Wildlife transit, meetings, Pride, Coronavirus update #33: Rec, Bedford Row, LTC, Transit

Very short update today.  We are really seeing things slow down around Halifax, and in my case fewer meetings scheduled and calls from residents. The city seems to be settling into living with the realities of Coronavirus.  Not a lot to report today.

Changes to Bedford Row, Long Term Care and wearing masks now mandatory on public transportation are outlined below.  Dr. Strang nailed it today when he said “Wearing a non-medical mask is important to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 when physical distancing is difficult, along with all the other public health measures. By making masks mandatory on public transportation, we are taking a first step in this priority environment as we continue to look at the epidemiology and mask use in different settings.”

I did get a tweet today about this article – What does Halifax’s wildlife transit network look like? (this is where today’s picture came from.) It starts off “Usually when we talk about connectivity in cities, we’re talking about human transportation. But it’s not just humans who need to move around the city. Just as we use transit networks to get to where we live, work and play, wildlife need to be able to move to where they feed, breed and winter.”  You can read the article here: https://blogs.dal.ca/openthink/what-does-halifaxs-wildlife-transit-network-look-like/

Public Meetings & Hearings

Regional Centre Community Council
Monday, July 20, 2020, 6 pm | Virtual Meeting

Variance Hearing: Case 22805: Appeal of Site Plan Approval – 1392 to 1444 Seymour Street, Halifax
https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/community-councils/july-20-2020-regional-centre-community-council-special-meeting

Halifax Regional Council
Tuesday, July 21, 2020, 10 am | Virtual Meeting

https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/regional-council/july-21-2020-halifax-regional-council-special-meeting

Joint Public Hearing – Case 22682 5558 Bilby Street
Tuesday, July 21, 2020, 6 pm | Online

Application by Lindsay Construction requesting amendments to the Halifax Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) and Halifax Peninsula Land Use By-law (LUB) and non-substantive amendments to an existing development agreement on lands at 5558 Bilby Street to allow an extension to the date of commencement of construction by one (1) year. A virtual joint public hearing will be held on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.  Link below

Halifax & West Community Council Public Hearing – – Case 22640 1686 Prospect Bay Road and area
Tuesday, July 28, 2020, 6 pm | Online

Application by Brighter Community Planning & Consulting, on behalf of Chris MacDonald, to rezone 1686 Prospect Bay Road, 1688 Prospect Bay Road, and Lot 4RC, Prospect from the P-2 (Community Facility) Zone to the RRB-1 (Rural Residential B-1) Zone under the Land Use By-law for Planning District 4 to permit the renovation of the former church building for use as a single unit dwelling, and the replacement of the former church hall building with a single unit dwelling. A virtual public hearing will be held on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. Link below.

For more information on each case, link to watch or participate, please visit https://www.halifax.ca/business/planning-development/public-hearings

Community Design Advisory Committee Meeting
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 | Online

The committee continues to discuss the Centre Plan Package B draft, focusing on Established Residential zoning proposals.
https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/boards-committees-commissions/july-22-2020-community-design-advisory-committee

In addition, there are upcoming virtual meetings of Halifax Peninsula Planning Advisory Committee (July 27), Halifax & West Community Council (July 28 and again August 11) and agendas will be posted here when they are made public: https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/agendas-meetings-reports

Community Events

Happy Pride!
July 16-26 | Online

This years festival runs from July 16-26. The festival has gone virtual this year because of COVID-19, and so many events are taking place I can’t begin to list them all.  You can see them here.

Please send me events, face to face or virtual, to help fill this space!

Coronavirus update #33 – Bedford Row changes, new Provincial rules for Long Term Care and public transportation

Recreation activities for Summer 2020
Following safety measures provided by public health, the municipality will be offering modified summer day camps, outdoor recreation, and rural recreation opportunities throughout July and August.   More info here https://www.halifax.ca/recreation/programs-activities/online-recreation-services

Register online at http://halifax.ca/myrec, by phone at 902.490.6666, or in person at our five available facilities:

  • Chocolate Lake Rec Centre
  • Captain William Spry Community Centre
  • George Dixon Community Centre
  • Dartmouth North Rec Centre
  • Sackville Sports Stadium

Bedford Row closed to traffic:
As part of the Halifax Mobility Response Plan, Bedford Row, between the Founders Square parking garage and Prince Street, will be temporarily closed to all vehicle traffic to allow for additional patio space. This change will be implemented on Friday, July 17 and will be in place until the end of September. Learn more about the changes to Bedford Row here: https://halifax.ca/home/news/response-covid-19-halifax-mobility-response-streets-spaces-4

Long Term Care Facilities
Changes to the province’s directive to long-term care homes will allow for more visitors outdoors, limited indoor visits, and some return to activities. Effective July 22, the following changes can be implemented by long-term care facilities:

  • both indoor and outdoor visits will be allowed with limited numbers of visitors and scheduled appointments. Residents and visitors must wear masks and observe physical distancing, except for limited physical contact like a hug
  • residents and staff can gather in groups of 10 or less for dining, recreation or socializing without physical distancing. Groups should remain consistent and visitors cannot join
  • sightseeing bus trips for groups of up to 10 people (including residents, staff and driver) are allowed. Residents and staff cannot get off the bus and thorough cleaning before and after each trip is required
  • licensed hair salons within long-term care homes can reopen to serve residents only

Individual long-term care homes can decide which of these changes they will implement, based on operational considerations and the availability of appropriate space. Adult Residential Centres and Regional Rehabilitation Centres licensed by the Department of Community Services will also implement indoor visits under the same guidelines.  More information https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus

Public Transportation
Starting July 24, it will be mandatory for drivers and passengers to wear a non-medical mask on public transportation. Children under two and people with a valid medical reason for not wearing a mask are exempt. Passengers are asked to use their own masks as much as possible. Government will help public transportation services with supplies of masks for people who can’t bring their own.

Public transportation includes:

  • municipal transit buses and ferries
  • school buses
  • community transit vehicles
  • private taxis and shuttles

More information https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus

How can we help?

Call my office
Call my office for assistance with your municipal issues.  You can reach my Coordinator Liam MacSween during the business day, his phone number is 902-490-2012 and his email is macswel@Halifax.CA

311 – HRM’s Call Centre
HRM’s call centre is open 7 days a week, Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 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

Halifax Peninsula Planning Advisory Council Reports and Agendas
Halifax 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