Harbour East-Marine Drive Community Council

Landlords in favour of Dartmouth East development

Salvage yard to become legal in Clam Harbour, disc golf discussions
 | May 7, 2021

Harbour East-Marine Drive Community Council, May 6, 2021

Meeting recap (the important stuff):

A development for Caledonia Road was approved by the Harbour East-Marine Drive Community Council. The five story building is planned for 95 Caledonia Road and the owner’s representative from WM Fares said the owner is applying for the below market subsidy program from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. 

Councillor Mancini said he had concerns about the design of the building but was otherwise supportive of the neighbourhood getting more housing. Two people, both local landlords, phoned into the public meeting to express support for the development. One landlord, Norm Legault, said it’d increase property values in the area, which is a plus. Former councillor for the area and current councillor for Eastern Passage, Councillor Kent, encouraged the developer to be bold in their building and design. She said although it should match the surrounding buildings, the surrounding buildings are old, and this development could be the spark for change in the area. 

The other public hearing for the meeting was for a salvage yard in Clam Harbour. The owner, Mr. Dalrymple, has been running the salvage yard since the 90s and now needs to make it legal. Members from the community at the public hearing in 2019 as well as the one person who phoned in today said they supported the salvage yard. They said that Mr. Dalrymple is a pillar of the community who’s generous with his time. Councillor Kent said that salvage yards have been an issue in the Passage when they become unsightly, and so as long as he follows the plans put forward in the development agreement to keep it hidden there should be no issues. This process started with a complaint from the public. 

There are also going to be some disc golf pilot projects coming to the HRM, with sites to be determined. The committee followed staff’s advice to not make permanent changes to the park behind the North Woodside Community Centre without more information on how well used a disc golf course would be. 

Who said what (paraphrased): 

Hendsbee: First up, staff report on the Clam Harbour salvage yard Case 22198.

Maria Jacobs: The owner wants to keep the existing salvage yard and auto shop (this is the second ‘backyard’ auto shop this year that’s had to do this). This initially came from a complaint and the owner pled guilty. The best way to solve this issue is through a development agreement. It’s allowed with the zoning in the area which was designed to promote economic growth in rural areas. Here’s what salvage yards need to comply to:

Jacobs: The public engagement meeting had 39 people who showed up and two letters. Most of the people who attended the meeting were supportive of the development. Some had concerns about the city’s plans for environmental mitigation of the site. We recommend the development agreement be approved. Questions? 

Kent: What will the visual screening be like? 

Jacobs: Right now it’s a tree buffer, which they’d keep. And if they removed trees that would be considered a substantial change to this agreement. And there are shrubs in the front, and they’ll be clearing anything that can be viewed from the road. 

Kent: Are they prohibited from adding more driveways? 

Jacobs: They actually have two right now but they’re removing one for safety. 

Purdy: Is there a timeline for the stormwater management plan? 

Jacob: We looked at it as a new development agreement for a salvage yard, so they’ll need to do the stormwater plan before they get permits. They’re also doing studies on the water quality to apply for the salvage license at the provincial level. 

Hendsbee: Applicant, do you want to make a presentation? 

Mark Charles: We have a PowerPoint from the previous public hearing, with some small changes. Mr. Dalrymple’s been living in this home for quite some time, since the late 90s, as a small mechanic. His inventory of scrap and end of life cars kept growing and that was where his business started heading. We’re including the shop in this plan so it’s all in one place. There are benefits to the local economy, and it means people don’t need to tow their car into town to get fixed. Here are the environmental mitigations we’ve taken:

Charles: You should support this application because it brings new business to the shore, and it’s a needed service on the shore. Questions? 

Dalrymple: We just want to make sure the cars are properly reused and recycled. The fluids too. 

Kent: What do you have right now for your tires? They get to a pretty high pile before they’re gotten rid of. 

Dalrymple: We got some taken away, and they’re coming for more soon. 

Kent: You have a system in place to get rid of them now? 

Dalrymple: Yes.     

Kim Thompson: I wanted to take part tonight to support Charlie, and it’s cool to see how public participation happens in COVID. I support his application to continue his business. His talents are well known and appreciated. It’s a much needed local service, and he provides employment and generous mentorship. He’s always willing to help. He’s always willing to go scour his salvage yard. Charlie does a brilliant job in repurposing cars. His business has had far reaching positive effects on the Shore. I’ve been his neighbour for over 20 years. He’s also an active collaborator in education in the community. (Sorry got sidetracked by someone demanding ‘noodles for breakfast.’ It’s 6:30 p.m. Toddlers are wild.

Hendsbee: We have no other speakers since someone dropped out, someone put the motion on the floor? 

Kent: *Reads the motion for agenda item 10.1.1 as written* I’m happy to support this, and was encouraged by the submissions in support of it. Salvage yards have been somewhat problematic in the Passage, and this property owner seems to have a lot of respect in the community. I hope he keeps it up. Most often people complain about the unsightliness, so make sure you keep that up. Even though there was a rocky start, in not being legitimate, I’m glad he’s taking the time to legitimize this. And make sure you’re keeping on the tires. 

Hendsbee: There were a lot of positive comments at the public hearing, the issues Kent raised were pertinent that night. I trust that as this moves forward. I assume this will all be adhered to. 

M/S/CVoteAyeUnanimous

Hendsbee: Up next, Case 22797, staff presentation. 

Jamy-Ellen Klenavic: This is an application for Caledonia Road. This is what it’ll look like, and what the plan for the site is:

Klenavic: The site is currently zoned commercial and it needs a development agreement to be rezoned. We did public consultation. We got 19 calls and emails. It was mostly positive. They want housing, although they expressed concern about affordability. There’s some concern over the shadow on the nearby park. Here are some fast facts:

Klenavic: Here are the next steps, and we recommend approving it:

Mancini: Tonight we’re here to discuss rezoning but I have questions about the design. When is the right time to address that? Tonight? 

