Tag Archives: Halifax Common Master Plan

Halifax Common Master Plan, Wanderers Block & Public Garden Greenhouses Needs Full Public Consultation

FHC want the Friends of Public Gardens’ proposal for new greenhouses on the Wanderers Block to be included as part of the on-going public consultation for the Common Master Plan.

Plans for a Victorian greenhouse proposed by the Public Gardens Foundation on the Wanderers Grounds. – Public Gardens Foundation https://www.saltwire.com/halifax/news/8-million-year-round-greenhouse-proposed-for-wanderers-grounds-100796396/#.Y3agxJ3VqCM.twitter

While supportive of the concept FHC worries that so far HRM staff and consultants refuse to include the Wanderers Block during the any phase of the public consultation although asked to. The on-going lack of real and transparent public consultation has led to a loss of open space and failure to recapture or add to that space.

HRM’s secret dealings with Derek Martin’s Sports Atlantic have privatized the use of the Wanderers Playing Field. Martin is now looking to turn his for profit trial ‘temporary pop up stadium’ into a 10,000 seat permanent venue. “Because there is a history of projects proceeding on the Halifax Common on an ad hoc basis, there is a significant lack of cohesion within the Common – it is a collection of parts,” writes Howard Epstein, FHC Director.

Continue reading

2022 FHC AGM- Tuesday November 29, 6:30-8:45 Halifax Public Library

Dear Friends of Halifax Common,

Please join FHC for our 2022 AGM.

The meeting’s programme will focus on the draft Halifax Common Master Plan. That’s because
In February HRM Mayor & Council asked HRM staff to undertake more public consultation on the draft Plan, but apart from an on-line survey HRM staff has been silent. See details here: https://www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/halifax-common-master-plan
After a quick update on FHC work there will be five short presentations by FHC Directors about the draft Plan. The goal is to help you better understand the draft so you can complete the survey and or send comments to HRM Staff and Council. We also want to hear from you so there will be a Q&A.
Date: Tuesday November 29th, 2022
Time:  6:30 – 8:45 
Place: Halifax  Central Library, Room 301, Spring Garden Road
Presentations: Halifax Common Master Plan: a 5 part guided tour
Discussion: Have Your Say
Presentation Topics: Planning for the Common
  • Protecting the Common as a Whole – Judith Fingard
  • Reclaim, Expand & Balance Use of Public Green Space – David Garrett
  • Clarifying the Public Role in Shaping the Common – Lawrence McEachern
  • Return Public Use to the Wanderers Grounds – Peggy Cameron & Peggy Smith
  • A Common Vision, Purpose, & Policy  – David Garrett
Many citizens feel helpless these days. Being active and engaged is a good countermeasure. Please plan to attend, hear ideas, join the discussions and have your say. 
Very best wishes,
On behalf of
Friends of Halifax Common

HRM Pulls Switcheroo on Premier / Minister with Common’s Pool Building

Say one thing, do another.  In April 2021 HRM’s Jacques Dube asked the NS Government’s Law Amendments for permission for HRM to construct a building to support the new pool on the Central Common. FHC expressed concerns to Law Amendments then; drawings showed two buildings; the public had never been consulted on the design; and the Master Plan public consultation was on-going. Now it seems HRM pulled a switcheroo on the NS Government— there are two, much larger buildings placed in a different location than HRM requested.

Initial Central Common pool and buildings design near Cogswell HRM proposed. (3)

Pool buildings being built- larger and in a different location

FHC has written to Premier and Minister of Municipal Affairs as they both oversee Municipalities and authorize decisions made by the Law Amendments Committee. In this case Bill 103 was an agreement to a particular request from HRM. But HRM did not proceed as it presented it would. 

We believe this “Say one thing, do another,” is too usual a form of governance. It erodes public trust in government. We have asked the Premier and Minister what they have to say about this? And we have also asked if they are willing to propose a remedy the situation such as creating legislative protection of the Halifax Common?  

Read FHC’s letter here: Continue reading

Halifax Common Master Plan Approval Delayed by HRM Standing Committee

HRM’s Community and Economic Development Standing Committee met on Wednesday, Dec 8, and agreed to delay approving the Halifax Common Master Plan just released on Friday, December 3, 2021. FHC’s Howard Epstein and Alan Ruffman were among several speakers and concerned groups including the Halifax Lancers These speakers asked that the draft Plan not go forward to HRM Council until an appropriate review of the  lengthy (496 pp) document could take place. Thank you to the many who wrote to ask for the delay.

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." This entire area was to be considered for planning purposes in the 1994 Halifax Common Plan.

The Halifax Common grant in 1763 was for 240 acres ” to and for the use of the inhabitants of the town of Halifax as Common, forever.” This entire area was to be considered for planning purposes in the 1994 Halifax Common Plan.

Howard Epstein, presented on behalf of FHC as follows:

Submission to HRM Community Planning and Economic Development Standing Committee, Re: Halifax Common Master Plan

Proposal—Friends of Halifax Common asks that the Committee refer the draft Master Plan back to HRM staff to conduct further public consultations and receive comments, over a period of at least two months. There are three main reasons for this: Continue reading

FHC to Premier-Don’t Approve a Pool Building Before Public Consultation and a Plan

FHC are asking the Nova Scotia Legislature not to approve legislation to permit new building on the Central Common for HRM’s proposed Aquatic Centre. A public consultation process for the Common Master Plan begun in Dec 2017 has never come back to the citizens for final input or approval.

This map shows a synthesis of what was agreed on for the favoured elements-with no change to the building footprint

Despite there being no final Plan, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Brendan McGuire, has introduced Bill 103 to amend HRM’s Charter and give permission for a building and fencing for an aquatic centre on the Central Common.

“It is very concerning that HRM staff has not communicated with residents about the Halifax Common Master Plan since the summer of 2019,” says FHC director and long-time Halifax resident Alan Ruffman. “Public consultation is an obligation that HRM owes its citizens under the HRM Charter.” Continue reading