Harbour East-Marine Drive Community Council June 3, 2021
Meeting recap (the important stuff):
A kind of boring looking five story development has been approved for 95 Caledonia Road. Councillors Mancini and Kent both urged the developer to make the building more lively or look for a commercial tenant that would have an outdoor patio type space to spruce up the community. Kent was also worried that the developer would take out the old growth trees that are next to the approved land but there’s nothing that can be procedurally done by HRM to actively protect them. The development passed unanimously.
The bulk of the meeting was taken up by the Centre Plan Package B review presentation. Councillors Austin and Mancini both added amendments to the motion, which were largely housekeeping amendments. Essentially the plan covers such a large swath of land, sometimes city staff miss the nuance, especially around the minutiae of local issues inside the plan area. Mancini and Austin’s motions were to make sure that there were not any weird bylaw snafus in future developments, or with what currently exists on the properties.
Austin also added an amendment to expedite a development in the Southdale lands growth node. There hadn’t been a lot of interest in the area for years, but now as this policy review is happening Clayton has proposed a development for the northern part of it. The amendment is to make sure the development can proceed under the wire of the Centre Plan review. The amendments and the main motion passed unanimously.
Who said what (paraphrased):
Hendsbee: First up, development on Caledonia Road, staff presentation.
Jamy-Ellen Klenavic, staff: The rezoning and public hearing for that was approved in May and now this is for the development agreement of the same. It’s on Caledonia Road and Kennedy Drive. It’s allowed by the policies for the area. We haven’t had any additional comments since the original one. There was strong support from the community. It’s a five story building, approximately 59 units, 30% of them two bedrooms or more. Commercial use on the ground floor. Staff recommends approving the development agreement.
Austin: Looking at the east elevation, that’s an awfully long blank wall on the first floor. Will that be visible or will it be hidden behind a privacy fence?
Klenavic: It’ll be behind a fence, and there’s some elevation there so I think it’ll be okay.
Kent: I have a question about the very mature trees surrounding the lot. They are somewhat of a buffer to the closest neighbours, are those in a non-disturbance area? Mature trees are hard to come by (because we keep cutting them down!).
Klenavic: They aren’t on the subject site, those are on HRM land.
Kent: What about on the street line? Open season on those trees?
Klenavic: There’s no requirement for them to be saved but the development agreement says they need trees there, so the landscaping should improve.
Kent: How far from the HRM land will it be?
Klenavic: 5 metre buffer.
Mancini: My concern and desire for this building is street presence. Is there anything we can do to ensure that the commercial space has outdoor amenities?
Klenavic: There’s landscaping in the front yard?
Mancini: Not landscaping, commercial. The community’s looking forward to that. Like a cafe or bakery has an outdoor piece to that business. Can we ensure the space is capable of that, if they can attract the right business?
Klenavic: There’s nothing in the development agreement that would prevent that, commercial space is also not required to be in the building, it’s just allowed. The applicant has said they want commercial though.
Mancini: *Reads the motion for agenda item 13.1.1 as written* The community’s looking forward to this, the building that’s there needs replacing.
Kent: Just to follow up on the treed area, there’s an accepted notion that they can work right up to the disturbance area, or even within it, on the assumption they can reinstate it. But they can’t reinstate mature trees. I’m raising that for consideration to the applicant. During the rezoning, I talked about being bold around the facade design. I know it needs to fit with the community but for communities that want and need new energized excitement, a new look, I think it’s healthy. But I’d ask that staff consider that. I hope that there’s outside commercial area because it makes the area more inviting.
M/S/C – Vote – Aye – Unanimous
Hendsbee: Centre Plan B, staff presentation.
Ben Sivak: *Folks, we’ll be back in 45 minutes. I love you all. I do. But I can only watch this presentation so many times in 48 hours* Thank you, questions?
Austin: I don’t know if I should go first, I’ll put the motion on the floor? *Reads the motion for agenda item 13.1.1 as written* I’ve seen this twice now, actually the third time in three days (same, my man, same). I have two amendments to put on the floor but for the flow of the meeting maybe I’ll come back?
Kent: Centre Plan started when I was on council before and it’s still going! Now the Centre Plan is so fulsome I have to tuck in and spend time with it. I like the designations of specific zones. Question though, the Dartmouth land use bylaws capture parts of district three outside of the Centre Plan. How are we going to communicate this degree of change to the public? I found our bylaws and planning strategies difficult to read through (same, I’ve seen it theorized that it’s made complex on purpose to keep it exclusionary). So how do we make sure we get communicated clearly? Did I hear right, that there’s a zone we might look to in the future, faith-based zoning? Where housing would happen in conjunction with faith facilities?
Sivak: Circle back?
Kent: No I’ll circle back.
Sivak: Special provisions for landmark buildings, and I said places of worship, but it’s places that aren’t heritage properties, but they are significant. We want to make sure we have some flexibility where we can keep the building but turn it into housing. So we can keep the landmark buildings as they contribute to the community but the needs of the community might change. And we increased the amount of changes they can make to 10 per cent in case they need to change entrances and stuff. In terms of communication, that’s one of the big reasons the Centre Plan has been going on for so long. We’ve been trying hard to make it accessible. You’re right, not everyone understands land use bylaws. We have communications tools for people though.
Mancini: I have amendments but I might add them to Austin’s.
Hendsbee: When we use the boundary lines, what about the boundaries on the cusp, like Baker Drive? What loss or disadvantage do they have for being on the wrong side of the highway? Or can they use the Centre Plan because they are right next to the zone?
