Downtown bike lanes, rental apartment registration, 2019/20 D7 paving, more…

 

 

Lots of great stuff has been happening at City Hall the last few weeks!

First I would like to thank residents for their patience as I have been travelling and away so extensively the last while due to my role as President of the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities (NSFM). I wouldn’t be doing it if I was not convinced that Halifax and Nova Scotia are well served by NSFM, and it has been a huge honour to represent Nova Scotia’s municipal governments provincially and federally. So thank you for your support!

Before we get to public meetings and community events, I want to update you on a couple of big issues: participatory budgeting, downtown bike lanes, the rental registration and strengthening of the M-200 bylaw, the Point Pleasant Park lodge hosting the Sable Island Institute, and what road work will be take place in the district this summer/fall.

It’s been six great years of Participatory Budgeting, and it’s time to talk about what changes we may want to see to make it even better. I had hoped to have a meeting last Fall but we ran out of time, so I’ve decided to have a meeting in May and move the Participatory Budget vote to October. The program was designed by and for the community, and I want to hear what you think! Please join me Wednesday, May 16th at the Central Library at 7:00 PM to provide your feedback. For more information, please visit http://wayemason.ca/pb

Today Council approved the installation of 2.8 km of downtown bicycle facilities and related changes on the following streets, including a protected or separated bike lane on Hollis on the right side of the street (thank goodness), a bi-directional separated bike lane from Grand Parade to the Ferry terminal on George, and fixes to Upper Water/Lower Water and connecting Hollis and Lower Water via Terminal Road.

Also today Council directed staff to bring forward amendments to the M-200 Bylaw (Standards for Residential Occupancies) around apartment registration as an alternative to landlord licensing. The proposal is to create a formal registration program that will identify residential rentals, divide them into classes and deal with each class in different ways. Registration would be mandatory but would not initially involve an inspection, so it will be much less costly to the municipality.

Amendments will also support the enforcement of the different building classes and possibly most importantly include a public data release of information related to this process, so registration and inspection would be public on a website (similar to restaurant inspection reports on the Nova Scotia website). The report says specifically about converted dwellings (ie houses turned into apartments):
 

“The overloading of converted dwellings, even beyond what is allowed under existing laws, is a known issue that has significant safety implications. Creating a reliable record of the current building layouts should have a measured impact on an owner’s willingness to rent more rooms than allowed. The tenants will also have a quick and transparent means to learn for themselves how many rooms should be allowed for rent. There could also be an opportunity to post maximum occupant loads and room rentals per unit for selected building classifications to further prevent this issue.

To a lesser extent are the concerns with 1, 2, and 3-unit dwellings. While the Building Code has provided a reasonable standard of safety in these building classes, a requirement for the retrofit of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be considered and may be possible through the application of the Fire Code.” 
 

Needless to say this is huge for our neighbourhoods, especially around the university, both in terms of stopping overloading, illegal unit conversions, and ensuring that often vulnerable renters are safe.  I will keep you updated as things progress. You can read the whole report here: https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/190430rc1515.pdf

Some folks have asked what is going on in the Point Pleasant Park Gatekeepers Lodge.  I am pleased to be able to tell you the Sable Island Institute is now based out of the lodge, and should stay there a couple of years.  Zoe Lucas of SII wrote me to say “Since the PPP Gatekeeper’s Lodge is a replica of the basic design of a gatehouse at Benjamin Disraeli’s manor in Buckinghamshire, last year I asked a friend travelling in England to find the house and take photos for the Sable Institute’s website. Janet Godsell became so engaged with the story of the two buildings that she researched the architectural connections and wrote up a piece for the our site.”  You can find that article here https://sableislandinstitute.org/a-tale-of-two-gatehouses-j-godsell/

Finally, here is a list of reconstruction, paving and resurfacing work happening on District 7s sidewalks, cycle paths and roads this year (subject to finalization of contracts and other factors).

Street Recapitalization (usually curbs, new gravel, new asphalt)
Cartaret St – Oakland to South
Davis St – South to Fraser
Murray Pl – Studley to Cartaret
Tower Rd – South to Inglis
Vernon St – Jubilee to Coburg (2018 Carryover)

Planer Patching
Robie St – Spring Garden to End

Crack Sealing
Clyde St – Queen to Birmingham
Coburg Rd – Oxford to Henry
Cogswell Roundabout – North Park to North Park
Cogswell St – Robie to North Park
Cornwallis St – North Park to Barrington
Cunard Roundabout – North Park to North Park
Inglis St – Beaufort to Robie
Jubilee Rd – Robie to Oxford
Kent St – Queen to Barrington
Lower Water St – Salter to George
Oxford St – Coburg to Jubilee
Queen St – Spring Garden to Kent
Robie St – North to Spring Garden
Robie St – Spring Garden to End
South St – South Park to Queen
Summer St – Bell to Veterans Memorial
Trollope St – Cogswell to Bell
Walnut St – Coburg to Jubilee

