Planning

1530018015

Willow Tree approved at 25 stories !


Despite the best efforts of all concerned Council voted 11 to 6 to approve.  We were unhappy that the Centre Plan height designations topping out at 20 stories was not upheld .  We appreciated the fact that our Councillor and Deputy Mayor Waye Mason had the good sense to vote against...The building as designed is simply too big for the lot.  Sean Cleary’s comment that public opinion doesn’t count when it comes to development ...just good planning ....shows where his sediments lay .  Unfortunately another pro development at any cost to the neighbourhood Councillor .  In this case not even good planning ...just a back of the envelope calculation that gives essentially nothing and lets the developer take all to the detriment of the neighbourhood. 
1515789329

Willow Tree ....How to help


 The public hearing on the proposal is this Tuesday, January 16 at 6:00 PM.


The developer is pulling out all of the stops and is getting their supporters to send a barrage of emails to the Mayor and Council ahead of time, encouraging them to approve this project. We really need to make sure that Council hears another perspective
So, we're writing to ask if you would help If sohere's what you can do:
1. Ask your friend, family and colleagues to sign a copy of our petition card ( we sent you the card in an earlier email) and email  it back to us no later than Monday, January 15.2. Write the Mayor and your local Councilor ( https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/districts-councillors) before January 16th  and:
    • express your concerns about APL's proposal 
    • express your support for a mid-rise approach to getting more people living on Quinpool Road 
    • urge Council  not to consider APL's proposal until after the Centre Plan and Halifax Common Master Plan have been completed and approved. There is an important principle about due process here. Council should not be making up a new set of rules so APL can skirt around current and proposed bylaws.
3Attend the public hearing on January 16 at 6:00 PM at Halifax City Hall and encourage others to do the same. if possible, put your name on the speaker listEven if you only say a few words, that will make a huge difference.
Here are a few links that will give you a bit more information of what we see as the major concerns with what APL is proposing, in case they might be useful to you in your communications:

https://willowtreehalifax.wordpress.com/willow-tree-height/

https://willowtreehalifax.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/apl_public_hearing_16_jan_2018.pdf


1508952575

 N-200 Noise By-law


Dear Councillor Mason, 


Park to Park Community Association would like to draw your attention to HRM's existing Noise Bylaw N-200.  As currently structured, the By-law is both outdated and confusing to many.  We request that you bring our request for modifications to the By-Law to the Community Planning and Economic Development standing Committee (CPED) at their October meeting.

Many urban centres in Canada and abroad, including Halifax Regional Municipality, intend to intensify urban development by combining residential and commercial land-use types. The objective is to promote mixed-use neighborhoods.   Under the HRM Centre Plan, development is directed to core areas on the Peninsula. As a result, more and more high density development is moving from the traditional downtown commercial  areas into what were formerly low rise residential neighbourhoods. Our South End neighbourhood being one of them.


We recognize that under this planning model, Halifax is now growing, quickly changing and getting to be a more vibrant city.   However, residents make up our city and expect to enjoy a certain quality of life.  With the intense development the Halifax Peninsula is experiencing comes the downside - the noise.  Excessive noise in residential communities, particularly for the long hours now permitted, can have a huge impact on how they enjoy their homes and neighbourhoods.

In researching noise By-laws in other jurisdictions it quickly became apparent that progressive cities such as Toronto and Vancouver to name just two, have taken this factor into consideration and have reduced the hours for permitted construction.  In Toronto for instance construction is only permitted between 7am and 7pm on weekdays and between 9am and 7:00 pm on Saturday and not at all on Sunday or Statutory Holidays.  N-200, the Halifax By-Law Respecting Noise, has not been updated since 1999, long before the current development boom HRM is experiencing. We question why Halifax has been so remiss in this area of planning, in not protecting the quality of life of its neighbourhoods experiencing this unprecedented development boom. 


We see any proposed changes for By-law N-200 as having to strike a balance between HRM's economic and infrastructure development and ensuring that residents are able to enjoy their homes and neighbourhoods.

In light of the above, we, Park to Park Community Association, request that you bring forward to CPED a recommendation that By-Law N-200 concerning Noise be reviewed immediately with the intent to modify the hours during which construction noise is permitted in the densely populated areas of HRM, similar to Toronto or Vancouver and within a defined distance of a major construction site.  We would further recommend that changes to By-Law N-200 be easily administered and enforced by the Municipality.


