Why exactly are Mayor Savage and HRM Council following the lead of the Lawen/Dexel and Rouvalis developers who want to break rules and jump ahead of HRM’s planning process to build 16, 20, 26 and 30-storey towers on the Carlton Street block of the Halifax Common? Listen to Rick Howe’s interview with FHC director Howard Epstein about his letter to Mayor and Council to hear some of the many reasons why the proposed super blockers should be deferred or defeated.
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?
Save the date– George Armoyan’s APL proposal for 20- 25- or 29- storeys at Quinpool, Robie & Parker next the the Halifax Common has a Public Hearing on Tuesday January 16th, 6pm at City Hall.
Please attend – this tower is bad news for the Halifax Common and bad news for the neighbourhoods. It will cause shadows on the Oval for the entire afternoon skating season (see image) and year-round gusty winds at Robie-Quinpool-Parker and across the Common. It will loom over adjacent properties and the public open space at the Common and Parker St Park.
Twenty storeys isn’t allowed under present rules or under new draft Centre Plan rules but APL wants the Mayor and Council to break at least 7 rules that safeguard the public interest and protect the Halifax Common. Examples are…
Height: 2 – 4 times what’s allowed
Setbacks: not far enough from other properties or streets
On-site parking: less than required
Density: 4.7 times what’s allowed
Context: not compatible with neighbourhoods or Westwood’s 6-storey Robie St proposal.
Land-scaped open space: not enough
Traffic: too much
Don’t let HRM ignore the rules and the input of hundreds of common citizens who have told them to wait for the Centre Plan and finish the promised Master Plan for the Halifax Common. Respect the process.Respect the Plans.
This building harms the area and isn’t necessary. Densification doesn’t mean destroying neighbourhoods or public open space. And demolition isn’t sustainable; it takes 10-80 years for a new building that is 30% more efficient to overcome through efficient operation, the negative climate change impacts relating to construction. Renovation would use half as many materials and create twice as many jobs. Mid-rise (5-storey) development along Quinpool could create 2,500-2,800 new residential units that would easily blend with the main street.
Come and speak directly to the Mayor and Council before they decide. Ask them to make a decision to benefit the Common good not a private developer. If you can’t attend the public hearing please contact your Councillor AND write firstname.lastname@example.org
Help spread the word with social media. Ask others for Help!
Last week at Council , District 9’s Shawn Cleary suddenly tried to pass a motion to have a public hearing for “up to 25-storeys” for APL’s Willow Tree tower, not the 20-storeys that HRM Council voted for in March. That’s because APL claims 20-storeys won’t make money. Luckily Cleary’s motion didn’t get a 2/3 majority. Media reports vary on what’s next… APL will work with staff to push for height, sue HRM or renovate the existing building. Eight out of nine Councillors defended the March 2017 vote (including Cleary’s) for a public hearing on 20-storeys. Even at that Council and staff are ignoring citizens’ concerns that 20-storeys brings too much density, mass, wind, shadow, traffic and parking and will harm the neighbourhood, local businesses and green space such as the Halifax Common.
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 (email@example.com) & 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 →
Private citizen Bill Mont replaced this Willow Tree, victim of a car crash.
Friends of Halifax Common offer a sincere “Thank You” to Bill Mont for his resolve to plant a new willow tree at the Robie St. & Quinpool Rd. corner. A midst all the distraction over proposed highrises & a proposed roundabout at the “Willow Tree” corner no notice was given to the Willow Tree having gone missing in action. On Nov 29, 2014, a 4 am car crash took down the most recent willow tree that Queen Elizabeth II planted years ago. (See Nick Hood’s car crash video & pics of previous willow trees here…) Continue reading →