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…” Continue reading →
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.