The property under review, at 6067 Quinpool Road, was the former “Quinpool Education Centre”, and before that, “Saint Patrick’s High School”. The building is now vacant and Regional Council awarded the demolition contract on June 23, 2015.
The property is located on the corner of Quinpool Road and Windsor Street. It is surrounded by mixed-use properties (i.e., commercial, residential, and open space.) The site is approximately 3.5 acres and zoned ‘P’ Zone - Park & Institutional as per Halifax Peninsula Land-Use By-Law.
Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) continually reviews its portfolio of municipally-owned real property (i.e., land and buildings). This process requires municipal departments to review their existing and impending municipal service requirements (and opportunities) against properties that are in transition from their existing or original purposes. When a property is deemed to be no longer required for municipal purposes, Regional Council is then advised.
The process of designating a municipal property as ‘surplus’ is governed by Regional Council’s Administrative Order 50 - Respecting The Disposal Of Surplus Real Property. Administrative Order 50, in addition to authorizing municipal staff to identify potential ‘surplus’ properties, also requires municipal staff to propose a ‘category’ for each property. ‘Categorizing’ a property helps identify how it may eventually be disposed. There are six (6) categories, depending on each property’s characteristics and circumstances: Economic Development, Community Interest, Ordinary, Remnant, Extraordinary, and Inter-Governmental.
Before a recommendation of ‘surplus’ is advanced to Regional Council, the local Councillor is notified. The Councillor then has an opportunity to contact the community. Hosted by Councillor Jennifer Watts, District 8, Peninsula North, the Quinpool Road property was discussed at a public meeting on May 21, 2014, at Maritime Hall, Halifax Forum. Information was presented about the property: its physical condition, the Administrative Order 50 disposal process, and what happens next. Meeting notes were transcribed and may be viewed here.
Regional Council approved the property as 'Surplus' and categorized it as 'Economic Development' on July 22, 2014.
In October 2014, the municipality issued RFP P15-001 for contract planning services to assist with the preparation of plan amendments. The intent is to change the area municipal plan and to rezone the property to permit mixed uses, subject to Regional Council approval. WSP Canada in partnership with Architecture49 were the successful bidders, and planning work began in April 2015. Under this effort, the municipality will provide residents with opportunities to access more information about the project and to give feedback on design options which will permit future development of the site.
Beginning in early July, the Shape Your City community engagement portal was launched to gather public input, and provide information about the project. The first public open house was held on Wednesday, July 22 at the Halifax Forum Multi-Purpose Centre to provide residents with background information and three preliminary design options proposed for the site.
These design options and urban design principles formed the backbone of public engagement to inform the consultants about what urban design features are important for the site. Feedback from the meeting combined with comments gathered through the public engagement portal at shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/quinpool6067, were used by the consultants and municipal staff to inform how planning regulations should guide future development at the site. A second public open house will be held as follows:
Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015
6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Presentation at 6:30 p.m.)
Atlantica Hotel, Guild Hall
Open House II will feature an overview of the feedback received during the first round of consultation and how the comments influenced the proposed site plan policy and zoning regulations, which will be presented at the meeting. Residents who are unable to attend the open house in person may review materials online after Dec. 9 at http://shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/quinpool6067.
The process to finalize proposed planning documents for site redevelopment is expected to finish in early 2016. Regional Council will receive a staff report with recommendations regarding the proposed plan amendment package for Council’s consideration and approval. This approval process also requires a public hearing. Following adoption of plan amendments, the property will be marketed for disposal in 2016.
For more information on the public process and frequently asked questions and answers, visit our Shape Your City Halifax page.