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  #61  
Old Posted Sep 13, 2013, 5:29 PM
halifaxboyns halifaxboyns is offline
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Originally Posted by ILoveHalifax View Post
I suppose it would make sense to some to force everybody who wants a traditional house with a lawn and yard to move to the suburbs. We could tear down all the houses on the peninsula and build some beige vinyl 3 story apartment houses. I wonder if this proposal contradicts the fact that many are so sad that we tore down the slums of Jacob St and built apartment houses
The reality of stable neighbourhoods is that not every house gets torn down, it really is a choice of the landowner. So if I own an old Victorian home, if I can keep it well maintained despite increases to my property values...I would keep it and the house would remain.

"Stable" neighbourhoods - all that really means is that you aren't going to face having a 6 or 8 storey apartment building being next to you (typically) - the city wouldn't support a land use change in that area for it, because you'd be considered a stable neighbourhood. They would support it though if you were along say a corridor.

But why wouldn't you want to offer some 3 or 4 storey walk up apartments so long as they fit in with the community in terms of height and design? Rules can be put in to deal with that. The reason I believe in that is because a friend lived in one on Robie Street. It was this building. These two, were 3 units. He lived in the basement of the one on the left for a couple years. I don't see any planning reason why this wouldn't be appropriate in a stable neighbourhood.
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  #62  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2013, 4:46 AM
counterfactual counterfactual is offline
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Originally Posted by ILoveHalifax View Post
I suppose it would make sense to some to force everybody who wants a traditional house with a lawn and yard to move to the suburbs. We could tear down all the houses on the peninsula and build some beige vinyl 3 story apartment houses. I wonder if this proposal contradicts the fact that many are so sad that we tore down the slums of Jacob St and built apartment houses
On the other thread, you demonstrated an inability to understand an argument based on reason and evidence. And now you're showing you're inability to read.

Are you trolling? Or really this dense?

No one suggesting anything like that. There are plenty of opportunities for people to buy a "traditional home" either on the peninsula, the suburbs, or the exurbs. Moving towards reasonably development policies and density infill won't change that.
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  #63  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2013, 5:10 AM
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Actually I think it does make sense that traditional houses would eventually be pushed off of the peninsula as the city grows. Back in the 1700's, Barrington Street was residential and was lined with houses. By the mid-1800's almost all of those houses have been replaced by commercial buildings. Today, there aren't many houses left even out towards Robie.

That's the natural evolution of a growing city. It might make sense to preserve some houses, but it doesn't make sense to artificially maintain low-density buildings in the most central areas. Instead, it makes more sense to extend the urban neighbourhoods outward. In the future, if things work out well, maybe Dutch Village Road will be like the new Quinpool Road, and the far North End will be like Agricola Street is today.

It would be a real shame for the current inner neighbourhoods to be mowed over and replaced with thoughtless development, but a mix of careful additions (new floors, back additions, lane houses) and good infill on underused sites would be a big improvement. That is largely what we're seeing today, despite all the angst over new development. In the case of the development in this thread, 0 houses are being lost. The old building on one of these sites was literally a dump. It is hard to believe that anybody would want that over the new building.
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  #64  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2013, 5:44 AM
ILoveHalifax ILoveHalifax is offline
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Originally Posted by counterfactual View Post
On the other thread, you demonstrated an inability to understand an argument based on reason and evidence. And now you're showing you're inability to read.

Are you trolling? Or really this dense?

No one suggesting anything like that. There are plenty of opportunities for people to buy a "traditional home" either on the peninsula, the suburbs, or the exurbs. Moving towards reasonably development policies and density infill won't change that.
Thank you for recognizing my inadequacies. I really am very f*&k$# DENSE and I have nothing to do all day except TROLL this site.
I fully understand that your arguments are all based on FACT and REASON and EVIDENCE.

YES I am having a real problem READING, and UNDERSTANDING especially your last sentence, but that's just STUPID ole DENSE me.

