Update #39 – Centre Plan, Development in the district, and lots of events and plans.

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NEWS

A bit of a long update, but please read through, as there are a lot of issues facing the district right now.

As always thing are hot on the development front. Right now we have broadly three types of development that are concerning District 7 residents.

  1. MPS amendments – the most frustrating for most residents are the developments on the peninsula at require an MPS amendment or ‘change of rules’ to allow the development to happen. Residents want to see a plan that will provide certainty and clarity about what is allowed where.
  2. Downtown buildings – a newer concern is that some of the buildings approved under HRM By Design are catching residents by surprise. Clyde Street, Brenton and Doyle all cause concern for some. These buildings are all different from the first category because they are being built “by right’.  The height and form of the buildings was approved in 2009 when the downtown plan was adopted – but seeing the buildings come forward now can be startling or deeply frustrating for some. The key thing here is these are not the same as the first category – these heights and shapes are allowed, no rules are changing.  This does not mean the rules are right, however, see below.
  3. Subdivision worries – the newest issue to concern residents in the district is the future of the estate homes on Young Ave. Again, the right subdivide a large lot has been around for as long as we have been a city. My home is built on a subdivided lot that used to be a part of the Watt estate untill 1905.  Almost all the houses west of Robie and south of South have the same sort of history! These large lots on Young Ave usually have old stately homes that are not registered heritage homes, and the the lots could be divided, again “by right”, to 4000 square foot lots with 40 feet of frontage on the street.  This creates an interesting challenge.

I am working right now to set up a public meeting to discuss what do we do to protect the character of Young Ave and similar large estate homes.  I would hate to see this history totally lost to Halifax, but it is important to know that these rights exist so the discussion is not “why are the rules being changed” the discussion must be “can we accommodate some form of development that will preserve the character of the neighbourhood.”   I will send out on email when it is confirmed.

As for the MPS amendments – the way to stop this is to get involved with the Centre Plan.  The Centre Plan will revise the MPS in the district to say ‘this is where development is allowed, this is where it is not.’

It is VERY IMPORTANT people get involved with this discussion.  As the downtown plan has shown us, you really need to understand what is potentially going to be allowed because once the plan is adopted, the rights have been given!  We need to pay close attention to what is proposed and put our stamp on the plan before it is adopted.

THE CENTRE PLAN: TURNING ‘WHAT IF’ INTO ‘HOW TO’
The Centre Plan is a plan for the urban core (Halifax Peninsula and Dartmouth within the Circumferential Highway) for the next 10-20 years.Changes in our neighbourhoods,business districts,parks and streets are inevitable as the municipality grows.How this change happens is something we can both influence and plan for.

Some questions we must answer are: How would you like to see in your neighbourhood as it grows and changes?What would make living in the urban core more attractive and a realistic option for individuals and/or families? How do we make the urban core a vibrant, diverse, healthy,economically and environmentally sustainable place that is easy to move around in, resilient, and respectful of our heritage? And of course, did we miss anything?

The launch event for the Centre Plan is taking place Monday,March 21st, at Alderney Landing, Dartmouth at 6:00p.m. It is very important that we participate in the process and understand the proposed changes because we will have to live with it for decades!

Please sign up for the updates, read the background documents(on topics such as housing affordability, new planning tools, & effective public participation), and participate in the online discussions at the new http://centreplan.ca website.

PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING 2016/17 – WEBSITE UPDATED, DATES ONLINE
Once again, I invite District 7 residents’ input on how to spend $54,833 in the community. The funds will be allocated using a Participatory Budgeting model whereby residents vote on which projects get funded!  First meeting is not until April, but you can start working on your project now, visit http://wayemason.ca/pb for more information

BE PREPARED: JOIN THE JEM
We are looking for people to join us who have an interest in emergency planning in the downtown and south endWe continue to work on establishing a formal Joint Emergency Management(JEM) team. This is a community-based volunteer organization that works with HRM’s EMO (Emergency Measures Organization). This is great way for involved citizens to educate friends, family and neighbours in preparedness for emergencies. JEM’s motto is “neighbours helping neighbours”. During emergencies, residents in affected communities need to be prepared to help themselves and to assist others. Come join us! More info at http://wayemason.ca/jem

Upcoming meeting schedule – Halifax Central Library, 7:00 p.m.

  • Wednesday, March 30th – Creative Lab Room
  • Wednesday, April 27th – Creative Lab Room
  • Wednesday, May 25th – Creative Lab Room

PUBLIC HEARINGS

Halifax and West Community Council
March 1, 2006 6pm | Halifax City Hall

Council shall consider Case 19857: LUB Amendment and Development Agreement for 3085-3077 Oxford Street and 6393-6387 Young Street, Halifax (Supplementary Report)  & Case 19989: Amendment to Rockingham Ridge Stage 1 Development Agreement, 30 Farnham Gate Road, Halifax (First Reading and Set Date for Public Hearing)

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Free IELTS Preparation Seminar
March 3, 2016 6pm| 1256 Barrington Street
This two and a half hour intensive review session with an IELTS specialist is an excellent opportunity for those preparing for their IELTS test. Here, you will learn strategies to help you with you listening, reading and writing. Know what to expect when you take the test and feel more confident. To register for this free seminar, please visithttps://www.eventbrite.ca/e/free-ielts-preparation-seminar-tickets-19954720105?aff=ebrowse

