Halifax City hall through the memorial arch
Harbour East-Marine Drive Community Council

Silver Sands Beach to get new public access

Two developments approved on Silvers Lane
 | April 1, 2021

Harbour East-Marine Drive Community Council, April 1, 2021

Meeting recap (the important stuff):

If this meeting had any more silver it’d be on the periodic table. The popular Silver Sands Beach in Cow Bay will be getting a new public access point, pending council approval. The beach had an access that’s been eroding over time. Now all that’s left to get to the beach is a small patch of land that’s private property. Councillor Kent and previous Councillor Karsten have both been working to find an access for the beach, which resulted in the staff report and motion Kent put forward tonight. Should council approve it, the motion will direct city staff to find land, buy it if necessary, and bring an access for the public back.

The two public hearings for two separate developments on Silvers Lane had no registered speakers. This could be because both of the development agreements being proposed were slight changes but otherwise largely the same as previously approved development agreements for the site. Essentially, the two apartment buildings going in behind Silver Lane changed ownership and minor parts of the design, like removing the penthouse, were altered to make building easier and faster. 

In changing their plan, it forced a change to the development proposed at 30-38 Silvers Lane. The change to this development agreement is essentially that cars will be forced to get onto Main Road from Silvers Lane, as opposed to through the property of the other development.

Armco also wrote Councillor Kent asking for an expedited public hearing for a development of theirs in the Passage. That development, readers in the Passage and Cow Bay, is the industrial zone by the wetland on Hines Road. They want it sooner because they feel like they’ve been waiting for too long. It’s currently scheduled for June but Councillors agreed to look at their schedules and see if they had free time for a special meeting to accommodate Armco’s request. If only all letters to councillors got such a quick response and action.   

Who said what (paraphrased): 

Hendsbee: Anything to add to the agenda? 

Clerk: A staff report about an entry point to Silver Beach. 

Hendsbee: Kent, do you want to acknowledge correspondence? 

Kent: Yes, I’d like to move it to before the public hearing. 

Hendsbee: Correspondence!

Kent: We’ve got some correspondence from Armco because their public hearing has been delayed. They’re asking for a special meeting to get their public hearing done. Do we need a special meeting? Or is it possible to get it done next meeting? Or? 

Hendsbee: Maybe ask our planning staff how much time they need for first reading? 

Kent: We did our first reading last meeting. It should be in the clerk’s notes to when it’s coming forward. 

Clerk: If the matter has received first reading it’s probably already scheduled, which means the advertisements have gone out, so a special meeting would actually slow it down.  

Carl Purvis, Planning Applications Program Manager: It’s scheduled for the first week of June, and we need three and a half weeks’ notice to get a hearing done to put the ads out in the paper for three weeks.  

Hensdebee: So that’d be the first week of May? 

Purvis: Our regular meetings are booked up until June, so they’d need a special one. 

Hendsbee: Let’s find out if we have availability as councillors to accommodate that request. First public hearing, Case 22847

Kent: There’s a slight change to what’s in the package that came out this afternoon so I’ll read the changed version. *Starts to read the motion

Clerk: Presentation then motion!

Hendsbee: Fine, the presentation.

Jamie Ellen: Here’s what Lookout Investments Limited wants to do:

Ellen: This is a confusing process right now to make permitting easier. The design has changed very little since the initial approval. We got zero phone calls or emails about this development. We’re recommending approving the changes to the development agreement for the two new apartment agreements. Questions? 

Hendsbee: Any questions from council?

Kent: Can you expand on the traffic impact? 

Ellen: It’s the same as the previous 60 units per building, so no change. 

Hendsbee: Landscaping plan include stormwater management? 

Ellen: It’s required for permitting.

Purdy: Is this on municipal sewer? 

Ellen: Yes. 

Hendsbee: Opening the floor for public input.

Mancini: Point of Order: Doesn’t the applicant have-

Hendsbee: Right, right, is the applicant here? 

Clerk: Yes, the applicant is present. 

Hendsbee: Is that JP Chater? You have 10 minutes!

Chater: I don’t have anything really to add, we’ve taken out the penthouse, we put amenities on the first floor, and we took out the phasing to make it easier to build at the same time. But it’s essentially the same development as previously presented. 

