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Old Posted Sep 15, 2008, 11:45 AM
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The Friends of Schmidtville

I figured I would start a thread on this as I can see it becoming a debatable issue in the future. heres a article from today's metro with Dawn Sloane throwing her support behind the group:


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Schmittville should be preserved: Sloane

Downtown Halifax councillor Dawn Sloane wants to have the Schmittville area of her riding deemed a Residential Comprehensive Development District, which would limit new buildings to low-rise, in keeping with the community’s architecture.


The Schmittville area, which houses homes built in the 1800s, covers Clyde St. to Wright Ave, and South Park to Queen. Area residents recently started The Friends of Schmittville group, with the goal of protecting themselves from one day having a large office or condominium building constructed in their community.


“It’s better to be proactive than reactive, because when you become reactive, it’s too late,” said Sloane, who will bring this motion to council tomorrow night. “Better to be on the side of caution and to have staff go in and work on this.”


Sloane is hoping staff will adopt the same practice for Schmittville that was used on Brunswick Street, where an area known as The Brickyard received RCDD status, and saw new development consist of low-level condominium buildings.


There are no plans for any large buildings to be built in the area, but the Schmittville friends group decided to meet after a 19-storey residential development was approved by council on Brenton and South Park Street earlier this year.
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Old Posted Sep 15, 2008, 12:13 PM
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Good to start a thread, i had mentioned it under general till more came of it.

This will be interesting as the city owns the parking lots within this area and if the development potential (height/density) is reduced that will make the lands less attractive in my opinion for good developments. I believe it will also have an impact on the former infirmary site as well.

The area in question spans from Morris Street (including the soon to be closed St Mary's School), north to Sackville, bordered by Queen & South Park.........

Ask me the area should be South of Clyde to Morris, South Park and Queen, but can have no influence in areas on the other side of the street.

Funny thing is this is the second district Sloane is pushing for, the first being the bottom of South Street including all the way down to Hollis.

If there is too many heritage districts then I doubt we will be able to increase our density in the urban core.
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Old Posted Sep 15, 2008, 7:58 PM
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Originally Posted by sdm View Post
Good to start a thread, i had mentioned it under general till more came of it.

This will be interesting as the city owns the parking lots within this area and if the development potential (height/density) is reduced that will make the lands less attractive in my opinion for good developments. I believe it will also have an impact on the former infirmary site as well.

The area in question spans from Morris Street (including the soon to be closed St Mary's School), north to Sackville, bordered by Queen & South Park.........

Ask me the area should be South of Clyde to Morris, South Park and Queen, but can have no influence in areas on the other side of the street.

Funny thing is this is the second district Sloane is pushing for, the first being the bottom of South Street including all the way down to Hollis.

If there is too many heritage districts then I doubt we will be able to increase our density in the urban core.

The article quoted previously indicated that "...The Schmittville area, which houses homes built in the 1800s, covers Clyde St. to Wright Ave, and South Park to Queen..." which seems to be a reasonable definition. It exludes the Clyde St parking lots by my reading of that.

Whether "Schmidtville" is actually such a historic district that it deserves special treatment is an open question. Nobody even heard of it until the last few years. There is a reasonable suspicion that it is a creation of a cabal of property owners.
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Old Posted Sep 15, 2008, 8:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
The article quoted previously indicated that "...The Schmittville area, which houses homes built in the 1800s, covers Clyde St. to Wright Ave, and South Park to Queen..." which seems to be a reasonable definition. It exludes the Clyde St parking lots by my reading of that.

Whether "Schmidtville" is actually such a historic district that it deserves special treatment is an open question. Nobody even heard of it until the last few years. There is a reasonable suspicion that it is a creation of a cabal of property owners.
According to the last news bit the area was what i mentioned.
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Old Posted Sep 15, 2008, 8:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
Whether "Schmidtville" is actually such a historic district that it deserves special treatment is an open question. Nobody even heard of it until the last few years. There is a reasonable suspicion that it is a creation of a cabal of property owners.
If the creation of this historic district is substantiated, then I don't see a problem with that.
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Old Posted Sep 15, 2008, 8:35 PM
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The neighbourhood is really only the three blocks (South Park to Queen excluding Park Victoria) plus half of the block south of Morris.

