Update #31 – Illegal backyard parking, more public meetings on downtown, Coburg/Seymour, Dal Fitness Centre

Normally I try and do just one email a month, however fall is a busy time! A number of issues and public meetings have popped up since the last email, and I wanted to make you aware of them.


Please let me know if you want me to drop off some “Slow Down” signs. I would love to see these all around the schools and known areas of conflict between pedestrians and cars.  Email me if you want some dropped off.  Email me at waye.mason@halifax.ca.


Two corrections, one from my print news letter, one from the last email update.

The email address to send community events to for my e-newsletter is bradlej@halifax.ca, incorrect information was printed in my print newsletter.

The location of the Joint Emergency Management meetings was omitted from the last email update.  The meeting is taking place Wednesday, 30 September at 6pm at the Halifax Central Library, Lindsay Children’s Room.

I apologize for any confusion these errors caused.

Parking Lots in Residential Areas

Recently there has been a trend for some landlords to pave over entire back yards of residential properties and turn them into monthly parking. This is not a legal use of residentially zoned property.  Residential properties in the R1, R2 and R2A zone are only allowed to provide parking for the tenants and their guests.

Commercial parking operations are not permitted under the land use by-law. These properties will be issued a Notice to Comply through Municipal Compliance. This provides an opportunity for the owner to comply with the by-law within a prescribed time period and if he/she doesn’t, appropriate remedies will be sought which may include prosecution.

If you suspect you have a commercial parking operation in your neighbourhood, please report it to 311 and ask for a Development Officer to be sent to inspect the property.

Make sure you get the reference number for you complaint, and then email the reference number to me so my staff can follow up.

Public Meetings

Downtown Plan Review (HRM by Design)
Wednesday, September 23 6 – 9 p.m | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
Planning and Development is currently undertaking a five-year review of the Downtown Halifax Secondary Municipal Planning Strategy and Land Use By-law. As part of this review, residents are invited to attend a presentation and facilitated discussions on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 6 – 9 p.m., at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. The discussions will focus on five themes for downtown planning including: design, process, livability, innovation and prosperity.

Dal Fitness Centre construction information session  
Thursday, September 24, 7 to 8:30 pm | Room 1116, Marion McCain Arts & Social Sciences Building
Construction of the new fitness centre is expected to begin later this month, beginning with site preparations. To accommodate the demolition and excavation a fence will be erected. The fence will require the permanent closure of parking spaces, including the “upper Dalplex lot”, the line of metered spaces behind 6280 South Street and the Eliza Ritchie parking lot. The driveway from South Street to the Dalplex lot will also be shifted to the west to make room for the new building. Two-way traffic will be maintained into the Dalplex lot during construction.  The fitness centre will be located on South Street, where the Eliza Ritchie residence currently stands. Features of the new structure will include cardio and strength training facilities, group fitness studios, change rooms and customer service amenities.

Coburg/Seymour Development (Needs store site)
Thursday, Oct 1, 6:30pm | location TBD
This meeting is about to be confirmed, where a smaller, revised design for the proposed development will be presented for community feedback.

  • Samuel Rad

    I park in the south end area and my entire family either work there or goes to Dal and it is impossible to find a reasonable parking spot that it won’t cost you a fortune. Maybe landlords realize that there is a huge lack of parking in South end and that is why they do it to make some $ and for us that need the parking, landlords are doing us a favour by providing reasonable parking for a fraction of the price of greedy parking owners including Dal themselves. Is it not about the time to look into re-zoning or allowing more relevant usage of the properties in different neighbourhoods of Halifax? Why the councillors and city staff of other cities in Canada and around the world act way more robust and listen to their citizens needs and wants and are not stuck in their ways for years and years like we are in Halifax? Isn’t it about the time for the ones in the decision making positions to start implementing changes that actually help the working class in this old dysfunctional city that it feels like it is getting worst and all we can do is to scare young people off and away and instead keep the retired, old and sick satisfied and please them because they are getting more and more??? I am not trying to be rude against elderly or say that we do not need them, but instead I am saying that this old city should operate around the younger population and their wants and needs in order to keep them around for a better economy and a better support of elderly and their pensions. At times it feels like that nobody wants to work in this city any more and we live in a dead land!!! I love when elders are acting as the wise sound of the crowd helping the young to grow and not when they want to get rid of the young all together. CHANGE is what Halifax need now and that is the only way to give some prosperity to this beautiful province with such amazing and loyal people that all they want is a better life for themselves and their children.

    Retired is retired and deserves to rest and enjoy life and young we do not want because they want to keep changing things and cause disturbance to the old!!! So is NS going to get older and older everyday until there is no young left?

    Back to the subject line, please do not make life more difficult more than it is for young by shutting down parking lots that are providing reasonable rate parking options.

    • I am all for making downtown more accessible but there is NO difference between paving over a back yard in Woodlawn or Upper Sackville for commercial use and paving over a back yard in peninsula south. If it is a residential neighbourhood it is not allowed. The neighbours to these sites own their homes, raise their kids, etc and have the same rights to protection of their quality of life as any other resident. There is no exemption to this. If you want to operate a commercial enterprise, do it in a commercial zone.

      • Samuel Rad

        I am not sure what your point is when you mention Woodlawn or Upper Sackville, but are you comparing the neighbourhood’s parking demands in an equal way? Are you telling me that there is no crazy need for parking and student housing in the South end? This is the attitude that had kept us here as long as it has and that is the behaviour that young, ready to go to work generation see from the city and their staff, and that is frankly why Halifax is falling behind almost every single city in Canada in growth and prosperity and winning sometimes the entire continent yet alone Canada in issues like high property taxes, mental health issues, depression, obesity, high average age, low income, etc, etc, etc. The only way to fix all these issue is to have the political will and to welcome change and to start looking at things from above and see the big picture. I bit you do not have to look for parking 8 am in the morning around Dal or you would never make a statement like this! Plus you are asking us to go to commercial lots, well first of all, there are not enough of them around and nobody can create land so you folks have to come up with ways to change the usage of properties around universities, 2nd of all they charge a fortune and students are dealing with enough expenses as tuitions, etc that adding another high parking fee on top of that is just unacceptable. Mr. Mason, one day this city will wake up and realize that things that happened here in this city was unfair to its citizens specially the young that is trying to make a living. Not all of us can have a salary of a councillor and need to something else and we all need jobs, money and prosperity in this city so please make that your number one priority. Thank you for your services!

      • Evan d’Entremont

        “There is NO difference between paving over a back yard in Woodlawn or Upper Sackville for commercial use and paving over a back yard in peninsula south”

        I’d argue that’s not true. You can’t treat the peninsula like a small town..

        If the areas are exactly the same, why aren’t there tall buildings in woodlawn? Why aren’t there buses every 10 minutes in upper sackville? There’s a massive difference in the usage and commute patterns between the two areas. Everyone goes from woodlawn or upper sackville to downtown during the work/school day. They compress the entire HRM into half the peninsula.

        And those people need to park until the bus is actually reliable.

  • John Wimberly

    The transit situation in the city is pretty bad. I’m not surprised that folks are more likely to still want to drive while they’re on the peninsula. I use busses every weekday and they are so often late, creating conflicts in my day and those of so many other fellow citizens. Larger questions of transit is the root of this.
    I hope we can make transit a real focus. At the moment, it’s not being treated as “urgent”, which I think would be the correct tone.

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