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  #41  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2010, 1:15 PM
Halifax Hillbilly Halifax Hillbilly is offline
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Are the parkades in this area even full? Park Lane has a pretty large one and there's a lot of underground parking in maybe a half a dozen buildings. On-street parking is hard to find but that's something that just does not exist in sufficient quantities once an area hits a certain level of density. Spring Garden Road is busy enough that nobody should expect it to be like a small town where you just drive up and park wherever you feel like.
That's the problem though, everyone including merchants, seem to expect a lot of cheap on-street parking, which as you point isn't going to happen on Spring Garden Road.

I think what this area, and downtown in general needs, is a way to communicate to drivers which lots are free. In Montreal they have electronic signs throughout the downtown that tell you how many spots are left in each parkade. I'm sure if this system were setup someone could make an app which would supply people the same information to a blackberry or iphone. I also think the rates for onstreet parking should be reviewed. Can you still park for free after six? If so this just encourages people to cruise around looking for a hard to find free meter instead of going directly to an underused parkade. Free parking on weekends and evenings doesn't make sense in this area anymore, there is too much demand at those times.

As for the development I can't see council shooting this down.
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  #42  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2010, 2:21 PM
fenwick16 fenwick16 is offline
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Originally Posted by Halifax Hillbilly View Post
I think what this area, and downtown in general needs, is a way to communicate to drivers which lots are free. In Montreal they have electronic signs throughout the downtown that tell you how many spots are left in each parkade. I'm sure if this system were setup someone could make an app which would supply people the same information to a blackberry or iphone.
This sounds like a great idea. It would require some collaboration between various private parking lot operators and city owned parking lots but if it could be implemented it would be great for reducing time spent searching for a parking spot.
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  #43  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2010, 2:05 AM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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This would be more attractive if split into two towers that were 3-4 stories taller.
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  #44  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2010, 2:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Halifax Hillbilly View Post
That's the problem though, everyone including merchants, seem to expect a lot of cheap on-street parking, which as you point isn't going to happen on Spring Garden Road.

I think what this area, and downtown in general needs, is a way to communicate to drivers which lots are free. In Montreal they have electronic signs throughout the downtown that tell you how many spots are left in each parkade. I'm sure if this system were setup someone could make an app which would supply people the same information to a blackberry or iphone. I also think the rates for onstreet parking should be reviewed. Can you still park for free after six? If so this just encourages people to cruise around looking for a hard to find free meter instead of going directly to an underused parkade. Free parking on weekends and evenings doesn't make sense in this area anymore, there is too much demand at those times.

As for the development I can't see council shooting this down.
Yep, it's still free after 6:00 and on weekends.
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  #45  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2010, 3:56 AM
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This would be more attractive if split into two towers that were 3-4 stories taller.
I agree completely even if the towers were a little thinner or something and be 3-4 stories taller would look better, but I don't think it looks horrible and will add some much needed investment.
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  #46  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2010, 7:19 PM
beyeas beyeas is offline
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I agree that this development could definitely stand to be better but WOW the comments made by email and at the meeting were soooo laughable.
http://www.halifax.ca/council/agenda...9ca1121iii.pdf

Not only the snotty comments by "owners" about those worthless drifters (my sarcasm inserted here) who can only afford to rent, but all the complaints about how developments like this increase the number of people in the area. DUH!? THAT'S THE FRICKIN POINT! YOU ARE LIVING DOWNTOWN. Seriously! ARG! If you want peace and quiet, move to the country, but the point of downtown residental is to increase the density of people to make businesses viable and the downtown alive! Morons.
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  #47  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2010, 7:43 PM
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Originally Posted by beyeas View Post
I agree that this development could definitely stand to be better but WOW the comments made by email and at the meeting were soooo laughable.
http://www.halifax.ca/council/agenda...9ca1121iii.pdf

