Don’t take the view of public blue sky for granted. No, Halifax developers aren’t painting the town red, but they are trying to get rich by occupying public blue space next to green space. Presently there are proposals for 25-, 28-, 18-, 11-, 25-storey buildings around the Halifax Common. As well, on Halifax Common land, an 18-storey building next to Camphill Cemetery on Carlton St. is already approved; a 30-storey building is proposed for Spring Garden Road at Carlton-Robie; and another in the works on the JustUs/Medical Arts block.
Halifax developers are misusing development agreements to by-pass the Regional Municipal Planning Strategy and build out-of-scale buildings. When developers build highrises next to public green space, they privatize the public’s blue space/view selling and make higher profits, not just from extra floor space to sell or rent but because these condos, hotel rooms and apartments have a privatize luxury view.
Write the Mayor & Council (firstname.lastname@example.org) & ask for regulations to protect the public’s “Blue Network” to ensure access to the view, the light and warmth of the sun and against the wind and shade effects from highrises. Continue reading →
The Halifax Common and the Parker-Welsford Street neighbourhood continue to be threatened by the proposed 30-storey Armoyen and 25-storey Chedrawe developments. It is disappointing to have city staff pushing through the development agreement process for projects that are non-conforming to the MPS, the LUB, the Quinpool Road and Area Plan and 1994 Halifax Common Plan (see: PAC Minutes-Jan 25, 2016 ). The Willow Tree Group‘s serious and credible
Staff & Developers’ push for private profits, neighbourhood be damned.
work to draw attention to contraventions including height, scale, density, the negative effects on the Halifax Common, existing houses and from traffic, wind and shadow seems ignored. All for the private interests & profit of exceptionalist developers. The
2013 Stantec Report, the city’s
recent Density Bonusing Study and Turner Drake’s quarterly reports offer lots of evidence on why building outside of plan is a bad idea.
Whose interest is the city serving?
“Amendments to an MPS are generally not considered unless it can be shown that circumstances have changed since the document was adopted to the extent that the original land use policy is no longer appropriate. Site-specific MPS amendment requests, in particular, require significant justification to be considered.”
It’s Deja view!
A 29-storey tower one of two developments proposed at the corner of Robie & Quinpool, next to the Halifax Common and residential neighbourhoods west of Robie Street is too high according to 80+ attending a Sept 17th public meeting. At just 20′ shorter than Fenwick Tower the building is potentially the second tallest building in Halifax but proposed for a site presently restricted to 145′. Of 20+ citizens speaking only one person, representing the Quinpool Business Commission supported the proposal. See CBC’s Coverage of the Public Meeting
Coalition of Community Groups to Council: “Stop Misuse of Development Agreements to Circumvent Approved Plans and Regulations”
Friends of Halifax Common has joined the Coalition for Responsible Development in HRM, which includes 14 community groups from across the municipality, in sending an open letter to Mayor Savage and HRM Council today, September 10, 2015.
The letter requests that:
1. Mayor and Council stop using development agreements indiscriminately to approve development that are inappropriate for the communities in which they are proposed; and,
2. Mayor and Council apply existing policies and bylaws currently in place until such time as these policies and by-laws are changed.
To Residents’ Groups in HRM: If you are concerned about the development agreement process and would like to add your group’s name to this letter, please send your group name, e-mail contact, and website (if you have one) to email@example.com.
The Coalition for Responsible Development in HRM is coordinated by the Willow Tree Group.
July 15, 2015 Mayor Mike Savage
PO Box 1749, Halifax, NS B3J 3A5
I am writing on behalf of Friends of Halifax Common to set out an important concern about the state of play in overall land-use planning in the Capital/Regional Centre. Our focus is on the Halifax Common, but some of the issues that illustrate problems that affect the Common are also of wider impact and concern.
Originating with the 2006 Regional Plan, a focus on the Centre has been adopted by Council. Unfortunately this has suffered from delay. It is worthwhile to recall the reasons for this focus in the Regional Plan: stemming general residential sprawl (especially with associated energy use for transportation); controlling the cost of hard and soft infrastructure; and a concern with the hollowing-out of downtowns. These remain valid concerns. Delay has come about through several steps: first, HRM By Design abandoned its initial focus on the whole of the Centre area and dealt for several years exclusively with the Halifax CBD; next, a ‘corridors’ policy was attempted as an interim measure; and in the meantime, Council and the community councils have been dealing with many individual site applications, approving much of what has been asked for.
The result of this has been not only delay in settling on a new Centre plan, but in a series of decisions that effectively pre-determine the results of what should be an open public planning process. Very little will be left to be determined, especially on the Halifax peninsula, if important, individual site-based decisions continue to be made. Continue reading →