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  #41  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2014, 6:45 AM
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^The MPS/LUB amendments might get approved at Regional Council but the Development Agreement that will come later will have a much tougher fight. DA's go to community council and 2/6 votes (Mason & Watts) will definitely be against it. I don't know why but my gut instinct says Mosher will also oppose.

Also though is if the MPS/LUB amendments get approved the DA only has to meet the new criterea so even if it gets the DA rejected it can be won on appeal to URB.

We'll probably get an answer in March. MPS/LUB amendments can't be appealed so it will either die in the water then or have a long process of appeals to fight through after the DA comes forward.
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  #42  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2014, 6:48 AM
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^The MPS/LUB amendments might get approved at Regional Council but the Development Agreement that will come later will have a much tougher fight. DA's go to community council and 2/6 votes (Mason & Watts) will definitely be against it. I don't know why but my gut instinct says Mosher will also oppose.

Also though is if the MPS/LUB amendments get approved the DA only has to meet the new criterea so even if it gets the DA rejected it can be won on appeal to URB.

We'll probably get an answer in March. MPS/LUB amendments can't be appealed so it will either die in the water then or have a long process of appeals to fight through after the DA comes forward.
Man, we got to get the Centre Plan finished, with a process that looks more like HRMxD.

These DA's having to be approved by community councils is a recipe for NIMBY power and dominance.

Just seems so entirely ridiculous to me that a modest development in an area like this, remains a tooth and nail battle.
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  #43  
Old Posted Jan 22, 2014, 4:26 PM
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This is moving forward to recommendation from D7&8PAC on Monday.

Case 18565

I can't see this getting approved but stranger things have happened.
They aren't actually making a recommendation - they are seeking the PAC's comments. That is different - they are simply asking them "what do you think".
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  #44  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2014, 12:37 AM
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Approval is sometimes subject to how much free time opponents have on their hands (which is typically more than most who would vote for things). Lets hope it gets done.
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  #45  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2014, 3:50 AM
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  #46  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2014, 6:25 AM
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ZZZzzzzzzzz.....

The old height prejudices never truly go away in Halifax, do they?

I hope Council has the good sense to ignore all of these hairbrained and spineless pandering.

Last edited by Dmajackson; Jan 29, 2014 at 1:17 AM.
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  #47  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 6:25 PM
halifaxboyns halifaxboyns is offline
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The DA/LUB amendments go to Community Council tomorrow for first reading. However, the staff recommendation is to also approve the LUB changes...interesting. I'm hoping that Community Council will allow this to proceed to public hearing - let everyone have their day to vent/compliment the proposal and then make a decision.
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  #48  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 7:52 PM
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^It gets more complex than that. In the discussion section staff state they do not recommend the proposal as it currently stands. The proposed amendments that staff are recommending cap the height at 23 METRES (~7 floor building) among other things. These changes if approved will kill the current proposal but allow the developer to return with a suitable design that meets the new guidelines.

The outcome of this proposal has three possibilites;

1) The current proposal gets approved. A 58-unit/48-metre building can go through the DA process.
2) The proposed MPS/LUB Amendments can be approved. A 23-metre building can go through the DA process.
3) Any MPS/LUB Amendments can be rejected. The as-of-right, approved 23-units will likely be built.
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  #49  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 10:08 PM
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^It gets more complex than that. In the discussion section staff state they do not recommend the proposal as it currently stands. The proposed amendments that staff are recommending cap the height at 23 METRES (~7 floor building) among other things. These changes if approved will kill the current proposal but allow the developer to return with a suitable design that meets the new guidelines.

The outcome of this proposal has three possibilites;

1) The current proposal gets approved. A 58-unit/48-metre building can go through the DA process.
2) The proposed MPS/LUB Amendments can be approved. A 23-metre building can go through the DA process.
3) Any MPS/LUB Amendments can be rejected. The as-of-right, approved 23-units will likely be built.
Wait, can the community council or whatever the hell it is, veto this? Why doesn't this get a vote on council?

Seriously, I'm so sick and tired of every development with any height being an epic battle royal in this city. This is precisely the backwater, provincialist, anti-growth, anti-progress, NIMBY, unproductive, small-minded, conservative mentality identified in the Ivany Report that is killing the Provincial economy. It's certainly the attitude and mindset that has led to our hallowed out, non-vibrant, economically weak, downtown; HRM: a city of business parks and traffic congestion.

Approve this proposal at the 48m height, get some density on the peninsula, promote the tax base and economic growth, make some worthwhile suggestions to improve the overall development, and MOVE ON.
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  #50  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 10:24 PM
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^It gets more complex than that. In the discussion section staff state they do not recommend the proposal as it currently stands. The proposed amendments that staff are recommending cap the height at 23 METRES (~7 floor building) among other things. These changes if approved will kill the current proposal but allow the developer to return with a suitable design that meets the new guidelines.

