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  #121  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2016, 7:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
I'm tired of the ultra-NIMBY types too, but the effect of NIMBYism on our attractiveness to young people and immigrants is undoubtedly close to zero. No one moves away because there aren't enough tall buildings, and tall buildings in and of themselves don't represent economic health and civic growth any more than sprawly subdivisions do. They represent tall buildings, nothing more.
Well, the effect of NIMBYs on housing costs can be enormous. Halifax just hasn't seen that as much.

Here in Vancouver prices are driven up partly because of speculation and foreign buyers, but multi-unit prices are also high because land costs are high and high density zoning in good neighbourhoods is in short supply.

You can't have an affordable, market-rate building if a lot costs $10M and it is only zoned for 40 units. That is more a Vancouver-like scenario than Halifax-like right now, but actually peninsular Halifax has high land prices as well (the Maple site might have been $5-10M+ for example), which guarantees a high land cost per unit in a midrise.
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  #122  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2016, 8:00 PM
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Keith P. Keith P. is offline
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Also, if Mason gets voted out, who's his replacement. Sue Uteck? Oy.

Bulldog Sue is sorely missed and would be an excellent replacement.
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  #123  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2016, 8:04 PM
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Bulldog Sue is sorely missed and would be an excellent replacement.
Anybody but 'Too Tall Mason'
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  #124  
Old Posted Sep 10, 2016, 10:55 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
Well, the effect of NIMBYs on housing costs can be enormous. Halifax just hasn't seen that as much.

Here in Vancouver prices are driven up partly because of speculation and foreign buyers, but multi-unit prices are also high because land costs are high and high density zoning in good neighbourhoods is in short supply.
Definitely, but I don't think that's the implication here. Teddifax seemed to be conflating tall buildings and a build-baby-build mentality, in and of themselves, with attractiveness to newcomers.

I don't think we've really seen anti-development types successfully restricting housing supply in Halifax and driving up prices, though it certainly could happen in the future, once the city is more thoroughly infilled.
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  #125  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2016, 1:04 AM
counterfactual counterfactual is offline
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
Definitely, but I don't think that's the implication here. Teddifax seemed to be conflating tall buildings and a build-baby-build mentality, in and of themselves, with attractiveness to newcomers.

I don't think we've really seen anti-development types successfully restricting housing supply in Halifax and driving up prices, though it certainly could happen in the future, once the city is more thoroughly infilled.
Dry, your statement is accurate if we're only talking about since, maybe, 2011 or 2012, when development in the core really took off after HRMxD was put in place and shipbuilding providing a psychological jolt (if not an economic one) for expansion and development downtown.

But for decades, literally decades, the NIMBYs and anti-development crowd had free reign mostly, because the regulatory environment was so unfriendly to development. The height limits, view planes, ramparts, requirement for DAs, amendments, and then countless rights of appeal along with the fact that groups like STV or the Heritage Trust would battle tooth and nail in courts for years and years ... all of this made developments downtown radioactive. You had to cost in years of litigation and then, even after doing so, there was no guarantee you actually won. So nobody really proposed anything and Halifax downtown suffered.

I mean, there's a reason why there were more development permits issued in 2012 than in the two decades before that year.

The Twisted Sister development was a classic example. Groups battled that in courts for years and years and by the time it was approved, the financial crisis happened and it never got done.

Just read this some pieces from that time:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle20409422/
http://www.thecoast.ca/RealityBites/...rs-development
http://www.mnarch.ca/Blog/PDF's/Pages%20from%20Jazz.pdf

Plenty was challenged in court. But often, developers just didn't bother proposing anything downtown; instead, they went out to the suburbs and threw up condos/towers/houses quickly. Why fight city hall downtown? And thus, no surprise that with decades oft his, we have HRM's extensive sprawl, with suburbs out growing downtown population growth exponentially, undercutting Regional Plan targets.

Yes, developers have had it much better recently, but the NIMBY weakness is only a recent development (pun intended), a product of an important shift in both the regulatory environment (HRMxD) but also Council/City Gov.

Last edited by counterfactual; Sep 11, 2016 at 1:15 AM.
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  #126  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2016, 2:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
I don't think we've really seen anti-development types successfully restricting housing supply in Halifax and driving up prices, though it certainly could happen in the future, once the city is more thoroughly infilled.
I think this has already happened extensively in Halifax. The difference in Halifax is that it's only half of the city that has been manipulated like this, and there are other neighbourhoods that are reasonably decent and still somewhat affordable. In more expensive cities it has gotten so out of hand that only the very wealthy can afford remotely decent neighbourhoods.