How about I run my next post by you for a FACT CHECK before I post it? I just hate looking so DENSE. It upsets me when you point out my INADEQUACIES here in front of everyone else.
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  #65  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2013, 6:24 AM
counterfactual counterfactual is offline
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
Actually I think it does make sense that traditional houses would eventually be pushed off of the peninsula as the city grows. Back in the 1700's, Barrington Street was residential and was lined with houses. By the mid-1800's almost all of those houses have been replaced by commercial buildings. Today, there aren't many houses left even out towards Robie.

That's the natural evolution of a growing city. It might make sense to preserve some houses, but it doesn't make sense to artificially maintain low-density buildings in the most central areas. Instead, it makes more sense to extend the urban neighbourhoods outward. In the future, if things work out well, maybe Dutch Village Road will be like the new Quinpool Road, and the far North End will be like Agricola Street is today.

It would be a real shame for the current inner neighbourhoods to be mowed over and replaced with thoughtless development, but a mix of careful additions (new floors, back additions, lane houses) and good infill on underused sites would be a big improvement. That is largely what we're seeing today, despite all the angst over new development. In the case of the development in this thread, 0 houses are being lost. The old building on one of these sites was literally a dump. It is hard to believe that anybody would want that over the new building.
This +10000.
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  #66  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2013, 6:26 AM
counterfactual counterfactual is offline
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Originally Posted by ILoveHalifax View Post
Thank you for recognizing my inadequacies. I really am very f*&k$# DENSE and I have nothing to do all day except TROLL this site.
I fully understand that your arguments are all based on FACT and REASON and EVIDENCE.

YES I am having a real problem READING, and UNDERSTANDING especially your last sentence, but that's just STUPID ole DENSE me.

How about I run my next post by you for a FACT CHECK before I post it? I just hate looking so DENSE. It upsets me when you point out my INADEQUACIES here in front of everyone else.
Happy to look over your posts before being posted. Just send via direct msg.
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  #67  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2013, 6:41 AM
fenwick16 fenwick16 is offline
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I can understand your frustration ILoveHalifax. There will always be a desire for many people to own a home with a lawn in a suburban environment. In the GTA there are many such neighbourhoods, however the lots are very small in order to allow many people the opportunity to live near the city in detached and row housing (popularly called townhouses).

There seems to be many dilapidated single homes and commercial spaces that could be torn down and replaced with higher density infill projects. My memories of the North End include many areas that could be modernized.

I saw a version of Holmes Makes it Right - http://makeitright.ca/Holmes_Media/makeitrightsip.php that showed a renovated old home that had mold, asbestos lined pipes, caving in basement walls, water leakage, etc and it made me wonder how many old homes in the Halifax area should just be torn down and replaced with something better and higher density. (as a sidenote, I wonder how much money Mike Holmes makes on his TV shows and how much still comes from construction?).

Last edited by fenwick16; Sep 14, 2013 at 12:23 PM.
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  #68  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2013, 11:44 AM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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Why not knock them down and build 12 apartment/condo units?
You're right, but NIMBYs aren't logical... think of the children.

IMO there should be no requirements under 15 stories to have public input on the height, design is a different matter.
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  #69  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2013, 3:55 PM
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Actually I think it does make sense that traditional houses would eventually be pushed off of the peninsula as the city grows. Back in the 1700's, Barrington Street was residential and was lined with houses. By the mid-1800's almost all of those houses have been replaced by commercial buildings. Today, there aren't many houses left even out towards Robie.

That's the natural evolution of a growing city. It might make sense to preserve some houses, but it doesn't make sense to artificially maintain low-density buildings in the most central areas. Instead, it makes more sense to extend the urban neighbourhoods outward. In the future, if things work out well, maybe Dutch Village Road will be like the new Quinpool Road, and the far North End will be like Agricola Street is today.
Yep. I'd still argue for preservation of the old building stock, however (many of the commercial buildings on Agricola are just repurposed rowhouses). The side-street houses tend to be quite densely packed together, and I do, honestly, think it's worth preserving the houses lining streets like Robie, North, South, and Inglis for their urban form and architectural merit.

