PDA

You are viewing a trimmed-down version of the SkyscraperPage.com discussion forum.  For the full version follow the link below.

View Full Version : [Dartmouth] 307 Prince Albert Road | 45 m | 15 fl | Rejected



Pages : 1 [2] 3

halifaxboyns
Jan 11, 2012, 4:57 AM
(from Haligonia online)

As community groups in Halifax rally to save St Pat's Alexandra School from demolition claiming the process behind the decision was unfair, a Dartmouth community group is unhappy about plans for a 15-story development which, if allowed to proceed, will be built within a residential neighborhood less than 70 feet from an existing home.

Jeff Weatherhead of the Banook Area Residents Association says that their group "supports development compatible with the existing low rise residential character of the area", but the HRM Planning Staff Report being presented to community council on Thursday “has certain critical flaws in the techniques Planning Staff have used to gain support of Council vote on this application”.


The rest of the story and then the 'community group' letter can be found here (http://live.haligonia.ca/halifax-ns/thedside/24404-highrise-development-on-lake-banook-opposed-by-community-group.html).

Empire
Jan 11, 2012, 11:19 AM
(from Haligonia online)

As community groups in Halifax rally to save St Pat's Alexandra School from demolition claiming the process behind the decision was unfair, a Dartmouth community group is unhappy about plans for a 15-story development which, if allowed to proceed, will be built within a residential neighborhood less than 70 feet from an existing home.

Jeff Weatherhead of the Banook Area Residents Association says that their group "supports development compatible with the existing low rise residential character of the area", but the HRM Planning Staff Report being presented to community council on Thursday “has certain critical flaws in the techniques Planning Staff have used to gain support of Council vote on this application”.


The rest of the story and then the 'community group' letter can be found here (http://live.haligonia.ca/halifax-ns/thedside/24404-highrise-development-on-lake-banook-opposed-by-community-group.html).

This is why 40 storeys should be allowed around Mic Mac Mall, Datrmouth Crossing, Kempt Rd., Bayers Lake etc.

resetcbu1
Jan 11, 2012, 8:22 PM
(from Haligonia online)

As community groups in Halifax rally to save St Pat's Alexandra School from demolition claiming the process behind the decision was unfair, a Dartmouth community group is unhappy about plans for a 15-story development which, if allowed to proceed, will be built within a residential neighborhood less than 70 feet from an existing home.

Jeff Weatherhead of the Banook Area Residents Association says that their group "supports development compatible with the existing low rise residential character of the area", but the HRM Planning Staff Report being presented to community council on Thursday “has certain critical flaws in the techniques Planning Staff have used to gain support of Council vote on this application”.


The rest of the story and then the 'community group' letter can be found here (http://live.haligonia.ca/halifax-ns/thedside/24404-highrise-development-on-lake-banook-opposed-by-community-group.html).

This shit pisses me off, when you buy a piece of property there's no guarantee that surrounding areas are generally unchanged for the rest of existence that would be absurd and leave no room for future growth of any communities, absolutely ridiculous that these people think that they have the right to hold back the progress of an entire city and the future of its children. As a city grows high-rises will begin to take place in various parts of the city and there's no guarantee it won't happen in your neighborhood if it does move to the suburbs and stop whining!

ibnem2
Jan 11, 2012, 10:50 PM
Just read it - some article.

This guy doesn't like tall buildings and clearly he's focused on "the needs of the few or the one ... outweighing the needs of the many" (probably a Spock / Trekkie fan).

Look, I'm ok to go along with what he says just as long as he pays my growing property tax bills and gives my mom & dad a no maintenance home near the lake (where they want to be). Oh, and I hope he gets volume discounts on fire extinguishers so when my car gets torched like others on Prince Albert road, that he'll courteously come by and extinguish it for me.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2011/06/24/ns-vehicle-fires-dartmouth.html

But really, I get it and I understand where he's coming from, he lives in the neighbourhood, loves it and wants to make sure that it is preserved for him and his neighbours to enjoy ... but no one else. In fact his policy is so effective, that even existing residents needing and preferring different mid-rise housing simply leave the neighbourhood because there aren't any options. But that's ok, we'll just enjoy lower property values and more single family homes being converted to modest rentals (read low-end), to help slum up the area some more. He and short sighted people like him are the real problem, hiding behind the "soft speak" suggesting "we don't hate development ... really", all the while driving their own selfish agendas. Wake up - there isn't an endless supply of money out there and HRM needs to position for future financial pressures .... and amongst other things, a collapsing US economy (yeah it'll affect us too ...). Last numbers I saw the mainland area population had shrunk around 30% in the last 4-5 years as opposed to growing by similar amounts (at least that's what city planners had hoped to have in meeting sustainability targets). A big win for the Negative Mainland Population Growth Initiative - go team !!

The writer talks about the property rights of neighbours and their rights to impose opinion on adjacent properties - they knew the existing site was zoned C2 and that there were no height restrictions re same (or they should have or their lawyer ought to have told them ...). What he fails to recognize are the property rights of the development owner. I think it's high time a group organize to deal with opposing say .... the illegal repainting of his deck or the upgrades in his home. Silly - Right ? Not much sillier than his expectation of interfering with someone else's property rights.

Initiatives by groups like these just need to be shut down. Misleading information, negative propaganda, selfish unsustainable agendas, ignorance of the facts, etc ... I guess that's why we elect municipal government officials, to help make all the right decisions so these poor people don't have to - Yeah Right !!

This public process is so flawed that it's destroying the fabric of city cores. Come on councillors, show some leadership - listen to your planners and professionals.

Make Noise !!!

peace ...

kojak23
Jan 13, 2012, 5:44 PM
It would be a shame to not develop this building and revitalize this community.
I have just sent an email to the Harbour East Council (http://halifax.ca/commcoun/hecc/hecc.html) on behalf of myself and my parents who still live in the neighborhood supporting the proposal on the existing site.

I would urge all who support this project to do the same.
Opposition like this is what forced me to leave the east coast and move to Calgary.
I would love to move back home in the next few years and raise my family where i was raised but not without the economic growth that is needed.

mcclusg@halifax.ca
karsteb@halifax.ca
darren.fisher@halifax.ca
lorelei.nicoll@halifax.ca
smithj@halifax.ca
barkhoj@halifax.ca

-Jim

ibnem2
Jan 13, 2012, 10:18 PM
I'm emailing the Councillors. It's just a numbers game. You guys do the same.

And if you already haven't signed the petition:

www.theprincealbert.ca/petition

Make Noise !!

(anyone wanting to chat - pm me tonight. I've got some other info that may be interesting)

Jringe01
Jan 14, 2012, 12:05 AM
Although I haven't lived in the HRM since 2005 I still consider it home...petition signed. :) I really hope this gets built.

fenwick16
Jan 14, 2012, 12:59 AM
I signed the petition; I am not sure if they will accept somewhere street in the Toronto area as an address?

kojak23
Jan 15, 2012, 6:45 PM
Just had some valuable information passed on to me that I would like to share with you all:

We need people to be seen in Support of the Prince Albert
at Community Council Chambers on Tuesday Jan 17th 6:00 PM.

90 Alderney Dr Dartmouth (old Library back entrance)

Council has scheduled a special session to consider a motion to allow the Prince Albert Development application to be heard.
The normally is for a brief presentation by Staff, followed by the formality of Council accepting to hear the case and a scheduled hearing date. No speaking opportunities - just listen and smile.

That's how it works in practice ... but other things can happen.
Technically, Council can refuse to consider the application leaving us dead in the water. No democratic process and no opportunity to present our case.


There will be an informal get together at 5:00pm just across the street at Keltic Corner, prior to the hearing.

Please pass this on to all your friends and family in support of the project.
The Prince Albert deserves to be built to revitalize the neighborhood.
The more support that shows up for the hearing, the more councilors know projects of this nature are needed to sustain economic growth.

I have passed this on to all my friends and family back home and hope the support will show up on Tuesday at 6pm.

Please do the same and make the Prince Albert a Reality!

-Jim

fenwick16
Jan 15, 2012, 8:51 PM
Good luck with your efforts Jim. I hope that people on this forum will make the effort to show up and show their support. These opportunities to show support can have a big impact on the municipality, bit by bit.

ibnem2
Jan 16, 2012, 12:12 AM
It's a first reading but with all the nonsense going on around HRM Council, who knows what could happen. If you wanna believe what can happen, read Blumenthal's comments in the recent Herald article:

http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/51799-council-blunder-exposes-flaws-all-over-halifax

"You can't do business with crazy" - Bluementhal said it, not me !

