Category Archives: MEETINGS

Meetings of FHC and affiliates. (not city hall meetings)

Working with Nature, a Common Cause

Map of Halifax by Captain Charles Blaskowitz in 1784

Halifax Map by Captain Charles Blaskowitz in 1784

How can understanding former uses and natural features of the Halifax Common help us deal with contemporary concerns and future challenges?

To learn more come & hear guest speaker Kevin Hooper Tuesday April 12, 6:45 pm – 7:45 pm
Room 301, Halifax Central Library, Spring Garden Road
A refreshments break at 8:45 pm will be followed by FHC AGM at ~ 8 pm.

Details: Kevin Hooper investigates the Halifax Common’s social and environmental history and makes the case for reintroducing functioning wetland ecosystems to deal with the challenges facing conventional stormwater management.
Among other topics this presentation will detail; the near complete loss of historical watercourses on the Halifax Peninsula; the evolution of the Halifax Common from 1749-2016; the critical role of wetlands in nature; and, the innovative ways that engineered wetlands are being applied for the purposes of sustainable stormwater management.

Bio: Kevin Hooper, B.A., M.U.R.P., originally from Moncton, N.B.,  has lived and worked in Halifax since 2006.  Following an undergraduate degree in the social sciences Kevin did a Masters in Urban and Rural Planning at Dalhousie University with a focus on environmental conservation, social equity, and community design.  He has contributed as a research assistant on several projects relating to climate change adaptation for small communities and currently works as a planning consultant.
He is the father of three young children and the very lucky partner of the most wonderful woman in the world.



Be Neighbourly, CBC-YMCA Is Already Twice the Allowed Height (7 vs. 14+ storeys)

CBC YMCA site got broke HRMbyDesign rules

The CBC YMCA development broke HRMbyDesign rules when the height was doubled from 7 to +14-storeys. The Design Review Committee chair, Alan Parish resigned because the Mayor and council ignored the DRC recommendations to not approve the building.

Is development polarizing Halifax because developers always want and get more? A Jan 10  CBC response article correctly points out the FHC position that city staff should be applauded, not bashed for turning down the requset for 14 more amendments from the CBC-Y site developer, Mr Spatz. His development is already double what’s permitted under HRMbyDesign regulations. Its +14-storeys (49m) not the allowed 7-storeys (23m).  That permission was despite the 2011 Design Review Committee Report that recommended against the development because it broke the new 2009 HRMbyDesign regulations. The DRC chair Mr. Alan Parish resigned as a result of their recommendation being ignored. A 2012 FHC Letter details rules that are broken.

The Design Review Committee seems like their agenda is too full to understand the implications of their decisions. The Thursday, January 14th meeting will cover three big items including the CBC-YMCA, Brenton Street and Doyle Block the View from the library proposals. One meeting is hardly enough time to really think about what kind of city we’re going to end up with.

Write to:
The Design Review Committee
c/o Sherryll Murphy – and
Mayor Savage –

Residents say Armoyen’s 29-storeys is too tall for neighbourhood

shadows_feb-1_4pm_west_smallIt’s Deja view!
A 29-storey tower
one of  two developments proposed at the corner of Robie & Quinpool, next to  the Halifax Common and residential neighbourhoods west of Robie Street is too high according to 80+ attending a Sept 17th public meeting.  At just 20′ shorter than Fenwick Tower the building is potentially the second tallest building in Halifax but proposed for a site presently restricted to 145′.  Of 20+ citizens speaking only one person, representing the Quinpool Business Commission supported the proposal.  See CBC’s Coverage of the Public Meeting

View the developer’s drawings

Visit the Willow Tree Group website for a critical evaluation of these two projects.
Follow the Willow Tree Group on Twitter

St Pat’s High School Property – Public Meeting- Wed. Jul. 22

There’s a public  open house to review and comment on three preliminary design options for St Pat’s High School on Wed., July 22, 6:30 – 9 p.m., Halifax Forum, Multi-Purpose Room

Why is the public meeting on such short notice and in the middle of vacation season?

Why is the public meeting on such short notice and in the middle of vacation season?

Can’t make it? 
Ask questions or make comments at:

Our questions? …..
1. Why is this very important public consultation meeting being scheduled on such short notice and in the middle of prime vacation time?

2. What is the urgency to sell and re-develop the St Pat’s high school site with such haste that a final design will be selected by September?

3. This area has many highrise developments being proposed -isn’t their approval and the approval for a St Pat’s project in advance of the Centre Plan precluding what the Centre Plan will be able to do?

4. Halifax has taken 21 years to begin the process of developing an integrated master plan for the Halifax Common.  St Pat’s highschool is common land in that it belongs to the public.  According to the 2013 Stantec Report commissioned by the city there is adequate land to meet all of our projected population growth for the next twenty years.  Why doesn’t the city land bank the St Pat’s site as common land to compensate for the loss of over 200 acres of the Halifax Common’s public open space ?


Questioning A New Permanent Building – June 5th

Questions and comments for consideration
1. Temporary Buildings:
a. As per the change to the legislation the only building permitted is the one exclusively to support the Oval.  What is the schedule for removal of the temporary buildings now in their 5th year?
ovalb.-The Museumplein in Amsterdam is one example of many of a public park that kept its green space by installing underground parking and buildings-there is even an underground shopping centre. Why isn’t the building being built underground with underground parking and a walkway/tunnel to the Central Common?
c. Kiosks are not legal buildings exclusively to support the Oval – Why aren’t food trucks used- they could be parked on the street?

2. Chillers: Continue reading

HRM Public Meeting – New Permanent Building, North Common

Have your say about the new permanent building on the North Common
Date: Thursday June 5, 2014
Time:  6:30pm to review presentation panels & 7pm for the formal presentation
Location:  Atlantica Hotel (former Willow Tree Holiday Inn)

Isn’t it time for a big picture plan that respects the 1994 Halifax Common Plan? In March 2012 HRM found out through a legal opinion that buildings on the Common are likely illegal. So  instead of respecting the law, HRM lobbied the provincial government to change HRM’s Charter to permit the legal erection of a permanent building on the North Common in exclusive support of the Oval.

We agree that so far the aesthetic of the Oval has been a junk heap but is a new building is necessary? FHC suggested spending the money to improve the Central Common Pavilion; or to host a yearly international design competition for warming huts like Winnipeg does; or to use yurts as found in many ski hills & golf courses. These were ignored. This permanent building is another major encroachment on the remaining ~ 30 acres of the original 240 acre land grant. We like the Oval but we love the Common.  At the public meeting in 2010 everything was about the concerts and $3 million was promised for improvements to the North Common.  Now its all about the Oval.  What’s the big picture?