The outcome of this proposal has three possibilites;

1) The current proposal gets approved. A 58-unit/48-metre building can go through the DA process.
2) The proposed MPS/LUB Amendments can be approved. A 23-metre building can go through the DA process.
3) Any MPS/LUB Amendments can be rejected. The as-of-right, approved 23-units will likely be built.
I appear to be missing a step here - what amendments are you talking about? Or did I mis-read the report and it's not the DA and it's just the amendments to the LUB/Bylaw?
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  #51  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2014, 10:25 PM
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It's certainly the attitude and mindset that has led to our hallowed out, non-vibrant, economically weak, downtown.
While I don't disagree that downtown could be better, I wouldn't really call it "hollowed out" or "not-vibrant". Compared to most downtowns in Canada, it's a clear winner. Among cities Halifax's size, only Victoria and London, IMO, are really comparable, and both of their downtowns are more modest than Halifax's. Victoria's feels slightly less hollowed out because it is less built up to begin with. Even larger cities like Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Hamilton (the latter based on anecdotal evidence) feel like the have less going on downtown, and while dt Ottawa may be more vibrant during the day, dt Halifax is definitely more lively at night.

Seriously, im not Trying to argue that we can't improve anything here, but I'd challence you to fin. A city or two in north America, roughly halifax's size, with a better overall downtown.
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  #52  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2014, 1:02 AM
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Among cities Halifax's size, only Victoria and London, IMO, are really comparable, and both of their downtowns are more modest than Halifax's. Victoria's feels slightly less hollowed out because it is less built up to begin with. Even larger cities like Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Hamilton (the latter based on anecdotal evidence) feel like the have less going on downtown, and while dt Ottawa may be more vibrant during the day, dt Halifax is definitely more lively at night.

Seriously, im not Trying to argue that we can't improve anything here, but I'd challence you to fin. A city or two in north America, roughly halifax's size, with a better overall downtown.
Portland, Maine, springs to mind, and its downtown is definitely more robust, but that's all I can think of. There must be some more in the U.S., but in Canada, Halifax is pretty well un-paralleled in its weight class, if you will. There's definitely a lot more going on than in London or Victoria or Hamilton--and none of those has a metropolitan feel, which Halifax does, albeit on a small scale.

I'll back you up on Halifax having more energy downtown than Calgary or Edmonton, too--I lived in both of those, and while downtown Calgary can get pretty packed in the summer or when an event is happening, it's pretty quiet for the city's size. Edmonton is still totally DOA. And those are much bigger cities.

I think Halifax sometimes suffers from being unfavourably compared to MUCH larger cities, but for cities of similar size--or really anywhere under a million--we stack up really well.

And what's most exciting is that even with that relative success, there are enough empty lots and vacant storefronts and ramshackle bits to make it clear that things used to be better--meaning there's a lot of room for improvement. Which is happening. Halifax's diminished downtown stacks up well against other cities, so imagine what it'll be like as downtown continues to fill in and improve.
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  #53  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2014, 1:25 AM
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It's sad that Edmonton dt is doa, I visit there a lot and stay dt. If there is a dt I don't feel safe in, it's Edmonton. The only place you may see someone is on Jasper or on 104 when the market is on (Saturdays). Calgary dt has enough events that it does okay and is improving but there are still pockets of empty areas like near my apt and that's by city hall.
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  #54  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2014, 4:21 AM
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I think Halifax sometimes suffers from being unfavourably compared to MUCH larger cities, but for cities of similar size--or really anywhere under a million--we stack up really well.
Halifax is at a weird size where it's not a metropolis but not a small town either. It has a fairly extensive urban core, not just a single main street, and it has some things that major cities tend to have but not others. The large urban core is an enormous asset.

I'm not sure there are any other cities quite like Halifax in Canada. People think Victoria is just like Halifax but it isn't, although the two towns do share a lot of features. I think Winnipeg is the closest. In the US, I bet cities like New Orleans or Charleston have a similar feel. All of these places spent a certain period of time as a "major" city and have since fallen down in stature to varying degrees.
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  #55  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2014, 4:22 AM
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^It gets more complex than that. In the discussion section staff state they do not recommend the proposal as it currently stands. The proposed amendments that staff are recommending cap the height at 23 METRES (~7 floor building) among other things. These changes if approved will kill the current proposal but allow the developer to return with a suitable design that meets the new guidelines.

