Environment Media release

News release: Say “no” to four towers on South Common, designate Carlton Street Area a conservation district

For Immediate Release

Media Advisory

September 24, 2018

(Halifax /K’jipuktuk) Two proposals for four towers (16-, 20-, 23-, 29-storeys) on a single block between Carlton, Spring Garden Road, Robie and College Street will be considered at HRM’s Peninsula Advisory Committee Monday meeting and Heritage Advisory Committee’s Wednesday meeting. Friends of Halifax Common August letter to HRM Mayor Savage asking for a halt to the projects and for a Conservation District has not been responded to. FHC’s request was made when it learned that formal detailed requests made for an area Conservation District in 2012 and again in 2016 were ignored. These requests should be considered in advance of any new projects.

Now FHC has written to the PAC and HAC  to ask that they recommend that the projects be stopped and that the last historic neighbourhood on the Halifax Common’s South Common be designated a Conservation District as per the 2012 and 2016 requests. The PAC and HAC are citizen based HRM committees meant to act in the interest of all residents.

If permitted the proposed 4 towers will add to 2 others in progress and 7 already built for a total of 13 towers in this small area on the South Common. HRM’s growth target of 400 residents for the area could be achieved with an already approved 18-storey Killam high-rise next to Camp Hill Cemetery and a single 5-storey apartment building. Over half of the buildings in the area have Heritage designation and 11 more qualify.

To date HRM planning has considered the proposals for 4 towers separately without 3-D models or studies for the cumulative impact of wind, shadow, traffic or noise. The area is highly constrained for water and sewage, is subject to flooding and has no amenities (ie grocery store).

Construction of the 4 towers will result in dozens of affordable small-scale residential and commercial units being demolished and others harmed. Older, smaller character buildings consistently perform better than districts with larger, newer structures when tested against a range of economic, social and environmental outcome measures. HRM does not have jurisdiction over affordable housing.

FHC also asks that HRM honour its 1994 Halifax Common Plan commitment and focus on the completion of the Halifax Common Master Plan for the entire 240 grant area, including private lands. Present day height restrictions in the Carlton Street area were put in place to protect one of Halifax’s only designated historic streetscapes, the Public Gardens and the Camp Hill Cemetery. These height restrictions should be retained. The towers are not necessary.

Contact: Peggy Cameron (c) 902.449.9463

Co-chair, Friends of Halifax Common

See other details here: http://www.halifaxcommon.ca/designate-carlton-street-area-as-conservation-district/