Not only the snotty comments by "owners" about those worthless drifters (my sarcasm inserted here) who can only afford to rent, but all the complaints about how developments like this increase the number of people in the area. DUH!? THAT'S THE FRICKIN POINT! YOU ARE LIVING DOWNTOWN. Seriously! ARG! If you want peace and quiet, move to the country, but the point of downtown residental is to increase the density of people to make businesses viable and the downtown alive! Morons.
If you read the comments in that .pdf file without knowing what is being proposed, you'd be led to believe that they've proposed a 50 storey tower, not a 5 storey one! This backwards thinking towards the dt and density growth is scary really.
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  #48  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2010, 8:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mcmcclassic View Post
If you read the comments in that .pdf file without knowing what is being proposed, you'd be led to believe that they've proposed a 50 storey tower, not a 5 storey one! This backwards thinking towards the dt and density growth is scary really.
Im not overly concerned. Nobody listens to bozo's like them anymore anyway. Though it is rediculous that people with such thoughts exist in this city. They do realize Lunenburg is only about an hour away right?

If this doesn't get approved I'll be pretty surprised.
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  #49  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2010, 10:37 PM
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The question is whether or not the comments have merit, and the ones I've read so far just look terrible. I get a kick out of the ones complaining about how the units would be undesirable because they're so close together. So what? If you don't like one, don't buy it. The question being considered here is whether or not this building unduly affects neighbours and the answer is that it doesn't. It is totally routine infill.

The people complaining about construction next door are also on very shaky ground; both City Centre Atlantic and Park Lane were designed to have residential built on top of them.
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  #50  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2010, 11:00 AM
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Committee fears wind-tunnel effect
City to examine $18m downtown project today
By CHRIS LAMBIE Business Editor
Tue. Mar 9 - 4:53 AM

A five-storey addition proposed for City Centre Atlantic could create a wind tunnel and looks like "a blank wall" from Spring Garden Road, says the head of a committee that looked at the project.

"Both of those were kind of the major concerns from the committee members as to why we recommended rejecting the proposal," Heather Ternoway, with the downtown Halifax planning advisory committee, said Monday.

Today, Halifax regional council will examine the $18-million project, proposed by Dexel Developments Ltd. of Halifax. The addition, designed to house nearly 100 apartments, is slated to be built over Pete’s Frootique on Dresden Row.

The project could increase wind for pedestrians on Brenton Place and Birmingham Street, Ternoway said.

"But I think the big concern is the public space in between the proposed addition and the Heritage Way condominiums that’s there," she said.

The condominiums are part of City Centre Atlantic, fronting on Artillery Place, said Ternoway, a planner with Dalhousie University’s cities and environment unit. The condos lie to the north of where the apartments would be built.

"The proposed addition would leave some space at the current roof level of City Centre Atlantic and then put the addition on, so there’s this little tunnel of public space that would probably have pretty windy conditions," she said.

In a report to council, her committee complained about the "non-independence of the wind impact statement" that project architect Michael Napier prepared.

"The wind study was not complete," Ternoway said. "They never did a wind tunnel test on this building to look on the effects on the street or on the adjacent building or the public space between that building and Heritage Way."

Napier doubts the 18-metre-wide space between the proposed addition and the condominiums will be affected drastically by addition wind.

"I don’t think it’s going to make it any windier," he said Monday. "But to cover our bases . . . the developer is actually getting another opinion, so that (concern about impartiality) will disappear, I think."

City Centre Atlantic is controlled by Pyxis Real Estate Equities Inc. of Toronto, but the planned apartment complex would be owned by Dexel, which designed and plans to build the addition.

The planning advisory committee was critical of the addition’s south-facing facade.

"It just wouldn’t do anything, that’s the problem," Ternoway said. "Having a wall with absolutely no windows or openings or balconies doesn’t increase any liveliness on the street or any people that are going to be inhabiting that building having a view of the street."

Her committee’s report notes balconies and some glass has been added to the design, but there’s "still a significant portion of blank wall."

Spring Garden Road is "such an important street in the city, it really seems like a missed opportunity," Ternoway said.

