Housing crisis, students, elections, district capital, Centre Plan, important Public Hearings, more

In This Issue

My Council Update contains info about housing, student return, centre plan, elections, and district capital.

Public Meetings and Hearing includes some engagements and two big public hearings regarding two large developments, one on Robie, one on Carlton/Robie/College.  Roadworks has for updates.  Community Events is starting still pretty light, but some good stuff in there. This issue ends with info on how to reach out and get help on municipal issues.

Councillor Update

The housing crisis continues to be the most pressing issue in our community. So many people are concerned about housing I’ve added a new section to my website https://wayemason.ca/housing and set up a new mailing list just for housing updates.  The first housing update went out to folks Monday.  If you want to know more, you can read it on my website here: https://wayemason.ca/2021/08/30/housing-update-1/

I will include links to Housing Updates in this district newsletter, but if you want to receive that email too, please go to https://wayemason.ca/housing and sign up.

Residents should have received my paper newsletter this week.  In it I wrote:

Because of the pandemic, this year’s return to school will be different. We will have two years worth of university students arriving at once, with no experience with living here and going to class. People are going to be teaching and learning face to face for the first time in a long time. Other neighbours are navigating returning to work, kids going to school, taking care of family, still worrying about getting sick, variants, and the neighbourhood welcoming the students back. It will be challenging!

I continue to be so proud of how our community has faced these challenges, and while know it’s been a lot to carry, I have to ask you once again to reach for empathy and compassion while we navigate this next phase of this journey together. As I’ve said since March 2020, please help your neighbours (both new and old), lend a hand, be kind, and be patient.

As you have no doubt noticed university students have returned in force to our neighbourhood.  One issue this time of year is garbage put out at the curb at the wrong time/day.  HRM has up to seven enforcement officers in these areas this September. The designated staff allow for more timely and consistent follow-up. Several cases have been created and remedied already.

Solid waste has created a digital and physical flier for new students with the following info:

Recycle Right by following the sorting guidelines provided by the municipality. Place materials curbside AFTER 7 p.m. the night before or by 7 a.m. the morning of collection. Materials must be secure (place in a garbage can if your bag is breaking).

Stay within the limit – 6 bags/cans of garbage per residential house and 1 bulky item; 4 bags / cans of garbage per unit in small apartment buildings and 2 bulky items per building.


September 6 – September 10  Green Cart and Garbage
September 13 – September 17 –  Green Cart & Recyclables
September 20- September 24 Green Cart and Garbage

Download the Halifax Recycles app. Use the Halifax Recycles mobile and web app to see what goes where and receive weekly notifications.

The Provincial election ended with a new government and two new MLAs for District 7.   I’d like to congratulate Premier Houston and I look forward to working with him to address the urgent housing crisis in HRM, which I wrote to him about here.  Also welcome to Suzy Hanson as the Halifax Needham MLA, and Lisa Lachance as the new Citadel Sable Island MLA.  I will update my contact page when the new MLAs have their constituency offices set up.

I also want to thank Lisa Roberts and Labi Kousoulis, our outgoing MLAs, for their service to our community.

Please do not forget to vote in the Federal Election on or before September 20.  At this point the incumbent Andy Filmore (Liberal) is facing off against Lisa Roberts (NDP), (edit) Cameron Ells (Conservative), (edit2) Jo Ann Roberts (Green), Katie Campbell (Communist) and Alex Hebert (People’s Party).  For information about how to vote, visit Elections Canada: https://www.elections.ca/

In late June, Liam and I met virtually and approved the District 7 Capital Grant projects listed on my website here: https://wayemason.ca/pb, and all of these have reservations made or cheques mailed to them already!

In addition to the applicants who came in through this year’s program, several projects over the last few years came in under budget or never took place, which had allowed some additional allocations to take place, which I’ve also listed.

There will be a couple of additional projects funded in the Fall. I am really looking forward to bringing back in-person  voting and the fun of Participatory Budgeting in 2022/23

Center Plan Next Steps

The Centre Plan is a planning process for the Regional Centre, including Peninsula Halifax and Dartmouth inside the Circumferential Highway. The Centre Plan is being developed in two phases, Package A – approved by Council in September of 2019, and Package B. The focus of Package B is on land-use policies for parks and community facilities, institutional areas, employment areas, and established residential areas. A key part of Package B is support for additional housing options through gentle density and missing middle housing.