I personally have no problem with this. It's pretty obvious if you wander around in this part of the city that it is something special and deserves to be preserved. I would argue that this is true as well of South Street below Queen and of for example stretches of Inglis, Carlton, South Park, Jubilee.. etc. Brunswick was a bit of a stretch because it has no consistent, finely-scaled feel anymore, and in fact the new townhouses in that neighbourhood are inappropriately small and cheap. Brunswick and Gottingen should be considered inner-city infill areas like the southern parts of Barrington and Hollis. Yes, they have heritage buildings, but they also have apartment towers and commercial buildings.

As for limiting the possibility of infill, Halifax has tons of ugly and underdeveloped areas that can be built up before the few remaining attractive and coherent residential neighbourhoods are torn up.
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Old Posted Sep 15, 2008, 8:49 PM
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What I don't understand is their using the Trillium project as part of their clause. This area is absolutely filled with high rises. It couldn't have come as a surprise to them that more were coming. Im not saying I disagree with it becoming a heritage district, but I think the borders surrounding it should be very strict to include ONLY the currently low rise areas, and to not include the parking lots.
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Old Posted Sep 16, 2008, 12:14 PM
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Keih P you have to be joking! If you doubt that Schmidtville is actually an historic area that no one ever heard of until a few years ago, I can only assume that you are 3 or 4 years old. Not only does Schmidtville have houses dating back at least as far as 1814, it is also the first subdivision in Canada dating back to 1830. If we take the attitude that something is not historic because no one talks about it or is not aware of it then maybe Nova Scotia should give up on preserving any heritage structures because the bulk of Canada doesn't know we even exist.
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Old Posted Sep 16, 2008, 1:15 PM
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Originally Posted by hollistreet View Post
Keih P you have to be joking! If you doubt that Schmidtville is actually an historic area that no one ever heard of until a few years ago, I can only assume that you are 3 or 4 years old. Not only does Schmidtville have houses dating back at least as far as 1814, it is also the first subdivision in Canada dating back to 1830. If we take the attitude that something is not historic because no one talks about it or is not aware of it then maybe Nova Scotia should give up on preserving any heritage structures because the bulk of Canada doesn't know we even exist.
I am sorry Hollistreet but i've lived in this area for over 30 years and until the trillum building was brought forward it was never known to most individuals, including myself.

That being said i agree in saving a pre determined area but i don't agree with it if it gives them rights to oppose developments of the infirmary lands or the HRM owned Parking lots.

It is somewhat interesting that a building like Park Vic or the NSLC was ever allowed to be built in the area of schmidtville don't you think?
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Old Posted Sep 16, 2008, 1:34 PM
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I would agree with protecting the area bounded by Clyde, Morris and Queen Sreets but it should not influence antyhing proposed outside that block. ie the former Imfirmiry site and parking lots between Clyde St. and Spring Garden Rd.
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Old Posted Sep 16, 2008, 2:10 PM
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I too had never heard of Schmidtville until a year or so ago. I don't doubt the neighbourhood is historic, but this whole Schmidtville thing just sort of came out of the woodwork.
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Old Posted Sep 16, 2008, 3:51 PM
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I believe the talk of it came out of the first HRM by Design Forum where they wanted everyone to identify their neighbourhoods. Prior to that I had never heard the name Schmidtville.
I do believe those 3 blocks are worth preserving. And they should not directly affect the infirmary or clyde st lands, but they should influence. Those lands, well morso for Clyde have to be transition areas. The parts of the buildings that face the neighbourhood should respect it and its scale.
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Old Posted Sep 16, 2008, 5:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Jonovision View Post
I believe the talk of it came out of the first HRM by Design Forum where they wanted everyone to identify their neighbourhoods. Prior to that I had never heard the name Schmidtville.
I do believe those 3 blocks are worth preserving. And they should not directly affect the infirmary or clyde st lands, but they should influence. Those lands, well morso for Clyde have to be transition areas. The parts of the buildings that face the neighbourhood should respect it and its scale.
Respecting it and its scale is subjective however. Besides, i am sure the city would want the maximum yield from the properties via sale and tax revenue.