"It’s not right at street level, but you would still see basically a blank wall if you were walking down Spring Garden Road looking across (and up) at the building."

Napier said the wall is blank because it’s on the property line.

"Someone could build up against there and cover the whole thing up anyway," he said.

But "compared to what we started with when it was much blanker, most people wouldn’t, I don’t think, consider it a blank wall," Napier said.

The proposed project faces Spring Garden Road, but it is set back about 20 metres from the street, he said.

"If you were walking on the north side of Spring Garden, you wouldn’t even be able to see the building," Napier said. "You’d have a hard enough time on the south side of Spring Garden seeing it."

City staffers are recommending council approve the development agreement for the project.

"If they want to consider adopting the proposal, they need to schedule a public hearing," said Richard Harvey, a senior municipal planner.

A public hearing could be held at the end of this month, he said.

"That’s what’s anticipated," Harvey said.

( clambie@herald.ca)
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  #51  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2010, 1:12 PM
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I hope that these people realize that if they drive developers away from Halifax then eventually the downtown core will become a ghetto (unless the various levels of government turn it into a city like Louisburg that is strictly for tourists).
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  #52  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2010, 5:24 PM
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Wind tunnel tests?! Good lord... it's 5 stories?!?! We need to conduct wind tunnel tests now anytime someone want to build something bigger than a McDonalds?

As for the blank wall on "Spring Garden"... I went back a page in this thread to view the renderings again and the building doesn't even come close to fronting on Spring Garden Road. It is soooo far set back that you would see the building from either side of Spring Garden Road. And like Napier said... you don't put windows on a property line! This committee is crazy.

Last edited by Takeo; Mar 9, 2010 at 5:38 PM.
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  #53  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2010, 8:42 PM
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Wind studies shouldn't even be considered under 10 storeys. Halifax is a windy city and no policy will change that.
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  #54  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2010, 9:09 PM
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This appears to all be a pretext for torpedoing the development because some people in Heritage Way are unhappy with the idea of having a new neighbour. That is not a good reason for denying a development application.

The wind studies are pretty sad and tend to be horribly distorted by people who either are being dishonest or just don't understand them. I've heard multiple councillors for example look at a wind study and gasp at how there will be "23 gusts per year over 60 km/h" or whatever only to be told that the number is in fact lower with the new development in place. These buildings aren't magical, they just sometimes deflect wind and it's pretty easy to account for that with the design. Often a development results in less wind because it shelters the street more than an empty lot. Usually the net effect seems to be roughly zero, despite Gloria McCluskey's dramatic tales of being blown around by the Maritime Centre.
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  #55  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 3:43 AM
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Does anybody know what happened at Regional Council earlier tonight? It wasn't televized ...
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  #56  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 4:30 AM
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Once again the anti-development forces in Halifax strike down a development. It seems to me that the HRM council is controlled by anti-development groups that tend to be wealthy land owners in the South End. This may be an extremely narrowed-mined view by myself but having watched political forces in Halifax over the past 40 years (that I have been following the Halifax area news) it certainly seems to be the case.

I often wonder where Halifax would be today without these various committees that seem to have the power to block almost any development. Now Halifax has HRM by Design which supposedly will speed up developments but which in fact limits high rises to areas such as the Cogswell interchange which may not be developed for decades (by which time there will be limitations against highrises in that area).

Forgive me if I am being narrow-minded, but why are wealthy Haligonians allowed to force new development proposals to take years to be approved by which time the developers typically have given up, or the developments are no longer feasible. Where would Halifax be today without these anti-development forces? It is hard to say because I don't know how long these strong anti-development forces have existed. In my opinion the HRM would be a metropolitan area of about 600,000 - 700,000 people by now without these forces. I realize that it would come with a price since some heritage buildings may have been destroyed. However, if Halifax had reached its full potential then it would of had many more heritage buildings in the first place. Boston managed to become a large metropolis and still save much of its heritage.

