For the public record, FHC is calling for a new HRM report before a public hearing to consider APL’s 20 or 29 storey skyscraper is held. Inaccuracies, biases, omissions and false statements need to be corrected and the significant input by citizens be respected, otherwise the process is meaningless.
For a second time developer APL has asked to delay the HRM Public Hearing for its 20 or 29-storey highrise at Robie and Quinpool. FHC has written City Hall to request a new HRM staff report before HRM Council holds a Public Hearing. FHC’s concerns about accuracy, bias and comprehensiveness of analyses and statements by staff and councilors are included in an executive summary to Mayor Savage, Councillors, and Chief of Planning Bob Bjerke. See PDF: 2017, May FHC Mayor & Council, new APL staff report A second document details all 16 items of concern. See PDF: Attachment, new APL staff report required
Citizens have been almost unanimous in their opposition to both 20 and 29-storeys but their knowledge and input are being ignored. There is no justification for the project which cannot be built under existing regulations or under the draft Centre Plan. If the HRM Staff Report is not corrected, the process is meaningless. Both the April 25th and now May 23rd dates have been cancelled at the request of the developer.
There’s one good change for the Halifax Common in the draft Centre Plan but the rest seems like more bad news… The Good The draft Centre Plan designates the Halifax Common a “Cultural Landscape” (p 54) but now it needs to make it meaningful by adopting the 1994 Halifax Common Plan as part of the Municipal Planning Strategy so the primary goals to not give up and to re-capture open space on Halifax’s Common are met not just platitudes.
The BadRobie Street and a dozen other streets such as Cunard, Agricola, Chebucto are designated as “Corridors” with a goal of “redevelopment of new housing, commercial spaces and job opportunities in mixed use buildings” (p 96). By increasing permitted building heights to 4-6 storeys along Robie Street, the Centre Plan will create an incentive for developers to chew through a long-established, small-scale, mixed-use, Continue reading →
Imagine a building the height of Fenwick Tower a the corner of Robie & Quinpool
What is the racket at city hall? Despite overwhelming public opposition to George Armoyen’s proposed 29-storey highrise at Robie and Quinpool, City Council has voted to support the project as-is. Four Councilors – Watts, Mancini, Mason and Nicholl – voted to support the recommendation by City Staff for a 20-storey limit – see: Staff Report.
Click PLAY> above to hear News 95.7 host Sheldon McLeod interview Peggy Cameronabout why all the other councilors (except the absent Whitman & Johns) voted for 29-storeys.
Under present regulations, the height limit at this site is 14-storeys. If built, the tower will be Halifax’s second tallest building, just 29 feet less than Fenwick Tower.
Letter to the HRM Community Design Advisory Committee by Dalhousie professor Steve Parcell, for Wednesday Aug. 23 meeting.
My comments below are in two parts. The first section is new, addressed to you. The second section (with its attachment) is a copy of my comments on the Centre Plan growth scenarios that were sent to firstname.lastname@example.org two weeks ago. (I don’t know if the Planning department forwards a copy of the comments they receive to you.)
As a member of the Willow Tree Group (which has been monitoring proposals around Robie and Quinpool for several years), I’ve been struck by the significant mismatch between the implicit urban vision of the Planning department and responses by the public. This predates Continue reading →
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 →
What ever happened to planning for the Common good?
Deliberately or otherwise and despite FHC’s submission to the Centre Plan, the new draft Centre Plan growth scenarios are about to continue the obliteration of the Halifax Common in at least five ways. 1. The Halifax Common Planning Boundary continues to be mislabeled. 2. Highrise growth is targeted on the Halifax Common at Carlton and Spring Garden Road. 3. Highrise growth is targeted next to the North and Central Commons at the Willow Tree. 4. The Halifax Common’s perimeter along Robie and South Streets are targeted growth areas. 5. Opportunities to re-capture VG Parking lot lands and create a promised Grand Allee from the Citadel to Point Pleasant Park are ignored. (See illustration below, taken from 2007 HRM staff report.)