ZZap Consulting Inc., on behalf of the property owner Stefan Frent, has applied to enter into a development agreement to construct a three-storey multi-unit residential building and to allow a commercial use on the registered heritage property at 1029 Tower Road, Halifax. If approved, the heritage building will be restored and preserved on site. This development agreement is being sought in accordance with Section 6.8 of the Halifax Secondary Municipal Planning Strategy.
The building at 1029 Tower Road, known as the Dr. James Doull House, forms part of a Victorian Streetscape along Tower Road in Halifax. The Victorian Streetscape is valued for the fourteen houses designed in the Late Victorian Eclectic style: a complex style that incorporates many traditional architectural styles into one house. The Dr. James Doull House (c.1873) is one of the oldest buildings in the Streetscape. It has Scottish dormers and a symmetrical form like the styles in the earlier Georgian period. However, the building is adorned with many of the same ornaments as the rest of the Streetscape including finials, Palladian window, and door surround. Dr. James Doull resided in this building from 1920 to 1925. He was a renowned figure in the world of Public Health and Epidemiology.
The building at 1029 Tower Road is oriented toward Inglis Street because the building once stood on a larger lot with frontage on Inglis Street. This large lot was subdivided and developed at the turn of the 20th century and now the building sits on a smaller lot with its side facing Tower Road. The building has a footprint of approximately 75 s/m on a 470 s/m lot. The building appears to be structurally sound and no immediate public safety concerns are evident. However, many elements of the building require repair.
The property owner applied to demolish the heritage building on January 25th, 2017. Therefore, in accordance with Section 18 of the provincial Heritage Property Act, the property owner can legally demolish the heritage building between January 25th, 2020, and January 25th, 2021. A Public Information Meeting was held on January 15th, 2020, to address the demolition application including development alternatives. In the summer of 2020, the property owner applied for the development agreement and substantial alteration to preserve the heritage building on the property as part of a new development. However, the demolition application remains in effect.
The applicant is seeking to conserve the heritage building on the property and to construct a new three-storey building beside the heritage building on the same property. In the development proposal, the heritage building will be repositioned to face Tower Road on a new foundation, and it will include a new commercial use on its ground floor.
If approved, the heritage building will be completely restored to its original condition and face Tower Road with a large front yard. The heritage building will include a new coffee shop with residential units in the basement and second storey. The new three-storey building will include six to nine residential units
View the development agreement application process
Staff are currently reviewing the development agreement application and will ultimately prepare a recommendation for Community Council to consider. Before Community Council can make any decision about the proposal, a public open house and a public hearing shall be held.
Staff processed a concurrent application to substantially alter the registered municipal heritage property at 1029 Tower Road. In accordance with the Nova Scotia Heritage Property Act, the substantial alteration application was reviewed by the Heritage Advisory Committee and approved by Regional Council at its meeting on November 17, 2020. The applicant may now make the substantial alterations to the heritage building.
The development agreement application must be approved before the applicant can pursue the construction the new three-storey building or the commercial use of the heritage building.
In order to gain public input on Case 23066, 656 letters were sent to property owners and tenants within proximity of the subject site inviting comments on the applicant’s proposal. Seventeen submissions were received prior to the deadline: 11 respondents support the application; five respondents offered mixed support; and one respondent did not support the proposal. View the public engagement summary.
The applicant’s proposal was reviewed at the Halifax Peninsula Planning Advisory Committee’s (HPPAC) December 14, 2020, meeting. The HPPAC recommended that the application be approved. The meeting minutes, along with the HPPAC’s motion, can be viewed here, when available. The public comments and HPPAC discussion have been forwarded to the applicant for review.
In the coming weeks, the applicant will finalize their proposal and staff will work to advance the planning application to the Heritage Advisory Committee.
Documents Submitted for Evaluation
The applicant has submitted plans and studies required by municipal staff to properly evaluate the application. The details of this application may change before consideration or approval by Regional Council.
Documents (August 2020)