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  #321  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2019, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by spaustin View Post
In no way am I anti-development. Recall that I faced down an angry room to approve the eight storey residential option on this project and had a few choice four letters words hurled my way for my troubles. I think I'm probably one of the only Councillors who would do that in their own district. Most would have thrown good planning right out the window to pander. I didn't because something should be built here and well-designed mid-rise residential would be a great fit.
Thank you, Councillor, for your willingness to engage with residents on this project, with taxpayers generally, and with members of this forum. I wish more of our elected representatives were as open to communication.

I agree fundamentally with most of your positions. The approved 8-storey structure was a reasonable compromise that you worked very hard for after seven years of debate. But, as we know, the result of compromise is very often that no one walks away satisfied. Why the development group decided to toss it all and revert to the structure they could have built years before is beyond me, but its fair to speculate that after showing willingness to compromise for years, faced with yet another appeal, they finally decided enough was enough.

I'm finding it hard to blame them for that. And I suspect there are more that feel that way than you appreciate. That's why the attempt by you and others to paint the developers as the unethical bad guys, for playing the lousy cards they were legally dealt, is grossly unfair in my opinion.

You've made the case that their hotel project would be great, if only it was somewhere else. The statement's disingenuous, as I think you know. It would make no difference where in this city this project was proposed. Some vocal minority would find a reason to oppose it, and some councillor, some journalist or some advocate would be ready to rush to their side. And the dance would begin again.
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  #322  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2019, 1:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ns_kid View Post
I agree fundamentally with most of your positions. The approved 8-storey structure was a reasonable compromise that you worked very hard for after seven years of debate. But, as we know, the result of compromise is very often that no one walks away satisfied. Why the development group decided to toss it all and revert to the structure they could have built years before is beyond me, but its fair to speculate that after showing willingness to compromise for years, faced with yet another appeal, they finally decided enough was enough.
The reason is simple - the anti-development NIMBY group that fought this every step of the way first appealed this to the UARB, and when that was unsuccessful, threatened to take it to the NS Supreme Court. How much abuse and delay should the developer be expected to take?

Quote:
I'm finding it hard to blame them for that. And I suspect there are more that feel that way than you appreciate. That's why the attempt by you and others to paint the developers as the unethical bad guys, for playing the lousy cards they were legally dealt, is grossly unfair in my opinion.

You've made the case that their hotel project would be great, if only it was somewhere else. The statement's disingenuous, as I think you know. It would make no difference where in this city this project was proposed. Some vocal minority would find a reason to oppose it, and some councillor, some journalist or some advocate would be ready to rush to their side. And the dance would begin again.
I would also like the councillor to unequivocally deny that he and HRM staff are investigating ways to expropriate the property to quash the as-of-riight development. That would be exceedingly foolhardy and underhanded in my view and would likely ensure his defeat in the next election.
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  #323  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2019, 4:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
The reason is simple - the anti-development NIMBY group that fought this every step of the way first appealed this to the UARB, and when that was unsuccessful, threatened to take it to the NS Supreme Court. How much abuse and delay should the developer be expected to take?



I would also like the councillor to unequivocally deny that he and HRM staff are investigating ways to expropriate the property to quash the as-of-riight development. That would be exceedingly foolhardy and underhanded in my view and would likely ensure his defeat in the next election.
I'm asking for an information report on Tuesday that looks at all our options. There is enough community concern that it warrants a detailed look at what HRM can and can't do. I expect they'll be no planning grounds (it's as-of-right and a building permit has been issued), and I expect that there will be no interest in acquiring the property due to high cost. People deserve that explanation though since that's what everyone is asking.

The only realistic long shot would be some sort of swap. HRM, for example, owns the property at the corner of Ochterloney and Alderney which HRM staff consider surplus. It's about the same size as the portion of Prince Albert/Glenwood that a hotel could be built on. It's Downtown, and next to existing tall buildings. I would be happy to have a hotel there. It's an outside the box move and a lot would need to fall into place for HRM and the developer to come to an arrangement and, at the end of it, the developer may not be able to shift considering the work and expense he has sunk into Prince Albert/Glenwood. It's probably the only option that might have a chance that doesn't result in 16 storeys at Prince Albert/Glenwood.
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  #324  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2019, 5:26 PM
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This is an impossible position to be in as a councillor, because so many voters want things for their neighbourhoods that don't scale up to the city level and therefore are bad planning practices. And the developers are stuck too because land values are based on crap shoot dynamics created by the planning regime in most of the city.

The solution for the future is to implement something like HRM by Design or the Centre Plan and replace the broken quasi-court-style political process with objective check boxes.
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  #325  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2019, 5:29 PM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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Originally Posted by spaustin View Post
I'm asking for an information report on Tuesday that looks at all our options. There is enough community concern that it warrants a detailed look at what HRM can and can't do. I expect they'll be no planning grounds (it's as-of-right and a building permit has been issued), and I expect that there will be no interest in acquiring the property due to high cost. People deserve that explanation though since that's what everyone is asking.

The only realistic long shot would be some sort of swap. HRM, for example, owns the property at the corner of Ochterloney and Alderney which HRM staff consider surplus. It's about the same size as the portion of Prince Albert/Glenwood that a hotel could be built on. It's Downtown, and next to existing tall buildings. I would be happy to have a hotel there. It's an outside the box move and a lot would need to fall into place for HRM and the developer to come to an arrangement and, at the end of it, the developer may not be able to shift considering the work and expense he has sunk into Prince Albert/Glenwood. It's probably the only option that might have a chance that doesn't result in 16 storeys at Prince Albert/Glenwood.
What kind of guarantee are you going to give them on the other site? Isn't it madness that there was an appeal on the approved, 8 story building. Is this correct, factually?

The Craigmore is a 16 story building that seemed to have little to no impact on the area. I've just been in a few cities with world class rowing and other similar facilities with 40 plus story towers in very close proximity. This type of discussion makes Halifax look like an absolute joke.
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  #326  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2019, 5:33 PM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
This is an impossible position to be in as a councillor, because so many voters want things for their neighbourhoods that don't scale up to the city level and therefore are bad planning practices.
Totally... but their decision shouldn't be based on re-election. Also the second isn't just "bad planning", it's not planning at all. As of Right should be respected.
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  #327  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2019, 6:34 PM
Colin May Colin May is offline
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Originally Posted by spaustin View Post

The only realistic long shot would be some sort of swap. HRM, for example, owns the property at the corner of Ochterloney and Alderney which HRM staff consider surplus. It's about the same size as the portion of Prince Albert/Glenwood that a hotel could be built on. It's Downtown, and next to existing tall buildings. I would be happy to have a hotel there. It's an outside the box move and a lot would need to fall into place for HRM and the developer to come to an arrangement and, at the end of it, the developer may not be able to shift considering the work and expense he has sunk into Prince Albert/Glenwood. It's probably the only option that might have a chance that doesn't result in 16 storeys at Prince Albert/Glenwood.
The public has been led to believe that site is where a future HRM museum/archive will be built. And who wants a hotel adjacent to a railway line ? Gloria had the chance to convince council to expropriate the Prince Albert site and claim that it was part of a scheme to alter the intersection. HRM would have been on the hook for the assessed value in 2011 of $459,000. And then some time later HRM could decide not to change the intersection and rezone the property for a 10 storey condo development and sell it back to Monaco or some other developer.
Expropriation is the best tool in the box, without it a council has no bargaining power in cases such as this.
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  #328  
Old Posted Apr 13, 2019, 6:52 PM
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I suspect the business case for a DT Dartmouth hotel of that size would be non-existent.
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