Write now to the Law Amendments Committee (c/o email@example.com) to ask for amendments to Bill 177- An Act to Amend the HRM City Charter and the Municipal Government Act so the city can take control over issuing demolition permits, ensuring affordable housing, and protecting built environment, streetscapes and public space etc.
Bill 177 has been introduced, will pass second reading and then come before Law Amendments Committee. Individual citizens can speak before the Committee or submit a written request to the Committee asking for amendments to the HRM Charter to allow the city to take charge over these priorities. Here’s what FHC submitted on May 5th-feel free to use it as a model.
Law Amendments Submission Bill 177-1
Background Details are here:The province has retained consultants to think about rewrites for both statutes. This is a multi-year process, now underway. Although the focus is relatively narrow, pressure could be brought on the Province to widen their scope. This would happen if there were a public demand at law amendments for other sorts of changes than they are now contemplating.
Even though the Province is looking at a larger range of changes to the two acts, they have been bringing in bills to make some smaller changes to the acts.
Speakers at Law Amendments can make the case that a fuller set of more comprehensive changes should be made – (these could come later, after a more thorough consideration so its important to get a variety of asks out there for the public record)
There are other priorities than the two bills they have brought in this session (one to allow HRM to set rules for election contributions and spending, and the other to allow all municipalities to establish special reduced tax areas for commercial properties). Possible priority needs that individuals might speak to or write about could include:
a. clarify rules around affordable housing (e.g. to allow AH to be a part of what is in a development agreement);
b. to specify that where affordable housing is a part of a density bonusing or other scheme it has to be in place for some defined, long-term, period of time;
c. to allow for demolition controls (see details on this in the attached Friends of Halifax Common submission: Law Amendments Submission Bill 177-1);
d. to better protect the Halifax Common lands and adjacent streetscapes;
e. to get rid of density bonusing or else allow the DB arrangements to be appealed to the Utility and Review Board;
f. to allow the Utility and Review Board to review municipal decisions on a wider standard, as in Ontario, where the Board can judge whether the proposals are ‘good planning in the public interest’.
g. provide better protection of built environment and heritage (a variety of tacts can be taken here- tourism, economic value, built environment, affordable housing,