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  #2541  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2019, 5:44 AM
pblaauw pblaauw is offline
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When you are starving and do not have money to buy food, the first thing you buy when some cash comes your way is not a new Easter bonnet.
HAHAHAHAHAHA Happy Easter, Keith!

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Until we get our core services at a level of basic functionality we do not need to waste money on palatial libraries, stadia or galleries built with public funds.
I agree with this, to the extent that we shouldn't ignore all of the above, altogether.
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  #2542  
Old Posted Apr 20, 2019, 12:52 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Well, I am a physician, and there are so many flaws in the health care "system", I don't even know where to begin.

My biggest pet peeve is the increasing centralization and bureaucratization that has occurred in health care over the last 25 years. I'm sure the situation is the same in NS as it is in NB. In NS, except for the IWK, every other hospital in the province is controlled by a single health care authority based in Halifax. In NB, there are francophone and anglophone authorities based in (of all places) Bathurst and Miramichi.

The net result of this centralization is a fossilization of the decision making process and paralysing bureaucratic inertia. This infects all aspects of health care, but I will use the equipment procurement process as an example.

In my department, first we determine what the requirements are for new or replacement medical equipment. We then prioritize our list (sometimes we make compromises between what we think we might be able to get, and what we really need or want). This list is then sent to our LMAC (local medical advisory committee) for review and prioritization with the needs and wants from other departments in our institution. This is fine, and this process is usually fair (beyond the usual pettiness and jealousy that you find in any organization). The new list is then submitted to the RHA MAC to enter into a competition with all other hospitals in the province for further prioritization. This is where the process falls apart. While you can usually have a conversation with your local colleagues about what the priorities should be for your own hospital, once you start negotiating with other facilities, then things become much more complicated. Some institutions are stronger than others, and may be able to form strategic regional alliances with other nearby institutions at the expense of other institutions with more worthwhile projects elsewhere in the province. This process is decidedly not fair. Who's to say if a new CT scanner in one hospital is more important than ICU upgrades in another? A smaller hospital might have a greater need, but is frozen out by a larger and more influential institution. This happens all the time.

Finally the (flawed) procurement list is presented to the RHA management committee (and board) for final review. Usually the amount of money they have to spend on procurement is only a small fraction of what is necessary, and more politics ensues. Senior managers and board members are not medical people and often don't fully understand the arguments. This process is further complicated by the fact that the majority of the RHA board members are politically appointed rather than elected. As such, the final decision usually ends up with significant political interference, and being more what the provincial government wants rather than what the hospital actually needs. Depending on the government of the day, one hospital (or region) may be favoured over another. There are powerful lobby groups out there who can influence the process, especially based on regional, cultural or linguistic needs.

Net result is that we as a department have become extremely cynical over the entire process. We hardly ever get what we want (although we are getting better at working the system). Instead, we tend to wait until our equipment irrevocably breaks down, at which point it becomes an emergency purchase, and this bypasses the routine procurement process.

Is this how the system should work?????

In the old days (before regionalization), when I was chief of the department, and my hospital was a publicly funded but independent health care facility, if we (as a department) decided there was a piece of equipment that we needed (or wanted), all I would have to do is wander down the corridor to the admin wing and talk to the VP in charge of our department. He would take charge of the procurement process and he was invariably tremendously helpful. Now, we really don't know who to talk to (the administration is in the Miramichi and we have very little contact with them), and the whole system is now designed to be obstructive to change and/or innovation. As a result, physicians end up feeling powerless, and instead of being proactive and taking the lead in changing the system, more often than not, we just start treating medicine as simply a "job", rather than a calling, and simply put our time in at work, keep our head down and try to stay out of trouble.

Why bother trying to change the system when it is so resistant to change in the first place??????
Wow! Thanks for the glimpse into the inside. The fact that you can get equipment on contingency budget indicates that funds are still available for such things, but it sounds like the way that budget is allocated is completely dysfunctional. And how much are they paying all those 'bureaucrats' to play with the system? ...government waste at its finest.

Get rid of all those useless positions, give the power back to the hospitals to manage themselves and use all that money wasted on government management to actually fund staff and equipment - that sounds like it would be a step in the right direction.

And separate entities to deal with French and English? Talk about wasteful.

It's time to let the Miramichi and Bathurst fend for themselves... governments trying to prop up dying rural towns by moving offices and services there is truly wasteful. In the past towns formed and died organically - it's time to go back to that situation instead of governments playing politics and wasting taxpayers money with them. That's a big part of the problem, IMHO.
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  #2543  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2019, 4:22 PM
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  #2544  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2019, 4:33 PM
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Word on Twitter is that there is a plan forming for the Dennis Building. Dexel is going to retain the facade and build a 9 storey mixed use building.
This will no doubt be an improvement over what's there now, and Dexel tends to build good quality buildings, but it's disappointing to see so much facadism relative to the number of faithful restorations happening. At this rate there won't be a lot of intact prewar buildings left downtown in a few decades. Halifax has lost a huge amount of heritage just in the last 20 years. I realize part of the excuse here is that the building interior has little heritage value left but it was allowed to deteriorate into that condition and architectural integrity is always lost somewhat even in a good facadectomy.