The outcome of this proposal has three possibilites;

1) The current proposal gets approved. A 58-unit/48-metre building can go through the DA process.
2) The proposed MPS/LUB Amendments can be approved. A 23-metre building can go through the DA process.
3) Any MPS/LUB Amendments can be rejected. The as-of-right, approved 23-units will likely be built.
I just finally read the report - I see that I missed the fact they are recommending 23m. That's a bit...odd to me. I would think you would just either recommend the amendments for the project proposed or recommend against it? I didn't realize you could find a 'middle ground' - although that would explain why some projects that started out as 10 stories ended up at 7 or 8.
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  #56  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2014, 4:46 AM
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While I don't disagree that downtown could be better, I wouldn't really call it "hollowed out" or "not-vibrant". Compared to most downtowns in Canada, it's a clear winner. Among cities Halifax's size, only Victoria and London, IMO, are really comparable, and both of their downtowns are more modest than Halifax's. Victoria's feels slightly less hollowed out because it is less built up to begin with. Even larger cities like Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Hamilton (the latter based on anecdotal evidence) feel like the have less going on downtown, and while dt Ottawa may be more vibrant during the day, dt Halifax is definitely more lively at night.

Seriously, im not Trying to argue that we can't improve anything here, but I'd challence you to fin. A city or two in north America, roughly halifax's size, with a better overall downtown.
Yeah, I'm overstating my case, to be sure. Things are going significantly better downtown.

But I do think we've had significant "donut" growth in HRM for 20yrs, which has led to struggling businesses downtown and empty shop fronts all over the place, including Barrington and SGR. And, truly, we will continue to have that growth for the foreseeable future as the RP still targets 25/50/25 urban/suburban/rural growth, and that means we'll likely end up with 20/65/25, because there's nothing we've done to with the necessary policy levers to change the old growth incentives like tax reform, tax cuts for downtown, cutting developments fees, zoning restrictions on more suburban/exurban sprawl. I don't think I'm overstating this.

But two places I've been to lately, comparable but actually smaller than Halifax, are kicking our ass on downtown energy.

St. John's, NL -- I hadn't been there in years, but was shocked with the change. It's downtown really had an energy and vibrancy, and I'm not the only one that has noticed:

Quote:
There's definitely been the sense that St. John's is on a roll since then [oil went online in 1997]. New subdivisions are being built, the downtown is a beehive of shops and new workers, and council has had a few hundred million dollars in development projects brought before it in the last few years. (Don't forget that a whopping estimate of $5 billion has been put on the value of what will be built on the lands that Danny Williams wants to develop south of Mount Pearl.)

The comparison struck home when I was in downtown Halifax last year, and saw large vacancy signs that, to be blunt, shocked me. Yes, it seemed that commercial hubs had been shifting around the city (Spring Garden Road seems to be booming) but Barrington Street had clearly lost some of its zip.
Link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfou...hing-1.1184460

Another town, not Canadian, but comparable and smaller-- New Haven, Connecticut. Approx 130,000 people and, like Halifax, essentially a university town. But it really has one big university-- Yale. Like Halifax, it also suffered serious decline in its downtown from the 1970's to 1990s, which, as always when you decrease urban density, led to a rise in crime rate.

However, while Halifax wasted an entire decade by electing useless clowns like Peter Kelly starting in the 2000s, New Haven, under the leadership of its "economic development manager" (Kelly Murphy), has been working hard to revitalize since 2000, and its downtown has really turned around.

Downtown you have this kind of retail: Urban Outfitters, J Crew, Origins, American Apparel, Gant Clothing, and an Apple Store. New Haven also has a Barnes & Nobles downtown.

Halifax, by contrast, has nothing like that. We don't even have a single major bookstore downtown, a travesty in a city filled with downtown universities!

I've often mused about what it would have been like, if the Mayor or Planner or Business Commission or Chamber people actually took the leadership and initiative and tried to convince Apple to open downtown on Spring Garden or, even better, on Barrington. Of course, that never happened, and instead we have it located in a commuter mall (at least well connected to transit lines).

By chance, there was actually a *real* campaign in NH to bring an Apple Store to downtown.... which was successful! http://downtownnewhaven.blogspot.ca/...-downtown.html

I can't imagine a similar campaign here; you'd have the typical luddites and NIMBYs out whining about non-existent "local" computer shop choices.

Anyways, the answer to New Haven's problems was actually quite simple: serious investment downtown, along with policy changes, to encourage residential development downtown; both large scale and small scale.

Here's the NY Times piece "On Renewing New Haven" http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/21/re...czo.html?fta=y

Unlike in Halifax, where offices are constantly being migrated to the suburbs (like the Fed Gov's decision to move CRA to a biz park), New Haven & State Government invested $180 million to move offices and colleges downtown and also added "tax credits" to encourage downtown development.

Halifax is on the right track, but we're nowhere near where we need to be, in terms of what policies must be put in place, to achieve proper growth and revitalization.

And, I fear, we have too many provincialist dimbulbs on Council and too many HRM bureaucrats resistant to change (ie resistance to changes on the Regional Plan was an eye-opener) for these necessary changes to take place.

