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Planning committee stalls controversial proposal to raise density in residential area

Changes would allow up to six units within eligible buildings

1 min read
caption Houses on Philip Street are part of the neighbourhood in the proposal.
Robyn Simon

The Halifax peninsula planning advisory committee denied a controversial proposal to increase the density of a West End Halifax neighbourhood on Monday.

The area known as Peninsula West Area 1 is located between the West End Mall and the Northwest Arm. Since 2003, all new buildings in the area have been restricted to single-family homes, but about 15 per cent of the buildings are multi-unit, as they were built before 2003.

The proposed amendment to the land-use bylaw would allow for up to six units to be created within existing buildings, as long as the outside dimensions don’t change.

Committee member Jason Cooke was confused by the timing of the motion. He said when the long-awaited Centre Plan comes out, it will overrule current development regulations. The Centre Plan is a large-scale growth and development strategy for Halifax and Dartmouth.

On Monday, the committee asked for more information about why the changes are being requested.

Coun. Shawn Cleary, who proposed the change, told The Signal the Halifax peninsula needs to add density in a sustainable way, and the proposal was one way to do that. He said it is currently unknown whether the change to Peninsula West Area 1 would conflict with the Centre Plan.

Ken Dewar and Gillian Allen live within the 28-acre residential zone and oppose the change.

They also said the community wasn’t consulted when Cleary proposed the amendment in May 2018 and when told, at a public information meeting in November, 59 out of 61 community members were against the proposed change.

“We’re concerned for the stability of our neighbourhood,” said Dewar.

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    Gloria Stephens

    I am 100% against this proposed bylaw, -open the gate to this one person and the flood will begin, I have lived here since 1931 and all neighbours a have been here 15 to 20 plus years, there is no positive outcome to this change. Young families have moved here for that very reason, a quiet, friendly and caring place. Seems that the plan was already in place before anyone knew about it, not a fair deal and one wonders why the rush and the request was made by one person who doesn't even live in the area nor does the councilor who proposed the change in the first place. Sincerely hopr the committee will take into account all the remarks presented and come up with a positive solution in our favour
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