I would expect to see more residential development in the deep South End but in fact we see more development in the less desirable (but still fairly desirable in the scheme of things) North End. This is because there is much stronger anti-development lobbying in the South End. This is still happening right now; a proposal for student housing on a former church site along Inglis Street on the SMU block was just shot down by the planning department without much explanation. The usually unspoken rule is that a small amount of high-end housing is acceptable in the deep South End but student and working class housing is not.

It extends beyond direct opposition to specific proposals. There's a bridge in the North End but the notion of a South End harbour bridge has been torpedoed repeatedly. There isn't even a bridge over the Northwest Arm; that would make it easier for a lot of people to commute into the city and would lower the cost of housing within a short distance of downtown, but it has been vetoed by a comparatively small number of South Enders.
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  #127  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2016, 3:46 AM
Colin May Colin May is offline
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Originally Posted by teddifax View Post
Let's hope certain people do get voted out this October..... I am so tired of the NIMBY/TOO TALL brigade. Let Halifax keep growing. If not, the young people and the immigrants we so sorely need, won't be staying here, let alone coming here at all.
Name names.
Almost all proposals end up being approved, and most councillors live in R-1 heaven. They'd throw a hissy fit if HRM had one zone, such as BWTHYW.
And how many developers don't live in R-1 heaven ?
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  #128  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2016, 4:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
Young people and immigrants will come and stay here if there's decent-paying work and enough other amenities (heritage being a big civic amenity that does, believe it or not, attract people).

I'm tired of the ultra-NIMBY types too, but the effect of NIMBYism on our attractiveness to young people and immigrants is undoubtedly close to zero. No one moves away because there aren't enough tall buildings, and tall buildings in and of themselves don't represent economic health and civic growth any more than sprawly subdivisions do. They represent tall buildings, nothing more.

Also, if Mason gets voted out, who's his replacement. Sue Uteck? Oy.
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  #129  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2016, 9:14 PM
Hali87 Hali87 is offline
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Mason is a captive tool of staff. Being the lefty he is, he will almost always defend the actions of the bureaucracy over an individual or a private business.
Well, someone should, right? I mean otherwise what's the point of even having staff?
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  #130  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2016, 9:30 PM
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Gerald Walsh, well known Liberal and a former opponent of Mason in 2012 for district 7 has endorsed Waye Mason : http://www.votewayemason.ca/gerrywalsh
The endorsement is a major coup for Mason and a significant blow to Sue Uteck (a Liberal)
Mr Walsh says : " I believe:

We need a Councillor who seeks and values public input – not one who ignores the views of citizens.

We need a Councillor who attacks issues – not people.

We need a Councillor who is a team player; one who will work collaboratively with fellow Councillors – not fight them.

We need a Councillor who is progressive – not regressive.

We need a Councillor who will fight on behalf of citizens for respectful development – not let developers run our city. "
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  #131  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2016, 9:34 PM
Hali87 Hali87 is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
So the question of a 20-storey versus 29-storey is rather moot, since the zoning would not allow anything over 3 floors anyway. So it becomes a bit of a pi&&ing contest - why is 20 OK but 29 not OK? Is there a substantive difference?
Agree here. The one possible substantive difference is on shadow impacts - a shorter building will cast a shorter shadow - but this also assumes the 20 storey version would just be a shorter but otherwise identical version of the 29 storey proposal. What most of the public probably don't consider (although staff should realize) is that the hypothetical 20 storey version could very well be wider, or oriented differently, and end up having a greater shadow impact than the "narrow" 29 storey proposal, which is designed to mitigate shadow impact (as noted in the staff report).

I think it was also a matter of optics - staff recommended reducing the height of the proposal a couple times, and each time the developer came back with a taller proposal. Each successive proposal actually addressed the major concerns in other ways, but since so much of the public is fixated on height above all other factors...
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  #132  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2016, 9:52 PM
counterfactual counterfactual is offline
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Originally Posted by Hali87 View Post
Agree here. The one possible substantive difference is on shadow impacts - a shorter building will cast a shorter shadow - but this also assumes the 20 storey version would just be a shorter but otherwise identical version of the 29 storey proposal. What most of the public probably don't consider (although staff should realize) is that the hypothetical 20 storey version could very well be wider, or oriented differently, and end up having a greater shadow impact than the "narrow" 29 storey proposal, which is designed to mitigate shadow impact (as noted in the staff report).