Sincerely 

Pat Whitman and Chris Annand 

Park to Park Community Association

 

1484570313

 

New Planning Applications 

The Planning and Development team hosted an Open House on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, at the Atlantica Hotel on Robie Street, Halifax. It was a chance for residents to learn about 19 new development proposals in the Regional Centre and provide comment there or submit on line comments later.    Each proposal presented included a request for new planning policy and each was received by the municipality well after the Centre Plan was initiated. Developers were well aware that implementation of the Centre Plan was imminent.

Park to Park identified concerns with permitting new development applications to enter the process prior to Centre Plan approval and implementation.  We were advised that though the application reviews and Centre Plan processes are separate, they are closely related and proposals would be reviewed under the Centre Plan as well as the MPS policy as they move through the planning approval process with staff preparing a report that discusses the application under both and makes a recommendation for approval or not. As with other applications community engagement will be an important component perhaps more so, should the applications deviate from the Centre Plan. 

Early indications from Halifax and West Community Council when reviewing applications on Chebucto/Oxford and Young Street indicate that they are taking into account both the Centre Plan classifications for the proposed sites as well as giving significant weight to community engagement. At their January meeting Community Council moved the Young Street application forward to Regional Council for decision but turned down the controversial Mythos proposal on Chebucto and Oxford. 

It will be important for residents to be aware of the new proposals in our Neighbourhood and be prepared to act.  Applications for Wellington,  Lucknow, Harvey and South Park Streets contravene both what is permitted under the current MPS (35 ' ) and even the Proposed Centre Plan height limits of 4-6 stories.  With the new Council members we have hope that the Public Process will be respected.  


1484529023

 Construction Mitigation and Rat Control 

 

Members of Halifax Regional Council
1841 Argyle Street, Main Floor 
PO Box 1749
Halifax, NS B3J 3A5

Sent via Email: Clerks@halifax.ca

 

Re:  Upcoming Recommendation of Halifax & West Community Council to Regional Council concerning Inclusion of Rodent Control in Construction Site Management Administrative Order

 

Councillors,

 

During the past year Park to Park Community Association, a neighbourhood group in the South End of the Peninsula attended consultations related to construction mitigation initiatives.  With the amount of major construction currently underway or planned for Halifax we felt changes were long overdue and appreciated that the city was proactive in working with the construction industry to ensure that mitigation measures were improved, implemented and enforced. 


In discussions with Urban Capital, the developer of Gorsebrook Park Condos soon to be constructed on Wellington Street, we raised the issue of construction inconvenience and mitigation and also discussed our concerns about rodent control once excavation begins later this year. We were pleased then to see that the Halifax and West Community Council reviewed at their recent meeting a staff report dated December 21, 2016 on rodent control and that construction disruption and excavation was also recognized as a source of rodent problems infiltrating neighbourhoods.

We fully support all the recommendations in the report dealing with improvements to current municipal practices related to rat remediation.  Of particular interest to us is their alternate recommendation that would direct the development community to include rodent control in their Construction Mitigation Plans (CMP).  


Regional Council could direct staff to amend Administrative Order 2016-003-ADM, Respecting Construction Site Management to include rodent control in the form of pre-baiting for a period of 10-14 days prior to demolition or major construction.  Given the ongoing major construction in HRM and on the peninsula in particular, we feel this would be an important step forward in controlling rodents in the city.  


We are encouraged by the proactive position taken by Community Council on this growing issue and ask that Regional Council fully support the recommendations put forward in the Staff report and strongly recommend that an amendment of Administrative Order 2016-003-ADM  be approved as quickly as possible.



Pat Whitman Chair 

Chris Annand  Vice Chair 


1484526098

Tsimiklis activity on Inglis Street put on hold 


In December your Park to Park Board became aware that a home at 5865 Inglis Street that had been empty for some time was now undergoing significant renovation.  Knowing that the house belonged to Mr Tsimiklis, the developer responsible for the Dino development on Wellington Street, we decided to look into the matter.  We would have concerns if a variance of any kind had been granted for the property without the required public input.  


The city's Buildings Standards Department was contacted where it was ascertained that Mr Tsimiklis had been issued a demolition permit for the property, not a building permit as anticipated, given the extent of the ongoing  renovations .  As a result of our vigilance the demolition permit has now been withdrawn and it is our understanding that a stop work order has been issued until such time the city investigates what is planned and issues a building permit ....or not.  


Park to Park will check in with the city shortly to see if it is their intention to issue a building permitted or if a variance has been requested ....and for what.  We will provide an update once more information is available. 



1436282174

Letter to Council


As a result of a motion passed at our recent AGM, Park to Park Community Association sent the following letter to the Mayor and Council to request a legislative change to require a two thirds vote to approve MPS amendments.


