Environment Media release

Media release: Blowing up the town: Special Meeting of Heritage Advisory Committee to consider 16- 20- 26- and 30-storey towers Spring Garden, Robie, Carlton and College

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) Two proposals by Dexel and Rovualis, for 30, 16, 20, and 26 towers at Spring Garden, Robie, College and Carlton Streets are to be considered at a special meeting of the Heritage Advisory Committee on Wednesday, June 5th, 3pm at City Hall. Together the two developments are 80% of the floor space of the new convention centre with heights equal to the Tupper, Aliant, Park Victoria and Fenwick. The buildings will back onto Carlton Street- a “rare” early Victorian Streetscape designated heritage at the municipal, provincial and federal level. A total of four developments are on the agenda.

The volunteer citizens’ group Development Options Halifax’s presentation of drawings and 3-D model of the two proposals for four towers is the only time the public has seen them together as the HRM process for the two developments has been separate even though they are on the same block. A request by the citizens’ group to show their 3-D print model of the proposals to the Heritage Advisory Committee has gone unanswered.

HRM has also ignored two requests by the Heritage Trust to have this area designated a conservation district; 20 of the 44 buildings in the area are heritage and another 11 qualify. These proposals will result in ~12 buildings being demolished on the last historic neighbourhood on the Halifax Common.

During Centre Plan public consultations HRM staff proposed adding 400 residents to this area in two 10-storey buildings or one 10-storey and two 5-storey buildings. HRM staff did not include an already approved 18-storey Killam proposal for the north east corner of Carlton Street. Development Options Halifax has calculated an in-fill of two or three 6 to 8-storey buildings in the centre of the block could add about 500 people without destroying any buildings.

Development Options Halifax wants all developments presently under consideration and proposed changes under the Centre Plan to be modelled before approval- the technology is cheap and readily available.  They are asking citizens to read and sign a petition here: https://forms.gle/3enTs6PfSkmMmNW48

By continuing to demolish historic buildings HRM is destroying the proven advantages of older, smaller neighbourhoods for having better social, cultural, economic and environmental outcomes such as hidden density, diversity, affordability and locations for new, local, businesses. It can take 10 – 80 years for a new energy efficient building to overcome, through efficient operations, the climate change impacts created by its construction. Building with what Halifax has is the best and greenest option.

Details and images: https://www.developmentoptionshfx.com