Shift Planning Conference
March 3-5 | Halifax Central Library

Accessible, genuine engagement is the right and responsibility of every member of a community. Engagement requires communication and collaboration. When communities speak and are heard, engagement is an opportunity, not a burden. Engagement as practiced in planning has to change.Shift:Engage will challenge the engagement process. Join us in exploring new ways to share knowledge and build relationships of trust and respect. Find your voice. Change the conversation. Shape our community.  http://dalhousieplanningconference.webs.com/

Better Politics Awards 2016
March 8, 2016 6:30pm | Loyola Conference Hall, Sobey bldg., Saint Mary’s University
The Springtide Collective is once again hosting its annual Better Politics Awards, honouring local politicians, public figures and community leaders who are making a positive impact on the state of democracy in Nova Scotia. This year’s keynote speaker is Kevin Page, who served as Canada’s first Parliamentary Budget Officer from 2008-2013. For more information or to purchase tickets for the event, please visithttp://www.springtidecollective.ca/betterpolitics/#2537

Saint Patrick’s Day Parade
March 12, 2016 11am | Downtown Halifax
Join the Charitable Irish Society as they present the Halifax St. Patrick’s Day parade! The parade commemorates the life of St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, and celebrates Irish influence in Halifax and the long historic links between Ireland and Nova Scotia. For more information, please visit http://www.halifaxstpatricksdayparade.ca/

Startup Finance – Halifax
March 14, 2016 3:30pm
Volta Labs presents a free, three-hour Startup Finance event that will equip you with the tools, resources, and mentorship to grow a sustainable and fully fundable enterprise. The program is delivered by Startup Canada in partnership with Intuit Canada and the Fundica Roadshow. To register, please visit https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/startup-finance-halifax-tickets-21432390858?aff=ebrowse

Community Gardens on HRM Property Application Deadline – March 15
A community garden on municipally-owned property is a small-scale site that is operated by a non-profit society. If you are interested in starting a community garden, please visitwww.halifax.ca/rec/CommunityGardens.php to view the handbook and download an application. Applications are due March 15.

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia presents: ArtParty
March 18, 2016 8pm | Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
Join the Young Patrons Circle at the AGNS as they transform the gallery into a vibrant space where lights, music, and art come together. Engage with fellow art-lovers, meet curators and artists, wander the galleries and make your own work of art. All proceeds from the event go towards the AGNS and Young Patrons Circle whose mandate it is to inspire others to become more engaged in the arts in Nova Scotia. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/agns-artparty-tickets-21566848023?aff=ebrowse

Halifax Burger Week
March 18-24 | various locations around HRM
Halifax Burger Week is a city-wide burger-eating celebration and fundraiser for Feed Nova Scotia. For more information and a complete list of all 79 participating restaurants, please visit http://burgerweek.co/

Halifax Job Fair
March 21, 2016 1pm | Delta Hotel Halifax
The Halifax Job Fair is an excellent opportunity to meet with recruiters, have direct contact with hiring companies and get connected with HR managers across Nova Scotia. Representatives from industries including manufacturing, banking, finance, electronics and computers, I.T., marketing, health care, film & television and many more will be in attendance. For more information, please visit https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/billets-halifax-job-fair-21386355164?aff=ebrowse

Community Grants Program Application Deadline – March 31
The 2016 Community Grants program opened for applications on January 4th with a deadline for applications of March 31st. The Community Grants Program provides annual cash grants to registered non-profit organizations and charities. There are two types of grants; a) a project grant of up to $5,000 and b) a capital grant of up to $25,000. The program provides assistance to specific types of projects in the following categories; Environment, Recreation and Leisure, Affordable and Supportive Housing, Emergency Assistance, Neighborhood Safety, Community History, Community Diversity and Community Arts and Crafts. For more information, please visitwww.halifax.ca/boardscom/bccgrants/grants.php. Inquiries can be directed to Peter Greechan at 902-490-7310 or Peta Jane Temple at 902-490-5469.

The Urban Agenda – Halifax Roundtable
March 31, 2016 6pm| Halifax City Hall
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) is undertaking a six-city roundtable series called “The Urban Agenda: Race Relations and Multiculturalism in Canadian Cities”. Participants include policymakers and community leaders, and celebrate the individual and collective success of Canadian cities as hubs of diversity and models of inclusion, while exploring issues that remain unresolved and identifying emerging challenges. For more information on this free event, please visithttp://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-urban-agenda-halifax-roundtable-date-tba-tickets-21096811130?aff=ebrowse

Halifax Green Network Plan
The Halifax Green Network Plan (HGNP) is being developed for the long-term conservation and use of a region-wide network of open space resources for ecological, socio-cultural and economic benefit.   It will provide a planning and management framework to implement the vision and objectives under the Halifax Regional Plan.
Public meetings will be held to present key findings from Phase 1 and draft planning directions for public input. All residents and groups are encouraged to attend the following sessions:

  • March 30th 6:00 – 9:00 pm Gordon R. Snow Community Centre 1359 Fall River Rd.
  • March 31st 6:00 – 9:00 pm Atlantica Hotel 1980 Robie St. Halifax
  • April 1st (time to be announced) Estabrooks Community Hall 4408 St. Margaret’s Bay Rd.
  • April 2nd 3:00 – 6:00 pm Prospect Road Community Centre Prospect Rd.
  • April 4th 6:30 – 9:00 pm Auburn High School 300 Auburn Dr. Cole Harbour
  • April 5th 6:00 – 9:00 pm Bicentennial Theatre 12390 Hwy 224 Middle Musquodoboit
  • April 7th 6:30 – 9:00 pm Eastern Shore District High School 35 West Petpeswick Rd

Further information can be found at www.halifax.ca/halifaxgreennetwork

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