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Definitions

What do all these planning words mean?

There are specific words used in the Planning profession and in planning documents, such as the Regional Plan, that have important meaning.

When the first Regional Plan was being created, a glossary, or list of planning definitions* was created to assist Council, citizens, organizations, and municipal staff read and understand the plan. The Regional Planning Glossary remains valid today, however, during the Regional Plan's first 5-year review, RP+5, some more definitions and explanations were added - see below - to do a better job of converying the information people are often asking about. We've also included some maps where they can be useful to explain things. Some new, more interactive maps will be added in November 2014.

 

Regional Centre

Urban Communities

Rural Communities

Land Use Designations

(Regional Municipal Planning Strategy)

The Urban Settlement Designation defines the areas within our region where serviced (central water and wastewater) urban forms of development will take place over the 25-year span of the Regional Plan.

The Urban Settlement Designation includes the existing Urban Service Area, the lands intended to be serviced in the future, the Regional Centre, and Halifax Harbour sub-designation.

The Rural Settlement Designations (Rural Commuter, Rural Resource and Agricultural) are the areas where low to medium density forms of development may occur over the 25-year span of the Plan. [Map]

Policies in the 2014 Regional Plan continue to support housing development within rural centres. Outside rural centres, housing development may occur by conservation design development and through infill where permitted.

Regional Centre

Urban Communities

Rural Communities

Growth Targets

(Regional Municipal Planning Strategy)

The 2014 Regional Plan strives to achieve at least 25% of all new housing starts in the Regional Centre over the life of the Plan (to 2031).

The 2014 Regional Plan strives to achieve at least 75% of all new housing starts within the Urban Communities and Regional Centre combined, over the life of the Plan (to 2031).

The 2014 Regional Plan does not contain a specific target for new housing in the Rural Settlement Designations.

Regional Centre

Urban Communities

Rural Communities

Tax Rate Area Definitions

(HRM Finance)

The General Urban Residential Tax Rate generally follows the Regional Plan’s Urban Settlement Designation, but also includes most of the Urban Reserve Designation lands and some Rural Commuter lands. [Map

Services include: Policing, Solid Waste, Recreation Programs, Planning, Libraries, Sports Fields, Playgrounds, Administration, Fire Suppression, Street lighting, Recreational and Community Facilities (HRM's share of capital and operating costs), Crosswalk Guards, Sidewalks.

The General Suburban Residential Tax Rate generally includes Rural Commuter lands on the periphery of the Regional Plan's Urban Settlement Designation. [Map]

Services include:   Policing, Solid Waste, Recreation Programs, Planning, Libraries, Sports Fields, Playgrounds, Administration, Fire Suppression, Street lighting, Recreational and Community Facilities (HRM's share of capital and operating costs), Crosswalk Guards.

The Rural Residential Tax Rate includes the remainder of the Regional Plan's Rural Commuter, Rural Resource and Agricultural lands.  [Map]

Services include: Policing, Solid Waste, Recreation Programs, Planning, Libraries, Sports Fields, Playgrounds, Administration, Fire Suppression, Street lighting, Recreational and Community Facilities (HRM's share of capital costs).

Regional Centre

Urban Communities

Rural Communities

 

* Please note that the definitions provided on this page and in the glossary are for information purposes and are not a legal part of the Regional Plan.