Klenavic: This is for both, we can discuss the development agreement at this meeting. 

Mancini: We all know we need more units, especially in Dartmouth. My concern is that this building doesn’t look special. There’s an opportunity to put a nicer building here. How do we encourage a really good street experience here? I know there’s going to be commercial but how do we get a cafe or bakery here? My concerns are design and street experience. 

Klenavic: The focus for this area is compatibility, we can consider street experience. It’s short, and not right on the edge of the lot. (She also said other stuff, it’s bedtime, it’s getting weird here.)

Kent: The footprint of the building, is that based on the lowest level or the furthest piece sticking out? 

Klenavic: That’s not something we regulated for this property, we’ve mandated setbacks instead. 

*There’s something about height here but there was a toothbrushing incident*

Hendsbee: How far is the parking from the intersection, far enough away to not be a traffic hazard? There seems like there’s enough of a front yard they could put patio space there. Applicant presentation? 

Cesar Saleh: I’m with WM Fares. We’re proposing a new mixed use building that will be well designed. It’s on a transit route, close to schools and parks. The building is well articulated with good architecture (he used a lot of jargon to say that). 

Mancini: I think you heard my comments about the design and street presence. What’re the owner’s intent for the types of business they want to attract to the first floor? 

Saleh: I don’t know, local neighbourhood commercial. (More jargon about ‘street presence’ that sounds positive, which it would, as he’s from the architecture firm designing it.)

Mancini: Affordable housing is on everyone’s mind. Do you know what the rent might be? 

Saleh: We don’t. It’s a lot of two bedrooms. Our client is preparing to apply to the affordable housing program by CHMC (which doesn’t create affordable housing; it creates below market housing (not to come down too hard on below market housing, we need a mix of not super high rent options)).

Hensbdee: Public hearing, we have two speakers.

Norman Legault: I’ve lived in this neighbourhood for 13 years and have been a landlord here since I bought my first home. I’m in the military so I won’t waste your time. This is a good move for Dartmouth East. Most of the businesses on that lot haven’t lasted long. I started renovating and as a result other landlords also started renovating. I think this will do the same. NSCC and Prince Andrew have both been upgraded since I moved here. Beazley Fields got an upgrade, the Ford dealership should be a transit terminal at some point. The facilities built in the 60s are falling apart, commercial buildings are the same. The lot the building is on needs to be replaced. It’ll increase the property value in the area. I think this mixed use apartment style building is the way of the future. Rent might go up in the area (it will, that’s usually how gentrification works), but it’s not as high as Halifax. This is a great idea, I hope it moves forward. 

Kautilya Gandhi (KJ): I’m a builder and developer in the area. I’m building homes not far from here, and I think this area needs a boost. A new vision. This building and design provides that. This whole area will become a much better place, I don’t have anything more, I really support this. 

*Public hearing closes*

Mancini: *Reads the motion for agenda item 10.1.2 as written* Thank you everyone. I support this development and development in this area. The building there is tired and needs an upgrade. People were wondering if the pizza place was coming back, and the usual traffic. I’m happy to hear about the affordable (below market) housing opportunity. I support this. 

Kent: ‘The look of the building fits in the community,’ this is an opportunity, people in the area are excited and want something fresh and new. I encourage you to be bold. The buildings in the area have been there for decades. Fitting in might not start the change in the community. I encourage you to be bold. Just because it needs to fit in, doesn’t mean it’s the right decision every time. 

M/S/CVoteAyeUnanimous

Hendsbee: On to disc golf, Austin? 

Austin: It’s mine. *Reads motion for agenda item 13.1.1 as written* I accept the report. Part of me’s a little disappointed because the location has a lot going on in terms of park space. It’s next to a community centre, next to transit, has bathrooms, etc. Sometimes there are security concerns but it’s an underutilized park area. Do we have anyone from Parks who can talk about the other disc golf initiatives that the city is doing? 

Gareth Evans: There’s not really a question in the first part but it’s not a straight up refusal to do anything on the underused lands, we just want to do more research before doing anything permanent on that location. This pilot project is to find out how disc golf would fit into the municipality’s plans. We’re not sure if an 18 championship style or 18 hole (other kinds of disc golf? There’s more than one kind of disc golf course? TIL), we just want more information. 

Austin: Everyone who’s represented this area has had challenges, there was a body there for four months before anyone found it. Natural causes but still concerning (uh……..). It’s just disappointing to see this park being underutilized, it wasn’t a criticism of the staff report. 

Kent: I represented the area when we were able to build that trail. And we were able to unify the community with that path when the waste treatment plant was being built. That park was set aside at that time to do something with later to not take away from the accomplishment of the trail. It’s a beautiful location and something should be done there, even if it’s not disc golf. 

Austin: It would have been good if recommendation number three was looking at future uses of the space. 

Hendsbee: There’s a lot of great spots for disc golf courses *lists a bunch of spots really quickly*. 

Mancini: Staff may not be familiar with disc golf but it’s a growing sport. A lot of us had never heard of pickleball a couple years ago and look where it is now. I think COVID had taught us all how much our residents want to take advantage of the outdoors, so I encourage every disc golf pilot. 

M/S/CVoteAyeUnanimous

Evans: We already have staff onboard from Planning and policy for disc golf. If we are to put disc golf somewhere we just want to make sure there’s no conflict with other park users.  

Hendsbee: *Takes time at the end of the meeting to plug a local business that sells something to support veterans in some undefined way, sold in Seaforth though*  

*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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