Centre Plan Adoption Process 
Between April and July, a number of Community Councils and Committees of Council reviewed Centre Plan Package B and forwarded recommendations to Regional Council.  We would like to thank all the Committees for providing thoughtful feedback on the proposed Centre Plan, and in particular members of the Community Design Advisory Committee who guided the planning process over the past several years.

Regional Council Approves Key Changes 
On August 17, 2021, Regional Council provided direction to staff on changes to the proposed planning documents arising from the review process, including a number of site-specific zoning changes identified in the supplementary staff report.  All changes ratified by Council are available on the Committee of the Whole and Regional Council agendas with recorded video also available:

Next Steps
The changes directed by Council will be incorporated into the planning documents and presented to Council for First Reading in late September.  At that time, Council could still direct additional changes and schedule a public hearing. A notice of public hearing will be advertised and members of the public will be able to participate or submit correspondence through the Municipal Clerk’s Office at clerks@halifax.ca.

Want to Find Out More?  
We realize that reading the Centre Plan documents can be daunting, that’s why we developed a number of fact sheets, an interactive zoning map, a video, and Q&A’s to help explain the proposed changes.  Planning staff are also always available to answer your questions – please send us a note at planhrm@halifax.ca.

Public Meetings, Hearings & Engagement

Brunswick Street and Gottingen Street Loading and Delivery
The Halifax Regional Municipality is currently completing a functional planning and design project for Brunswick Street between Cogswell Street and Spring Garden Road, as well as Rainnie Drive and Gottingen Street (between Rainnie Drive and Brunswick Street). This functional plan will inform the detailed design for the Complete Streets project detailed design next year. More info and how to participate here: www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/rainnie-brunswick-complete-streets

There are several public hearings coming up to consider a Development Agreement.  It is important to note that the height and mass of the buildings under consideration has been approved by Council previously, creating policy that allowed the development agreement to be considered.

What the public is being asked is what you think about the proposed attempt to meet the already approved policy.  The public is entitled to speak against the policy if they wish, but that is not the decision before Council.  In the case of Cases 20761 and 22927 the height and mass were already approved, the final design is the question we would like to hear the public’s input on.

Written submissions are welcomed and encouraged in advance of the hearing. These submissions are distributed to all Councillors and considered at the time of their decision. Written submissions may be forwarded to the Municipal Clerk by e-mail; by fax, 902-490-4208; or by mail, P.O. Box 1749, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 3A5. Each case has information on when the communication needs to be received.

Individuals seeking to speak at the hearing should contact the Municipal Clerk’s office no later than 4:30 p.m. on the stated day (usually the day of the hearing).  Each case has specific information about deadlines and how to be added to the speakers’ list. If have questions about the process of the virtual public hearing, please e-mail the Municipal Clerks Office or call 902.490.4210.

Case 20761 Robie College Carlton Street | Virtual Meeting
Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Hearing to consider a development agreement to allow relocation of an existing heritage building (5969 College Street) and another building with heritage value (5963 College Street) to the rear yards of 1452 and 1456 Carlton Street and to develop a 29-storey/90 metre (plus penthouse) and 28 storey/87 metre tower (plus penthouse) mixed-use building at: PID 00473009, PID 00472993; 1389 and 1377 Robie Street; and 5963, 5969, 5977 and 5989/5991/5993 College Street, Halifax.
It will be webcast and may be viewed onlineGet more information and find out how to participate in the virtual meeting

Case 22927 2032-2050 Robie Street, Halifax | Virtual Public Hearing
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Hearing to consider a development agreement on the lands at 2032 to 2050 Robie Street, Halifax to allow for a 23-storey mixed-use building. On September 2019, Regional Council adopted the Regional Centre Secondary Municipal Planning Strategy (RCSMPS) and the Regional Centre Land Use By-law. Section 10.10.2 of the RCSMPS contains site specific policies to enable Council to consider a development agreement for a single residential tower no greater than 85 metres in height, located atop a two-storey podium, with primarily commercial uses on the ground floor at 2032-2050 Robie Street.  It will be webcast and may be viewed onlineGet more information and find out how to participate in the virtual meeting

Case 23186 1029 South Park Street | Virtual Meeting
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Hearing to consider a development agreement to construct a two-and-a-half storey addition to a municipally registered heritage property at 1029 South Park Street, Halifax to allow for a multi-unit residential development.  It will be webcast and may be viewed onlineGet more information and find out how to participate in the virtual meeting.