BTW if you can't understand what the writer is talking or what her stand is, don't feel bad - It's just that she can't write (she's probably a Smurf generation scholar), but you'll still get the idea ...

Oh, and please don't tell anyone outside of Halifax what happens in HRM, it would be embarrassing if the word got out.

layder ...

Keith P.
Jan 16, 2012, 12:45 AM
Yeah, Lezlie Lowe is a horrible columnist. She is obviously intelligent, but like Watts she has not a lick of common sense and her writing style is pretty scrambly.

ibnem2
Jan 16, 2012, 12:54 AM
Yeah, Lezlie Lowe is a horrible columnist. She is obviously intelligent, but like Watts she has not a lick of common sense and her writing style is pretty scrambly.

"horrible columnist" = Yes
"She is obviously intelligent" = No, she's just pretending
"senseless and scrambled" = Yes

On the good side, she takes a nice picture, And the new Smurf Movie II needs writers - she should fit right in.

Oh, and if that doesn't work, she could always run for Council ...

Sorry for all the bashing, I'll be good on the next round.

cheers

resetcbu1
Jan 16, 2012, 1:02 AM
Good luck, as a former resident of Dartmouth I really hope to see this move forward. I would love to attend the meeting but I live in Calgary.

Also I spent many years kayaking on that lake and I have no problems with this development whatsoever.

Once again in, good luck

ibnem2
Jan 16, 2012, 1:20 AM
Good luck, as a former resident of Dartmouth I really hope to see this move forward. I would love to attend the meeting but I live in Calgary.

Also I spent many years kayaking on that lake and I have no problems with this development whatsoever.

Once again in, good luck

By the way guys, I wrote one of the Councillors and received a pretty positive response (and yes ... I was polite). I believe they actually want the project but are worried about the vocal minority. Now inspired, I'm gonna write some more ...

Give em some ammo.

Bang !

fenwick16
Jan 16, 2012, 1:28 AM
By the way guys, I wrote one of the Councillors on received a pretty positive response (and yes ... I was polite). I believe they actually want the project but are worried about the vocal minority. Now inspired, I'm gonna write some more ...

Give em some ammo.

Bang !

It is good that you took the time to make your opinions know. It is important for elected officials know what the majority think. Otherwise, the squeaky-wheel, vocal minority will continue to have a disproportionate degree of decision-making in the municipality.

Many HRM Councillors do take the time to listen to people who take the time to express their point of view.

RaphEmer
Jan 17, 2012, 1:43 PM
I didn't notice if this has been mentioned before (so apologies if I somehow missed it). Have there been any studies or what have you to show what the impact would be on traffic patterns?

There are times that getting on/off Glenwood from Prince Albert Road is a pain in the butt...how much worse would it be with this apartment at the bottom of the street? And, probably even more importantly, how many people will use Glenwood as a cut-through to Portland Street? The number of cars doing that now, and the speed at which they fly past, is already too high.

halifaxboyns
Jan 17, 2012, 5:15 PM
The staff report indicates that a traffic impact study was done and reviewed and there was no issues.

This goes to Harbour East Community Council tonight for first reading.
The staff report can be found here (http://www.halifax.ca/Commcoun/hecc/documents/10.1.3Case16898307PrinceAlbertRoad.pdf). Normally they post the traffic impact information on their website - but I can't find it under the case information.

Keith P.
Jan 18, 2012, 12:35 AM
Did I hear right? This got turned down without even a public hearing? Did Gloria pull another Brightwood torpedo-job?

I am about ready to give up hope for this town. :(

ibnem2
Jan 18, 2012, 1:35 AM
I was there and I couldn't believe it turned down 3 / 3. There must have been 60-70 people w buttons supporting the project (most of the room) - This is insane. No opportunity to at least get heard. What happened to the promise of an open public process. Wait ... that only happens in a democracy - See, now you get it.

It's bad enough that council ignores staff. But for their latest gig they're ignoring the public process. What's next, a slave nation ? Oh wait, the Feds beat them to it - it's called the income tax act. Too bad Councillors, you'll just have to find something else for your next challenge.

Guys, this is nuts and another scandal in the making.

Keith P.
Jan 18, 2012, 1:57 AM
Who was for/against?

I can guess that Gloria was one against, probably Barkhouse as well.

ibnem2
Jan 18, 2012, 2:08 AM
Who was for/against?

I can guess that Gloria was one against, probably Barkhouse as well.

Gloria, Smith and Barkhouse, the dynamic trio - what a disaster.

someone123
Jan 18, 2012, 2:17 AM
The process is deeply flawed and should be changed. It doesn't make sense to give councillors what is in effect a sort of veto power over new developments in their district (note that a tie is a loss for the developer, so all you need is 2 colluding councillors in CCs of 3 or 4 members to halt all development). To add insult to injury, they shut this down before it even went to a public hearing. It has a very "kangaroo court" sort of feel, just like how the city dealt with St. Pat's-Alexandra.

Many of these councillors are just horrible and the elections are not competitive, partly because the districts are tiny and partly because of voter apathy. Gloria was acclaimed in 2008 -- zero votes required. Jackie Barkhouse won with a total of 2450 votes and Jim Smith won with 1799 votes. No wonder why they only listen to special interests!

resetcbu1
Jan 18, 2012, 2:27 AM
WTF!!!!!!!:hell::hell::hell::hell::hell::hell::hell: one more :hell:BIG disapointment....

cormiermax
Jan 18, 2012, 2:36 AM
Damn NIMBYs and damn this council.

kph06
Jan 18, 2012, 2:44 AM
I'm not impressed at all. This is just like how Watts tried to torpedo the Quinpool/Vernon project. What message does this send developers? Spend X amount of dollars on design and studies just so 6 people with little technical background can decide on a whim and not merit if a project can go to a public meeting? A project should go to staff (trained professionals) to decide if it ready for a public hearing based on merit. Next politics can enter. At the public hearing people can voice their opinions yay or nay. The councilors then make their call based on what the majority of their constituents want, they represent the residents, not their own personal biases.

Keith P.
Jan 18, 2012, 3:02 AM
CBC News just ran a piece on the hearing. It was reasonably balanced in presentation, with one person stating the ever-popular "it's too TALL!!!" line while another lady was quite properly outraged that "My councilor decided on her own to deny the democratic process and not even take it to a hearing!" The piece also showed many people in the audience with "Pro" buttons on their jackets. They finished it off with McCroskey stating that all you had to do was look at it to see it was "too TALL!!!" and looking quite satisfied with herself, and the developer sounding discouraged.

This kind of mismanagement of our future must stop.

RyeJay
Jan 18, 2012, 3:19 AM
I'm half-tempted to start a facebook group myself. I want people to see a single list of all those on council, their positions on development, and finally: how to vote in the next election.

There is enough bitterness in Halifax toward the tiny anti-development crowd that we may turn apathy into motivation to vote these councilors out. At the very least, people need to see how flawed this system is.

someone123
Jan 18, 2012, 3:30 AM
I'm not impressed at all. This is just like how Watts tried to torpedo the Quinpool/Vernon project. What message does this send developers? Spend X amount of dollars on design and studies just so 6 people with little technical background can decide on a whim and not merit if a project can go to a public meeting? A project should go to staff (trained professionals) to decide if it ready for a public hearing based on merit. Next politics can enter.

I wonder what value the politics really add to the process. On balance the city would probably be much better off if councillors were removed from this equation. There should be some room for public opinion but residents should not have veto powers over all new buildings on properties they do not own. It just doesn't make sense, even before you take into account the horrible chilling effect and the unfairness of forcing developers to play roulette. :irked:

Council should be setting higher-level objectives that staff should even-handedly implement. The staff recommendations on these projects generally seem quite balanced.

This case is actually particularly absurd because the developer has as-of-right approval for a 16 storey hotel building. He just wants to change the use to something that is arguably more compatible with the area.

someone123
Jan 18, 2012, 3:37 AM
They finished it off with McCroskey stating that all you had to do was look at it to see it was "too TALL!!!" and looking quite satisfied with herself, and the developer sounding discouraged.

