WSP Canada Inc, on behalf of Summer Wind Holdings Limited, has applied to obtain a development agreement to construct an eight-storey (plus penthouse) multi-unit dwelling on the registered heritage property at 5241-5247 South Street, in addition to 5230 Harvey Street and 5240-5242-5244-5246 Harvey Street. This development agreement is being sought in accordance with Section 5.9 of the Regional Centre Secondary Municipal Planning Strategy (Centre Plan).
5241-5247 South Street was registered as a municipal heritage property in 1985 due to the presence of the Stairs House, which was constructed in 1838. The property also contains a mid-block multi-unit dwelling which, as per the applicant’s Heritage Impact Statement (see below), has little heritage value.
Stairs House is a solid example of early 19th century residential suburban growth in Halifax, which extended outward from the fortified original grid. Stairs House is situated on the north side of South Street with a southerly exposure facing the street. The dwelling – which has a principle volume of approximately 62 x 46 feet – is a 1.5 storey wood-framed cottage with front pedimented gable centering two Scottish styled dormers. Stairs House has numerous character defining elements, including:
• Georgian classical style and general symmetry;
• Scottish dormers in the local tradition on front roof;
• Palladian window in front central pediment gable;
• Symmetrical five bay front façade with central entrance porch with low sloped roof;
• 6/6 front facing windows;
• Ironstone foundation; and
• Three original chimneys.
Over the years, Stairs House has undergone several modifications, such as:
• The north-eastern roof was raised to two storeys;
• A 26 x 28 foot, three-storey addition was added to the dwelling’s rear;
• Small wood frame and brick-clad additions were added to the dwelling’s east end; and
• The dwelling was cladded in vinyl siding (likely covering wood shingles).
5240-5242-5244-5246 Harvey Street contains a two-storey, wood-framed-and-clad dwelling with classical detail and trim. The dwelling pre-dates 1965, though additions were added between 1914 and 1951. The building’s façade is characterized by:
• A low-pitch bracketed roof;
• Bracketed and pedimented paired entry doors with a shallow projecting two-sided bay window above;
• An Oeil-de-bouef window; and
• A double height, shallow projecting bay window.
5240-5242-5244-5246 Harvey Street also has a rubble stone wall that straddles the western property line. This wall is shown on a 1931 map, which means it pre-dates suburban expansion and represents a rare surviving portion of early Halifax fieldwork.
5230 Harvey Street contains a two-storey multi-unit dwelling. The applicant’s Heritage Impact Statement suggestions that this building contribute little heritage value to the site.
Neither Harvey Street property is a registered heritage property.
The applicant’s proposal illustrates their intention to consolidate 5241-5247 South Street with the two Harvey Street properties to create a large through lot. The pre-existing development agreement will be discharged and replaced with a new development agreement that permits an eight-storey (plus penthouse) multi-unit dwelling on the consolidated lot. The dwelling will contain approximately 112 dwelling units and 83 underground parking spaces (see Submitted Documents for more details).
If approved, the applicant will restore Stairs House to its original form and design, including: the restoration of original architectural features that have been removed; the removal of the rear and side additions; and the removal of vinyl siding. The restored Stairs House will be incorporated into a large modern-day structure, provide entry into said structure, and contain amenity space and dwelling units. The remaining buildings would be demolished.
Staff are currently reviewing the development agreement application, and will ultimately prepare a recommendation for Regional Council to consider. Before Regional Council can make any decision about the proposal, a public open house and a public hearing shall be held.
Staff are simultaneously processing an application to substantially alter Stairs House. In accordance with the Nova Scotia Heritage Property Act, a substantial alteration application must be reviewed by the Heritage Advisory Committee and approved by Regional Council before any registered heritage property is substantially altered.
Planning staff are currently reviewing the development agreement application with various municipal teams and partners. Information regarding the public open house will be available in the future. Please monitor this website for details.
Documents Submitted for Evaluation
The applicant has submitted plans and studies required by municipal staff to properly evaluate the application. The documents are also available for review at the Planning Applications office at 40 Alderney Drive, Dartmouth. The details of this application may change before consideration or approval by Regional Council.