Public hearings are published 2-3 weeks before they take place and a list of upcoming hearings can be found here: https://www.halifax.ca/business/planning-development/public-hearings

Halifax Regional Council – virtual meetings
If you want to read reports coming to Regional Council (posted mid-day Friday prior to the Tuesday meeting) or to check the agenda. Upcoming meetings:

  • Tuesday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Tuesday, September 28 at 10:00 a.m.

Agendas here: https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/agendas-meetings-reports?category=127

Halifax & West Community Council – virtual meetings
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.

  • September 7, 6pm
  • September 21, 6pm

Agenda here – https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/agendas-meetings-reports?category=140

Regional Centre Community Council – virtual meetings
Community Council meets on monthly when needed regarding issues and appeals arising from the Centre Plan. Please check the webpage here for agendas (usually available a week before the meeting), locations, and times.

  • September 29, 6pm (if required)

Agenda here – https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/community-councils/regional-centre-community-council

Halifax Peninsula Planning Advisory Council
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. Upcoming meetings:

  • September 27 4:30pm

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

Information about how to watch or participate in virtual meetings can be found on the agenda pages. Please confirm meeting dates and times on our website as dates and times are subject to change.

Roadworks Update

The following street closures or sidewalk disruptions have recently been added to the RoadWorks map

  • BARRINGTON ST from HARVEY ST to SOUTH ST, starting on 2021-08-27
  • MAYNARD ST from CUNARD ST to BUDDY DAYE ST, starting on 2021-08-21
  • CORNWALLIS ST from BAUER ST to GOTTINGEN ST, starting on 2021-08-19

You can find out road closure details on the HRM Roadworks map:

Other Major Projects:

Heritage Gas Work – South Park St, between Victoria Road and Inglis Street
Start Date: August 25, 2021 (saw cut starts)
Duration: Two Weeks (Including Full Restoration)
Type of Work: Natural Gas pipeline installation and restoration
Traffic: All work to be completed 9am-4pm with One lane of traffic to be maintained at all times.
Contact: Heritage Gas 24-hour customer service line at 902-466-2003

South Street Bridge Rehabilitation Proposed Project – Canadian National Railway (CN) and Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) are proceeding with bridge and roadway rehabilitation work on the arch bridge structure at South Street in 2021. The work will involve a major rehabilitation of the structure and reinstatement of the roadway. A detour route comprised of Beaufort Avenue, Oakland Road, and Rockcliffe Street will provide access to the South Street neighbourhood during construction. Contact the CN Public Inquiry Line at 1-888-888-5909 or at contact@cn.ca if you have any questions.

Community Events

NEON DREAMS Halifax Homecoming | Grand Parade 1770 Barrington St
Friday September 10, 2021 starts 7pm – FREE
The Grand Oasis Stage in Grand Parade is about to come to life! Neon Dreams are back in their hometown after a trip around the world to showcase the incredible message that resonates internationally. Frank Kadillac and Adrian Morris are the duo that continue to take over your speakers and we have the privilege of claiming them as “Hometown Heroes!”

Hopscotch 2021 – Hip Hop In Halifax | Grand Parade
Thursday September 23 to Sunday September 26 – FREE
The Grand Oasis Stage in Grand Parade brings us back to our first ever celebration of Hip Hop in Halifax! 12 Years later we return to showcase all elements live to our incredible Community! Announcements coming very soon! More info https://www.facebook.com/events/1209774705874561/

Support Local Box presented by Halifax VegFest 2021
Sunday September 26 | Convention Centre
Halifax VegFest is proud to present the Support Local Box!
While our in-person event will not take place in 2021, we are excited to offer the Halifax VegFest Support Local Box: a curated collection of some of the best locally-made vegan products plus coupons, samples and surprises from your favourite plant-based and wellness brands. Now available for pre-order! Visit http://hfxvegfest.ca/shop  to purchase.

How can we help?

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/

Call my office
Call my office for assistance with your municipal issues. Please have your 311 reference number ready.  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

Reach out to me
I’m always available to help residents.  Email is always better than a phone call, as I am often in meetings and much of the time I cannot answer the phone. If Liam or 311 cannot assist you, please email me at waye.mason@halifax.ca or call 902.430.7822