In my opinion she is an awful councillor who typically does not add anything constructive to these development debates. All I have seen from her are meaningless statements like "it's too tall!". I remember her sharing a nugget about almost being blown over by the Maritime Centre to argue against the United Gulf towers. Apparently she is the expert, not the engineers who conduct wind studies.

On top of this there's the constant BS about how Dartmouth doesn't get its fair share and how things should be located there instead of Halifax. Again, that is just not constructive and not what the city needs. Neighbourhood-level jealousy and pettiness is just pathetic. She should champion her district but that does not mean that she needs to tear other areas down to do it. It's particularly sad since she is personally contributing to Dartmouth's problems by torpedoing opportunities for new investment.

All of the praise of her that I have heard has been incredibly vague. For example, people will say that she cares about Dartmouth or that she's impressive because she's old. Nobody points to substantive accomplishments. The only positive thing I can say is that the people who judge their councillors in that way deserve them.

fenwick16
Jan 18, 2012, 5:17 AM
So it must have been Bill Karsten, Lorelei Nicoll and Darren Fisher who voted in favour? (here are the members of the Harbour East Community Council - http://www.halifax.ca/commcoun/hecc/hecc.html)

There are Councillors who want to see progress in the HRM. Hopefully they will be the ones who will be re-elected in the October 2012 elections.

I can't figure out Gloria McCluskey; she votes in favour of some high-rise developments and against others.

kph06
Jan 18, 2012, 10:25 AM
I wonder what value the politics really add to the process. On balance the city would probably be much better off if councillors were removed from this equation. There should be some room for public opinion but residents should not have veto powers over all new buildings on properties they do not own. It just doesn't make sense, even before you take into account the horrible chilling effect and the unfairness of forcing developers to play roulette. :irked:

I agree completely, I think it should be a process where a developer works with staff and community workshops, where they can work together to fine tune the plans. Council shouldn't be involved besides being a member of the community at the workshop. It would free up more of their time to discuss chickens and cats, something more at their level.

Keith P.
Jan 18, 2012, 12:20 PM
Here's CBC's story on this:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/01/18/ns-lake-banook-apartment.html

ibnem2
Jan 18, 2012, 2:03 PM
Here's CBC's story on this:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/01/18/ns-lake-banook-apartment.html

Take a look at the comments section and the number of people protesting this decision but more importantly the numbers "liking" what they said.

DigitalNinja
Jan 18, 2012, 3:17 PM
Does anyone have any info on this 16 story hotel that they keep talking about?

Also this is horrible. Can the developer bring it to the URAB?

beyeas
Jan 18, 2012, 3:22 PM
I agree completely, I think it should be a process where a developer works with staff and community workshops, where they can work together to fine tune the plans. Council shouldn't be involved besides being a member of the community at the workshop. It would free up more of their time to discuss chickens and cats, something more at their level.

I agree... for some reason the public often seems ok with politicians involved in decision making when they are seen to be opposing the "evil developers", and yet clearly are against politicians involved in decision making if they were seen to be supporting these same "evil developers".

It would not be ok for politicians to be pushing a plan through to help a developer out by getting rid of public consultation, so why is it ok for politicians to kill the plans of a developer by getting rid of public consultation??? That is a question I would really like the councillors to answer! :hell:

halifaxboyns
Jan 18, 2012, 3:56 PM
Well at least the applicant has the right to an appeal - which I suspect they will use. That is some silver lining, but still...

-Harlington-
Jan 18, 2012, 3:59 PM
This is just weird/stupid considering the amount of people that supported this, especially all the people on this forum that would not have come on here if it were not for this and supporting it .

halifaxboyns
Jan 18, 2012, 4:58 PM
This is just weird/stupid considering the amount of people that supported this, especially all the people on this forum that would not have come on here if it were not for this and supporting it .

My problem with how this was handled, is that it didn't allow the people who showed up to speak. I think this was first reading only, so they wouldn't have been able too anyway...but because they didn't give 1st reading to the proposal - no public hearing can happen.

Whether the people were there to support or oppose, the proposal should've been given 1st reading prompting a public hearing so everyone's views could be heard. The way this was done, didn't allow that. People's views were not even given an opportunity to be heard...if they had done the public hearing, I suspect the vote would've been no different, but at least the people would've been heard. The people (the voters) weren't heard...because you can't let a public information meeting be the basis to form an opinion.

kph06
Jan 18, 2012, 5:54 PM
Well at least the applicant has the right to an appeal - which I suspect they will use. That is some silver lining, but still...

I imagine the UARB would over-turn the desicion. McClusky would sure be loud at that session of council.

halifaxboyns
Jan 18, 2012, 6:16 PM
I imagine the UARB would over-turn the desicion. McClusky would sure be loud at that session of council.

I've read a couple previous UARB decisions where a project was turfed at first reading. I'll have to dig through my computer back home, but as I recall, in those cases they were approved because part of the UARB's decision called out the community council for not even allowing the people to speak.

kph06
Jan 18, 2012, 7:31 PM
It would be funny if the developer built a "16-storey hotel" as-of right, then apply mid construction to change it to residential. I'd much rather live by a residential building then a hotel.

McClusky's argument of the building being far too tall for a neighborhood of single family homes holds no water in my opinion. I grew up near Coburg Place, a 17-storey condo building in a mostly single family neighborhood (there are a few apartments). I never once witnessed or suffered from any ill-effects of this being across the street. It was even popular for university students, which I am sure McClusky sees as the root of all evil.

someone123
Jan 18, 2012, 7:36 PM
I'll have to dig through my computer back home, but as I recall, in those cases they were approved because part of the UARB's decision called out the community council for not even allowing the people to speak.

If that's true then it's yet another reason why this is a boneheaded process. Why put something to a vote if there is only ever one reasonable outcome?

These results are usually overturned because (as I'm sure you know better than I) the UARB interprets documents like the MPS, whereas the councillors typically go by public opinion without regard for the rules that they previously established. An impassioned cry of "it's too tall!" is not going to convince the review board. Staff already came down in favour of this, which makes me think that it in fact fits within the framework of the planning documents.

Really what we've got here is just a bumpy ~3 year approval process that involves some councillor bravado. It is very inefficient and isn't competitive with other cities. It's also very unfair to property owners and developers.

someone123
Jan 18, 2012, 7:43 PM
McClusky's argument of the building being far too tall for a neighborhood of single family homes holds no water in my opinion. I grew up near Coburg Place, a 17-storey condo building in a mostly single family neighborhood (there are a few apartments). I never once witnessed or suffered from any ill-effects of this being across the street. It was even popular for university students, which I am sure McClusky sees as the root of all evil.

I live in a 4-storey condo building in Vancouver that is next to a park and a cluster of 30+ storey apartments buildings. I don't really notice the apartments.

The only real effect of the high-density stuff near me is that I get to live conveniently by a busy train station and a bunch of stores. If the higher density population weren't here then none of that would be here either because there wouldn't be enough people to support it.

ibnem2
Jan 18, 2012, 8:21 PM
Comments from the developer on Facebook - check out the letter he wrote.

http://www.facebook.com/princealbertdevelopment?sk=wall&filter=1

halifaxboyns
Jan 18, 2012, 8:30 PM
If that's true then it's yet another reason why this is a boneheaded process. Why put something to a vote if there is only ever one reasonable outcome?

These results are usually overturned because (as I'm sure you know better than I) the UARB interprets documents like the MPS, whereas the councillors typically go by public opinion without regard for the rules that they previously established. An impassioned cry of "it's too tall!" is not going to convince the review board. Staff already came down in favour of this, which makes me think that it in fact fits within the framework of the planning documents.

Really what we've got here is just a bumpy ~3 year approval process that involves some councillor bravado. It is very inefficient and isn't competitive with other cities. It's also very unfair to property owners and developers.

Well it's by no means certain, but the two decisions I read certainly overturned such a decision simply because there was no attempt to even interpet the MPS or have a discussion.

Calgary's system (which falls under the Alberta MGA) is to hold a public hearing first. Then debate with staff, then decide to go for first reading. The public hearing is advertised in advance of first reading. So if the vote goes negative, the project is refused. If first reading is given, they move onto second reading - where if there is a desire, things in the proposal or regulations can be changed (but if it's a straight rezoning nothing can be changed). If second reading passes, then they give 3rd and the process is done. If you watch our public hearings, it's a different process. I don't know if its better, just different.

