Andrea Arbic 0

Say NO to a 25-Storey Tower on the Halifax Common

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On Tuesday, June 19, HRM Mayor and Council will hold another public hearing on the application by APL Properties to amend existing, approved bylaws to allow for the construction of a 25-storey apartment tower at the north-west corner of Quinpool Rd. and Robie St. next to the Halifax Common.

APL’s proposal:

  • breaks 10 existing by-laws, including:
    • exceeding the allowable height on the east side of the site by almost double
    • exceeding the allowable height on the west side of the site by almost six times
    • exceeding the maximum allowable density on the site by over by four times;
  • violates many of the proposed new policies and regulations recommended in the Draft Centre Plan, including those related to height, density and setbacks;
  • includes only 10 affordable housing units when 36 affordable housing units would be required under the proposed rules of the Centre Plan;
  • is incompatible with the scale and character of the adjacent low-rise residential neighbourhoods;
  • will impact the adjacent Quinpool business district and existing independent businesses by increasing commercial property taxes.
  • does not include other community amenity contributions that would be shared by by the public in exchange for the request for additional height (eg. childcare facilities, cultural spaces, community gardens etc.)

If approved, this building:

  • will be the same height as the Maritime Centre on Barrington Street, making it the sixth tallest building in the city;
  • will cast long shadows over the Common, including Oval during prime skating season;
  • will create strong winds that will impact surrounding streets and Common;
  • will set the precedent for the half-kilometer of high-rises along Quinpool, recommended in the Draft Centre Plan.

The vast majority of residents who have written or spoken to Council to date about the APL project have strongly and consistently expressed their opposition to APL’s proposal for the reasons above. Further, a Corporate Research Associate (CRA) survey indicated that only one-tenth of residents believe that a 25-storey building would be appropriate on this site, with over half of residents supporting a height of 16-storeys or less on the APL site.

We the undersigned believe that HRM Council should put the collective interests of the community ahead of the personal financial interests of a private developer. We further believe that continuing to approve one-off applications like APL’s is antidemocratic and not a responsible way to plan a good city.

Therefore, we respectfully request that at the June 19 public hearing, members of HRM Council:

  1. do not approve APL’s 25-storey discretionary planning application
  2. instead, focus the City’s energies on working with local residents, businesses and the development community to create a cohesive plan for increasing residential density in the Quinpool Rd. area in a well-thought-out manner that preserves the assets which already make it such a great neighbourhood in which to live, work, play and do business.

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