Special Planning Areas

The Province of Nova Scotia has created an Executive Panel on Housing to address housing challenges in the capital region. As part of this initiative, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has designated nine special planning areas in the Halifax Regional Municipality to support the development of as many as 22,600 new residential units. To help accelerate an increase in the supply of housing, as outlined in the Housing in the Halifax Regional Municipality Act, the designation allows the Minister to make decisions on planning matters in those areas. The nine special planning areas are: 

Public Feedback and Approval Process 

Each of the Special Planning Areas (SPAs) are at a different stage of the planning process, with some nearing completion and others just commencing. All sites support HRM's growth strategy and are aligned with the Regional Plan. Municipal staff will be preparing the planning documents for review by the Executive Panel on Housing. Given that the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing has the authority to approve planning matters in the designated SPAs based on a recommendation of the Executive Panel on Housing, a formal public hearing process at Council will not be held for those areas.  

Updates on the planning process for each SPA will be provided on this website along with opportunities for the public to review and comment on the proposed planning documents.  Specific public engagement opportunities will be tailored for each SPA and any public feedback received will help inform municipal staff recommendations and be shared with the Executive Panel on Housing.

The Province is also investing $2.3 million to enable the municipality to conduct critical environmental, land-use suitability, transportation and infrastructure studies to inform future planning and development decisions. These areas have been identified as Future Serviced Communities that require further study through the Regional Plan Review. Additional information on these sites is available here.

Former Penhorn Mall Lands

Former Penhorn Mall Lands

June 21, 2022

NOTICE OF APPROVAL
EXECUTIVE PANEL ON HOUSING
IN THE HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY

TAKE NOTICE THAT The Executive Panel on Housing in the Halifax Regional Municipality did, on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 recommend approval the following application:

Application by Clayton Developments to redevelop the former Penhorn Mall property with a mixed-use community containing a mix of low-rise, mid-rise, and high-rise residential buildings in addition to retail uses on the lands at 535-569 Portland Street, Dartmouth.

The planning documents have been reviewed and approved by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing as per Bill No. 63 - Housing in the Halifax Regional Municipality Act and the required notice placed in the newspaper circulating in the Municipality on June 17, 2022.  The development agreement is in effect once it is filed at the Nova Scotia Registry of Deeds.

View additional information related to planning applications made on these lands.

 

 

Southdale/Mount Hope

Southdale / Mount Hope

The Southdale/Mount Hope lands in Dartmouth are located immediately adjacent to Highway 111 (“Circumferential Highway”). The lands are designated a “Future Growth Node” under the Regional Centre Secondary Planning Strategy. A comprehensive master planning process was initiated by Regional Council on January 11, 2022. So far, several studies and three initial concept plans have been submitted for the lands. Initial community engagement focused on minimizing impacts on the wetland, new roads, parks, pathways, housing mix, and other amenities that are needed to create a complete community. Given the Special Area Status of the lands, proposed policies and development agreement requirements will be shared for public comment online before their submission to the Executive Panel on Housing for approval.  

View additional information related to planning applications made on these lands. 
View additional information related specifically to the Port Wallace and Southdale special planning areas.

View a map of the area.
Expected Units: 1,200
Status: Development of detailed planning policies and regulations. 

Questions, concerns, or feedback about this site? email us.

 

 Bedford West 10 

Bedford West 10 

View a map of the area.
Expected Units: 1,300
Status: Awaiting a planning application

Questions, concerns, or feedback about this site? email us.

 

Bedford West 12 and 1

Bedford West 12 and 1 

Clayton Developments is applying to develop a new subdivision on 238 acres of land located between Hammonds Plains Road and Larry Uteck Boulevard. Clayton Developments is the major landholder and are working with 15 other property owners. The proposal is requesting amendments to applicable planning documents to support the development of a new mixed-density neighbourhood consisting of new streets and public parks, multi-unit buildings, a variety of ground-based units, and commercial and institutional uses.

View additional information related to the planning application made on these lands.

View a map of the area.
Expected Units: 2,500 
Status: 

Questions, concerns, or feedback about this site? email us.

