The Planning department’s proposed guidelines for developing the St. Pat’s High School site are described in its May 30 presentation. The Willow Tree Group’s responses are described in Questions About Quinpool 6067 and Saddened, Disappointed, Frustrated, and Annoyed. These guidelines address only a few issues: urban massing, exterior cladding, and signage; the eventual developer would be free to decide on everything else. These guidelines were considered by the Districts 7 and 8 Planning Advisory Committee at its meetings on May 30, June 27, and July 11. The next PAC discussion will be on Monday, July 25, 4:00–6:00 pm, at city hall. The public is welcome to attend the meeting but not participate.
What’s Happened So Far
Not far from the Willow Tree, things are happening on the site of the former St. Patrick’s High School. St. Pat’s, built in 1954, has been demolished. HRM Council declared the property to be surplus and decided to sell it for its economic development potential. HRM Administrative Order 50 describes the conditions for the disposal of a surplus property. HRM now calls the site Quinpool 6067.
On July 20, 2015, demolition began. Ten months later, it’s almost over.
On July 22, HRM hosted a public open house at the Halifax Forum to view three preliminary urban massing proposals for this site. The Background Report by the consultants, WSP Canada (Dartmouth) and Architecture 49 (Montreal), is posted on HRM’s Quinpool 6067 web page (Shape Your City Halifax). The Willow Tree Group was encouraged by the intent to consult the public about the St. Pat’s site, but was appalled at the consultation process, the background report, and the urban massing proposals as a response to the design criteria. Read our editorial to find out why. From July 23 to August 14, a survey with 18 multiple-choice questions was posted at Shape Your City Halifax, asking citizens to evaluate the three urban massing proposals by the consultants.
Based on the responses, HRM’s Planning and Development department and the consultants (WSP in Dartmouth) drafted a single set of regulations for the site. On December 9 these regulations were presented at a second public open house at the Atlantica Hotel. The public was invited to comment on these regulations by filling out a second online survey by January 4, 2016.
After reviewing the survey responses, the Planning department drafted a revised set of regulations for the site. They were presented at a Public Information Meeting / Districts 7 & 8 Planning Advisory Committee meeting on May 9, 2016. The response was largely negative, based on many different topics. The Planning department indicated that it’s using this as a test case to see how much density can be placed on a site without overwhelming it.
The Planning department presented a slightly revised set of regulations to the Districts 7 and 8 Planning Advisory Committee on May 30, 2016. It now includes three massing samples to show how much volume the buildings would occupy on the site. The committee will continue its discussion on June 27.
The next steps are summarized in the Quinpool 6067 Q&A. After making any final amendments, the Planning department will forward its regulations to HRM Council for a public hearing, at which the public can speak directly to HRM Council. If Council approves the regulations, the property will be put up for sale. If the developer abides by the approved regulations, there would be no further public input on the design of the buildings on this block.
News articles about the St. Pat’s site and Quinpool 6067:
- CBC, 14 January 2015
- CBC, 20 July 2015
- Global News, 20 July 2015
- CBC, 22 July 2015
- CBC, 23 July 2015
- Metro News, 23 July 2015
- Halifax Examiner, 23 July 2015
- Chronicle-Herald, 23 July 2015
- Chronice-Herald, 29 July 2015
- Chronicle-Herald, 9 December 2015
- Chronicle-Herald, 11 December 2015
- Chronicle-Herald, 29 December 2015
- CBC, 31 May 2016