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  #1  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2013, 1:53 AM
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[Halifax] The Stackhouse | 24 m | 8 fl | Approved

Proposal

"The subject properties are located on Bilby Street. The lands are designated Major Commercial in the Peninsula North Detailed Plan Area under the Halifax Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS), and are zoned C-2 (General Business) under the Halifax Peninsula LUB.

The applicant proposes that HRM apply a zoning schedule, Schedule Q, upon the property, which then would allow Halifax and West Community Council to consider a development agreement for a residential building. Both the application of the proposed schedule and the development agreement are to be considered simultaneously.

The proposed development consists of 30-unit residential building with a total height of 8 storeys (~80 feet). Driveway access to the site is proposed from Bilby Street which leads to an internal grade level parking area and two levels of underground parking."


Case 18591 Details
Site Plan
Elevations and Floor Plans
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2013.09.26 - Public Information Meeting
2013.10.28 - District 7 & 8 Planning Advisory Committee recommendation
2014.03.25 - Halifax & West Community Council first reading
2014.05.06 - Halifax & West Community Council public hearing. Schedule "Q" amendments approved.
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Last edited by Dmajackson; May 7, 2014 at 10:11 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2013, 3:39 PM
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Wow! At this rate we'll have some Parisian style density in the north end in a few years.
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2013, 6:42 PM
RyeJay RyeJay is offline
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Good. The more frequent these 8-storey buildings become, the more acclimated this region will be for something taller.

This residential density will help encourage commercial development on Young and Robie.
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Old Posted Aug 15, 2013, 7:44 PM
eastcoastal eastcoastal is offline
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The building has potential - I have to say, I'd prefer it on Gottingen or Isleville... though, I guess that block of Bilby is better than further west
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Old Posted Aug 16, 2013, 2:58 PM
halifaxboyns halifaxboyns is offline
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Good. The more frequent these 8-storey buildings become, the more acclimated this region will be for something taller.

This residential density will help encourage commercial development on Young and Robie.
Exactly - if you get four of five of these 8 storey mid-rise buildings, the context will be established to support an evolution up to 12 stories on the next one. Then you do a few of those and then now 15.

Slow and steady wins the raise (and freaks out the Heritage Trust ).
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Old Posted Aug 16, 2013, 5:44 PM
ILoveHalifax ILoveHalifax is offline
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Exactly - if you get four of five of these 8 storey mid-rise buildings, the context will be established to support an evolution up to 12 stories on the next one. Then you do a few of those and then now 15.

Slow and steady wins the raise (and freaks out the Heritage Trust ).
So we have a number of 20 storey buildings downtown but they keep objecting to anything taller.
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Old Posted Aug 16, 2013, 6:13 PM
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So we have a number of 20 storey buildings downtown but they keep objecting to anything taller.
Downtown is a bit of a different situation given the viewplanes and such. The north end doesn't have this problem, just a few noisy residents who don't like to see change apparently. The way I see it, if you don't want to have the possibility of seeing high rises go up in your neighbourhood, you should probably leave the Halifax/Dartmouth/Bedford area altogether...
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Old Posted Aug 16, 2013, 6:32 PM
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So we have a number of 20 storey buildings downtown but they keep objecting to anything taller.
The north end doesn't have the Citadel capping its height like the downtown has.

I wonder how tall Young Tower would have to be in order to be visible from within the Citadel? That's how tall I'd like to see the north end develop.
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Old Posted Aug 16, 2013, 7:39 PM
ILoveHalifax ILoveHalifax is offline
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So from Fort York one cannot see any tall buildings? I say get over it, Citadel Hill is in the middle of a city and a few period costumes is not going to change the facts. It is also time to give up some of the 13 view planes as well 2 or 3 would be sufficient.
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Old Posted Aug 16, 2013, 8:42 PM
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So from Fort York one cannot see any tall buildings? I say get over it, Citadel Hill is in the middle of a city and a few period costumes is not going to change the facts. It is also time to give up some of the 13 view planes as well 2 or 3 would be sufficient.
You say get over it, but I believe HRMbyDesign insists that you live with it. In terms of view planes, I would definitely get rid of a few, and trim some others.
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  #11  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2013, 9:02 PM
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I am not so sure that taller buildings in the 15 or 20 storey range make much sense on streets like Gottingen or Bilby. The 8-storey scale is great for these areas, particularly when the new developments have a sprinkling of commercial space and ground floor townhouse entrances. These developments are a big step up from previous generations of residential construction in the North End.

