The open house for Case 22332 will be held on Thursday, February 27, 2020 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Our Lady of Lebanon Church Hall (3844 Joseph Howe Drive, Halifax). This event is open to anyone who wishes to seek information about the case and/or express comments to staff. Attendees are free to arrive at any point between 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Please see the “Status” section below for more details.
ZZap, on behalf of Timbercreek Asset Management, applied to permit a 534-unit apartment building at 210 and 214 Willet Street, Halifax. While apartment buildings are a permitted use in the R-4 (Multiple Dwelling) Zone, the proposal does not adhere to the Zone’s current zoning regulations (e.g., population density, angle controls, open space, and parking) and cannot be considered under existing Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) policies.
The applicant requested a site-specific MPS and Land Use By-law (LUB) amendment to permit the proposed on the subject site.
The applicant suggested that the existing apartment buildings at 210 and 214 Willet Street are at the end of their economic life and are no longer habitable. As such, the applicant proposes to construct a large development with three above-grade apartment buildings and three above-grade townhouse buildings on a shared foundation. The major aspects of the proposal are as follows:
• Three apartment buildings (8, 13 and 19 storeys) with a total of 517 units;
• Three two-storey townhouse buildings with a total of 17 units;
• At-grade residential units along Willet and Dunbrack Street;
• Vehicular access from Willett Street; and
• Approximately 315 underground vehicular parking spaces and 320 bicycle parking spaces.
Staff determined there is merit to the applicant’s request; however, concerns about the R-4 zoning regulations are not unique to these two properties, but general to the larger neighbourhood. For example, there are numerous R-4 zoned properties within the vicinity of Willett Street and Dunbrack Street that contain aging apartment buildings, have similar site characteristics, and are subject to identical zoning regulations.
With these considerations in mind, staff recommended an amendment process that reviews the MPS policies and LUB regulations pertaining to all R-4 Zoned properties within close proximity of Willet and Dunbrack Street. Specifically, the following R-4 Zone regulations will be reviewed:
• Population density;
• Angle controls;
• Open Space;
• Parking standards; and
• Other regulations pertaining to site, building, and pedestrian-oriented design.
Staff’s recommendation does not permit new land uses in the R-4 Zone, but it will consider: if the neighbourhood is better served by apartment buildings that adhere to modern-day regulations or the current regulations (which were adopted in the 1970s); and whether the Regional Plan’s direction for Clayton Park West is being achieved by the current planning framework.
On November 12, 2019, Regional Council proceeded with staff’s recommendation and initiated a process to consider amendments to the Halifax MPS and Halifax Mainland LUB that would incorporate modified zoning regulations into the R-4 Zone near Willet Street and Dunbrack Street.
Planning staff are undertaking a detailed review of the project, in partnership with other municipal teams and external partners. Once staff’s review process is complete, they will prepare a recommendation report for Regional Council to consider.
Before Regional Council make a decision on Case 22332, a public hearing shall be held. Additional information on process can be found in staff’s initiation report to Regional Council.
The open house for Case 22332 will be held on Thursday, February 27, 2020 from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Our Lady of Lebanon Church Hall (3844 Joseph Howe Drive, Halifax). The purpose of the open house is to receive feedback regarding the case. Informational posters (see below) will be distributed around the room for attendees to view at their leisure. Each poster is dedicated to a specific topic and outlines regulatory changes that may be considered during the planning process. These posters may help stimulate questions or comments, which you may submit at, or prior to, the open house.
Poster One – Study Area
Poster Two – Population Density
Poster Three – Building Mass
Poster Four – Building Mass Alternatives
Poster Five – Vehicular Parking
Poster Six – Landscaped Open Space
Municipal planning staff and consultants from ZZap will be at the open house to discuss the origins of the case, the rationale for potential amendments, the provisions of the Municipal Planning Strategy for Halifax and the Land Use By-law for Halifax Mainland, etc. If you have questions or comments prior to the open house, please do not hesitate to contact staff (see contact info below).
Documents Submitted for Evaluation
The applicant has submitted plans and documents as part of their application; however, staff note that the applicant’s documents are not the focal point of Case 22332. Regional Council approved an amendment process that focuses on approximately 85 R-4 zoned properties. These documents are available below and at the Planning Applications Office at 40 Alderney Drive, Dartmouth. The details of this application may change before consideration or approval by Regional Council.