Sidewalk Renewals
Greenwood Ave – Inglis to Belmont (E)
Greenwood Ave – Belmont to Inglis (W)
Greenwood Ave – Roxton to End (W)
Marlborough Ave – Belmont to Inglis (W)
Marlborough Ave – Inglis to Belmont (E)
Roxton Rd – Bellevue to Greenwood (N)
Tower Rd – South to Victoria (E)
Vernon St – Watt to Jubilee (E)

Active Transportation
Halifax IMP Routes – Plan & Design
Hollis St – Barrington to Cogswell – bike lanes with precast curb
South Park St – Spring Garden to Inglis – Protected Bike Lanes (2018 Carryover)
Vernon St/Seymour Ave – Local Street Bikeway (2018 Carryover)

Bridges
CN Belmont on the Arm – Bridge Rehabilitation
CN Marlborough Woods – Bridge Rehabilitation

 

Public Meetings and Notices


Community Design Advisory Committee
Wednesday May 1 11:00am-3:00pm | Halifax City Hall, Halifax Hall
The next meeting of the Community Design Advisory Committee will take place on Wednesday May 1st from 11:00am-3:00pm. To view the agenda for the upcoming meeting, visit: http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/cagenda.php
 
Point Pleasant Park Advisory Committee
Thursday May 2 4:30-6:30pm | Halifax City Hall, Halifax Hall
The next meeting of the Point Pleasant Park Advisory Committee will take place on Thursday May 2nd from 4:30-6:30pm. To view the agenda for the upcoming meeting, visit: http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/cagenda.php

Halifax Peninsula Planning Advisory Council Special Meeting
Tuesday May 6  4:30-6:30pm | Halifax City Hall, Council Chambers

Peninsula Planning Advisory Committee meets for its second meeting on the Centre Plan Package A  https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/boards-committees-commissions/h/halifax-peninsula-planning-advisory-committee

Halifax & West Community Council
Tuesday May 7 6:00-8:00pm | Halifax City Hall, Council Chambers
The next meeting of the Halifax and West Community Council will take place on Tuesday May 7th from 6:00-8:00pm. To view the agenda for the upcoming meeting, visit: http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/cagenda.php
 
Halifax & West Community Council Special Meeting
Monday May 13 6:00-8:00pm | Halifax City Hall, Council Chambers
There will be a special meeting of the Halifax and West Community Council that will take place on Monday May 13th from 6:00-8:00pm. To view the agenda for the upcoming meeting, visit: http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/cagenda.php
 
Halifax Regional Council
Tuesday May 14 10am | Halifax City Hall, Council Chambers
The next meeting of Halifax Regional Council will take place on Tuesday May 14that 10am. To view the agenda for the upcoming meeting, visit: http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/cagenda.php
 
Participatory Budgeting Rethink and Renewal
Halifax Central Library | Wednesday May 16, 7pm

It’s been six great years of Participatory Budgeting, and it’s time to talk about what changes we may want to see to make it even better. I had hoped to have a meeting last Fall but we ran out of time, so I’ve decided to have a meeting in May and move the Participatory Budget vote to October. The program was designed by and for the community, and I want to hear what you think! Please join me Wednesday, May 16th at the Central Library at 7:00 PM to provide your feedback. For more information, please visit http://wayemason.ca/pb

Community Events


Yom HaShoah: Holocaust Memorial Day
Wednesday May 1 7:30-9:30pm | Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
Yom HaShoah is a worldwide day of Holocaust remembrance. This year, Pier 21 welcomes keynote speaker Ellin Bessner, author of Double Threat: The Canadian Jews, the Military, and World War 2. There will be a candle-lighting ceremony, with a reception to follow. This event is FREE. To reserve your seats, visit: https://yomhashoah2019.eventbrite.ca
 
Halifax Crafters Society Spring Market
Saturday & Sunday May 4-5 10:00am-5:00pm | Olympic Gardens Community Centre
Halifax Crafters Society’s annual Spring Market will be taking place May 4th and 5th from 10:00am-5:00pm at the Olympic Community Centre. Admission is FREE. For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/pg/halifaxcrafters/events/?ref=page_internal
 
Small Business Café Networking
Monday May 6 6:30-8:30pm | Halifax Central Library, RBC Learning Centre
The Small Business Café is a monthly networking event for small business start-ups and owners. It is a great opportunity to meet, learn and share your experiences and issues with other small business owners. Bring your business cards and connect with other business owners. For more information, visit:
https://halifax.bibliocommons.com/events/search/local_start=2019-04-30%20TO%202019-05-07&fq=branch_location_id:(SGA)/event/5c82adb112f77624472f47d8
 