The article says that one requirement was for "no commercial or retail space on Granville Street". What does this leave? A parking garage entrance and a blank wall or some decorations similar to what is found along some sides of the Nova Centre? If they're doing a facade job they may not want 3 pedestrian entrances on the Granville side. Hopefully there is some kind of creative solution to this.
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  #2545  
Old Posted Apr 26, 2019, 9:15 PM
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The article says that one requirement was for "no commercial or retail space on Granville Street". What does this leave? A parking garage entrance and a blank wall or some decorations similar to what is found along some sides of the Nova Centre? If they're doing a facade job they may not want 3 pedestrian entrances on the Granville side. Hopefully there is some kind of creative solution to this.
I saw that requirement too and it baffles me. Currently there is the storefront for the Province House Credit Union in the Hansard Bldg at street level. Back when the NS Govt used to have a bookstore that was next door at ground level in the back of One Govt Place. I wonder if this means the credit union is being evicted? I can't really understand why that requirement is there although I can guess that maybe they want to eventually close off that part of Granville as part of the Province House district.
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  #2546  
Old Posted May 3, 2019, 11:27 AM
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Reading though Councillor Cleary's newsletter (here), I found this interesting piece of information:

A development permit has been granted by Planning and Development staff for 7037 Mumford Road. The permit is for a 22-storey, 120-unit residential development with commercial on the ground floor. The current zoning on the property allows for commercial and high-density residential development, so it is considered “as-of-right” development. Since this is a permitted use under the existing Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) and Land Use By-Law (LUB), no public information meeting nor public hearing are required, and the matter will not be presented to either Community Council or Regional Council.

This is the site, based on the signage for leasing inquiries I think it is owned by the Lawen's. I'm not sure As-of-Right has an expiry, so it may still be a ways off as they have lots on their plate currently.
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  #2547  
Old Posted May 3, 2019, 9:21 PM
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Reading though Councillor Cleary's newsletter (here), I found this interesting piece of information:

A development permit has been granted by Planning and Development staff for 7037 Mumford Road. The permit is for a 22-storey, 120-unit residential development with commercial on the ground floor. The current zoning on the property allows for commercial and high-density residential development, so it is considered “as-of-right” development. Since this is a permitted use under the existing Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) and Land Use By-Law (LUB), no public information meeting nor public hearing are required, and the matter will not be presented to either Community Council or Regional Council.

This is the site, based on the signage for leasing inquiries I think it is owned by the Lawen's. I'm not sure As-of-Right has an expiry, so it may still be a ways off as they have lots on their plate currently.
The article in the Herald last week regarding the Dennis Building mentioned that Lawen was working on an as of right development on Mumford Road. I figured it was this site but I had no idea it was able to go to 22 storeys.
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  #2548  
Old Posted May 30, 2019, 4:37 PM
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Has anyone heard about the pending demolition of the Round Tower in Clayton Park (210 Willett St. 0 and what is to become of the site...I have heard the building is to come down, along with the small apartment buildings in behind... Just curious to see what plans are in store for this site.
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  #2549  
Old Posted May 30, 2019, 4:41 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Has anyone heard about the pending demolition of the Round Tower in Clayton Park (210 Willett St. 0 and what is to become of the site...I have heard the building is to come down, along with the small apartment buildings in behind... Just curious to see what plans are in store for this site.
Last I had read here last year was that they were gutting it and completely redoing the interior.

I'd be sad to see it come down as it is one of the more unique buildings in the area.

There are many more buildings in Clayton Park that I'd rather see demolished instead of this one...
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  #2550  
Old Posted May 31, 2019, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by kph06 View Post
Reading though Councillor Cleary's newsletter (here), I found this interesting piece of information:

A development permit has been granted by Planning and Development staff for 7037 Mumford Road. The permit is for a 22-storey, 120-unit residential development with commercial on the ground floor. The current zoning on the property allows for commercial and high-density residential development, so it is considered “as-of-right” development. Since this is a permitted use under the existing Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) and Land Use By-Law (LUB), no public information meeting nor public hearing are required, and the matter will not be presented to either Community Council or Regional Council.

