You Be the Judge

The Objectives and the Rules

Here are the objectives for this part of the city, along with the criteria for assessing these two proposals during the HRM Planning Applications Approval Process [broken HRM link]How would you respond to the questions at the bottom of this page?

Quinpool Road Commercial Area Plan

(Excerpts from Halifax Municipal Planning Strategy, 28 Feb. 2015)

  • Overall Objective: “The encouragement of commercial and mixed commercial / residential development which strengthens the community function of the Quinpool Road area, and is in keeping with the scale and character of the adjacent residential neighbourhoods.” (207)
  • Commercial Facilities Objective: “The development and promotion of Quinpool Road as a general retail, office, personal service and business service area including mixed residential/commercial uses within the presently established commercial area.” (210)

HRM Staff Report on Proposed Developments

(Excerpts from HRM Item No. 11.1.12, on Cases 18966 and 19281, 2 June 2014)

  • “Neither of these development proposals can be considered under existing policy and zoning established in the MPS and Halifax Peninsula LUB (Maps 1 and 2). As such, the applicants are seeking an amendment to the MPS and LUB.” (2)
  • “While the applications were made individually, staff is of the opinion that the impact that each redevelopment project could have on this area should be considered within a single process.” (2)
  • Quinpool Road site: “LUB provisions applied to the subject site allow for residential / commercial developments but include requirements which restrict the proposal from proceeding. These requirements relate to height; building massing; residential density; landscaped open space; and parking. Therefore, the applicant is requesting amendments to the planning documents to enable consideration of the proposed building through the development agreement process.” (5)
  • Robie Street site: “Similar LUB restrictions … also prohibit the Robie Street application from moving forward without amendments to existing planning documents as well as the need to enable the requested commercial uses on the site.” (5)
  • Amendments to an MPS are generally not considered unless it can be shown that circumstances have changed since the document was adopted to the extent that the original land use policy is no longer appropriate. Site specific amendments, in particular, require significant justification to be considered.” (5)
  • Design Control Principles: “When amending policy applicable to the subject area, consideration must be given to the types of design controls which will be put in place to regulate form and use.” (7)

F:Projects2011112460096017 QUINPOOL ROAD (20-06-2014)1124_P  Robie tower


You can send your comments on these proposed developments to HRM:


2 thoughts on “You Be the Judge

  1. These proposed developments are totally unacceptable. They will destroy the North Common through shadows and wind, create unimaginable congestion at the Willow Tree intersection and surrounding area, create traffic problems on two major city access routes which will render the plan for hospital expansion on the Infirmary site impossible to execute, and will lead to calls to reduce the size of the Common in order to add more lanes of traffic to accommodate the resulting chaos. We need housing for families (e.g. townhouses with gardens) in an area where all the necessary facilities exist for them in the form of schools, hospitals, recreational facilities, and shops.


  2. It would be a mistake to approve these and any of the other proposed developments for this area (including a roundabout at the Willow Tree intersection) before the Centre Plan is complete. That just makes sense. Otherwise, why bother with creating a Centre Plan at all? What’s the hurry? The only party in a rush is the developer. The City has time on its side with nothing to lose and everything to gain by waiting until the Plan is in place.

    Also, it would be a mistake to concentrate this much density in one spot. Wouldn’t it be better to spread out smaller developments over several infill sites? It’s more attractive, more liveable, better in every way for residents and the City, just not as lucrative for the developer. Considering the present and projected vacancy rate means there is no pressing for the kind of density tall buildings address, not to mention the contention and divisiveness created wherever they’re proposed, it would be just deliberately stupid to approve them.

    Liked by 1 person

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