Halifax Common Consultation – Use 1994 Plan as Starting Point

The Halifax Common grant in 1763 was for 235 acres ” to and for the use of the inhabitants of the town of Halifax as Common, forever.” Under the 1994 Halifax Common Plan the entire area is to be considered for planning purposes.

At the invitation of the Halifax Master-plan Consultants’ Team FHC reviewed and highlighted Ten Items from the 1994 Halifax Common Plan of Current Significance in creating a New Halifax Master Plan…

1. Recognition that the need for a Plan for the Halifax Common was and is brought about “…partly from concern about the increasing number of changes and demands for use and the need for a plan and additional protection for the Halifax Common.”

2. That the 235 acres of the Halifax Common, originally granted to the people of Halifax by royal decree in 1763 and specifically identified in 1859, must be considered as an entity with varying areas and fully addressed with the new Master Plan, otherwise either the boundary of the Halifax Common should be redrawn or the current planning effort re-named.

3. That “First and foremost the Halifax Common is a public place…”, as the original charter provides, for “the use of the inhabitants of the Town of Halifax forever.”

4. Recognize that the Halifax Common has a “distinct character and identity” and “that the distinct character and integrity be recognized and strengthened and that a common design language be developed to create a cohesiveness throughout the Common.”

5. That “aspects of the special character include: [in order of presentation] open space, trees, views and landmarks, historic significance, Freshwater Brook, public buildings, wide streets, wide sidewalks, black iron fences, and strong edges.”

6. That thru its open spaces, trees, and pedestrian and vehicular circulation systems, the Halifax Common ties together the diverse residential, commercial, institutional and historic areas of Halifax, and that the boundaries of the Halifax Common are themselves important.

7. That the Halifax Common serves as a neighbourhood park for many areas of Halifax as well as a destination park for the larger region, and that the private use of the Common be examined carefully and allowed by Halifax Council only if it is in keeping with the Common Plan.

8. That the “recapture” of lands being used for non-public uses inconsistent with the intent of the Common Plan be undertaken by the [Municipality] wherever possible.

9. That detailed planning guidelines and solutions be developed to address the numerous specific areas and needs of the Halifax Common.

10. That the Plan “examine options and provide a recommendation on legislation to be used to protect the Halifax Common and assure that the Plan is followed.”