The UARB does actually act like planners interpreting the MPS and bylaw, which is part of the reason why the staff reports are so long. In the event of an appeal, the report forms part of the information. But one thing that usually happens in an appeal is the few NIMBYs that don't like a project don't show up. So you'll typically see someone acting on behalf of HRM (who has to defend the decision), then the applicant and a few interested parties. Anyone can go and speak though, as I understand it, but few NIMBY groups (other than save the view or the heritage trust) actually show up. So rarely do you get a lot of vocal opposition.

On the few times I've been aware that some people did show up to give their NIMBY points of view, the UARB tore them appart because they couldn't give any planning reasons why the project was bad.

Keith P.
Jan 18, 2012, 9:02 PM
My problem with how this was handled, is that it didn't allow the people who showed up to speak. I think this was first reading only, so they wouldn't have been able too anyway...but because they didn't give 1st reading to the proposal - no public hearing can happen.

Whether the people were there to support or oppose, the proposal should've been given 1st reading prompting a public hearing so everyone's views could be heard. The way this was done, didn't allow that. People's views were not even given an opportunity to be heard...if they had done the public hearing, I suspect the vote would've been no different, but at least the people would've been heard. The people (the voters) weren't heard...because you can't let a public information meeting be the basis to form an opinion.

This is the same tactic that McCluskey was successful with regarding the proposal to develop Brightwood, maybe 5 or 6 years ago. She got the thing shot down even before first reading and nobody was able to speak in favor or against. It was as despicable then as it is now, but she knows how to work the system to her favor. I hope the developer in this case appeals to the UARB. In the Brightwood case, the developer was getting cold feet and chose not to.

The comments on the CBC item are interesting. The majority seem to be in favor of the developer. Those against are not well argued and mostly consist of "it's TOO TALL!!!" or "it doesn't belong in my neighborhood". The for/against voting is also strongly in favor of the developer. This is encouraging. At least it seems to indicate that those reading the item are in step with moving this burg forward, and that it is councilors like McCluskey, Smith and Barkhouse who are out of step.

halifaxboyns
Jan 18, 2012, 10:05 PM
The comments on the developers facebook site would certainly lead me to believe an appeal is coming.

ibnem2
Jan 19, 2012, 2:16 AM
Something like 80% of thumbs are up for the project and down for this councillor - What a joke.

Don't forget CBC is not a pro development forum, so this is BIG.

Just saw one that said "Gloria for Mayor" - I know that no one votes in elections anymore, but just for fun lets see if we can get a hundred thumbs against.

By the way, this issue is competing with some major national stories (for total thumbs at least).

Thumb her - I do.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-s...apartment.html

Keith P.
Jan 19, 2012, 8:40 PM
Glorious McCrusty was on the Rick Howe show this afternoon and set a new low for obnoxiousness. Aside from nastily slamming potential mayoral candidate Mike Savage - she's a Kelly supporter - she went on about how democracy wasn't only for the developer but also the neighborhood residents, and cited a 300-signature petition opposing the project as reason why she torpedoed it. She also accused the developer of intimidation tactics by having supporters show up at the meeting wearing buttons in favor of the project. She made it sound like this was some kind of unheard-of underhanded tactic and was in general very nasty towards the project.

I have known her for years and she was always a handful, with a bellicose personality and a big mouth. As she has aged this has gotten worse to where she is now quite mean-spirited and close-minded. Her time has passed.

ETA clip of interview: Glorious in full cry (http://soundcloud.com/jenncasey/gloria-mccluskey-tells-us-how)

someone123
Jan 19, 2012, 9:55 PM
Even after bad mouthing Fisher and Savage she still managed to work in that nugget about being blown over by the horrible winds generated by tall buildings. The hotel stuff is also priceless. There was no hotel! Okay, there was a development permit, but good luck building it out there!

Funny how when you're 700 years old they called you "feisty", but when you're younger they call you something else...

halifaxboyns
Jan 20, 2012, 2:08 AM
Even after bad mouthing Fisher and Savage she still managed to work in that nugget about being blown over by the horrible winds generated by tall buildings. The hotel stuff is also priceless. There was no hotel! Okay, there was a development permit, but good luck building it out there!

Funny how when you're 700 years old they called you "feisty", but when you're younger they call you something else...

I didn't listen to the clip, but I'm not surprised.
Without hearing his election platform, I have to say I'm a little curious about Mike as mayor. We'll have to see, but one thing Keith posted either on here or on the CBC article I totally agree with. When you throw staff under the bus, they get demoralized. I can only imagine how they are feeling after all this and it must be annoying.

It's one thing to be respectful, have public input, debate and still disagree in a respectful way. That's one thing I'll give Uteck and Sloane credit on when I worked for HRM. They never threw staff under the bus, at least when I worked there. But they would respectfully debate and be respectful about disagreeing.

I hope he appeals. The CH had an interesting article about this, here (http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/53413-developer-won-t-give-easily).

ibnem2
Jan 20, 2012, 5:27 AM
I know that in an earlier post I spoke of being high minded and not bantering to the lower levels of the human species. I was living well and flying high, but then to my great mis-fortune, the Gloria rubbed off on me and I now find myself devolving to a lesser evolutionary state - 700 years is nuthin, compared to where I am now. Right - Now that that's off the table, I can speak my Cro-Magnon mind.

So, lets start with that wonderful German folk tale called Hansel & Gretel, and I think there's also a witch and some kids. So, once upon a time .... um ... um ... OK so I'm stuck, either because this storey is historically newer than my newly devolved state, or simply due to a loss of faculties from my recent devolution. Good news is that I now "Can have a battle of wits with an unarmed man (or woman)".

But de-seriously.

This lady claims to be the protector of the little man and the voice of her constituents. Yes - This lady panders to voters but only the select few that have either voted in past for her or those that may yet vote for her again. She not only dis-services HRM constituents at large but totally ignores anyone in her constituency that voted for the other guy or even worse, those in a state of Glori-apathy that choose not to vote at all.

Aha! - I suddenly feel evolution rebounding and a revolutionary idea. I have it all figured out, but rather than tell you now ... tune in tomorrow, same time, same place.

Don't miss it !

beyeas
Jan 20, 2012, 2:24 PM
Glorious McCrusty was on the Rick Howe show this afternoon and set a new low for obnoxiousness. Aside from nastily slamming potential mayoral candidate Mike Savage - she's a Kelly supporter - she went on about how democracy wasn't only for the developer but also the neighborhood residents, and cited a 300-signature petition opposing the project as reason why she torpedoed it. She also accused the developer of intimidation tactics by having supporters show up at the meeting wearing buttons in favor of the project. She made it sound like this was some kind of unheard-of underhanded tactic and was in general very nasty towards the project.

I have known her for years and she was always a handful, with a bellicose personality and a big mouth. As she has aged this has gotten worse to where she is now quite mean-spirited and close-minded. Her time has passed.

ETA clip of interview: Glorious in full cry (http://soundcloud.com/jenncasey/gloria-mccluskey-tells-us-how)

Her quotes in the AllNS article were also priceless in a incredibly frustrating sense.

She was stating as "fact" that she knew that people in the area did not support this. Really? A) There are lots of people who do support it, and B) How do you "know" what the public thinks when you very specifically killed the method by which the public provides its input? It was absolutely laughable if not Orwellian, that you would vote to not allow public consultation with the stated reason being that supports what the public wants. The reality is that she looked only at those who agreed with her POV, and then pulls the standard politician trick of stating something as a "fact" (i.e. that "people in the area were against this) which is not only not true but that you couldn't know as a fact anyway because you never consulted people!!?? :hell:

Pete Crawford
Jan 20, 2012, 4:13 PM
We had a big debate about this development at my family dinner on Wednesday. My cousin, Barrett, who is a PhD in economics and who works as a urban development economist for the government of Abu Dhabi, got a little annoyed and decided to write to McCluskey. Here's the text of his letter below.

--

A COMMENT ON ECONOMIC STRATEGY

Dear Councillor McCluskey,

My name is Dr. Barrett Cliffen, I am an economic development advisor currently living between London, UK and Abu Dhabi, but I was born and grew up in your district in Dartmouth. I have dedicated my profession to developing strategies that encourage sustainable economic growth that improves local quality of life. I've found that every community I visit is different, and that few policy prescriptions can be generalized. In every community, however, (rural, urban, suburban, developed, underdeveloped) I have observed that the availability of private investment in fixed capital (vs. government investment) is the most promising sign of economic dynamism.