Is there anyway to counteract the anti-development forces? This isn't some far fetched conspiracy theory. Anyone who has followed Halifax politics for a few decades would know what I am referring to. It is an ultra-conservative wing that controls the HRM.

This is my rant. I am fed-up with these people forcing the middle-class and poor to leave Nova Scotia for Ontario and Alberta while they turn the HRM and Nova Scotia into a resort for the rich. And why don't they at least give the few remaining middle-class and poor a CFL team and stadium to cheer them up while they serve these rich snobs. (My apologies to wealthy people who are not snobs). Moncton, a much smaller city is able to build a stadium and potentially attract a CFL team.

One indication of my point - the most practical route leading off the peninsula, the Northwest Arm bridge has been repeatedly rejected with little discussion while places like Africville were bulldozed to make way for the MacKay bridge.

Last edited by fenwick16; Mar 10, 2010 at 8:49 AM.
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  #57  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 6:50 AM
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I don't think it was struck down. Allnovascotia is reporting that it's headed for a public hearing...?
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  #58  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 8:46 AM
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Hasn't this one already been around for several months? Does every project require a public hearing? It just seems like this anti-development attitude is unique to the HRM. In Dartmouth, once the King's Wharf project came out then a couple councilors started talking about introducing new viewplanes bylaws in Dartmouth. I wish HRM had councillors who had the courage to just approve developments instead of being swayed every time by these various anti-development committees. I think quite often the opposition actually comes from one or two councillors within HRM council who then go to their anti-development friends for support.

Last edited by fenwick16; Mar 10, 2010 at 12:43 PM.
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  #59  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by fenwick16 View Post
Once again the anti-development forces in Halifax strike down a development. It seems to me that the HRM council is controlled by anti-development groups that tend to be wealthy land owners in the South End. This may be an extremely narrowed-mined view by myself but having watched political forces in Halifax over the past 40 years (that I have been following the Halifax area news) it certainly seems to be the case.

I often wonder where Halifax would be today without these various committees that seem to have the power to block almost any development. Now Halifax has HRM by Design which supposedly will speed up developments but which in fact limits high rises to areas such as the Cogswell interchange which may not be developed for decades (by which time there will be limitations against highrises in that area).

Forgive me if I am being narrow-minded, but why are wealthy Haligonians allowed to force new development proposals to take years to be approved by which time the developers typically have given up, or the developments are no longer feasible. Where would Halifax be today without these anti-development forces? It is hard to say because I don't know how long these strong anti-development forces have existed. In my opinion the HRM would be a metropolitan area of about 600,000 - 700,000 people by now without these forces. I realize that it would come with a price since some heritage buildings may have been destroyed. However, if Halifax had reached its full potential then it would of had many more heritage buildings in the first place. Boston managed to become a large metropolis and still save much of its heritage.

Is there anyway to counteract the anti-development forces? This isn't some far fetched conspiracy theory. Anyone who has followed Halifax politics for a few decades would know what I am referring to. It is an ultra-conservative wing that controls the HRM.

This is my rant. I am fed-up with these people forcing the middle-class and poor to leave Nova Scotia for Ontario and Alberta while they turn the HRM and Nova Scotia into a resort for the rich. And why don't they at least give the few remaining middle-class and poor a CFL team and stadium to cheer them up while they serve these rich snobs. (My apologies to wealthy people who are not snobs). Moncton, a much smaller city is able to build a stadium and potentially attract a CFL team.

One indication of my point - the most practical route leading off the peninsula, the Northwest Arm bridge has been repeatedly rejected with little discussion while places like Africville were bulldozed to make way for the MacKay bridge.
I find you are sterotyping weathly people and south end residents as anti development, which is HARDLY the case.
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  #60  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2010, 1:12 PM
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As the HRM grows in population the South End anti-development groups will become less and less important, especially since they seem intent on limited growth on the Peninsula. As the suburbs and Dartmouth grow, the voices of the South End anti-development groups will eventually become irrelevant. Then maybe the HRM will become a true democracy.
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