District 7 Update – HAF rezoning public hearing set, D7 Participatory Budget results

In this issue

This special edition contains the up-to-date Housing Accelerator Fund Public Hearing date and information on how to participate, and also the results of Monday’s Participatory Budgeting vote.

Blue Background with white text and white outline graphic of a small one story house, with a round orange button with a white microphone graphic. Text reads "Public Hearing"

Upcoming Public Hearing

Urgent Changes to Planning Documents for Housing (Housing Accelerator Fund) Public Hearing

As part of the continued effort to support housing supply, the Halifax Regional Municipality is proposing changes to planning documents that will allow more diverse housing options across the municipality.

The proposed changes are significant, and if adopted will increase the height and number of units allowed in buildings in all zones, as well as several other changes, impacting all of District 7.  Residents should be aware of these changes.  A public hearing is an opportunity to tell Regional Council what they like and dislike about a proposal and suggest what should be changed, strengthened, deleted or protected.

The Public Hearing will be held by Halifax Regional Council commencing on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at 1:00 p.m, and will continue on additional dates as necessary, in the Halifax Regional Council Chambers at City Hall, 1841 Argyle Street, Halifax, NS.

Examples of development forms proposed in the hAF proposal

Screenshot

For important information on how to participate, please visit halifax.ca/haf

Find the official Notice of Public Hearing here.

You can read my blog post about why Regional Council voted to approve this the public hearing here

Picture from across the atrium of Central Library through the glass of Lindsay Children's Room with PB vote underway.

Participatory Budgeting 2024 Votes Are In!

On May 13 over one hundred an eighty people voted in this years participatory budgeting for District 7

A fun filled night of chats, idea sharing and voting resulted in 5 large projects received full funding, 2 small projects receive full funding, and 1received partial funding at the final District 7 Participatory Budgeting before the election.

Over one hundred and eighty residents of all ages turned out Monday evening at the Halifax Central Library to cast their votes on what community projects would receive $56,680 if district capital funding for 2024/25

“It’s always harder to stage the vote in an election year, as less money is available and the timelines change.  We were unable to hold a vote the year before the 2020 election as we did not have enough applicants.  I am really happy we were able to have one more vote before my time as Councillor ends” said Waye Mason, Councillor for District 7, who is not running for councillor after completing his third term in office.

Councillor Mason brought participatory budgeting to Halifax in 2013 to provide equal access to the Councillor’s district capital fund, and make the decisions on funding in public.

In a non-election year each district in Halifax has a budget of $94,000 for a District Capital Fund for permanent projects in the community that provide widespread community benefit.

Since 2013, community members in District 7 have proposed projects, made recommendations on how to spend this money, and voted on what should be funded.

Many other districts in HRM have since adopted full or partial spending of their District Capital through a participatory budgeting vote.

“I expect the new Councillor will be under some pressure to continue this community-driven process, and I look forward to coming to vote in 2025!” said Mason.

The 2024/25 successful projects were:

Name Project Amount
Gorsebrook Junior High PTA Bike racks, benches, standing flagpole, and mural  $10,000.00
Local Council of Women, Halifax we plan to begin a project to create third-space opportunities in our adjoining lot at the Council House. Now that that is done, we envision a garden and green
space that allows for the public and our community to enjoy the corner of Young & Inglis.
 $10,000.00
Echology Action Centre Bus Bike Rack installation, outdoor paint, new bike parts and tools

Outdoor Paint ($500)

New Bike Parts and tools,

 $  5,185.00
LeMarchant St. Thomas Elementary Balance of funds needed to pay for 2 Ceiling mounted Basketball Units (side nets), with Steel fan backboards with borders and targets, rear mounted rims and adjustable frames.  $10,000.00
Halifax Brewery Farmer’s Market Cooperative Ltd. Community Wall Project  $  7,500.00
Halifax Dance Association additional Aging Actively workshops at The Halifax Central Library  $  4,000.00
Quinpool Road Mainstreet District Association Halifax Mural Fest  $  5,000.00
North End Business Association Support the Mural Festival  $  3,995.00

“As always, we heard from residents about how difficult it can be to choose a few projects because all the projects are excellent and need” Mason said, “but in the end, residents have to chose the best way to allocate the limited resources.”

Proposals will now be vetted by HRM staff and pending policy and due diligence by staff organizations should receive their funding in six to eight weeks.

For more information on Participatory budgeting, visit https://wayemason.ca/pb

 

Picture of 3 small children with bike helmets on talking to Quinpool Road business association folks about their mural project, while one of their mother's grins down at them.