I think it was also a matter of optics - staff recommended reducing the height of the proposal a couple times, and each time the developer came back with a taller proposal. Each successive proposal actually addressed the major concerns in other ways, but since so much of the public is fixated on height above all other factors...
So, it's just an irrational opposition to height. If it's taller, then it's more bad for the community, even if there's actually benefits to the taller proposal. Very common among City staff, by the way. Reactionary in being against height increases.
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  #133  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2016, 10:18 PM
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So, it's just an irrational opposition to height. If it's taller, then it's more bad for the community, even if there's actually benefits to the taller proposal. Very common among City staff, by the way. Reactionary in being against height increases.
My honest impression is that it was more to do with "responding to the community's concerns" than the planning department thinking that a 20 storey building would be inherently better, and also possibly a case of "this is what we've been telling you this whole time and you've been ignoring it".

That said, contemporary planning theory tends to favour midrises. Jan Gehl for example (very influential these days) tends to discourage highrises, although he points to the "Vancouver-style highrise" (which is basically what this proposal is) as a decent compromise.
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  #134  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2016, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Colin May View Post
Gerald Walsh, well known Liberal and a former opponent of Mason in 2012 for district 7 has endorsed Waye Mason : http://www.votewayemason.ca/gerrywalsh
The endorsement is a major coup for Mason and a significant blow to Sue Uteck (a Liberal)
Mr Walsh says : " I believe:

We need a Councillor who seeks and values public input – not one who ignores the views of citizens.

We need a Councillor who attacks issues – not people.

We need a Councillor who is a team player; one who will work collaboratively with fellow Councillors – not fight them.

We need a Councillor who is progressive – not regressive.

We need a Councillor who will fight on behalf of citizens for respectful development – not let developers run our city. "
I don't see the "we need a councillor that represents those that WANT development to happen in our city."
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  #135  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2016, 10:28 PM
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Keith P. Keith P. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin May View Post
Gerald Walsh, well known Liberal and a former opponent of Mason in 2012 for district 7 has endorsed Waye Mason : http://www.votewayemason.ca/gerrywalsh
The endorsement is a major coup for Mason and a significant blow to Sue Uteck (a Liberal)
Mr Walsh says : " I believe:

We need a Councillor who seeks and values public input – not one who ignores the views of citizens.

We need a Councillor who attacks issues – not people.

We need a Councillor who is a team player; one who will work collaboratively with fellow Councillors – not fight them.

We need a Councillor who is progressive – not regressive.

We need a Councillor who will fight on behalf of citizens for respectful development – not let developers run our city. "

Gerry must have lost it.

Hilarious for him to mention Mason working with other councillors - between threatening them with retribution for their opposition to certain motions and voting against him on other issues Mason and Watts created a rural/urban rift unlike any seen before on Council.

Gerry must be worried that his beloved deep south end may soon see developers if he is speaking out against them. Normally Gerry is all about the almighty dollar.

It was good of him, though, to confirm Mason's anti-development bias.
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  #136  
Old Posted Sep 11, 2016, 10:57 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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I don't see the "we need a councillor that represents those that WANT development to happen in our city."
I've heard Mason weigh in in favour of developments and speak very positively about lots of projects. He simply isn't rah-rah for every proposal that comes along, which is fair enough, especially given the number of mediocre proposals out there.
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  #137  
Old Posted Sep 12, 2016, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
I've heard Mason weigh in in favour of developments and speak very positively about lots of projects. He simply isn't rah-rah for every proposal that comes along, which is fair enough, especially given the number of mediocre proposals out there.

Really? Please refresh my memory...
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  #138  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2016, 12:42 PM
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So....29 Storeys Eh!
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  #139  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2016, 2:47 PM
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Mason is a captive tool of staff. Being the lefty he is, he will almost always defend the actions of the bureaucracy over an individual or a private business. He needs to be tossed out this fall.
I don't know that there isn't a place for staff when it comes to policy for city-building. I would rather thoughtful professionals guide the process than a private business.

Not saying OUR professional staff is thoughtful, or that our developers are looking for ways to ruin the city, but I do think that bureaucracy is an important part of how a GOOD city should be built - I feel like it needs targets and an overall plan, not ad-hoc proposals from individual developers
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  #140  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2016, 3:12 PM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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Originally Posted by Jstaleness View Post
So....29 Storeys Eh!
Don't be insensitive, think of the children.

This is clearly too tall and these type of buildings should be built somewhere else. Wood frame, no taller than two stories.

Even this proposal is a trigger and we should not be subjected to it. We must assemble as the friends of the historic armco parking garage.
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