From living in Calgary and Toronto, I'm pretty decently acquainted with development there, and the concept of the "established neighbourhood" is gospel. The neighbourhoods are just done, and future change is expected to be minimal if anything. Growth is being directed to main avenues and intersections. I think it's unnecessarily restrictive, but I wouldn't want to see those Victorian avenues pulled up and destroyed either. So there's a middle ground, and I guess it involves cherry picking what you keep and what you lose.

(Like I said in another thread, knocking down the houses standing in the way of that proposed Wellington Street building is perfectly acceptable, to me. But knocking down something like this would be a non-starter.
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  #70  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2013, 5:02 PM
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I would not suggest knocking down buildings like that, but many can be modified. A lot of buildings in Halifax that people think are original have been added to over the years and they still look fine.

Greenvale is one example of a restoration project and addition. It's not perfect but it is a big improvement. Forbes Restoration (http://halforbes.com/) has also done a bunch of projects that are really more than just restoration, although I am not sure they have involved major additions.

Here in Vancouver there are a lot of nice custom houses replacing old empty lots or "Vancouver specials" in the inner neighbourhoods. In many cases they look identical to their older neighbours.
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  #71  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2013, 4:12 AM
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Yep. I'd still argue for preservation of the old building stock, however (many of the commercial buildings on Agricola are just repurposed rowhouses). The side-street houses tend to be quite densely packed together, and I do, honestly, think it's worth preserving the houses lining streets like Robie, North, South, and Inglis for their urban form and architectural merit.

From living in Calgary and Toronto, I'm pretty decently acquainted with development there, and the concept of the "established neighbourhood" is gospel. The neighbourhoods are just done, and future change is expected to be minimal if anything. Growth is being directed to main avenues and intersections. I think it's unnecessarily restrictive, but I wouldn't want to see those Victorian avenues pulled up and destroyed either. So there's a middle ground, and I guess it involves cherry picking what you keep and what you lose.

(Like I said in another thread, knocking down the houses standing in the way of that proposed Wellington Street building is perfectly acceptable, to me. But knocking down something like this would be a non-starter.
Calgary has been pretty horrible at (1) managing sprawl and (2) promoting urban growth. Probably the worst in Canada. Toronto has intensified densification downtown, but it still has a major sprawl problem. Restrictions like the one you mentioned, aren't helping either city.

Some neighborhoods are worth preserving-- I know Toronto and do love some of the lovely old brick/brownstone housing in places like The Annex-- but right now, the HFX peninsula is rife with low-density and often run-down residential. Not efficient use of land, and not all that nice to look at.
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  #72  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2013, 4:38 AM
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Calgary has been pretty horrible at (1) managing sprawl and (2) promoting urban growth. Probably the worst in Canada. Toronto has intensified densification downtown, but it still has a major sprawl problem. Restrictions like the one you mentioned, aren't helping either city.

Some neighborhoods are worth preserving-- I know Toronto and do love some of the lovely old brick/brownstone housing in places like The Annex-- but right now, the HFX peninsula is rife with low-density and often run-down residential. Not efficient use of land, and not all that nice to look at.
Uh-huh—I agree with you, that's why I supported the idea of intensifying even within the so-called “stable” areas. I just think that we'd have to be very careful about ensuring that we preserve, in abundance, certain types of architecture--all those blocks of old working-class rowhousing in the North End that are now attracting re-investment, and the Victorians and saltboxes on the innermost streets. Irreplaceable, built to an urban scale, and incredibly desirable from a real estate perspective.

But definitely, there are certainly a good number of undistinguished structures and bungalows and whatnot, especially when you start getting west of Oxford and north of Quinpool, or north of the Hydrostone.

