MINORREV-2023-00462 - Regional Centre Annual Plan Review 2023


January 26, 2024

On January 24, 2024, Regional Centre Community Council approved the application to amend the Regional Centre Land Use By-law.


HRM staff wish to conduct an annual review of the planning documents (“Centre Plan”) affecting the Regional Centre Planning Area based on community feedback over the last 18 months. 


Staff wish to amend the Regional Centre Land Use By-law. The purpose of this review is to:

  • revise provisions that create unintended consequences to residents wishing to develop;
  • rewrite provisions to clarify the policy intent or to align with current practices in the field;
  • correct provisions inconsistent with the existing policy statements in the MPS or to the current industrial standards;
  • fix spelling mistakes, formatting errors and cross-reference mix-ups.

The major aspects of the proposal include:

  • allowing one vehicular access to a parking garage from a pedestrian-oriented commercial street (e.g., Lower Water Street) if there is no reasonable access;
  • allowing veterinary facility, medical clinic, and other non-intensive local commercial uses such as a café and convenience store in all HR-1 and HR-2 zones even if a property is not a corner lot;
  • clarifying that a short-term rental use is permitted in the DD, DH, CEN-2, and COR zones as-of-right;
  • clarifying that a short-term rental use is permitted in CEN-1, ER-3, and HCD-SV zones if the use is located in the operator’s primary residence;
  • allowing an underground parking structure to be shared across multiple properties;
  • clarifying that a vinyl siding is permitted in a CEN-1, COR, HR-2, HR-1, CLI, INS, UC-2, or UC-1 zone;
  • exempting a minimum of 4.5-metre setback for a garage attached to a house so that the garage may have the same setback distance as the house;
  • allowing setback, stepback, and separation encroachments of a railing system, awning, and canopy up to 0.6 metres, and an unenclosed porch up to 2.0 metres;
  • introducing new requirements for a window bay to be consistent with other major Canadian municipalities, such as not being wider than 4.0 metres, and not being located closer than 2.5 metres to any other window bay;
  • clarifying that a rooftop feature is subject to independent height standards regardless of a maximum building height;
  • allowing window cleaning equipment on a rooftop and allowing an elevator shaft to go up to 6 metres (currently 5.5 metres) above a roof due to a change in industrial standards;
  • exempting a sharing housing with special care from having grade-oriented premises due to a safety concern and access restriction;.
  • reducing the required number of trees from 2 to 1 for each raised landscaped area in a parking lot due to a concern of tree deterioration from lack of nutrients;
  • exempting soft landscaping requirements on a small-scale flat-roofed addition;
  • exempting a screening or fencing requirement for a right-of-way;
  • exempting renovation work from providing a landscaped buffer;
  • reducing the minimum spacing requirement for bicycle parking racks that are vertical or two-tiered with a lift assist to allow denser placement of bike racks;
  • allowing more time to pay a public benefit contribution from a development permit stage to an occupancy certificate stage; 
  • allowing the production and packaging of wine in the zone that permits a micro-distillery use;
  • clarifying the definition of a greenhouse so that at least 80% of its side must be transparent and it must be designed for growing plants;
  • increasing minimum setbacks on Lower and Upper Water Streets by 1.5 metres to support a potential road widening project for active transportation;
  • reducing a maximum streetwall height on Brunswick Place to be consistent with the existing policy; 
  • exempting the buildings in the Commercial Light Industrial Zone from streetwall articulation and other requirements related to façade; and
  • fixing various spelling mistakes, formatting errors and cross-reference mix-ups.


The application will be considered under the Land Use By-law Amendment process.


The first reading was held on Wednesday, December 13, 2023


The public hearing was held by Regional Centre Community Council on Wednesday, January 24, 2024.


On January 24, 2024, Regional Centre Community Council approved the application to amend the Regional Centre Land Use By-law.

Documents Submitted for Evaluation

The documents are also available for review at the Planning Applications office in Downtown Halifax.

Staff report (November 20, 2023)

Contact Information

For further information, please contact:

Byungjun Kang –

Planner III

Regional and Community Planning

Telephone: 782.641.0856

Mailing Address

HRM Regional Planning

PO Box: 1749,


Nova Scotia,

B3J 3A5

Attention: Byungjun Kang