I'm writing to you because I spent the last few weeks in Dartmouth to visit with my family. I was very keen to observe the growth and development occurring here, but also very concerned about our city falling behind. I must admit that I was disappointed to hear of your involvement in summarily dismissing the 307 Prince Albert development this week. The residential and commercial spinoffs from this project are ones that Dartmouth and the local area is in desperate need of.

I understand that you had concerns regarding the building's height. But councillor, with respect, I do sense that you and your colleagues have a disposition that does not give private development a fair run in this city. From my experience, such an investment reality can be just as damaging to growth as a severe long-term drop business confidence. Areas transitioning from smaller cities to larger centres often fall victim to this mentality, and it can diminish a considerable potential for economic development. I've seen many promising regions fall behind for various reasons, but watching Dartmouth fall behind national and international standards of progress pains me a great deal.

In hearings for future developments councillor, I would encourage you to consider Dartmouth's place in a more competitive regional and international context. I am disheartened to say that decisions like these create a stagnant community that young people in similar situations to mine will choose to permanently leave.

Respectfully Yours,

Dr. Barret C. Cliffen, MSc., PhD(Cantab).

--

Not sure if McCluskey replied or not. She's probably far too old and stubborn to realize how valuable advice from somebody like this is. You should see how much money the UAE government pays him for the same kind of advice.

This really reminds me how much of a foolish little town Dartmouth is.

JET
Jan 20, 2012, 4:37 PM
I like Gloria, but this decision makes no sense. I live closer to Sullivan's pond, but still in the community affected. I usually wait for public hearings to get involved. it is frustrating that opportunity was taken away.

someone123
Jan 20, 2012, 7:25 PM
Areas transitioning from smaller cities to larger centres often fall victim to this mentality, and it can diminish a considerable potential for economic development. I've seen many promising regions fall behind for various reasons, but watching Dartmouth fall behind national and international standards of progress pains me a great deal.

That is a great letter.

There is a very myopic attitude that developers exist more or less at the leisure of local residents (in the Louis XIV sense), and that they can be screwed around with as much as required to make residents happy. It's pretty rare that you ever hear somebody mention the amount of work or money that must go into these proposals or the taxes paid while these sites sit in limbo. Usually you hear comments like Gloria's -- too bad, it's all their fault, they should have known, they should have done a better job giving us what we want, etc.

The problem is that neither side of that equation for pleasing residents is correct. They can't be screwed around with indefinitely and over the long term that's not how you make residents happy. If you screw around with developers too much they invest elsewhere and there are many unintended consequences. Halifax is a small town and its economic status is certainly not written in stone.

If Gloria is aware of any of this she hasn't made it particularly clear with her comments. I'm tempted to say that maybe she just doesn't care because she views the city as a retirement home, but most retirees want their kids to be able to live nearby, afford housing, get jobs, etc. I suspect that the real explanation is just that lots of people just don't think about this stuff very much.

Keith P.
Jan 20, 2012, 10:39 PM
Ol' Glorious was on 95.7 again this morning, this time with Jordi Morgan and Coun. Darren Fisher, again debating this development. Jordi seemed to do a better job than Rick Howe of challenging her position, but I wasn't able to hear enough of it to tell how it all played out. She did take a few shots at Fisher during the snippet I heard. If I find the audio online, I'll post a link.

Mr. Hunt
Jan 21, 2012, 2:31 AM
http://pmd.news957.com/podcasts/atlantic_talk_shows/maritime_mornings/MMWJM-012012-0830.mp3

kph06
Jan 21, 2012, 3:43 AM
Wow, talk about argumentative, good thing they muted when she tried to talk over Fisher. I have a few flaws with her statements:

My biggest complaint is how she thinks democracy was upheld because she spoke to the people in the community and they were against it. She basically said its their community and outsiders shouldn't have a say. If this was the case the Pacey's, Beverly Miller and the rest of the Heritage Trust should be locked out of council meetings because they rarely live in the community they are "fighting for".

If there was such overwhelming disdain for the project as she portrays then what is the harm in letting it go to a public hearing - at least people can speak for themselves, maybe their arguments would have been more classy, eloquent or relevant then those of Ms. McCluskey's.

She seemed to be proud of the statement: "we go against staff recommendation all the time". So why have them then? They have degree's in planning, engineering and many other technical fields, but she instantly discredits that.

The fact that she kept referring to the developer as "greedy" is ridiculous and aimed to vilify the people who pay for the growth of the city. I can't remember the last time HRM had a hands on roll in expanding the residential areas of the city, maybe the 1960's with the development of Sackville by the housing board?

Lastly, she complained there was no wind study presented... things like that cost money, why would a developer sink all that money into something they might not even be able to bring in front of council. Does she have the right to ask for whatever she pleases with no guarantee the proposal will even be given a fighting chance to succeed?

RyeJay
Jan 21, 2012, 3:46 AM
She sounds angry, non-stop, from the very beginning. Wow.

resetcbu1
Jan 21, 2012, 4:08 AM
Time for her to go the way of Ol'Yeller!
And yes I do mean bring her out behind the barn and shoot her , lol , JK
but really she gotta go.....

halifaxboyns
Jan 21, 2012, 4:46 AM
Wow, I have to say, I never really had any opinion on Councillor Fisher. Didn't know him well at all, I have to say I have a new found respect for him. The fact that he gets that the regional plan has not be working to drive growth in the regional centre, I'm starting to like him. I think he's a keeper. Plus the dig when McClusky asks him what he's doing and his response is 'my district isn't in the regional centre dear' - nearly fell off my chair.

My favorite comments from Councillor McClusky were these gems: "We go against staff all the time!", "I'm doing lots in mine" oh and "I'm not anti-development". I think the first one support KeithP's comments early - staff under the bus.

What I found most interesting about McClusky's comments - which maybe helpful in terms of an appeal (hint hint) is when Jordy asks her about having a broader consultation - she responds by saying something along the lines of the 3 who voted against the proposal were 'fully informed' and that by having a public hearing they wouldn't be more informed? Now I scanned the HRM act, and I thought there was a section that clearly stated that council members had a duty to go into a public hearing open minded (or something along that line). I would argue that even if it's not expressly stated, it common sense and by her statement, she clearly wasn't acting that way, nor were the others who voted against it.

What I found most bizarre was the comment that there was no wind study? Didn't the report say there was a wind study?
Loved the construction worker who phoned in though, he was great.

someone123
Jan 21, 2012, 5:08 AM
Yeah, Fisher did well and most of the callers were surprisingly articulate. It is absolutely true that this is about larger picture issues like getting population density up in the core, lowering servicing costs, creating a good climate for investment, etc.

ibnem2
Jan 21, 2012, 1:00 PM
I was at the hearing and I've read the staff report. During the hearing, HRM planner clearly stated that a wind study had been prepared by the developer, that it had been reviewed by staff (and that they were satisfied with it's recommendation) and that release of the wind study would be made shortly and well in advance of the public hearing (which never happened of course).

ibnem2
Jan 21, 2012, 1:14 PM
We had a big debate about this development at my family dinner on Wednesday. My cousin, Barrett, who is a PhD in economics and who works as a urban development economist for the government of Abu Dhabi, got a little annoyed and decided to write to McCluskey. Here's the text of his letter below.

--

A COMMENT ON ECONOMIC STRATEGY

Dear Councillor McCluskey,

My name is Dr. Barrett Cliffen, I am an economic development advisor currently living between London, UK and Abu Dhabi, but I was born and grew up in your district in Dartmouth. I have dedicated my profession to developing strategies that encourage sustainable economic growth that improves local quality of life. I've found that every community I visit is different, and that few policy prescriptions can be generalized. In every community, however, (rural, urban, suburban, developed, underdeveloped) I have observed that the availability of private investment in fixed capital (vs. government investment) is the most promising sign of economic dynamism.

I'm writing to you because I spent the last few weeks in Dartmouth to visit with my family. I was very keen to observe the growth and development occurring here, but also very concerned about our city falling behind. I must admit that I was disappointed to hear of your involvement in summarily dismissing the 307 Prince Albert development this week. The residential and commercial spinoffs from this project are ones that Dartmouth and the local area is in desperate need of.