Young Street, on the other hand, is a great spot for tall buildings. It would be interesting to see some 40 storey residential buildings there. It also makes sense as a secondary employment hub since it has good access to the downtown and bridges.
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  #12  
Old Posted Aug 18, 2013, 10:50 AM
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I am not so sure that taller buildings in the 15 or 20 storey range make much sense on streets like Gottingen or Bilby. The 8-storey scale is great for these areas, particularly when the new developments have a sprinkling of commercial space and ground floor townhouse entrances. These developments are a big step up from previous generations of residential construction in the North End.

Young Street, on the other hand, is a great spot for tall buildings. It would be interesting to see some 40 storey residential buildings there. It also makes sense as a secondary employment hub since it has good access to the downtown and bridges.
I wonder what the density potential is for what I hope to be some form of Uptown Halifax. Much of the North End is a sea of warehouses, surface parking, and empty fields. I want this area to evolve to a superior level of urbanity than that of the downtown. I realise 40 storeys is more reasonable, but once there is an established stock of 8-storey buildings in the area it may be more likely to accept 40+ on Young Street and Kempt Road. With the height phobia in Halifax, this is a crucial opportunity to actually develop some real density in the city -- and for this *one* portion of the HRM, be a big city.

Now that we're seeing success in Downtown Halifax, once all of the surfacing parking has been developed (especially on the waterfront), more development focus should shift toward the North End.
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Old Posted Aug 18, 2013, 8:40 PM
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There is still a lot of surface parking downtown but if the pace of construction happening now continues (it may or may not), the supply of empty lots won't actually last very long. If the goal is to direct a significant amount of regional growth to the urban core without disrupting residential areas much then there will have to be high-density development in areas like Cogswell or Young Street.

Personally, I don't really care about the building heights themselves that much, although some taller buildings might be interesting. The most important thing for the North End is that it needs to have enough population density to work as a neighbourhood. There should be a decent amount of pedestrian activity for most of the day, a good mix of businesses, and enough demand to support transit and a full range of municipal services like schools and community centres. Gottingen used to be like this in 1960 or so, but when it lost population it lost all those services. The most disadvantaged people there who couldn't afford to move were stuck in a neighbourhood with poor amenities and limited employment opportunities.
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  #14  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2013, 1:33 AM
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The idea of an "Uptown Halifax" is cool, especially given the vast sea of nothingness in the parts of the North End RyeJay describes. Watching this part of town in the coming decade or two will be interesting. I don't see it usurping downtown's urbanity, however, if only because it's a lot more saleable, from a real-estate perspective, to sell projects in existing communities, which means we're going to keep seeing this kind of infill knitting together existing communities for a long time to come, I think.

Also, I think this came up in the Skye discussions, but there simply aren't enough buyers to create a market for a large number of 20 to 40 storey condo towers in Halifax. That's something people seem to miss a lot--it's not anti-height activism or whatever that prevents Halifax from having Toronto-tall towers. There aren't enough buyers in the market to support more than a handful of projects of that scale, let alone a whole neighbourhood full of them.
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Old Posted Aug 19, 2013, 3:52 PM
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... there simply aren't enough buyers to create a market for a large number of 20 to 40 storey condo towers in Halifax. That's something people seem to miss a lot--it's not anti-height activism or whatever that prevents Halifax from having Toronto-tall towers. There aren't enough buyers in the market to support more than a handful of projects of that scale, let alone a whole neighbourhood full of them.
Even if we don't have the volume of buyers to currently support a high-rise market in Halifax for dozens of 40+ floor condo/apartment towers -- the day the market can, it would be wonderful to have the capacity to meet those demands in the North End.

With the change in demographics, the trend of lower-income, highly in debt, educated young professionals urbanising as centrally as possible, let's consider the possibility that high-rises are more supportable with our current population than we think. What portion of suburbanites would live closer to the core if they could afford it?