 

Port Wallace

Port Wallace

Port Wallace has been identified as a potential future growth area for a community to be serviced with municipal sewer and water services. A planning process for the area is being undertaken to design the community and determine servicing needs and the boundaries for services. Detailed policies and regulations will cover land uses, layout, densities, open space and other community amenities with community engagement being an important part of this process.

View additional information. 
View additional information related specifically to the Port Wallace and Southdale special planning areas.

View a map of the area.
Expected Units: Up to 4,900
Status: Development of detailed planning policies and regulations. 

Questions, concerns, or feedback about this site? email us.

___________________________________________________________

July 4, 2022

NOTICE OF APPROVAL
EXECUTIVE PANEL ON HOUSING
IN THE HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY

TAKE NOTICE THAT The Executive Panel on Housing in the Halifax Regional Municipality did, on Thursday, June 16, 2022 recommend approval the following application:

Application by Clayton Developments Limited to amend the Regional Plan and apply a Development Agreement to the lands known as Port Wallace (PIDs 00249672, 00268599, 00258228, 40686966) to allow early tree removal and earthworks.

The planning documents have been reviewed and approved by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing as per Bill No. 63 - Housing in the Halifax Regional Municipality Act and the required notice placed in the newspaper circulating in the Municipality on July 2, 2022.  The development agreement is in effect once it is filed at the Nova Scotia Registry of Deeds.

View additional information related to planning applications made on these lands.

 

 

Indigo Shores

Indigo Shores  

Phase 1 of a comprehensive secondary planning process for the Middle Sackville Urban Local Growth Centre, to allow for the remaining phases of the Indigo Shores subdivision to proceed without the restriction of a 25 lot maximum per year. 

View additional information.

Now that it has been approved by the Minister, the development of the Indigo shores subdivision will no longer be limited to a maximum rate of 25 lots per calendar year. The notice of approval ads by both the province and municipality can be view here

View a map of the area.
Expected Units: 150 building lots
Status: Was presented to the Task Force in April 2022

 

Morris Lake Expansion

Morris Lake Expansion  

Request by Dartmouth East Holdings to initiate a secondary planning process for a new serviced community East of CFB Shearwater/ southeast of Morris Lake, Cole Harbour/ Eastern Passage. The proposal is requesting amendments to the applicable planning document to support the development of a new mixed-density neighbourhood consisting of new streets and public parks, multi-unit buildings and a variety of ground-based units. Before a Master Plan is considered a series of studies must be completed which include a Watershed Study, Land Suitability Analysis (environmental and cultural constraints) and an Infrastructure Master Plan (Water/Wastewater/Stormwater/Transportation capacity). 

Future development must consider the objectives of the Integrated Mobility Plan to support transit-oriented development. The ongoing Portland Street Functional Plan project is exploring whether the Mount Hope extension will be required to support additional transportation needs in this area and will be considered. The Halifax Green Network Plan identifies high ecological value in the Cow Bay River area including a floodplain which must be considered. Policy guidance found in HalifACT2050, Sharing Our Stories and Halifax Water’s Infrastructure Master Plan will also be considered.

View Additional Information

View a map of the area.

Expected Units: 3,100
Status: Study work is being undertaken to inform decision-making regarding the development of the site.

Questions, concerns, or feedback about this site? email us.

 

Dartmouth Crossing

Dartmouth Crossing 

View a map of the area.
Expected Units: 2,500
Status: Awaiting a planning application

Questions, concerns, or feedback about this site? email us.

 

Sandy Lake  

Sandy Lake   

Request by Sandy Lake Holdings (Clayton Developments) to initiate the secondary planning process for a new serviced mixed-use (residential/ commercial) community to the west of Sandy Lake, Bedford/ Hammonds Plains. The proposal is requesting amendments to applicable planning documents to support the development of a new mixed-density neighbourhood consisting of new streets and public parks, multi-unit buildings and a variety of ground-based units. Before a Master Plan is considered a series of studies must be completed which include a Watershed Study, Land Suitability Analysis (environmental and cultural constraints) and an Infrastructure Master Plan (Water/ Wastewater/ Stormwater/ Transportation capacity). 

