FHC wonders why Quinpool Road Mainstreet District Association enthusiastically endorsed APL’s proposed 25-storey building at Robie & Quinpool at the public hearing meant to consider 20-storeys.
January 16’s public hearing for a 20-storey proposal became one on 25-storeys after a few affordable housing units were promised. HRM has no authority under its Charter to enforce affordable housing requirements and has no definition of affordability.
Residents oppose this block-buster project and have engaged with the Centre Plan and Halifax Common Master Plan processes in hopes of developing a vision for the district that respects existing neighbourhoods & the Halifax Common. The Business Association has sent a strong message that working with the city planners and residents is not their priority. Listen to this Sheldon MacLeod interview to learn more.
FHC’s executive has written to the Quinpool Rd. Mainstreet District Association to express dismay at their enthusiastic endorsement of APL’s proposed 25-storey project at Robie and Quinpool at the January 16th public hearing. The Association is aware since the first public meeting that members of the public, largely residents of the neighbourhoods, were unanimously opposed to the project. At that time, the Association’s letter of support was the only one. The public’s opposition has only grown.
Source: draft Centre Plan (March 2017), 107; with heights added by the Willow Tree Group. APL’s project could not be built under the draft Centre Plan.
Demolition/construction at the new convention centre didn’t work out that well for local downtown businesses. FHC wonders if the Association is really representing their membership; why it supports a density dump of high-rises instead of in-fill or mid-rise developments that could add ~ 3,000 residents and support more pedestrian activity; and, why it doesn’t respect the existing neighbourhoods and Halifax Common?
Please let any of your favourite Quinpool business owners know that you are concerned if they aren’t respecting their neighbourhoods and recognizing the Halifax Common as an asset that should be protected. Loyalty to businesses on Quinpool Road is a two-way street – many residents will note the Association’s support of APL as a betrayal. Why isn’t the Association working with residents to make a better plan for Quinpool?
After 11 years of FHC work the Halifax Common Master Plan process has begun -23 years after city hall’s commitment. The first public meeting confirms that the place to start must be the informed and balanced 1994 Halifax Common Plan. We must plan for the entire Halifax Common. We can’t leave anything to private discussions between the city and “stakeholders”. We must ensure that the entire Halifax Common is protected including the perimeter. And we must get back some of what the City lost. A curiously timed example is the sale of CBC-TV’s building to Capital Health days before HRM awarded the Master Plan RFP. As with the former QEHS, Grace Maternity and School for the Blind this site was always to be returned to the Halifax Common.
Please listen to Rick Howe’s Dec 13th interview with me to learn why we commoners must focus on getting the best-possible-big-picture-plan and not let HRM’s pet projects such as an aquatic centre keep us from getting there.
As always we’ll need your help in 2018. First up will be a public hearing on the proposed 20-storey APL building (Robie & Quinpool) at City Hall, 6pm, Tuesday January 16th. Many thank for your support during 2017. Best wishes for the holiday season and the New Year. Happy Solstice. Welcome the return of light.
Peggy Cameron, Co-chair, Friends of Halifax Common
Rick Howe’s interview Peggy Cameron about her photographic exhibition- Corridor Wasting Disease: Robie Street, A Case Study helps us understand why proposals such as demolishing 7 houses to build an 8-storey box at Robie, Compton & Cunard are the worst choice for the economic, cultural, social and environmental needs of our city. The exhibition continues at the NS Museum of Natural History until Nov. 2nd.
Hundreds of classic Halifax houses and streetscapes are under threat of demolition. (photo: Alvin Comiter)
April 4, 2017 – Listen as Rick Howe interviews Peggy Cameron on why the Centre Plan will lead to demolition of hundreds of 2 & 3-storey Halifax & Dartmouth homes in growth centres and corridors areas such as Robie St, Spring Garden Rd, College St, Parker St, Chebucto Rd., etc.
See also Critics fear Centre Plan lacks protection for heritage sites Plan could be a ‘death sentence’ for hundreds of homes April 02 story by CBC’s Pam Berman
Heritage advocates in Halifax are dismayed by what they say is a lack of protection for historic buildings and don’t believe new policies in the Centre Plan will improve the situation.
Three of the past four meetings of the city’s heritage advisory committee have been cancelled. City officials said there were no issues to discuss for two of those meetings.
“I find that unbelievable, given the amount that heritage is under threat,” Continue reading →