Learn About Ireland April 2019
Wednesday May 8 6:00-8:00pm | Durty Nelly’s Authentic Irish Pub
Planning a trip to Ireland? Check out Durty’s Nelly’s on Wednesday May 8th from 6:00-8:00pm for a FREE session about Ireland from Joe McGuinness. This will include tips and info, followed by a Question and Answer period. For more information, visit: https://downtownhalifax.ca/event/learn-about-ireland-april-2019
 
Open City 2019
Saturday May 11 2019 | Halifax Regional Municipality
Check out the 8th annual Open City on Saturday May 11th taking place all over Halifax. This event is a celebration of local food, fun and shopping! Head out early to avoid disappointment as food items for this event take time to prepare and often sell-out! For more information and a list of participating businesses, visit: https://www.ilovelocalhfx.ca/
 
Halifax Attractions Week
May 11-20 | Halifax Regional Municipality 
It’s back! Discover Halifax is putting on the 2nd Halifax Attractions Week May 11th-20th. This is a 9 day celebration of Halifax’s world-class attractions. There will be several participating attractions offering incredible deals on the best things to see and do in Halifax! New this year, the HFX Bucket List Pass. For a list on whose participating and more information, visit:  https://discoverhalifaxns.com/attractionsweek/
 
Free Access Evening – Discovery Centre
Wednesdays 5-8pm | Discovery Centre, 1215 Lower Water Street
Every Wednesday the Discovery Centre offers free admission between 5:00-8:00pm. Bring the kids and come learn, play and create! For more information, visit: http://thediscoverycentre.ca/calendar/
 
Got Your Back is hosting a 5k Fun Run/Walk – Supply Drop
Saturday, 25 May 2019 09:30-12:00 | Point Pleasant Park 5530 Point Pleasant Drive

Got Your Back is hosting a 5k Fun Run/Walk to support some of our community’s most vulnerable people. Instead of an Entry Fee, we will be collecting gift cards, bus tickets and personal hygiene supplies, to be delivered to local shelters in the Halifax Regional Municipality. Join us for some family fun and heart based community action! The Start and Finish will be located near the Lower Parking Lot, accessed by Point Pleasant Drive. Register now for your chance to win a prize.
https://www.facebook.com/events/407023810116992/
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/got-your-back-5k-fun-runwalk-supply-drop-tickets-60526500392

Kitchen Party & Ceili Dance – a fundraiser for Spencer House
Friday, May 31 7:30-9:30p.m | St. Andrew’s United Coburg Road at Robie & Coburg

Spencer House is throwing a Kitchen Party & Ceili Dance at St. Andrew’s United on Coburg Road, Halifax.  An evening of down-home Maritime food, music, dancing, fun, and  laughter… while helping support the extraordinary work of Spencer  House and our older adults of the HRM.  Hosted by the Maritime’s favourite Irish musician and comedian, Tony  Quinn, featuring award-winning Celtic folk fiddler and vocalist, Shannon  Quinn, and accomplished Irish duo Jimmy Sweeney & Kevin Roach.  Tickets are $25 ($30 at the door) available by contacting 902-421-6131  or Allison, at allison@spencerhouse.ca. Check it out on Facebook.  See you at the Cèilidh!
 

How can we help?

 
Call my office
Call our office for assistance with your municipal issues. Just wanted to let you that for the time being you should contact my acting Council Coordinator Laura Nooyen her number is 902-490-7177 and her email is nooyela@halifax.ca though she is off next week, so from March 18-22 Ken Benoit will be available at 902-490-7184 or benoitk@halifax.ca
 
311 – HRM’s Call Centre
HRM’s call centre is open 7 days/week from 7 am to 11 pm to respond to routine inquiries and complaints from HRM residents. Please use this service since it helps HRM keep track of issues that are of concern for residents (missed solid waste pickup, sidewalks not cleared, transit info or complaints, etc.) For more information please visit http://www.halifax.ca/311/
 
Regional Council Reports and Agendas
If you want to read reports coming to Regional Council (posted mid-day Friday prior to the Tuesday meeting) or to check the agenda please go to: https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/regional-council
 
Halifax and West Community Council Reports and Agendas
Community Council meets on Tuesday evenings that alternate with Regional Council. Please check the webpage here for agendas (usually available a week before the meeting), locations and times. https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/community-councils/halifax-west-community-council
 
Peninsula Planning Advisory Council Reports and Agendas
Peninsula Planning Advisory Committee meets once a month to discuss and provide feedback to council on planning proposals for the three districts on the peninsula. Please check the webpage for agendas (usually available a week before the meeting), locations and times: https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/boards-committees-commissions/h/halifax-peninsula-planning-advisory-committee