Gardening doula Jayme Melrose at Common Roots Urban Farm (Chronicle Herald, Christian LaForce / Staff / 2015)
An idea planted by FHC led Jayme Melrose and her volunteers to transform QEHS lands into a place of productive beauty. Now the farm is evicted and still homeless. So let’s imagine the St Pat’s site with that same vision & ask HRM to transplant Common Roots to Quinpool. 95.7’s Listen to Sheldon MacLeod’s interview with FCH for details.
June 23 marked the 255th anniversary of the Halifax Common, the 1763 Crown Grant by King George III for 235 acres of land and five acres of roads given “to and for the use of the inhabitants of the Town of Halifax as Common forever.”
Maura Marche uses a hula hoop on the Halifax Common earlier this month. The lands were given in perpetuity to the people of Halifax, but their overall size has been shrinking. (TIM KROCHAK / Staff)
Clamoured for by the poor and landless, the grant is bound by North Park Street, Ahern Avenue, Bell Road, South Park, Robie and Cunard streets. But true to history, Halifax’s ruling class has steadily colonized the Common south to north so now only roughly 20 per cent is public open space.
Recently, HRM began a public consultation process for a Halifax Common master plan. Unfortunately, this offers an uncertain prospect for remedying the enclosure of our shared land. Continue reading →
HRM Council approved 25 storeys at Quinpool /Robie.
In June HRM Council ignored public opinion and staff advice to vote 10 to 6 in favour of George Armoyen’s 25-storey tower at Robie and Quinpool. The building will degrade the neighbourhood and the Halifax Common. And the decision assures an elite class of developers that democratically derived rules don’t matter to Council. Hear a quick review…
FHC supports the principles of the Centre Plan but believe it needs a better balance of proper densification and environmental care. Below are recent suggestions and concerns that we submitted. There are four distinct themes that build on previous asks such as growth scenarios that include commuter rail and 3-D models of what the Centre Plan will permit.
Themes: • Protecting Halifax’s existing character – urban form, streetscapes & neighbourhoods – best economic, environmental, social and cultural advantage;
• Protecting the Halifax Common and its neighbourhoods – increase green space, parks, playgrounds & green walking/biking networks;
• Balancing densitybetween Halifax & Dartmouth and distributing densityon the Peninsula;
• Climate Change – set targets for GHG reductions, Stop needless demolitions, Protect Solar Access.
1. Protect Halifax’s existing character and urban form:
There is a serious need within the Centre Plan for better protection of the existing urban form, neighbourhoods and character of the city. That is what attracts tourists, residents and students (30,000+) to the city. The Centre Plan’s increase in height and massing limits to allow greater densities will contribute to rapid transformation and homogenization, and inflated land value and property tax. Under the Centre Plan hundreds of low-rise, mixed-use Victorian and Georgian character buildings with moderate-rent apartments and commercial spaces will be able to be demolished for development. Replacing the streetscapes designated as corridors etc. with 6-storey buildings and fewer trees will be a drastic change for the look, living and walkability of Halifax.
Dear Mayor and Council, Re case 18966- 25-storey Armco Project
As members of the Friends of Halifax Common we write to ask that you not proceed with further steps towards approving a 25-storey ARMCO building at the corner of Quinpool and Robie.
We remind you that at the January 16th public hearing was for 20-storeys. At that time there were ~1039 submissions against the 20-storey project and dozens of members of the public who spoke against the development at that meeting and previous meetings. Just prior to the public hearing an independent Corporate Research Associate poll indicated that the majority of HRM residents (52%) supported 16-storeys or less with 1/10 of those surveyed supporting the 25-storey option.
We ask that you respect your own on-going planning processes; for the Centre Plan; and for the Masterplan for the Halifax Common. These processes ensure that an integrated plan is developed with a balance of benefits.
We remind you that a few affordable housing units is not a sufficient trade for how much the public is being asked to give up for this project. The residents of the adjacent Parker Street will have their affordable housing units sadly degraded if this project proceeds. The Halifax Common will be affected by winds that degrade the experience of recreational users of the fields. There will be a permanent afternoon shadow during winter skates on the Oval.
Please seek a balance of benefits and turn down this 25-storey option.
The Halifax Common grant in 1763 was for 235 acres ” to and for the use of the inhabitants of the town of Halifax as Common, forever.” This entire area is to be considered for planning purposes as per the 1994 Halifax Common Plan.
Dear HRM Mayor and Council
Re: Request to postpone decision on Private-for-profit stadium on Halifax Common’s Wanderers’ Grounds until completion of on-going Halifax Common Master Plan Consultation.
Presently HRM is in the midst of a public consultations for the Halifax Common’s Master-plan, a process which began in the December 2017. The consultant team, Upland Studios, CoLab and HTFC, are undertaking a range of opportunities for public feedback to help inform the creation of the Halifax Common Plan as per the attached map. In fact, this Wednesday, April 25th, the 3rd of five public consultations will be held.
At present less than 20% of the 235-acre Halifax Common remains as public open space. The draft Centre Plan intends to add up to 35,000 citizens to the Peninsula but does not plan for additional public green space or parks. We need to keep this important civic space available for public use. Friends of Halifax Common (FHC) therefore requests that the decision to sign a contract for a private pre-fab pop-up stadium on the Wanderers’ Grounds be deferred until the Masterplan is finished. We stress that the Masterplan is for the entire Halifax Common as per the direction of the 1994 Plan (see attached map). Continue reading →