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  #41  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2012, 5:34 AM
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Originally Posted by halifaxboyns View Post
I found the comment about the province not willing to amend the HRM charter to allow density bonusing for the Regional Centre troubling. If the Regional Centre plan is going to work (and if we want to build complete communities) - we need to make sure everyone can be included. The fact is, rents are going up and if we don't offer market adjusted rents or low income housing, the only a few people will get to enjoy up and coming areas while many will be left out.

That annoys me to no end.
It's a bit odd too since the city can set the across-the-board limits to whatever they want, e.g. zone all of Gottingen to 12 floors and be done with it (with HbD-style setbacks this would be totally fine), or they could just (currently, pre-Centre Plan) create DAs or include exceptions in the plan as they did with some of the grandfathered developments downtown. My understanding is that it's only the preferential "bonus" mechanism that requires the charter amendment. In other words, refusing to amend the charter for bonusing doesn't necessarily reduce heights, but it definitely hurts the ability of the city to reward more desirable development.

It is really terrible that heritage groups are apparently trying to derail other programs they have no clue about because they think it will further their goals. In practice I think the adversarial approach of people like Phil Pacey is counter-productive and creates a lot of unintended consequences. It also bothers me that the HT members or STV comment on economic issues or make pronouncements about what would work best for developers, and the media often lazily take them at face value rather than questioning their agenda.
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  #42  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2012, 7:15 PM
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This is really sad news... maybe something with height will be proposed.
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  #43  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2012, 11:18 PM
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I think this project is a victim of those who are trying to ensure Skye Halifax never happens. In their quest to convince everyone that HRMbD is perfect and does not need to be changed - their only defense against Skye - they cannot afford to admit that the Gottingen height restrictions are deeply flawed and also need change. If they admit HRMbD is wrong on Gottingen, their argument against Skye goes away.
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  #44  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2012, 10:58 AM
eastcoastal eastcoastal is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
...If they admit HRMbD is wrong on Gottingen, their argument against Skye goes away.
I wasn't aware that HRMbD rules had been extended beyond the downtown core yet. As far as I understood, previous rules still exist for the rest of the city: a patchwork of zoning, as-of-right, and Development Agreements.

Anybody have any more details?
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  #45  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2012, 4:07 PM
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Originally Posted by eastcoastal View Post
I wasn't aware that HRMbD rules had been extended beyond the downtown core yet. As far as I understood, previous rules still exist for the rest of the city: a patchwork of zoning, as-of-right, and Development Agreements.

Anybody have any more details?
They haven't as far as I know. In the Downtown where HRMbyDesign applies is the only place where HRM can currently use density bonusing or any kind of height incentives. It's my understanding that the province has been refusing to give HRM that power even though every other municipality in the province can do it. Peter Kelly made a few noises about it as his swan song.
http://metronews.ca/news/halifax/403...with-province/

Just another example of needless provincial meddling in local affairs. It would be nice if we actually started to approach city governments in Canada like grown-up entities. The Halifax Charter should provide a more general and broader grant of power to HRM to govern local affairs because this process of constantly having to ask the province for amendments really doesn't work well. It encourages provincial micromanagement, creates long delays and stifles innovation. It comes up everywhere from solar city to density bonusing to even really small things like wanting to allow a pilot chicken coup! It's a very inefficient way to run a city and a province.
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  #46  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2012, 6:25 PM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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Originally Posted by spaustin View Post
It would be nice if we actually started to approach city governments in Canada like grown-up entities. The Halifax Charter should provide a more general and broader grant of power to HRM to govern local affairs because this process of constantly having to ask the province for amendments really doesn't work well. It encourages provincial micromanagement, creates long delays and stifles innovation. It comes up everywhere from solar city to density bonusing to even really small things like wanting to allow a pilot chicken coup! It's a very inefficient way to run a city and a province.
Well, I mean that is assuming that a) Council has qualified people and b) the provincial system is a good system for Canada.
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  #47  
Old Posted Nov 1, 2012, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by eastcoastal View Post
I wasn't aware that HRMbD rules had been extended beyond the downtown core yet. As far as I understood, previous rules still exist for the rest of the city: a patchwork of zoning, as-of-right, and Development Agreements.

Anybody have any more details?
I guess technically it isn't HRMbD but another of the myriad of HRM planning documents. But the argument remains. If planning documents are so sacrosanct, they cannot be changed if they are your only way to stop Skye.
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  #48  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2013, 7:19 PM
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So there's been a lot of stop and start on this, but now apparently it's back on, and maybe improved: potentially double the original number of units, and a mixture of subsidized and market-rate units, plus office space for local nonprofits.

Apparently the province wants it modelled after Toronto's so-far very succesful Regent Park rebuild by Daniels Corp.—hopefully they take some of the architectural quality of that project to heart as well. Who knows what this means, but it's not dead, and may end up better than before.
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  #49  
Old Posted Feb 1, 2013, 7:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
Apparently the province wants it modelled after Toronto's so-far very succesful Regent Park rebuild by Daniels Corp.—hopefully they take some of the architectural quality of that project to heart as well. Who knows what this means, but it's not dead, and may end up better than before.
Odd that the province is pointing to Daniels Corp. as an example of good development, when the province put together a taxpayer-subsidized bid to trump that of Daniels Corp. for the Bloomfield project. Hypocrites.
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  #50  
Old Posted Feb 2, 2013, 2:09 AM
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It sounds better than the old proposal, which looked pretty good but was low density and didn't have a commercial component. Gottingen will have a lot more potential if it is built up with medium density buildings that include some modern retail space.

