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-   -   Downtown Dartmouth Height Limits/Design (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=209206)

spaustin Jan 13, 2014 3:02 PM

Downtown Dartmouth Height Limits/Design
 
Well with the Brightwood View Plane gone, HRM is now looking to undertake a planning process in Downtown Dartmouth to identify new rules for building heights and design. It's sorely needed. Public information meeting tonight at 7:00 in the Alderney Gate Library. I wrote up my take on it in Spacing.

http://spacing.ca/atlantic/2014/01/1...own-dartmouth/

Gloria and Tim Rissesco were also on Global this morning
http://globalnews.ca/video/1078133/d...uth-view-plane

HRM notice
http://s19.postimg.org/t0fqz9olv/Pub..._Dartmouth.jpg

halifaxboyns Jan 13, 2014 8:05 PM

Just watched the video from Global - it was interesting to hear Councillor McClusky's comments - she didn't seem to be fully awake although those morning shows are at ungodly hours. :)

That said - I think she's coming off as being more open to redevelopment in the area over time. I think she (like many people) don't necessarily understand what the redevelopment brings until it is being built and occupied - it's that future visioning. That's not uncommon, but now that King's Wharf is being occupied, it's there...it can be seen and understood and you get a better understanding of the building relationships and the benefits (and impacts) more development create on residents and businesses.

Certainly the business association is on board and I didn't get a sense from Councillor McClusky that she was opposed to anything. So I think we've seen a shift in her perception/opinion which is a good thing. I wonder if that change in her opinion is because of not just the change happening because of King's Wharf but the opinions of new people on council such as Waye and others who are really talking about the Regional Plan growth targets and how the whole regional centre needs to be a part of it?

I thought the spacing article was good in pointing out how far behind the Centre Plan is falling and that's mainly due to resources. In order to RP+5, the Centre Plan and a bunch of community visioning had to be shelved to focus on the RP. That really speaks volumes to the chronic under funding of the staffing levels for the Policy Planning side of HRM (which isn't uncommon in many cities). I suspect it speaks to a time when there wasn't much activity occurring and now that economic development is picking up (with the ships contract) needs to be dramatically revisited. Does that mean you need to hire 50 planners, no. But certainly 10 new positions and some money for outside consultants could help get the Regional Centre Plan on track, get a good public engagement program going and maybe even 'un-shelve' some of those other plans too.

ILoveHalifax Jan 13, 2014 11:24 PM

So we want to keep some view planes from the Dartmouth Commons for the dozen people who go there every year. Hopefully there will be no height restrictions on the other land.

JET Jan 14, 2014 3:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ILoveHalifax (Post 6405230)
So we want to keep some view planes from the Dartmouth Commons for the dozen people who go there every year. Hopefully there will be no height restrictions on the other land.

dozens of people go there every day, it is a beautiful view

halifaxboyns Jan 14, 2014 3:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JET (Post 6405868)
dozens of people go there every day, it is a beautiful view

I suspect that it will increase dramatically once the Dartmouth DT core starts redeveloping and people start exploring their new home.

IanWatson Jan 14, 2014 4:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ILoveHalifax (Post 6405230)
So we want to keep some view planes from the Dartmouth Commons for the dozen people who go there every year. Hopefully there will be no height restrictions on the other land.

They're already keeping the viewplanes from the Commons (and I'm pretty glad they are because they're great and very easily accessible). The viewplanes from Brightwood golf course have been removed, so the height limits are being updated to take this into account.

halifaxboyns Jan 14, 2014 4:40 PM

Any word on how the meeting went?

spaustin Jan 16, 2014 3:39 AM

The meeting was well attended. HRM wasn't really prepared for the number of people who came out. They had a stations with questions in a poster type format, but the stations were overwhelmed. Took a fair bit of time to wade through the crowd.

The bad news is that staff are admitting defeat on the Centre Plan and it won't be brought in until, likely, 2017 so this process is completely an interim measure. Interim measures still take time and effort. I wish HRM would just put the resources behind the planning department so that they can get to the main event.

On the good news front, there was wide support for mapping out appropriate heights for every block in Downtown Dartmouth. That kind of exercise provides certainty for everyone and takes height off the table as a subject of debate, allowing other design elements to be more fully discussed. I like it! Given the suport, I'll be surprised if a height model doesn't become part of the eventual staff report.

Staff did have a poster up about design standards, but they did say that they wouldn't be going as far as HRMbyDesign since it's just an interim measure. Again not great, but better than nothing. Given that they won't have a full code, they should probably stick to the development agreement process and not increase as of right height beyond 5 stories.

halifaxplannermitch Jan 21, 2014 1:49 PM

Online Public Comment Now Being Sought
 
HRM is now accepting online public input relative to the Downtown Dartmouth Building Height and Form review process.

The staff presentation and display panels from the January 13 public meeting are now online. A fillable pdf form is provided so that you can respond to the questions being asked, and offer general comments on building height and form requirements in the community.

Please go to http://www.halifax.ca/planning/appli...783Details.php to review the materials and give HRM your thoughts and opinions!

halifaxboyns Jan 21, 2014 4:42 PM

Mitch - thanks for posting this and well done on your work for this.
Wish you the best of luck!

halifaxplannermitch Feb 5, 2014 1:51 PM

Due to some technical issues we had to alter the HRM web page. Some responses may have been lost during submission, very sorry for the inconvenience. So please take a look at the display materials from the January 13 meeting and take a few minutes to fill out the comment form and return to me via the provided email address. Details can be found at:

http://www.halifax.ca/planning/appli...783Details.php

It is very important that we get a good response, so that we can ensure a broad spectrum of opinion is being considered as we develop new height and design guidelines.

Thanks in advance!


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