Under the current HRM by design the street frontage height was reduced from 60 to 50. Any less and well....
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  #14  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2008, 6:19 PM
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I honestly do not understand the obsession with height in Halifax.
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Old Posted Sep 16, 2008, 7:09 PM
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I honestly do not understand the obsession with height in Halifax.
I guess a true definition of height is required. 30 stories not so much, 20 yes, in certain areas.

Its a function of capacity(density), economics(the ability of the development to carry the land cost),substainability(best use of the land without creating sprawl), and of course increase tax revenue which leads to more for everyone (well depending what council does with the money).
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Old Posted Sep 16, 2008, 8:11 PM
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Yes Keith P, I do think it is interesting that Park Vic and the NSLC were allowed to be built. However, that was a different time and we should learn from those mistakes. Every effort should be made to perserve the 3 blocks of intact, unmodernized historic structures known as Schmidtville. The vacant lands around Schmidtville should be developed with architecture that inspires and stimulates the mind. It should be mixed use and high density. If that means having 20 or 30 story buildings then so be it. The only thing I ask is that it is great architecture that will be around in 200 years and people will want to live, work and play in.
The name Schmidtville is not new, in fact it in itself dates back to 1830. A woman by the name of Elizabeth Schmidt subdivided what was then know as Pedley's Field into small building lots and this new suburb became known as Schmidtville.
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Old Posted Sep 16, 2008, 9:01 PM
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A woman by the name of Elizabeth Schmidt subdivided what was then know as Pedley's Field into small building lots and this new suburb became known as Schmidtville.
I for one am not in favour of taking beautiful fields and meadows, and dividing them into small building lots for profit. Tsk, tsk, shame on Ms. Schmidt for introducing suburban sprawl to Canada.
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Old Posted Sep 16, 2008, 9:35 PM
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Maybe Mr. Pacey should take note of your comment. His attitude and the attitude he portrays of HTNS would have put a halt to the development of Schmidtville had he been alive in 1830.
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  #19  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2008, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollistreet View Post
Keih P you have to be joking! If you doubt that Schmidtville is actually an historic area that no one ever heard of until a few years ago, I can only assume that you are 3 or 4 years old. Not only does Schmidtville have houses dating back at least as far as 1814, it is also the first subdivision in Canada dating back to 1830. If we take the attitude that something is not historic because no one talks about it or is not aware of it then maybe Nova Scotia should give up on preserving any heritage structures because the bulk of Canada doesn't know we even exist.
First of all, can the insults. Secodly, pay attention to whom you're responding to -- I did not post the comments about Park Vic and the NSLC; sdm did.

There is no question that Schmidtville as a designated area is a new phenomenon, possibly related to Lyndon Watkins, who is a property owner there. I lived in Park Vic for most of the 1990s, was fairly active around that area, and can assure you that the term Schmidtville had never been heard by me during that time. I first heard it about 3 years ago when the neighborhood suddenly started making noise about how historic it was.

Like others, I have no problem with those 3 blocks being frozen in time. If that's what you want, fill your boots. Just don't try to dictate how the surrounding area gets developed.
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Old Posted Sep 16, 2008, 11:46 PM
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Like others, I have no problem with those 3 blocks being frozen in time. If that's what you want, fill your boots. Just don't try to dictate how the surrounding area gets developed.
Exactly... and the later seems to be their prime motivation.
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