It's all hypothetical anyway, though--the current planning paradigm doesn't really allow for large-scale change on those streets. And it's not pressing, and probably won't be for a long time. Lots of other opportunity sites, for now.
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  #73  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2013, 4:56 AM
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Lots of other opportunity sites, for now.
It will be interesting to see how this evolves over the next 10-20 years. We're in a unique situation now where there's an abundance of underused sites and empty surface lots leftover from a long period of under-investment in inner-cities across the country, but the older and arguably more normal pattern is for the extent of urban cores to grow over time, and for buildings in those areas to be replaced or modified. That was the norm in 1900 or 1800 when there were no empty lots lying about.

I guess it remains to be seen whether or not we've entered a new period of consistent urban development, but if the current pace keeps up I don't think Halifax actually has that big of a supply of empty lots. Things have only really gotten going over the last few years, and I would estimate that maybe as much as 1/2 of the surface parking that existed downtown circa 2000 will still be around in 2015.

There's a big disconnect right now between demand for urban neighbourhoods and supply because not many good new neighbourhoods are being built. The cities with the most leftover stock that happens to be what people now want are big winners (cities like SF and Montreal), but as prices in those areas become more and more inflated there's going to be more and more pent up demand in other cities and demand for newer neighbourhoods. The cities that effectively capture this demand will be winners in terms of attracting wealth and talent.
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  #74  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2013, 8:12 PM
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All of the detailed information is now available;

Case 18547 Details
Case 18548 Details

Plan Package

Due to the notable slopes present on the sites the official heights are a bit sckewed. My interpretation of heights is 33 & 24 METRES / 11 & 8 FLOORS as measured from the lowest street-side property line (Maitland Street) to the top of the adjacent tower.
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  #75  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2013, 8:39 PM
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Rendering from the application package:

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  #76  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2013, 8:51 PM
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Love those fake rendering-people hanging out and shaking hands in front.

The townhouse units on Maitland are great to see. I guess I'm a little concerned with the Gottingen-facing side--tucking the storefront units under an overhang and behind those support columns seems a like a good way to deaden the street frontage. The part intersecting with Prince William just seems a bit too bulky.

Really my only criticism though. It'll be a hell of a lot better than the rubble-strewn lot currently there, regardless.
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  #77  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2013, 9:41 PM
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Interesting interview with Ross Cantwell in Allnovascotia tonight. He suggested that the mayor personally had a hand in getting this project going again after it was basically on hold because staff didn't want to allow the extra height.

It seems totally crazy that a development like this would be held back; these buildings would be great for the area and they're on a major street in the urban core. If it weren't possible to do even 6 floors here then how would the city possibly hit its infill targets?
So tell me again why we shouldn't see HRM planning staff as an obstacle to progress and good planning in this city? For some reason, they always portend to speak for the "local community". And it always seems that their imagined local community hates anything over 3 floors.

From what I understand, this moved forwards thanks to the behind the scenes work of Mike Savage AND the support of Jennifer Watts, for those who like to chide her on here for being anti-development. Well, here she is on board.
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  #78  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2013, 10:45 PM
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This area could have half a chance if this goes ahead and St Pat's finally gets demolished and redeveloped.
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  #79  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2013, 11:59 PM
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I like the fact that it seems to take some design cues from the nearby North End Memorial Library, one of my favourite modernist buildings in the city.
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  #80  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2013, 3:52 AM
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I thought the letter from Ross Cantwell was interesting. He clearly articulates a bunch of reasons why this proposal should move forward, and a lot of them have to do with positive spin-off effects that will be good even for people who don't move into this development. For example, people keep saying they want a grocery store and banks along Gottingen Street, but the local population is not there to support those things.

Bigger residential developments like this are needed in this area to create a proper balance where there's enough demand to sustain the basic services that people need and want to have within walking distance. 3-4 storey developments are not enough to fix this problem, particularly if a large percentage of land is off the table.
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