March 17, 2021
Dear Premier Rankin and Minister Macguire,
RE: Legislative Protection for the Halifax Common
The 235 Halifax Common was granted “to and for the use of the inhabitants of the Town of Halifax as Commons forever” by King George III in 1763. It is Canada’s oldest and largest Common. The Friends of Halifax Common write to request that the provincial government enact legislation to protect the Halifax Common and that this legislation enshrine the 1994 Halifax Common Plan, adopted by Halifax City Council in 1994. This is similar to the legislative protection that the provincial government put in place for the Dartmouth Common. We consider this to be an urgent matter as the continued failure of governments in their respective fiduciary responsibilities to protect the Halifax Common have reduced the Common’s public open green space to approximately 20% of the original grant. Continue reading
I am writing again to request that HRM Council consider a moratorium on development applications and on any individual changes to the MPS, pending completion of the Centre Plan and also of the Bonusing Study. As stated in my letter of July 2015 it is inappropriate to proceed with any more of these individual projects since they cumulatively have the effect of predetermining the outcome of larger planning exercises, thus rendering citizen involvement futile.
In case that you are unaware of how normalized development through the DA process has become, (above) is an inventory of Development Agreements applications recently provided by HRM. For example in 2014 there were 50, all without respecting existing regulations and ignoring citizens’ concerns. All Development Agreements are, by definition, a departure from established rules of the MPS and LUB, which offer a sense of stability to existing residents. In my experience, citizen comments and concerns expressed about the various individual DA applications are ignored.
To this I should add that the changes that Council has requested the Provincial government to Continue reading
Published June 27th, 2014
This week marked the 251st anniversary of the signing of the 1763 land grant of 240 acres “for the use of the inhabitants of the Town of Halifax as Common forever.”
This year also marks 20 years since the City of Halifax approved the 1994 Halifax Common Plan, a document that was developed after a thorough public consultation because of concern about the increasing number of changes and demands for use and the need for additional protection for the Halifax Common. Continue reading
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?
b.-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
On December 3, 2012, Friends of Halifax Common submitted comments to Law Amendments with respect to the NDP provincial government’s Bill 157, that re-crafted the Halifax Charter to give permission for the construction of a support building for the skating Oval.
After the Friends’ presentations to community councils, letters to the Mayor and Council, letters to Ministers John MacDonnell, Leonary Preyra, Maureen MacDonald asking for protective legislation for the Halifax Common, the NDP government instead provided a “legal” route for HRM’s further encroachment of the last remaining 30 acres. Bill 157, Submission to Law Amendments