Future development must consider the objectives of the Integrated Mobility Plan to support transit-oriented development, support the Halifax Green Network Plan’s objectives to adequately protect wilderness areas and connections, and follow policy guidance found in HalifACT2050, Sharing Our Stories and Halifax Water’s Infrastructure Master Plan. There is public support for greater protection of the lands for their ecological value and the water quality of Sandy Lake. View Additional Information

Sandy Lake Ecological Assessment
Regional Council has also requested study work be completed regarding the ecological value of lands in this area for the purpose of identifying an optimal conceptual park boundary. On November 9, 2021, the following motion was passed:

That Regional Council direct the Chief Administrative Officer to direct staff to retain an independent consultant to assist with expediting the preparation of a staff report and recommendation for the purpose of identifying an optimal conceptual boundary for an expanded Sandy Lake Regional Park based on environmental information about the area considering: 
•    The natural vegetation buffers required to protect the water quality and reduce downstream flooding of Sandy Lake, Sackville River, associated tributaries and wetlands. 
•    The size of park needed to protect the multi-aged and old-growth Acadian Forest in the area and documenting the habitats at Sandy Lake for their potential to support species at risk. 
•    The locations of wildlife corridors that should be established to protect wildlife both within the park and movement through the area between the Chebucto  Peninsula and mainland Nova Scotia. 
•    Identification of a secondary, western trailhead.

This study has been underway for the past few months and is expected to come to Regional Council this spring (2022). Once this report is tabled with Council, it will be posted to this site and will be considered in any ongoing study work.  

View a map of the area.
Expected Units: 6,o00
Status: Study work is being undertaken to inform decision-making regarding the development of the site.

Questions, concerns, or feedback about this site? email us.

 

Future Serviced Communities Studies  

Future Serviced Communities Studies

In 2006, the Regional Plan identified six areas in the Urban Settlement designation to be considered as potential future serviced communities within the 25-year horizon of the Plan. 

The Regional Plan Review has assessed the need for additional serviced lands to provide housing and services to accommodate population growth. In order to support the region’s current and expected population growth, planning staff and Regional Council have indicated that consideration of future serviced communities should begin immediately. Regional Plan policy requires a series of background studies to be undertaken, including a watershed study, land suitability analysis and baseline infrastructure studies (addressing water and wastewater services and transportation infrastructure). 

There are three remaining areas identified as potential future serviced communities, where secondary planning has not yet begun: 
• Lands to the west of Sandy Lake in Bedford. 
• Highway 102 West Corridor lands in Halifax; and 
• Lands southeast of Morris Lake in Dartmouth & Cole Harbour. 

In addition to the lands above the lands of Akoma Holdings at the site of the former Nova Scotia Home for Colored Children in Westphal require special consideration. Under the existing Regional Plan, Akoma’s lands are included in the Urban Reserve designation, where serviced development is not expected to be required until after the 25-year horizon (2031) of the Plan. However, the African Nova Scotian Road to Economic Prosperity Action Plan, endorsed by Regional Council in September 2020, calls for Regional Council to “Support the Akoma-led master plan for the restoration of the historic Nova Scotia Home for Coloured Children”. Given Regional Council’s commitment to implementing the African Road to Economic Prosperity Plan, additional study is recommended on this site. 

Once the studies are finalized, Regional Council will review them and make a determination on whether or not master planning (also referred to as secondary planning) should be initiated. Master Planning is a comprehensive neighbourhood planning process that will incorporate the results of the background studies in considering the highest and best use and design of the site. Two of the sites have also been identified as a Special Planning Area by the Province – Sandy Lake and Morris Lake. As these are Special Planning Areas, Master Planning on these sites can proceed at the direction of the Minister, as the studies are completed, as opposed to Regional Council. 

As work progresses on all four areas (Sandy Lake, Highway 102 Corridor, Morris Lake and Akoma) updates and information will be placed on this website so the public can be apprised of the progress