I understand that you had concerns regarding the building's height. But councillor, with respect, I do sense that you and your colleagues have a disposition that does not give private development a fair run in this city. From my experience, such an investment reality can be just as damaging to growth as a severe long-term drop business confidence. Areas transitioning from smaller cities to larger centres often fall victim to this mentality, and it can diminish a considerable potential for economic development. I've seen many promising regions fall behind for various reasons, but watching Dartmouth fall behind national and international standards of progress pains me a great deal.

In hearings for future developments councillor, I would encourage you to consider Dartmouth's place in a more competitive regional and international context. I am disheartened to say that decisions like these create a stagnant community that young people in similar situations to mine will choose to permanently leave.

Respectfully Yours,

Dr. Barret C. Cliffen, MSc., PhD(Cantab).

--

Not sure if McCluskey replied or not. She's probably far too old and stubborn to realize how valuable advice from somebody like this is. You should see how much money the UAE government pays him for the same kind of advice.

This really reminds me how much of a foolish little town Dartmouth is.

Outstanding letter that brings the big picture to the table. This needs to get out to ALL of HRM leadership. Pete, suggest u get hold of the developer and send him a copy.

Jstaleness
Jan 21, 2012, 1:53 PM
That was an interesting interview on 95.7. Gloria seems to have become pushy and rude in her late years. To me it's OK to have strong opinions, but when it's someone else's turn to speak you wait your turn. She tried to talk over Fisher the entire time he spoke. I have lost any respect I used to have for that lady. I think it's time she removed herself from politics.

RyeJay
Jan 21, 2012, 3:12 PM
That was an interesting interview on 95.7. Gloria seems to have become pushy and rude in her late years. To me it's OK to have strong opinions, but when it's someone else's turn to speak you wait your turn. She tried to talk over Fisher the entire time he spoke. I have lost any respect I used to have for that lady. I think it's time she removed herself from politics.

Pushy and rude -- and desperate.

Instead of calmly, rationally presenting her argument, she simply tried to talk-over the opposition. This is because, as she knows, her position on this issue isn't just weak: but it's anti-democratic. I'm glad the host kept pressing this point to her.

In her bitter, old-lady, smoker's voice, she railed at the other two saying that the "FACTS" were important, when she isn't even willing to find the FACTS by allowing the public in on this. Apparently a crowd of 82 people at an early 'information session' (not a public hearing) and the councilors who vote on this are far more knowledgable than all of HRM.

Haligonians are apparently too stupid to vocalise what developments they'd like to see contribute to their community and economy. Good thing we have Gloria in council, to save the stupid Haligonians from themselves...

Keith P.
Jan 21, 2012, 4:10 PM
She's always been like that, even in her younger years. I knew her when she was in her 50s and she was exactly the same way then. She just had to get her own way or she would have a tantrum. Loudmouthed, nasty, disrespectful, her way or the highway... that has always been the way she is. With age she has only gotten worse. The only thing I would correct you upon is that I do not know her to be a smoker.

Pete Crawford
Jan 21, 2012, 7:19 PM
Outstanding letter that brings the big picture to the table. This needs to get out to ALL of HRM leadership. Pete, suggest u get hold of the developer and send him a copy.

I've mentioned it to Barrett. He's flying back to the Middle-East this weekend, but I think he feels compelled to write something similar to the Mayor (Gloria still hasn't replied). Halifax isn't Abu Dhabi, but this is his field, and what's going on here is really annoying him.

Haha, my father wants him to move home and run for office, but he wouldn't ever consider it.

dartmouthy
Jan 21, 2012, 8:07 PM
This whole descision is a travesty! I will certainly be there in meetings in the future, as best as my schedule will allow, to ensure this geriatric wind-bag doesn't represent my views any longer! I think I need to get more involved in the community here too! :)

pchipman
Jan 21, 2012, 9:50 PM
http://pmd.news957.com/podcasts/atlantic_talk_shows/maritime_mornings/MMWJM-012012-0830.mp3

Wow. She sounds like a raving lunatic. Her attitude is incredible, she needs to go.

Mike555
Jan 21, 2012, 10:26 PM
I live on Glenwood Avenue, the street this development is on, and me and my neighbours have no idea where McCluskey is getting all of this from. I've been a lurker on SSP Forum for years but I though I would make an account to share this.

I wrote an email to Gloria to express my confusion and outrage that she's holding back development in my area (I mentioned property values) and I got this crap response from her. I can't believe this...

......

I am an accredited appraiser (retired) and this high rise would
depreciate the values in the area. Sorry you are so disappointed with
me. However, I will continue to represent the residents as I have for
20years now.

Gloria

Gloria McCluskey
Councillor
District 5 - Dartmouth Centre
Tel: (902) 490-7033
Cell: (902) 476-1667
Fax: (902) 490-4871
Email: mcclusg@halifax.ca

If anyone else lives in the area PLEASE email her with your thoughts, because she clearly think's I'm nuts for being a supporter AND a resident. Apparently those types need to be lectured by her with her out-dated and socialist idea of appraisal.

Is anyone going to run against this woman in the election this year instead of her just getting acclaimed again? She's a liability and needs to be tossed.

Keith P.
Jan 21, 2012, 10:55 PM
She hasn't worked as an appraiser in about 25 years. I have no idea how she concludes that a new high-end development would lower property values in the area. I was in the neighborhood today. That development would fit nicely on that site and it would not particularly stick out. You have numerous old 3-storey brick box apartment buildings from the 1960s visible nearby along with a somewhat questionable-looking motel which I would think would do far more to negatively affect property values.

ibnem2
Jan 21, 2012, 11:00 PM
Just caught it on Global TV - they had the developer, councillors and another lady.

On again later tonight I think. Check it out.

dartmouthy
Jan 21, 2012, 11:17 PM
Dear. Ms. McCluskey,

Can we the people vote you out now before you do any more damage to the tax base of the city, or do we really have to wait until the civic election?
It can't comes soon enough.

Sincerely,
A pissed off tax payer who is hoping you plan to reimburse, personally, the much needed tax revenue this development would have provided the city, that now has to be made up by everyone else.
===========
Would you reimburse the residents for the loss of peace and enjoyment as
well as reduced property values if this had moved ahead? I bet you
wouldn't have it in your neighbourhood.

No response required
===========
It is my neighborhood and Ill be sure to be a very vocal opponent of you and your uneducated geriatric descision making process in the future.
===========
Hey big mouth where do you live
===========
Far away from your ivory tower of ignorance, apparently.
===========
Certainly not in the neighbouhood Maybe your job depended on it.Talk to
me after my re-election
===========
I live in what I thought was a _city_.
I thought it was your job as a councillor to see past short sighted emotional arguments and to listen to the educated opinions of the staff we all pay for, for this very reason.

I see instead you see your job as a cash cow to be exploited for your OWN personal gain.

I guess the alternative is that I'll just let the city I love where I was born and where I've chosen to raise a family decay around me from lack of investment and wrong minded development choices... Until it is the mini Detroit it always had the potential of being.
That would be the polite Nova Scotian thing for me to do, and then no one can accuse me of being a big mouth.

Your arrogance and lack of thoughtful decision making is astounding and we will see about your re-election. I hope for your sake you've already purchased all the domain names with your name in it haha.

dartmouthy
Jan 21, 2012, 11:19 PM
If no one else puts their hat in the ring I'm definitely considering offering myself. I have had enough!

kph06
Jan 22, 2012, 12:06 AM
Just saw Joan Rivers on TV, really reminded me of McCluskey - similar abrasive attitudes.

DigitalNinja
Jan 22, 2012, 6:00 AM
Gloria makes me want to jump off a 15 story building... I can't stand listening to her voice, she sounds like my grandmother who was a nasty mean bitch.

Someties democracy hinders development and annoys me.

I also hate that like "Let me tell you something!" I hate it when people say that. People state their opinion as fact when it's not. And this is exactly what Gloria is doing.

I also I don't understand why we have uninformed people deciding whether or not to allow something to be built on a lot. Why not have a board set up with people who meet every once in a while to approve things to go forward or not in the process rather than councelors voting on it and subjecting their biased views on it. After all, if someone buys a lot why can't they at least have the chance to build what they want on the land and have that opportunity?