Last edited by counterfactual; Mar 25, 2014 at 4:58 AM.
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  #57  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2014, 2:32 AM
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Downtown you have this kind of retail: Urban Outfitters, J Crew, Origins, American Apparel, Gant Clothing, and an Apple Store. New Haven also has a Barnes & Nobles downtown.

Halifax, by contrast, has nothing like that. We don't even have a single major bookstore downtown, a travesty in a city filled with downtown universities!
Actually there is an American Apparel on Queen Street. I don't know if it's true, but Urban Outfitters is rumoured to be moving into the Barrington Espace storefronts. Apple was rumoured to be considering one of the spaces west of Queen Street on SGR before they moved to HSC.

New Haven is also part of a metro area that is about twice the size of HRM. It's not really a city of 130,000 people.

Posting this stuff makes me feel like a cheerleader but I think people in Halifax tend to be weirdly negative given how much development is happening. How bad can it be when the downtown is a giant construction site? A lot of the complaints about vacancies come from people who mistake development sites for abandoned buildings (e.g. Waterside). I even remember when Tim Horton's getting replaced by Starbucks on Barrington was spun as a sort of "Detroit 2" story.

The transformation in the North End has also been pretty dramatic. Not many people who knew Gottingen Street circa 2003 would have expected it look the way it does today.
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  #58  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2014, 2:56 AM
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H&WCC voted to recommend the 23 metre height limit tonight. Councillor Mason's move to further decrease the height to 18 metres was defeated. Regional Council will have to hold a public hearing before deciding the fate of this proposal.

Source : "COUNCIL CUTS TSIMIKLIS PROJECT IN HALF" by Amy Pugsley Fraser (March 26th, 2014) - AllNovaScotia.com
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  #59  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2014, 5:13 AM
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Actually there is an American Apparel on Queen Street. I don't know if it's true, but Urban Outfitters is rumoured to be moving into the Barrington Espace storefronts. Apple was rumoured to be considering one of the spaces west of Queen Street on SGR before they moved to HSC.

New Haven is also part of a metro area that is about twice the size of HRM. It's not really a city of 130,000 people.

Posting this stuff makes me feel like a cheerleader but I think people in Halifax tend to be weirdly negative given how much development is happening. How bad can it be when the downtown is a giant construction site? A lot of the complaints about vacancies come from people who mistake development sites for abandoned buildings (e.g. Waterside). I even remember when Tim Horton's getting replaced by Starbucks on Barrington was spun as a sort of "Detroit 2" story.

The transformation in the North End has also been pretty dramatic. Not many people who knew Gottingen Street circa 2003 would have expected it look the way it does today.
I know there's an American Apparel besides Starbucks; but there's nothing like that whole range of retailers downtown. Nowhere close. That was my point.

I've heard all of those same rumours, but notice the result-- none of them have proven true. People widely expected Apple to be on SGR. So my question is... how, then, did it end up in a commuter mall? Someone either dropped the ball, or never picked it up. Which is very Halifax.

True, New Haven's broader metro is much bigger, but the downtown has suffered similar problems to Halifax's; I think the solutions are similar: more residential.

You may feel like a cheerleader sometimes, well, I definitely sometimes feel like "Mr Negative" or Mr. Critical around here (I think Barrington South came out of retirement just to denounce my negativity, ), but I don't think I'm anything of the sort-- I *love* many of the new development downtown, and definitely think things are turning around (I often feel like a cheerleader for proposals that others don't really like, such as the new Commerce Square dev downtown).

Anyways, IMHO, I'm not being negative, just being strongly critical of real problems in this city that I see, that *do* need to be overcome, if the downtown is truly going to recover and flourish.

I care about these things, and the city, and I think it has *huge* potential, and simply going to call out and point out things that frustrate or pose obstacles to that potential. I do that not only here, but elsewhere too. If that makes me Mr. Negativity, so be it.

Last edited by counterfactual; Mar 26, 2014 at 5:35 AM.
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  #60  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2014, 5:31 AM
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H&WCC voted to recommend the 23 metre height limit tonight. Councillor Mason's move to further decrease the height to 18 metres was defeated. Regional Council will have to hold a public hearing before deciding the fate of this proposal.

Source : "COUNCIL CUTS TSIMIKLIS PROJECT IN HALF" by Amy Pugsley Fraser (March 26th, 2014) - AllNovaScotia.com
What does this mean? This piddly community council has the power to cut a development proposal in half? Shouldn't this proposal get a full vote before council?

23 metres. So, 7 storeys? And there was a motion to cut that in half? So, 3 storeys? <== HRM's plan for densification downtown demonstrated in a smiley

I do agree with at least one of Waye's earlier points, that 58units in a 48m development is not really that dense. I hope they try to up the density of the proposal... if they decide to go forward. Sigh.

Another midrise development proposed another midrise developed axed.

Last edited by counterfactual; Mar 26, 2014 at 6:47 AM.
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