Hendsbee: Now it’s time for the public hearing!

Clerk: We have no registered speakers. 

Hendsbee: Close the public hearing? 

M/S/CVoteAyeUnanimousHearing closed

Kent: *Reads the motion for agenda item 10.1.1 as written, for real this time* I’d just like to put forward my position on this. I’m supportive of this, it’s been ongoing for some time. I respect the decision from past council to approve this and think the changes are better for the community. I think these changes are positive and in keeping with the area. I had some concerns, around traffic, but I think they’ve been dealt with. This area of the Passage hasn’t been developed yet and isn’t surrounded by neighbouring houses. The costs of these projects are inflated now due to COVID so we should be respectful of that and allow for this kind of shift to get development built. The housing crisis is very real and relevant to all communities (weird then that we don’t know if the rent will be affordable). 

M/S/CVoteAyeUnanimous – Motion passes

Hendsbee: Next case for Silver Lane in Eastern Passage, staff presentation!

Carl Purvis: Here’s what the developer wants to do:

Purvis: Here’s the context for the development:

Purvis: Besides making sure vehicle traffic goes in and out on Silvers Lane, nothing else has changed from the initial application. We got two phone calls and three letters/emails asking about high level stuff, or asking about the development next door. We recommend approving the development agreement.   

Hendsbee: Anyone have any questions? 

Mancini: How often does Carl have a lack of issues with policy? 

Purvis: It’s always nice. 

Kent: This has been a long journey and a confusing scenario from start to finish. 

Gary Edwards: I’m the applicant for this development agreement amendment, I just want to finish what I started eight years ago. The plan from the beginning was to subdivide these lots to allow for housing in our community. 

Hendsbee: Public hearing!

Clerk: No registered speakers.

M/S/CVoteAyeUnanimousPublic hearing closed

Kent: *Reads the motion for agenda item 10.1.2 as written* I’ve been able to get an update on this site on the areas that got in the way. I know this has been frustrating experience, and he’s been a long standing developer in the Passage. I think it’s the right move for the Eastern Passage area, he moved a small house on the lot of the first development tonight that used to be my MLA office! 

M/S/CVoteAyeUnanimousDevelopment amendment approved

Kent: Did you miss petitions? 

Hendsbee: I did that earlier? Do you have one? 

Kent: No. 

Hendsbee: Added item, the Silver Sands Beach access point. Over to Kent.

Kent: I want to acknowledge the hard work staff has put into this today. I’ve talked about this beach before, and Karsten did as well, to investigate alternative options for an entrance to the well loved Silver Sands Beach. This motion is a culmination of that work. It’s an important beach, the Silver Sands Beach Park currently has a statue of a moose that’s only one example of the history of that beach. It’s been the catalyst to development of the Hydrostone and the foundations of both bridges and Shearwater. In spite of all of that, it’s also an important access to the coast in Cow Bay. Right now the access is on private property, and has been deteriorating due to erosion so now the only option to get to the beach is private property. The public needs access to this beach. There is some land that can be purchased, and it doesn’t require new money. And with that, I will move that- *reads the motion*   

Mancini: The attachment A map, has there been an identified location that we are considering or does that still need to be investigated? 

Richard Harvey, planning: Your direction in this motion is to direct us to find a place for it. 

Mancini: So there’s no identified spot yet? 

Harvey: Correct. 

Mancini: We don’t know where it is exactly, but we’ll get some options.  

Hendsbee: I remember going there as a child and there were a lot of concrete animals on that beach but nature has taken them back and turned them into sand. 

Kent: I just want to acknowledge the tremendous amount of passion about the potential loss of access to the beach. A new access will bring some excitement and new use of the beach. 

M/S/CVoteAyeUnanimous Motion passed

*Meeting adjourned*

Present:

Councillor David Hendsbee, Chair (District 2)

Councillor Becky Kent, Vice Chair (District 3)

Councillor Trish Purdy (District 4)

Councillor Sam Austin (District 5)

Councillor Tony Mancini (District 6)

Absent: 

N/A

Interviews:

N/A – COVID

Previous meeting minutes and current agenda:

Previous meeting

Current agenda


A former Naval Officer turned journalist, Matt Stickland is committed to empowering his community to ensure that everyone has access to the information they need to make their city a better place.

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