Overall development plan (PAE)
The inventory of zones that will be the subject of a detailed planning process by the owners, under the bylaw concerning the overall development plan (PAE), allows the municipality to ensure coherent and sustainable development of these parts of the territory, prior to any modifications to the town planning bylaws.
In some parts of the territory, it can be difficult to determine in advance the exact placement of the possible uses of the terrain and the related regulatory measures.
If the municipality itself undertakes detailed planning of the undeveloped sectors or those subject to new subdivision, it could be obliged to anticipate, in its plan and its bylaws, the type of development desired by the owners and the market conditions anticipated in the near or distant future.
If, on the other hand, it only reacts to requests for modifications to the plan and the bylaws without prior reflection, the development of its territory risks being done piecemeal.
In contrast to these approaches, the overall development plan (PAE) offers more flexible and full control of these parts of the territory. In fact, in zones defined beforehand, it allows the municipality to define in a general way the desired nature and characteristics of their development. Detailed planning and modification of town planning bylaws will only occur when the owners of the territory concerned wish to exploit their properties. The owners must then prepare a PAE for the territory concerned and have it approved.
In order to obtain this approval, the PAE must respect certain objectives that the municipality will have stated in advance in the form of evaluation criteria. These criteria may include keeping in mind the particular characteristics of the site as well as concerns related to the quality of the construction on and development of the lands.
This more flexible evaluation of the project using criteria rather than standards promotes a search for innovative solutions in an open exchange between the municipality and the promoters. As a condition of approval for a PAE, the municipality may require that the promoter assume the cost of infrastructure, carry out the project within a fixed time period, and provide financial guarantees. These aspects of the execution may be the subject of an agreement that allows establishment, at the time of approval, of the full set of conditions for its achievement.
For example, a PAE might be useful in the following cases:
- new residential districts to be developed in the outskirts;
- existing built-up areas that are to experience a change of function (e.g., dilapidated industrial areas or the large properties of religious communities);
- vacation or recreational projects where protection of the natural environment requires specific measures, for example, the sides of a mountain.