Tag Archives: Halifax Charter

FHC to HRM Staff- The Halifax Common Needs Good Planning Please!

FHC executive members recently met with HRM planning staff to remind them of the importance of good planning and protection for the future of the Halifax Common under the the following themes: Considering the Common as a whole; Protection; Flexible space; Expand the Purview and Participatory.

The Halifax Common grant in 1763 was for 235 acres ” for the use of the inhabitants of the town of Halifax as Common, forever.” This entire area was to be considered for planning purposes in the 1994 Halifax Common Plan.

!. Consider the Common as a whole. The historical boundary must be respected and highlighted, and an overall character needs to be established, not just for sidewalks, streets, and current public spaces, but to the extent possible for the Common as a whole.

2. Protection. It must be understood that without legislative protection, the dimishment of the Common, which has gone on for many years, will steadily continue in future years and generations. If so, one of the defining features of the urban form and history of Halifax will be irredeemably lost. Specific steps leading to the protection of the Common must be identified in the Plan. Protection does not need to lead to a freezing of the Common, but as with any heritage resource only the maintenance of the resource. These steps should include the need and means to return parts of the Common to public green space.
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Chronicle Herald: Community groups call for public consultation audit on HRM developments

An artist’s rendition of the 29-storey Willow Tree tower at the corner of Quinpool Road & Robie Street.

Chronicle Herald-Francis Campbell

The voice of the public is not being heard or heeded in “pre-ordained” Halifax Regional Municipality development plans, several community groups say.

“The consultative process is a right of the public under the (municipal) charter so that the public is able to participate in the finalization of planning strategies,” said Peggy Cameron of the group Friends of the Common Halifax Common, one of 10 Continue reading

Rick Howe-FHC Request to AG for Review of Public Consultation Process

HRM's Charter establishes the right of the public to be consultated and to participate in the formulation of planning strategies.

HRM’s Charter establishes the right of the public to be consultated and to participate in the formulation of planning strategies.

Rick Howe interviews FHC’s Peggy Cameron- Why have ten community groups asked HRM’s auditor general to do a review of HRM’s public engagement process and outcomes?

FHC Requests HRM Auditor General Review Public Consultative Process as a Charter Matter

August, 2020-Letter to HRM Auditor General
Re- Review of HRM Planning’s public consultative process as a Charter matter
This letter (accompanied by 10 brief case studies) is to request that HRM Auditor General conduct a review of HRM Planning Department’s public engagement process and outcomes with respect to HRM planning and council votes. In writing to you we wish to note that we are aware of your July 2018 report to HRM Council on the operation of the Planning Department with respect to development agreements. We are prompted to write regarding a crucial aspect of the operations of that Department not addressed in the report, namely public participation.
The HRM Charter, Part VIII, s.208 states: “The purpose of this Part is to …(c) establish a consultative process to ensure the right of the public…to participate in the formulation of planning strategies…”
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FHC to Centre Plan- “Protect the Common”

FHC Centre Plan Submission May 2016 emphasizes the importance of public open space. As HRM’s population grows we need to protect and expand access to green land and blue sky, not just on the Halifax Common but throughout the city.

Below’s a summary of FHC requests for how the 1994 Halifax Common Plan be respected.*
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St Pat’s Report – Ignores Public In-put, Favours Big Development.

May 27, 2016
Dear Peninsular Advisory Committee Members:
RE: St Pat’s High School
I am writing to suggest that the process for determining what should be built on the former St Pat’s High School has not been conducted with enough rigor or within a proper framework to ensure its final recommendations are valid and to ask that any decision about this property be deferred until after the Centre Plan is completed.
The public comments from the meeting that Councilor Watts held on May 21, 2014 to initiate discussion about possible outcomes for the St Pat’s High School site as documented here:
https://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/140722ca1118.pdf are completely ignored in the final plan. Because these comments do not seem to be in the final report as presented for review by the PAC please find a brief summary of what the fifty+ people at this meeting emphasized as important:

  • Retaining some public use of the space especially for an auditorium or performance space;
  • Keeping, improving and connecting public open green space;
  • Using the space to support community needs such as seniors housing, francophone community, or non-profits;
  • Redeveloping for commercial, residential and community to complement the existing neighbourhood and Quinpool Road district- no highrises, beauty, green space, public space, pedestrian friendly;
  • Reconfiguring roads and creating better options for pedestrians, cyclists and connectivity and deal with existing traffic problems.

As well “key design principles that include: urban openness that allows visual and physical access to traditionally private space, human scale, public open spaces, a variety of residential and commercial spaces, capturing the spirit of the existing neighbourhood, and creativity in design” as identified by the project consultant in July 2015 are largely ignored in the final outcome. Continue reading