This is the site, based on the signage for leasing inquiries I think it is owned by the Lawen's. I'm not sure As-of-Right has an expiry, so it may still be a ways off as they have lots on their plate currently.
Building Permit #169342 issued on April 2nd, 2019 for 120 residential units at 7037 Mumford Road. Declared value is $2.2 million.
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  #2551  
Old Posted May 31, 2019, 4:33 AM
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Building permits do expire 2 years from date of issue or 1 year if construction hasn't started. maybe by then the centre plan will be approved and it won't be as of right anymore
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  #2552  
Old Posted May 31, 2019, 12:05 PM
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If they are smart they will put up construction fencing and dig a hole.
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  #2553  
Old Posted May 31, 2019, 3:12 PM
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Building permits do expire 2 years from date of issue or 1 year if construction hasn't started. maybe by then the centre plan will be approved and it won't be as of right anymore
I'm pretty sure Development Permits don't currently expire though. So they might need to get a new Building Permit and meet whatever is the most current building code, but they'd still have the right to do the tower.
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  #2554  
Old Posted May 31, 2019, 6:33 PM
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I'm pretty sure Development Permits don't currently expire though. So they might need to get a new Building Permit and meet whatever is the most current building code, but they'd still have the right to do the tower.
Development Permits are not permission to construct, so if regulations change and you don't have a valid building permit in place, the Development Permit is no longer valid. It cannot be used to hold any development rights, only a building permit will do this. Once you have a building permit, it can be renewed, even if you don't construct within the 2 years.
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  #2555  
Old Posted May 31, 2019, 6:40 PM
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Building Permit #169342 issued on April 2nd, 2019 for 120 residential units at 7037 Mumford Road. Declared value is $2.2 million.
Interesting. $2.2M? Not $22M?

Builders have an incentive to undervalue their construction to avoid fees. I think $2.2M takes the cake for what I've seen so far.

In the Canada thread people tend to post building permit numbers and use them as an indicator of construction volume and growth. In the Vancouver permits I saw fairly run of the mill houses valued in the single digit millions for construction. I'm sure they have higher construction costs per square foot, but they're not 100x more.
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  #2556  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2019, 1:58 AM
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Interesting. $2.2M? Not $22M?

Builders have an incentive to undervalue their construction to avoid fees. I think $2.2M takes the cake for what I've seen so far.

In the Canada thread people tend to post building permit numbers and use them as an indicator of construction volume and growth. In the Vancouver permits I saw fairly run of the mill houses valued in the single digit millions for construction. I'm sure they have higher construction costs per square foot, but they're not 100x more.
Sorry that was a typo. It's listed at $22.8 million.
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  #2557  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2019, 5:34 PM
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Sorry that was a typo. It's listed at $22.8 million.
That makes more sense though it's still pretty low. Only $190,000 per unit. If only you could buy them for that price.

Some more demolition has happened on Gottingen Street. Looks like Forbes is gone plus the small building next door (which I think has been vacant for a while?). Anybody know what's going in here? Probably a small building similar to the others that have been built nearby in recent years?

https://www.instagram.com/p/ByVNubYH7g1/
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  #2558  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2019, 9:59 PM
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That makes more sense though it's still pretty low. Only $190,000 per unit. If only you could buy them for that price.

Some more demolition has happened on Gottingen Street. Looks like Forbes is gone plus the small building next door (which I think has been vacant for a while?). Anybody know what's going in here? Probably a small building similar to the others that have been built nearby in recent years?

https://www.instagram.com/p/ByVNubYH7g1/
I was a little disappointed to see the Forbes building go. Sure, it was only one storey tall, but it was unique and elegant, in its way, though the exterior was obviously quite rundown. I hope whatever replaces it is worthwhile.
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  #2559  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2019, 1:36 AM
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I just saw this. Probably for the development across the street?


Source


Edit: actually it looks very different from the elevation for 2165 Gottingen. Maybe it is the Forbes site.
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Last edited by someone123; Jun 11, 2019 at 2:34 AM.
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  #2560  
Old Posted Jun 11, 2019, 1:38 AM
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I was a little disappointed to see the Forbes building go. Sure, it was only one storey tall, but it was unique and elegant, in its way, though the exterior was obviously quite rundown. I hope whatever replaces it is worthwhile.
I agree. It is good to have a mix of old and new and many of the old buildings have quirky designs and features like giant storefront windows that tend not to be built in small infill projects.

Gottingen really needs few good high quality restoration projects. I am thinking of buildings like Menz or Bus Stop. Some of these are community spaces that may be very sensitive to rent levels; maybe the city should come up with some restoration money like on Barrington. Some of this money could come from density bonuses in the North End.

I also get the feeling that in general Halifax's upkeep standards are just too low, and expecting landlords to go from peeling vinyl to regularly painted wood siding wouldn't actually cause an affordability crisis or much discernible maintenance impact in the long run.
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