Upwords
Jan 22, 2012, 2:02 PM
I love this forum and I'm equally angry at that egomaniacal bully I have to call my councillor. But I'm wondering how to best turn words into actions. Glorious McCrusty (great name!) is just one example of the NIMBY sympathizers who occupy seats around the HRM Council table. (Arguably she's probably the worst, but she's not alone.) However, there are some bright and brave councillors, too - Darren Fisher and Bill Karsten among them. So I wouldn't want to see the baby get thrown out with the bathwater.

(Don't get me wrong, the people on this forum have been careful to distinguish good from bad, but others such as CBC.ca generated comments like "this whole bunch needs to go" and the media didn't bother to identify who stood where on the issue - even though Karsten made a point of asking for a recorded vote.)

So ... does anyone on this forum know of a group or organization that successfully turned urban density (or a similarly pro-development position) into a key platform issue during a municipal election? I'm thinking we probably don't need to re-invent the wheel here. Surely someone somewhere faced a similarly serious situation and decided to take action on a broader scale. Learning from their experience would be a good first step in deciding how to go about removing the likes of Gloria, Jim Smith and Jackie Barkhouse and their equally incompetent colleagues on the other side of the harbour. Given that there are five years between elections, focusing on just one nitwit at a time will take about 70 years. I'd like to see it accomplished in nine months.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Mike555
Jan 22, 2012, 2:27 PM
That's a fantastic idea. I'm not sure about any such organization, but I would be happy to support one if it was highlighted on this Forum. I really would be appalled if Gloria ran unopposed in this year's election again. She needs to answer for her incompetence.

UPDATE on my email exchange with Gloria. After I called her out on the nonsense of developing in the area (on eyesore properties) causing my house price to fall, she quickly jumped over to the argument that the building would "ruin our world class paddling course, and I'm not about to let that happen" .... Seriously? I mean, is she just making that up because she feels some pressure now? This woman is a joke.

Jringe01
Jan 22, 2012, 4:37 PM
Wow, talk about argumentative, good thing they muted when she tried to talk over Fisher. I have a few flaws with her statements: ........

Lastly, she complained there was no wind study presented... things like that cost money, why would a developer sink all that money into something they might not even be able to bring in front of council...?

But according to the Chronicle Herald article there WAS a wind study done
http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/53413-developer-won-t-give-easily

I quote from the article (and the emphasis is mine) "The apartment building proposal has undergone all the required shadow, traffic and wind studies, and the developer said it deserves a public hearing."

resetcbu1
Jan 22, 2012, 5:13 PM
Given that there are five years between elections, focusing on just one nitwit at a time will take about 70 years. I'd like to see it accomplished in nine months.


I think the municipal elections should be held every 3 years personaly. I know some people would say it cost too much , but not as much as the cost of killing our future, when clearly some councilors need to be to be ousted before they cause more unrepairable damage to a city on the verge of blossoming.

Keith P.
Jan 22, 2012, 5:32 PM
They are not every 5 years. I believe 3 years is accurate.

ETA: I have checked and it is in fact 4 years between elections.

resetcbu1
Jan 22, 2012, 5:36 PM
Ah , I wasn't sure, seeing as how I've been in Calgary for the past ten years.

I thought that seemed long , but even 3 years is too many for some councilors let alone 20 some, lol.

Jringe01
Jan 22, 2012, 5:51 PM
If there was a wind study done someone needs to produce it ASAP

ibnem2
Jan 22, 2012, 6:58 PM
If there was a wind study done someone needs to produce it ASAP

Read the staff report - there is a wind study. Common sense dictates that there is no wind issue and even if the opposition (who use this as an excuse) finally concede to the same, they would simply find another excuse. This is not about the facts - this is about corruption and leadership.

Make sure Fisher, Karsten, Nicoll and others like them are supported in the next election. Make sure McCluskey, Smith and Barkhouse are removed. Alternatively relegate yourself to residing in a decaying community.

Upwords
Jan 22, 2012, 7:28 PM
My mistake - municipal elections are every 4 yrs. So to redo the math - that'll take roughly 56 years to rid HRM Council of anti-development members if the strategy is to do it one at a time.

But does it really matter whether it's 56 or 70 years!? Geesh. Common folks, that wasn't the point.

Any advice for how to do this a bit more efficiently would be greatly appreciated. Hint: Start thinking like a special-interest group :-) They monitor and post the voting records of elected officials ... they survey them to determine their stand on certain issues ... they rally their members and stakeholders to support or oppose candidates. All good stuff, but has anyone out there built a similar campaign around pro-development issues?

If not, then I guess maybe it's time somebody did!

Jringe01
Jan 22, 2012, 7:45 PM
Read the staff report - there is a wind study. Common sense dictates that there is no wind issue and even if the opposition (who use this as an excuse) finally concede to the same, they would simply find another excuse. This is not about the facts - this is about corruption and leadership.

Make sure Fisher, Karsten, Nicoll and others like them are supported in the next election. Make sure McCluskey, Smith and Barkhouse are removed. Alternatively relegate yourself to residing in a decaying community.

I agree this is about corruption and leadership that's why I asked about the study. IMO it needs to be used to damage her credibility...someone needs to be asking the tough questions...if she lies about this then what else is being hidden? Why is she so careless to lie about a fact that can be so easily disproved, in other words what are her REAL motivations for killing this???? The building is too tall...I don't believe her, all her excuses seem like a smokescreen to me...I hope someone is calling her on it.

I am just a simple guy, no real education beyond high school and I don't usually have a lot of time to keep up on this forum that I dearly love for a city I still dearly love (MTL dweller), let alone have time to dig around for staff reports (though I wish I did :D ) so that's why I asked about the wind study. I would like to write to her an e-mail expressing my disappointment and questioning her faulty reasoning and wanted confirmation that the wind study existed before I referred to it, I wouldn't want her to come back and say it's not there and have her be right. :)

If any of you have experience in letter writing of this sort (I don't) and would like to see the text before I send it, PM me. Input/feedback would be welcome :)

Dmajackson
Jan 23, 2012, 5:46 AM
What I am surprised with is how nobody has touched on the issue of what McCluskey is using as her reason for her stance. In the media and particularly the radio clip posted earlier she repeatedly states the public information meeting was a fair analysis of the public opinion. This is not always the case.

Public information meetings (PIM's) are a valuable part of the public input process of most changes undertaken in Halifax. For most people who do not obsessively check the HRM website every week (I'm obviously obsessed) these are the first opportunity to check out a development project. At most meetings this is fine and most people receive a chance to speak their mind with the developer in the room. The problem arises when PIM's are heavily attended and the opposition organizes beforehand. Normally the opposing public lives close to the development site so they receive a flyer advertising the meeting. This provides a couple of weeks for them to organize and ambush the developer at the meeting. Since all meetings are limited to two hours, with only a quarter dedicated to public feedback, organized movement can easily take over these democratic processes and silence out those with differing opinions. I have attended countless PIM's over the years and while most were fair and balanced there have been some exceptions. One example is the Wright's Cove project in Burnside. There was a good turnout at the meeting but organization beforehand by the residents of Basinview Drive threw all the public comments into the negative side. Time ran out quickly in the speaking period so I ended up having to email my comments to Councillor Smith (who by the way does not respond to emails). Despite my efforts to try I was unable to attend the PIM for this project so I cannot say definitively that is what happened here but the creation of a neighbourhood group around that time strongly indicates it is a possibility. I don't know what the best solution is necessarly but I think HRM needs to reconsidered the public portion of these meetings. If there's 60 minutes for public input then I believe it should be split evenly into twenty minute intervals. One for those opposed, one for those in support, and the last twenty for either side of the fence. To make sure as much is heard as possible limit the talking to 2.5 minutes maximum per person and pass around paper and pencil for further comments. These would be handed off to the development officer or developer and some could be answered towards the end of the meeting.

BTW if somebody agrees with me and is excellent at writing letters I would appreciate your help. Sending this to McCluskey would be pointless since she is beyond a lost cause but I think sending it to Mayor Kelly, a city planner (ie Andrew Bone), and a couple of councillors willing to improve themselves (ie Outhit) could get the ball rolling on improving this vital first step in any public consultation in HRM.

ILoveHalifax
Jan 23, 2012, 11:47 AM
Dmajackson
Registered User Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Halifax, NS
Posts: 6,004

What I am surprised with is how nobody has touched on the issue of what McCluskey is using as her reason for her stance. In the media and particularly the radio clip posted earlier she repeatedly states the public information meeting was a fair analysis of the public opinion. This is not always the case.