We'd certainly see a market change that is more favourable for high-rises with the appropriate urban tax reforms, public transit investments, and affordable housing initiatives on the peninsula. At the moment, sprawl is still suppressing our high-rise demand.
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  #16  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2013, 4:24 PM
halifaxboyns halifaxboyns is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyeJay View Post
I wonder what the density potential is for what I hope to be some form of Uptown Halifax. Much of the North End is a sea of warehouses, surface parking, and empty fields. I want this area to evolve to a superior level of urbanity than that of the downtown. I realise 40 storeys is more reasonable, but once there is an established stock of 8-storey buildings in the area it may be more likely to accept 40+ on Young Street and Kempt Road. With the height phobia in Halifax, this is a crucial opportunity to actually develop some real density in the city -- and for this *one* portion of the HRM, be a big city.

Now that we're seeing success in Downtown Halifax, once all of the surfacing parking has been developed (especially on the waterfront), more development focus should shift toward the North End.
I think the idea of an 'uptown' would work if there was a specific corridor for it. So if Agricola gets some upzoning with more density; then I could see the whole Agricola corridor becoming an uptown kind of concept.

I think that Kempt Road really could become the tall building corridor. That whole area is C-3 under the Peninsula Bylaw, which is basically 'Industrial' Commercial (mainly light industrial/commercial type uses). Those lots right now (by right) can be mixed use since C-3 allows C-2/R-3 uses (commercial at grade and residential above through the angle controls) - so they could convert by right. But then there would be no controls for density, form etc.

I'd like to see that whole corridor be a high building/high density area but have the bonusing system require things like new street trees, wider sidewalks, etc. That way, we can totally recreate the neighbourhood and make it better.
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  #17  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2013, 6:01 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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Originally Posted by halifaxboyns View Post
I think the idea of an 'uptown' would work if there was a specific corridor for it. So if Agricola gets some upzoning with more density; then I could see the whole Agricola corridor becoming an uptown kind of concept.

I think that Kempt Road really could become the tall building corridor. That whole area is C-3 under the Peninsula Bylaw, which is basically 'Industrial' Commercial (mainly light industrial/commercial type uses). Those lots right now (by right) can be mixed use since C-3 allows C-2/R-3 uses (commercial at grade and residential above through the angle controls) - so they could convert by right. But then there would be no controls for density, form etc.

I'd like to see that whole corridor be a high building/high density area but have the bonusing system require things like new street trees, wider sidewalks, etc. That way, we can totally recreate the neighbourhood and make it better.
Kempt Road would be better than Agricola--if and when industrial uses get pushed out of the area, it's a clean slate. Agricola already has a unique built form and feel that I'd like to see improved, rather than replaced. Kempt Road is ripe for remaking, however.
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  #18  
Old Posted Aug 19, 2013, 6:24 PM
RyeJay RyeJay is offline
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Originally Posted by halifaxboyns View Post
I think that Kempt Road really could become the tall building corridor. That whole area is C-3 under the Peninsula Bylaw, which is basically 'Industrial' Commercial (mainly light industrial/commercial type uses). Those lots right now (by right) can be mixed use since C-3 allows C-2/R-3 uses (commercial at grade and residential above through the angle controls) - so they could convert by right. But then there would be no controls for density, form etc.

I'd like to see that whole corridor be a high building/high density area but have the bonusing system require things like new street trees, wider sidewalks, etc. That way, we can totally recreate the neighbourhood and make it better.
I like your thinking.

Given the length of Kempt Road, we could have an entire district of tall towers from Young/Robie Street all the way to the Bedford Highway.

There are opportunities along Windsor Street also.
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  #19  
Old Posted Oct 24, 2013, 7:29 PM
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This is moving along!

District 7 & 8 Planning Advisory Committee on October 28th, 2013 (for recommendation to HWCC).

Sources : District 7 & 8 Planning Advisory Committee Agenda for October 28th, 2013
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Old Posted Mar 20, 2014, 4:56 AM
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First reading at Halifax & West Community Council will be on Tuesday (March 25th, 2014). Assuming the public hearing is held at the April meeting the development agreement should be approved by the end of June (maybe the July meeting).

The proposed development agreement allows for the ground-floor "townhouse" unit to be residential or commercial space.

Staff Report & Development Agreement (H&WCC - March 25th, 2014)
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