overhang of its roof may not project any closer than 60 cm (2 ft.) from any property line. If the structure is less than 3 m (9.9 ft.) high, it must be located at least 30 cm (1 ft.) from any property line, and the overhang of its roof may not project any closer than 15 cm (6 in.) from any property line. No ancillary building may be installed closer than 1 m (3.3 ft.) from any other ancillary building

Recreational structures

Structures in trees located on public land, in a front yard, or in a secondary front yard are prohibited.

Siting

All balconies, galleries, porticos, or porches must be installed in accordance with the specific requirements of the zoning by-law.

Terrace

A terrace may be located in a side yard or a back yard and must be at least:

  • 1.9 m (6.6 ft.) from all side property lines, unless the terrace is less than 50 cm (1.6 ft.) high and it is a ground-level patio;

  • 3 m (9.9 ft) from all rear property lines.

In the case of corner lots, the terrace may be located in the secondary front yard adjacent to the street, but it is prohibited in the visibility triangle. It must be located:

  • at least 4.5 m (15 ft.) from any property line with a maximum encroachment of 3 m (9.9 ft.) in the secondary front setback

The maximum allowable height for a terrace above finished ground level is:

  • 50 cm (1.6 ft.) if it is located less than 1.9 m (6.2 ft.) from any side property line;

  • 1.225 m (4 ft.) if it is located more than 1.9 m (6.2 ft.) from any side property line.

Any terrace located on the property of a semi-detached house, a row house, or a zero-lot-line house:

  • may be built right up to the dividing wall or up to the property line of a zero-lot-line house on the condition that an opaque fence having a minimum height of 1.9 m (6.2 ft.) from the ground be installed. The combined height of the terrace and the fence may not exceed 2.45 m (8 ft.);

  • if the terrace is located more than 1.9 m (6.2 ft.) from the side property line, an opaque fence is not required.

Certificate of authorization

A certificate of authorization is required to install a terrace, a balcony, a portico, or a porch on your property.Any addition or renovation that changes the façade or that is visible from the street requires a building permit and must be subject to the Siting & Architectural Integration Plan (SAIP) process. For further details, please see the “Renovations and Extensions” pamphlet.

When making a request, you must submit two copies of the following: 

  • The certificate of location prepared by a land surveyor showing the distances between the planned structure and the property lines; 
  • A plan showing the materials to be used and the height of the structure;
  • A layout plan, with levels;
  • A plan of the structure;
  • Contractor’s contact information;
  • Work schedule;
  • Cost of the work.

Procedures

  1. Before the file can be evaluated, the request must be signed and paid for, and all the required documentation must be completed.
  2. Allow a maximum of 30 days for your request to be processed. When you submit your request, an estimate of the time it will take will be provided.
  3. The inspector will issue the certificate of authorization.

Cost of a certificate of authorization (residential)

Work: $2.00 per $1,000

Minimum cost: $80

Please refer to the By-laws page to know all the provisions of the urban planning by-laws in force on the territory of the city of Saint-Lambert.