Public information meetings (PIM's) are a valuable part of the public input process of most changes undertaken in Halifax. For most people who do not obsessively check the HRM website every week (I'm obviously obsessed) these are the first opportunity to check out a development project. At most meetings this is fine and most people receive a chance to speak their mind with the developer in the room. The problem arises when PIM's are heavily attended and the opposition organizes beforehand. Normally the opposing public lives close to the development site so they receive a flyer advertising the meeting. This provides a couple of weeks for them to organize and ambush the developer at the meeting. Since all meetings are limited to two hours, with only a quarter dedicated to public feedback, organized movement can easily take over these democratic processes and silence out those with differing opinions. I have attended countless PIM's over the years and while most were fair and balanced there have been some exceptions. One example is the Wright's Cove project in Burnside. There was a good turnout at the meeting but organization beforehand by the residents of Basinview Drive threw all the public comments into the negative side. Time ran out quickly in the speaking period so I ended up having to email my comments to Councillor Smith (who by the way does not respond to emails). Despite my efforts to try I was unable to attend the PIM for this project so I cannot say definitively that is what happened here but the creation of a neighbourhood group around that time strongly indicates it is a possibility. I don't know what the best solution is necessarly but I think HRM needs to reconsidered the public portion of these meetings. If there's 60 minutes for public input then I believe it should be split evenly into twenty minute intervals. One for those opposed, one for those in support, and the last twenty for either side of the fence. To make sure as much is heard as possible limit the talking to 2.5 minutes maximum per person and pass around paper and pencil for further comments. These would be handed off to the development officer or developer and some could be answered towards the end of the meeting.

BTW if somebody agrees with me and is excellent at writing letters I would appreciate your help. Sending this to McCluskey would be pointless since she is beyond a lost cause but I think sending it to Mayor Kelly, a city planner (ie Andrew Bone), and a couple of councillors willing to improve themselves (ie Outhit) could get the ball rolling on improving this vital first step in any public consultation in HRM.

This seems similar to the meeting on the widening of Bayers Road. The councilors got up and rallied the residents telling them that this was their chance to voice their opposition.
I am in favor of widening Bayers Road but certainly was not prepared to risk my life to speak against the sentiment in the room. Those people were hostile.

ibnem2
Jan 23, 2012, 11:50 AM
@DMAJackson - You're right the process is seriously flawed in the the way that the vocal minority can easily dominate agendas. Something like your suggestion would be an excellent first step in regaining some control.

I would also add that councillors must be given stricter legal instructions on their conduct and methods for assessing projects (which to a large degree is stipulated in staff reports but never respected). Clearly anyone should have an opportunity to speak, but if they cannot speak to relevant planning or other considerations as outlined in staff reports, then their comments should be discounted accordingly. This ... would be more difficult to rehabilitate given the lame moral guidelines that these councillors profess to use as a basis for their decisions.

Another option may be to simply have councillors rule on regional on and not site specific agendas. Staff would provide recommendations on smaller scopes and a positive staff recommendation would automatically result in ratification by council. This means more detailed planning strategies (i.e., Halifax by Design).

Another issue is that many of council's interactions with staff (particularly during informal meetings) border on harassment which must also be addressed.

The luxury and expense of a democracy is often unaffordable and in this case the proof is in the pudding - Dartmouth mainland is in a state of decay. A more aggressive policy needs to be implemented. Unfortunately time and political will are difficult to manage and opportunity goes by. It all goes back to getting vocal and getting leadership elected that will effect positive change. Having the country in the city is not a viable option and we'll be paying thru the nose for it over the next years and decades.

cheers ...

ibnem2
Jan 23, 2012, 12:20 PM
Does anyone have a link to the Global TV interview from Saturday night. I can't find it anywhere.

halifaxboyns
Jan 23, 2012, 7:28 PM
The funny part in the 'flaw' in the process is this vocal minority (in this case) seems to have had some power and influence up front to get the project shot down before a public hearing. But once an appeal is filed, they will likely not bother to show up at the hearing for the UARB (for various reasons). Its rare that general residents show up - which one could say leads to a balancing of influence at the UARB. We'll see...I know that STV and the HT usually show up when they are involved, but I doubt we'd see any of the residents in this case. If so, it will be a very small amount and they won't understand how to properly contribute in a way that doesn't make their point seem like NIMBYism.

someone123
Jan 23, 2012, 7:40 PM
Another option may be to simply have councillors rule on regional on and not site specific agendas.

This is the way to go. It makes far more sense to have clear rules that developers can follow when they are designing their proposals. Right now in most parts of the muicipality developers are expected to invest lots of money in things like wind studies and then go through the community council crapshoot. It makes no sense and it is unfair. These case-by-case decisions are also prone to becoming petty political contests, just as when the federal government starts to concern itself with particular businesses or towns.

Something else to note is that public input extends beyond determining the height of buildings. Even if the height and density are predetermined there are lots of aspects of new developments to look at and in fact it might be better to remove height from the table so it doesn't dominate 95% of the airtime at these meetings.

someone123
Jan 23, 2012, 7:41 PM
The funny part in the 'flaw' in the process is this vocal minority (in this case) seems to have had some power and influence up front to get the project shot down before a public hearing. But once an appeal is filed, they will likely not bother to show up at the hearing for the UARB (for various reasons). Its rare that general residents show up - which one could say leads to a balancing of influence at the UARB. We'll see...I know that STV and the HT usually show up when they are involved, but I doubt we'd see any of the residents in this case. If so, it will be a very small amount and they won't understand how to properly contribute in a way that doesn't make their point seem like NIMBYism.

I suspect this will just be approved by the UARB. They do make more balanced decisions. The problem is that going to the UARB takes more time and money.

Upwords
Jan 24, 2012, 10:22 AM
”The ’right to be heard’ is an important one, but it has to be made compatible with the right of Canadians to see their resources developed thoughtfully and responsibly."

The quote was by Brian Lee Crawley and he was talking about the Northen Gateway pipeline, but it reminded me a lot of this situation - and the fact that Gloria McCluskey said she shut down the process based on comments made by 18 people. (She noted 82 attended the PIM, but only 20 had an opportunity to speak - and 18 spoke against.) Translation: 18 people killed smart development in Dartmouth.

So to punctuate the excellent suggestions made by Dmajackson above ... Crawley further said: "Increasingly, a vocal minority sees regulatory proceedings, not as opportunities to ensure fact-based decision-taking as we develop our resources, but as a place to argue that such development ought not to be allowed at all…allowing such hijacking of the regulatory process allows a vociferous minority to achieve indirectly what they could not win through legitimate democratic debate..."

kph06
Feb 4, 2012, 3:23 AM
There is an article in the Herald Business Section (http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/58768-developer-appeals-condo-plan-decision-ns-review-board) stating that the developer is taking this to the URB. That should get Gloria wound up.

Hali87
Feb 4, 2012, 5:59 AM
This project is an interesting counterpoint to the situation in the North End with St. Pat's-Alexandra. It's kinda nice that council finally gets called out on their bs. They need to stop improvising when there are legally binding rules in place.

someone123
Feb 4, 2012, 6:07 AM
This project is an interesting counterpoint to the situation in the North End with St. Pat's-Alexandra. It's kinda nice that council finally gets called out on their bs. They need to stop improvising when there are legally binding rules in place.

Unfortunately this has been going on for years and solutions put in place tend to be minimal instead of forward-thinking.

In the past the Peninsula Community Council used to vote on all projects on the peninsula. After the PCC turned down a hearing for the Brewery tower in 2003 or so (just like in Dartmouth), the rules were changed so that developments over a certain dollar value go to regional council.

A better solution probably would have been to put a threshold in place for the entire city. Big developments like this are of regional importance. Another improvement would be to allow a public hearing for every development. It is just evil to ask developers to do wind and traffic studies and then deny them hearings. I also dislike the whole idea of "killing" proposals. If there are deficiencies, those in charge should articulate what they are and tell developers what would be acceptable. The developers should be encouraged to iterate on their projects. Instead, certain councillors are adversarial and try to torpedo just about anything they can. An HbD-style process in Dartmouth would improve this a lot by taking height off the table, although the height limits imposed during the planning phase tend to be too conservative and mostly just seem to reflect what area residents want.