***To date (August 11, 2015) we have received no acknowledgement or response to our letter. We did contact the Council office and were assured that the letter had been distributed.


July 3, 2015

 

Mayor Savage and Members of Halifax Regional Council

P O Box 1849

Halifax, NS  B3J 3A5

 

Via e-mail:  clerks@halifax.ca

 

Re: Request for a Needed Legislative Change


We are writing on behalf of Park to Park Community Association.  We are a group of over 80 residents of south-end Halifax who have great concerns about the abundance of site specific MPS amendments and development agreements that are receiving approval in HRM, particularly on the peninsula of Halifax.  Our overall concern has to do with the approval process at the Council level where decisions are made without a comprehensive plan in place that protects the very neighbourhoods that make this city special.  We and many other groups are now asking "Who is doing the planning?   These comments are not a negative reflection on the HRMPlanning staff but ultimately on HRM Council who make the final decision and design the future of our community.


The MPS is still the cornerstone of planning in HRM.  If changes are requested by developers, itremains the obligation of the Mayor and Council to uphold not only the consultative elements but also to ensure that all decisions are fairly rendered and perceived to be fairly rendered in order to maintain public trust.


Profit driven development can result in one dimensional communities that add nothing to the vibrancy and livability of our neighbourhoods.   

As resident property owners, we, too, have an investment that needs protecting either through a revised Centre Plan or Council needs to have a more rigorous, thoughtful and inclusive review process regarding MPS applications and Development Agreements.


To maintain a measure of integrity in our planning process and in the absence of a New CentrePlan, we, Park to Park Community Association, would ask that Halifax Regional Council require a two thirds vote of the whole Council before approving any MPS amendments.


The two thirds vote requirement is not new to HRM and is used regularly to allow certain processes to proceed; as an example - rescind motions.  We would request that you implement such a change to the Charter. If the development in question is indeed a good one, then a two thirds vote should not be a problem. 

At the Annual General Meeting of Park to Park Community Association, held in June, 2015, members asked that we forward to the Mayor and Regional Council the following motion which was approved unanimously: 

​Whereas Council currently only requires a simple majority to pass an MPS amendment 
​Whereas MPS amendments significantly impact our city and our neighbourhoods 
​Whereas other important decisions do require a two third (2/3) vote 
​Whereas public trust in the process is being seriously eroded 
​Whereas a measure of integrity in the process would be maintained if a two third (2/3)​vote was required for MPS amendments 
​Be it resolved that Park to Park Community Association have the support of the​membership to pursue  requesting a change in legislation to that effect. 
​Be it further resolved that Park to Park communicate with other like-minded groups to​garner further support for this initiative.

We ask that this matter be addressed by Council and be given serious consideration.  We look forward to your prompt attention to our concerns. 

Please acknowledge our letter and advise how our requests will be implemented.

 

(original copy signed and mailed to the Clerk’s Office)


Pat Whitman, Chair

Park to Park Community Association

1433862878

Letter to the Editor


Park to Park submits frequent letters and comments to newspapers and online news sources in the city . The following letter to the Editor published June 8, 2015. There was a follow up interview with Rick Howe June 9.


No Plan

 

We are writing to comment on the proposed Westwood Construction development on Robie Street, Case 19281. 

Again it appears that Council is on the verge of approving yet another site specific MPS amendment with little or no logic as to the appropriateness of the development for the area or for the city as a whole.   In fact this development appears to be one of many lining up for approval before HRM can proceed with completion of the Centre Plan.....obviously a strategy by developers to have grandfathered approval should the plan ever move forward. 


The staff initiation report identified many valid concerns (height, massing, transition, angle controls, tower separation etc.) that remain to be addressed prior to any level of approval.   No one really disputes the fact that a plan is required to revitalize the Quinpool Corridor, to enhance both business opportunities and livability, and to quell the growing discord between development interests and residents all over the city.   The staff suggestion to proceed with the creation of a new zone in the Quinpool area, similar to the Downtown Zone has merit and should be given serious consideration.  And  that it would feed into the Centre Plan initiative is a strong point in its favour. 


The many sites now available for redevelopment in the Quinpool area reinforces the need for an early and cohesive approach.  We have the unique opportunity to create a compatible combination of business and livable residential opportunities, enhancing the vibrant city we want.  We urge Council to take advantage of the opportunity and support staff's alternative recommendation for a new zone, thus avoiding site amendments that will only exacerbate the issues. 

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