Yeah it's tough to say what this election will bring. It was shaping up to be a real nasty fight, but Peter Kelly's decision not to run again took a lot of the anger out of the room.
I didn't know if I should post this here or in the Centre Plan form. It's kind of more political than anything else so this is probably the best place. There is a facebook group/page that has asked all of the candidates running in Dartmouth Centre what they think of the proposed height limits around Wyse Road and Nantucket. You can see Kate Watson and Bill Zebedee's posted responses at http://www.facebook.com/pages/What-m...19288871452757
. The site quotes Gloria as not liking the height. Since I'm sharing, I'll plug my own reply! Here's what I said:
Thanks What Matters for asking the question about development on Wyse Road. I have been keeping tabs on the Centre Plan and based on what has been publicly presented so far, I’m very much in favour.
We need more development in HRM's urban core. Almost all of the population growth over the last few decades has been out on the edges and our office and retail sectors have followed the flow of people to the suburbs. Industrial parks that were built as a space for industrial operations have become "business parks" and have drawn retail and office growth out of our Downtowns. Suburban sprawl is hollowing out our city centre, hurting our ability to compete for residents and businesses, destroying our environment, creating traffic congestion and stretching our ability to provide and pay for city services.
If HRM is going to grow sustainably, new development in the urban core is absolutely critical. Rather than constantly fixating on height, I would like to see more attention paid to good urban design. Hostile street levels are way more damaging to the urban environment than an extra storey. With good design, modern buildings can blend in quite well to their surroundings. I snapped the two pictures attached to this post of the Vic Apartments on Hollis Street and of Founders Corner in Ochterloney, which I think are stellar examples of good design in action.
Both the Vic and Founders Corner, stagger their height and mass so as to not dominate adjacent buildings or the street, they’re mixed-use and they have animated street fronts that are mostly at grade. The varied façade on both buildings and the use of differing materials also makes them feel at street-level like 3-4 different buildings. It’s a very clever way to build big while preserving a human-scale. HRMbyDesign isn’t perfect, but the move towards form-based coding is a tremendous step forward! Hopefully we’ll see some development of similiar quality in the Wyse/Nantucket area.
I hope this has been helpful. Thanks for asking the question and creating a forum for all of the candidates to participate in.
Candidate Dartmouth Centre