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  #181  
Old Posted Apr 14, 2019, 3:33 AM
Hali87 Hali87 is offline
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I agree it's tough to reconcile the height limit and FAR concepts the way they're presented (in separate maps, etc). Hopefully they will release some renderings modeling the different options. The way I understand it is that the maximum number of floors would be the FAR divided by the fraction of the lot that is covered (assuming consistent floorplates). So a building that takes up 1/3 of a lot with an FAR of 8.0 would have ~24 floors, plus or minus a few depending on things like podiums and setbacks. This is really hard to visualize the way it's presented because the lots are all different shapes and sizes and there's no map showing both the height limits and FARs together.

Overall it's true that it's not as simple as saying that lots that were maxed at 20 in the previous version are now maxed at 27 [edit: 90m limits, then subject to FAR, so whatever can be done with that floor-wise] - they're maxed at approximately the same density and then there is some leeway in terms of height depending on how bulky the tower is. Basically it builds in a consideration of the building's overall shape into the process so that we don't end up with too many (more) wide slabs. In cases where the height limit is 90m and the FAR is 8, the 90m can only be achieved with a very slim tower or extensive setbacks. At least that's my interpretation of it.

Last edited by Hali87; Apr 14, 2019 at 4:12 AM.
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  #182  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2019, 6:37 AM
Querce Querce is offline
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Worth pointing out that the maps say only D, CEN-2 and CEN-1 zones are subject to maximum FAR and a maximum height of 90 metres, and CEN-2, COR, HR-2 and HR-1 are only subject to maximum height.

Also, there is an interactive map so you can look at any lot and find out what its FAR/maximum height is
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  #183  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2019, 12:59 AM
IanWatson IanWatson is offline
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I've just done my first read through of the documents and am very happy with them. We can argue about heights and FARs and all of that, but the reality is that Centre Plan is a HUUUUUUUGE improvement over the current planning framework(s). Just as the DT Halifax Plan isn't perfect, but spurred a ton of development, I think we'll see the same thing in the rest of the Regional Centre. No more 7-year fights for modest residential develops.
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  #184  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2019, 2:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanWatson View Post
I've just done my first read through of the documents and am very happy with them. We can argue about heights and FARs and all of that, but the reality is that Centre Plan is a HUUUUUUUGE improvement over the current planning framework(s). Just as the DT Halifax Plan isn't perfect, but spurred a ton of development, I think we'll see the same thing in the rest of the Regional Centre. No more 7-year fights for modest residential develops.
It is not perfect but Halifax does well with this type of planning compared to a lot of cities. In fact it's hard to find a city in North America that is as old as Halifax but as flexible in permitting new development. Most are either Sunbelt type sprawlers or trapped in NIMBY amber.

The right question to ask isn't whether the Centre Plan is perfect, it's whether it's better than the status quo. The unpredictable delays make the status quo very bad. The unknown delays and arbitrary changes of the old system are a much bigger deal than midrise vs. highrise height limits.

That being said I do think the height limits in the CDD areas are too low. 20 m does not make sense around the West End malls (pure commercial areas with good transit connections; the type of areas that have large towers in other cities) or on the old Pierceys store (which is right across from blocks with houses on them that are zoned for 90 m). But then again the 90 m areas around the North-Almon area are probably a bigger planning "win", while there is a lower likelihood of community opposition to bumping up heights on the large commercial sites.
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  #185  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2019, 2:50 AM
Phalanx Phalanx is offline
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The heights at King's Wharf seem a little on the low side. Are the existing proposals grandfathered in? Or am I misreading something?
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  #186  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2019, 5:16 AM
Querce Querce is offline
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From the planning strategy:

Quote:
The Land Use By-law shall establish the King’s Wharf Special Area (KW) where
development may only be permitted in accordance with the development agreement
approved for these lands prior to the adoption of this Plan.

Development agreements or amendments to development agreements for King’s
Wharf that have been received by the Municipality on or before September 5,
2029, may be considered by Council in accordance with the policies in effect at the time
Council provides notice of intention to adopt this Plan.
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  #187  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2019, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
That being said I do think the height limits in the CDD areas are too low. 20 m does not make sense around the West End malls (pure commercial areas with good transit connections; the type of areas that have large towers in other cities) or on the old Pierceys store (which is right across from blocks with houses on them that are zoned for 90 m). But then again the 90 m areas around the North-Almon area are probably a bigger planning "win", while there is a lower likelihood of community opposition to bumping up heights on the large commercial sites.
Just an FYI, the CDD zone's 20 meters is just a place holder to apply to any as-of-right activities that might go on in the future growth nodes. Height could go higher in these zones and will be worked out through future development agreements. Dartmouth Cove, for example, has already had extensive planning done about how the massing on the site will work and it definitely won't be 20 meters in the middle where there is good separation from existing neighbourhoods and the water. Policy statement making it clear that 20 meters is a sort of placeholder for the CDD zone, as that was always the intent, is being added to the final draft.
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  #188  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2019, 1:32 PM
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Keith P. Keith P. is offline
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I thought the whole intent of this massive exercise in planner self-gratification was to get rid of development agreements and the ensuing NIMBY debates, public hearings associated histrionics, and the endless delays and cost of having to go through that absolutely awful process? Now we learn that in fact they are being encouraged??? WTH?
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  #189  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2019, 2:10 PM
IanWatson IanWatson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
I thought the whole intent of this massive exercise in planner self-gratification was to get rid of development agreements and the ensuing NIMBY debates, public hearings associated histrionics, and the endless delays and cost of having to go through that absolutely awful process? Now we learn that in fact they are being encouraged??? WTH?
There are a couple of large areas where prescriptive design requirements aren't appropriate. These are mainly large areas where new roads will be required. They're also areas with few existing neighbours, so hopefully DAs in those situations will be more about flexibility to design the site appropriately, rather than about opportunities for opposition.

These sites are relatively few in relation to the size of the Centre Plan area. They include Penhorn Mall, Shannon Park, and a couple of other sites.
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  #190  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2019, 2:12 PM
IanWatson IanWatson is offline
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Did anyone go to the continuation of Committee of the Whole's Centre Plan discussion, held yesterday?

All the reporters were there on Tuesday, so I was able to follow along on Twitter, but it looks like nobody was tweeting Wednesday's discussion. I'd love to know generally what changes Committee of the Whole made.
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  #191  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2019, 3:30 PM
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Originally Posted by IanWatson View Post
There are a couple of large areas where prescriptive design requirements aren't appropriate.
A height limit isn't a prescriptive design requirement though. If you set a 500 m height limit, or no height limit, developers will choose whatever height they want for their project.

Requiring DAs over 20 m but not under 20 m on the other hand is distortionary; it's an incentive to develop shorter buildings.
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  #192  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2019, 7:18 PM
Querce Querce is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanWatson View Post
Did anyone go to the continuation of Committee of the Whole's Centre Plan discussion, held yesterday?

All the reporters were there on Tuesday, so I was able to follow along on Twitter, but it looks like nobody was tweeting Wednesday's discussion. I'd love to know generally what changes Committee of the Whole made.
They pushed forward some of the public hearings so they could finish the Centre Plan discussion on the one day.
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