Application by Mackay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects on behalf of a property owner, requesting to enter into a heritage development agreement on lands at 10 Kirk Road, Halifax (PIDs 00280263 and 00280115) to permit a 15-unit bare land condominium on a registered heritage property.
10 Kirk Road, Halifax, also known by its Gaelic name, Finntigh Mara, was registered as a heritage property in 2010. The property is an early 20th century estate located in the historic Jollimore community on the shores of the North West Arm. The primary heritage resource on the site is the original Arts and Crafts style house, which is circa 1914-16, but the property is also complemented by a series of landscape features including the Roost (an outbuilding), stone retaining walls throughout, stands of trees, an in-ground pool, and a rhododendron garden. Another key feature is the view from the main house on the property to the North West Arm.
Finntigh Mara is an outstanding example of an Arts and Crafts style house, a popular architectural style between 1910-1930. The home was designed in 1914 by W.M. Brown, a prominent architect, for Dr. R.E. Mathers. The house is situated approximately halfway between the North West Arm and Kirk Road on the property, and is characterized as a 1.5-storey wood-framed Arts & Crafts (also known as Craftsman) bungalow. Character-defining elements of the home include, but are not limited to:
- Arts & Crafts bungalow style home;
- Wood-framed construction;
- Stone detailing, including three coursed rubble columns on the eastern porch and stone steps leading to the eastern porch;
- Wood shingle siding;
- Four twenty-one glazed panel doors on the east elevation, with one double door and three doors flanked by six-over-six wood-framed single sash windows;
- Low-pitched roof with wide eaves and triangular brackets;
- Exposed roof rafters;
- Low-pitched pedimented dormer on the second storey (added in the 1980s but sympathetic to the original architecture).
There were two additions made to the building during the 1960s and 1980s, which created a secondary structure located on the south side of the house known as the “annex”. This addition to the house is not considered original nor character-defining.
The property also contains three outbuildings, known as “the Roost”, “the Pool Shanty”, and “the Gatehouse”. Upon review by HRM building officials in 2022, it was determined that the Pool Shanty and the Gatehouse are in a serious state of disrepair and would require extensive intervention and renovation to be brought up to Building Code standards, which could compromise the structures. As these out-buildings were not considered Character-Defining Elements on the property registration, heritage staff gave permission for the applicant to apply for a demolition permit for both the Pool Shanty and the Gatehouse. The applicant intends to restore and retain the outbuilding known as the Roost.
The applicant has applied to enter into a Development Agreement on the property to permit a 14-unit bare land condominium on a registered heritage property. This development agreement is being sought in accordance with Policy 6.8 of the Halifax Secondary Municipal Planning Strategies (Halifax SMPS), which permits Council to consider a development agreement on any lot containing a registered heritage building that exceeds the requirements of the underlying zone in order to encourage the preservation and adaptive re-use of registered heritage buildings.
A key element of the proposal is the restoration and continued conservation of the registered heritage building and several landscape features. The restored building will be incorporated into the new condominium neighbourhood as one of the buildings on the site. The site will feature 14 single dwelling units in addition to the heritage building, pedestrian circulation, access to the pool and waterfront amenity areas, and landscaping and buffering.
If approved, the development agreement would allow the property owner to:
- Create a bare land condominium with fourteen (14) building sites to be sold to individual buyers, in addition to the existing site for the restored Finntigh Mara house. This includes a total of 15 bare land condominium lots.
If approved, the development agreement would require the property owner to:
- Restore the registered heritage building at Finntigh Mara to its original form and design, including:
- the restoration of original architectural features that have been removed;
- the removal of 1980s annex;
- the rehabilitation of character-defining elements which have fallen into disrepair, such as windows, doors, structural elements, porch steps, etc.
- Undertake landscaping work to restore and enhance the existing landscaping, including retaining the rhododendron garden, repairing the in-ground pool, improving waterfront access for future residents, and restoring stone walls across the property;
- Follow specific building control parameters on each of the 14 building sites, which will include such controls as height, mass, architectural design, lot coverage, and others.
The applicant’s proposal also requires a second application which staff are processing concurrently – a substantial alteration application. This type of application is a heritage-focused application which is required by the Nova Scotia Heritage Property Act when significant changes are proposed to a registered heritage property. The substantial alterations must be reviewed by HRM’s Heritage Advisory Committee and approved by Regional Council.
Both applications must be approved before the applicant can pursue the proposed development.
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. The public open house will be scheduled in late 2022 or early 2023.
Staff are simultaneously processing an application to substantially alter Finntigh Mara, the registered heritage property. 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 details of this application may change before consideration or approval by Regional Council. Updates or changes to the application will be posted on this website.
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