Centre Plan Primary and Secondary Targeted Growth Areas
“We see the draft Centre Plan as making a bad situation worse. We urge a complete re-thinking of the draft Plan.” Howard Epstein, Board Member, Friends of Halifax Common
Below are FHC Board Member Howard Epstein’s comments on HRM’s June 27th draft Centre Plan Growth Scenarios submitted to HRM Community Advisory Committee. His letter addresses concerns about the Plan’s general approach and the failure to protect the Halifax Common. Click Here to read previous FHC submissions to HRM’s Centre Plan (PDF) and here (previous post).
August 5, 2016
I am writing on behalf of the membership of the Friends of the Halifax Common to offer comments on the draft Centre Plan.
While the main focus of the FHC is on those aspects of the draft Plan that have immediate impact on the Common, we see those matters as arising in an overall context. That is, the general approach of the draft Plan is also reflected in those portions that are directly related to the Common. These comments, therefore, start with the overall approach of the draft Plan, and then move to specific focus on the Common. Continue reading →
There are approximately 45-50 buildings under threat of demolition or already under the wrecking ball. What is the role of the Mayor and Council? What can they do? Why haven’t they done it? And why are demolition permits being handed out “left, right and centre”?
Danny Chedrawe’s Westwood Ltd. has demolished 7 character buildings-his new 7-storey construct will block the view of Citadel Hill from the 5-storey “Halifax Living-room” of the new Central Library. photo-Halifax Examiner –see more here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 1, 2016
(Halifax) Between 45 & 50 buildings on the Halifax Peninsula are about to be demolished or are under threat. When you add it up, Halifax is under siege by some developers that want to build outside existing planning rules and get ahead of the Centre Plan. Recent news revealed Steele Auto’s plans to raze 17 properties NE of Robie and North Streets but there are many other neighbourhoods threatened by private developers. Good city development and planning is guided by more than developers’ and car dealers’ needs. The Mayor and Council need to take control by enforcing existing planning rules and taking control of demolition permitting.
Present plans and regulations already allow for the construction of an additional 34,965 dwelling units in the Regional Centre without any changes. There is no need to break rules or destroy the historic character and urban fabric of Halifax.
But plans are in the works for 3 high-rises between 18-30 storeys in the Spring Garden Road area between Robie and Carlton Streets by Dexel Construction and Killam Properties. These proposals are all located on Halifax Common Land Continue reading →
HRM’s Design Review Committee has approved Olympus Property’s South Park Loft an 11-story tower spanning the block between South Park and Brenton Streets directly across from the Halifax Common’s Victoria Park. The proposed building is the 3rd recently approved highrise in the single block of South Park Street between Spring Garden Road and Clyde St.
Two historic houses at 1469 and 1473 South Park Street will be demolished. Approving the exclusive 19-storey Trillium in 2008 resulted in 5 historic houses being demolished.
Three multi-unit houses at 1469-73 South Park St and 1474 Brenton St. will be demolished. The 1994 Halifax Common Plan makes frequent mention of historic character of the houses and places of historic importance and the Halifax Common designated as an historic site under the City Charter in 1971. The “intent of the Common Plan was to improve the Victoria Park itself, the view of it and the view from South Street up South Park to the Citadel-that is the context or surrounding area and its “distinct character”. As no new high-rises were contemplated Continue reading →
The CBC YMCA development broke HRMbyDesign rules when the height was doubled from 7 to +14-storeys. The Design Review Committee chair, Alan Parish resigned because the Mayor and council ignored the DRC recommendations to not approve the building.
Is development polarizing Halifax because developers always want and get more? A Jan 10 CBC response article correctly points out the FHC position that city staff should be applauded, not bashed for turning down the requset for 14 more amendments from the CBC-Y site developer, Mr Spatz. His development is already double what’s permitted under HRMbyDesign regulations. Its +14-storeys (49m) not the allowed 7-storeys (23m). That permission was despite the 2011 Design Review Committee Report that recommended against the development because it broke the new 2009 HRMbyDesign regulations. The DRC chair Mr. Alan Parish resigned as a result of their recommendation being ignored. A 2012 FHC Letter details rules that are broken.
The Design Review Committee seems like their agenda is too full to understand the implications of their decisions. The Thursday, January 14th meeting will cover three big items including the CBC-YMCA, Brenton Street and Doyle Block the View from the library proposals. One meeting is hardly enough time to really think about what kind of city we’re going to end up with.
Common Roots Urban Farm is an inspiration. In 2007 instead of returning the former QEHS land to the Halifax Common as promised, HRM traded it to Capital Health. FHC and smart Capital Health decision-makers agreed that a community garden would be a good interim use. In the 5 years since a valid public consultation, gardening doula Jayme Melrose’s imaginative
The QEHS land is now a place of productive beauty. We need a vision for St Pat’s that is bigger than a developer’s profit.
guidance and amazing volunteers have transformed it into a productive, edible landscape. But it’s temporary. Rick Howe’s interview with Peggy Cameron explains why the Mayor & Council’s decision to sell St. Pat’s is just as short-sighted as the loss of QEHS. Listen to the recording below and then write <email@example.com> to tell them to keep the St Pat’s land public.