Sivak: That’s a good reason to get moving with the suburban plan. The circumferential highways can be an arbitrary boundary. The existing plans have issues but still allow development. But there’s no quick ability for the lands adjacent to use the new Centre Plan.
Hendsbee: Main Street in Dartmouth has the same issue. I don’t know that it’s suburban, but suburban plan for them, okay.
Kent: I look forward to the amendments. Presentations, I didn’t see a lot of Dartmouth pictures (I’M SICK OF THIS PRO HALIFAX BIAS, he yelled jokingly, but also… it’s kind of true).
Austin: I have two amendments, I can do number five first (what?). I move to add (oh) Harbour East-Marine Drive Community Council, 5. Consider the following amendments: 1) Apply ER-2 zone to properties with frontage on Charles Street, 2) Apply Higher Order Residential zone to 79 Crichton Avenue (Edgemere), 3) Zone properties with frontage on Portland Street from Old Ferry Road/Maynard Street to Hawthorne Street, ER-1 instead of ER-2 and ER-3 and adjust the proposed Five Corners Heritage Conservation District identified in Map 20 to include those properties, 4) Increase the permitted height for 48 Rodney Road and PID 41430869 to 20 metres, 5) Increase the permitted height for 317, 321 and 325 Prince Albert Road from 20 metres to 26 metres, 6) Reduce the permitted height for HR portion of 10 Maple Street to 11 metres, 7) Zone properties at the corner of Pine and Myrtle Streets, including 38 Pine, 34 Myrtle, and PID 41463712, ER-3, 8) Zone 29 Victoria Road as either Downtown Dartmouth or Higher Order Residential with a low FAR value or low height limit to enable the property to be used for accessory surface parking for the adjacent multi-unit building or modest future redevelopment, 9) Include the undeveloped rear portion of 1 Research Drive (PID 40432924) in the Southdale Future Growth Node and zone that portion of the property CDD-1, 10) Include PID 41280546 at the top of Mount Hope Avenue in the Southdale Future Growth Node and apply the CDD-1 zone, 11) Create site specific policies for 7 and 11 Mount Hope Avenue to allow corridor zone uses through development agreement, 12) Apply PCF zone to PID 41208059, 13) Apply PCF zone to 209 Green Village Lane and corresponding walkway property on Marilyn Drive, 14) Apply ER-3 zone to PID 41028531 Green Village Lane, 15) Apply Higher Order Residential zone to 25 Arthur Street, 16) Apply ER-2 zoning to the portion of 10 Lancaster that fronts on Cannon Terrace between 74 Cannon and 4 and 8 Viridian Drive. The ER-2 portion should align with the rear property line of 74 Cannon.
Hendsbee: I hope there’s a map when it comes to council, going through the list is fine, but I want to see a map.
Austin: For anyone saying “what the heck did that guy just read,” here’s some context. (WHICH DOESN’T MAKE SENSE WITHOUT BEING ABLE TO READ THE LIST SAM!)
Purdy: The properties you want to zone ER-1, is that already a heritage zone and you want to include the rest of the mansions?
Kent: Is this a case where something got lost? Or are you trying to change what staff is going?
Austin: We had a similar process in Package A, just the sheer volume of territory, there’s going to be adjustments.
*And I’m back, Sivak is talking about industrial parks!*
Mancini: I have a friendly amendment. *Makes the following amendment: Amend the zone on 64, 67, 80, and 91 on True North Crescent in Dartmouth from Establish Residential-3 (ER-3) to Higher-Order Residential -1 (HR-1) with a maximum height of 11 meters.* You may remember this property from the federal funding to do affordable housing, and we identified True North and it’s established ER-3 but they’re building townhouses, but that would require Housing Nova Scotia to subdivide the property and with this they can just get affordable housing faster. Hopefully you support this one.
Purdy: The 11 metre height, why 11? The correspondence we received asked for 14 metres, why the change?
Mancini: Their application to get the funding they designated them townhousing, 14 metres is five floors, they don’t need five floors. I didn’t want people nearby to think they’ll be getting five story buildings nearby and 11 metres is all they need.
M/S/C – Vote – Aye – Unanimous – Amendment passed
Austin: *Reads a motion: Initiate a process to develop site specific CDD development agreement requirements and an associated development agreement for the Southdale Lands Future Growth Node for inclusion in the Regional Centre Secondary Municipal Planning Strategy (SMPS) immediately following the completion of the Centre Plan Package B review and adoption process. Follow the public participation program for municipal planning strategy amendments as approved by Regional Council on February 27, 1997.* The big one thing in Package B in Dartmouth is the added Southdale future growth node, it’s got some wetlands, it’s got some industrial lands, it’s a large chunk of land, probably the largest vacant land in the regional centre, and there wasn’t much interest in it. But now Clayton wants to develop the northern chunk of it with residential housing that’s obtainable (not affordable) at a price most families could afford. But there hasn’t been any community visioning done for that area. So we’d like to move on this quickly, instead of having to wait for five years.
Kent: I’ll support this. *Pontificating about how amazing Dartmouth is, and how parts of it are criminally neglected* I’m going to put a caveat in here, I’m okay with it, as long as it doesn’t slow down the suburban planning.
M/S/C – Vote – Aye – Unanimous – Amendment passed
Hendsbee: Main motion, as amended?
M/S/C – Vote – Aye – Unanimous – Main motion
Councillor Becky Kent, Vice Chair (District 3)
Councillor Trish Purdy (District 4)
Councillor Sam Austin (District 5)
Councillor Tony Mancini (District 6)
N/A – COVID
Previous meeting minutes and 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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