The comment under the article about employment around Regent Park is important too. One of the problems in the Gottingen area is the lack of local employment opportunities.
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  #51  
Old Posted Jul 7, 2013, 6:48 PM
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As with the HTNS developments, I wonder what the implications of the Centre Plan are for this one? Part of the plan was to submit an as of right proposal to avoid the need to go through the development agreement process. This used to mean that developments were subject to a 4 storey height limit and a bunch of other limitations, but maybe that has changed.
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  #52  
Old Posted Jul 8, 2013, 1:23 AM
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
As with the HTNS developments, I wonder what the implications of the Centre Plan are for this one? Part of the plan was to submit an as of right proposal to avoid the need to go through the development agreement process. This used to mean that developments were subject to a 4 storey height limit and a bunch of other limitations, but maybe that has changed.
It could theoretically make this project easier, but Centre Plan is 2.5 years from completion, really. It is theoretically possible the corridor study may come on sooner, but I think it is more likely the whole plan will be done at once, now. It is faster to do a DA right now.
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  #53  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2015, 1:21 AM
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So after decades - maybe 30 years or so?? - of being vacant, fencing was put up around this large vacant lot today. The neighbourhood loses a long time free parking lot, but hopefully something will start here soon. Ross Cantwell / Halifax Apartments people own it now and they are apparently building as-of-right. Not sure exactly what that means here, but if it's like the rest of the area, it means max. 50 feet, with little to no density limit, lot coverage maximum or parking requirement. You can potentially get a lot of as-of-right units in there....
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  #54  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2015, 2:21 AM
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Just to be clear, is this on Gottingen St.? Or on the other Gottingen St.?

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  #55  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2015, 5:05 PM
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Originally Posted by portapetey View Post
Just to be clear, is this on Gottingen St.? Or on the other Gottingen St.?

I saw the fence while driving past the other day - it's Ye Olde Gottingen Streete, by the way. I'm curious about if something's going in soon or if they're fencing it to make some sort of enclosed pay-to-park lot.......
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  #56  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2015, 6:12 PM
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They are moving a lot of earth around in there, not sure if the're digging or just flattening; the double decker billboard stand is still there.
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  #57  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2015, 1:42 AM
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They are moving a lot of earth around in there, not sure if the're digging or just flattening; the double decker billboard stand is still there.
Its just remediation now - site is contaminated so a lot of has to be shipped out.
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  #58  
Old Posted Dec 3, 2015, 7:15 PM
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Do you know how long the remediation process is expected to take? Are they planning to begin construction as soon as possible?

This plus the MET/Diamonds projects would be pretty major for Gottingen Street. I guess they're likely to have around 200-300 units in total. I think the biggest problem with the commercial part of Gottingen used to be quite simply that there weren't enough people within walking distance (with enough cash) to support many businesses. During the past 10 years or so construction around the street has partially resolved this problem. I could be wrong, and locals may have a very different opinion, but my impression is that the neighbourhood's character remains largely intact, and that what's happened has been more of a filling in than displacement of what was there previously. Having some subsidized units in the new developments will probably help with that. It would be good to have storefronts and commercial spaces to help locals start up businesses. New development creates opportunities for these sorts of neighbourhood amenities.
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  #59  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2015, 3:03 AM
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Do you know how long the remediation process is expected to take? Are they planning to begin construction as soon as possible?

This plus the MET/Diamonds projects would be pretty major for Gottingen Street. I guess they're likely to have around 200-300 units in total. I think the biggest problem with the commercial part of Gottingen used to be quite simply that there weren't enough people within walking distance (with enough cash) to support many businesses. During the past 10 years or so construction around the street has partially resolved this problem. I could be wrong, and locals may have a very different opinion, but my impression is that the neighbourhood's character remains largely intact, and that what's happened has been more of a filling in than displacement of what was there previously. Having some subsidized units in the new developments will probably help with that. It would be good to have storefronts and commercial spaces to help locals start up businesses. New development creates opportunities for these sorts of neighbourhood amenities.
Not sure on the timeline for remediation work, but I know they are working fast. In part because the buyer isn't footing the bill, but has some arrangement in the purchase and sale for the seller to cover the cost up to a certain amount. At the rate they are going, I can't imagine it taking more than a couple of weeks.

The MET/Diamond is about 250 units. I agree that to date there has been little impact on the neighbourhood. For all the talk about displacement, almost all the development on the street has been on vacant lots so no displacement has occurred. We are at the point that this is changing, with commercial rents increasing and this will certainly impact the social services in the area. But the small scale, incremental infill over the past 20 years has been positive. Part of the hesitation with the MET/Diamond is the more drastic change and the impact on those working away at small scale improvement. If you start drastically increasing heights, you encourage consolidation and this is when real displacement will occur here.
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  #60  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2015, 7:26 AM
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During the past 10 years or so construction around the street has partially resolved this problem. I could be wrong, and locals may have a very different opinion, but my impression is that the neighbourhood's character remains largely intact, and that what's happened has been more of a filling in than displacement of what was there previously. Having some subsidized units in the new developments will probably help with that. It would be good to have storefronts and commercial spaces to help locals start up businesses. New development creates opportunities for these sorts of neighbourhood amenities.
I would say this is mostly correct. Gottingen's character has changed a little bit since the early 2000s (when I first became aware of this area) and the North End in general has gentrified/hipsterized... but Gottingen is still firmly the "counterculture" area, whereas Agricola is the more stereotypical "middle-class white person hipster" area. Gottingen I would equate with Commercial Drive (not so much E. Hastings anymore) whereas Agricola is more like Mile End or Ossington.

The city's been doing a good job (as far as I can tell) of making sure existing residents aren't pushed/priced out, but commercial property rents (on Agricola especially) have been increasing dramatically over the last decade.
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