The owner of the demolished building in Old Quebec may be fined
Before its demolition, Jean-François Barré, owner of the building on avenue Sainte-Geneviève, built in 1896, wanted to carry out renovations to bring it up to date. He received a permit for this in 2019, as well as a subsidy to help him carry out the renovation.
The municipality claims to have done its job.
When there is a request for permission otherwise, it is assumed that the owner is willing and in good faith to carry out the worksays Mélissa Coulombe-Leduc, responsible for cultural heritage and urban planning in the executive committee of the city of Quebec.
She clarifies that follow-ups were made with the owner to confirm his intention to start work. At the same time, the inspection service continued its work of regularly inspecting the exterior of the building.
The last inspection was about a year ago. It is standardsaid the counselor.
” There were no signs on the outside that the building was in danger of collapsing. […] The building did not go under the radar when there were inspections. »
However, no internal inspection was carried out by the city team¸ as the owner claimed not to have started his project.
According to our information, which deserves to be validated, it is hypothesized that there has been work inside. Has this work weakened the building? These are things we will assess. If so, someone will have to answer for their actions.said Mayor Bruno Marchand.
Jean-François Barré preferred not to comment
Assessment of remedies
Indeed, Mélissa Coulombe-Leduc confirms that a fine is not out of the question.
We are in the process of analyzing our various resources, she says. But first there must be a balance.
If it is justified to adapt the cultural heritage regulations to encourage the owners to play their role in the preservation of buildings, the municipality will not hesitate to do so, assures the councilor. In addition, the creation of a register of uninhabited buildings and a supplement on them, as proposed by Quebec first, is not excluded.
The goal is for our buildings to be inhabited by people who live in them full time. […] There are a few [inoccupés] in Old Quebec. But we also want it to be easier to develop and live in them. So before we penalize the owners, our process has to be careful and that is what we are working on.said the mayor.
According to the leader of Quebec First, Claude Villeneuve, the city should prepare an inventory of buildings in difficulty to prevent such a situation from occurring again.