By Haley Ryan, Metro Halifax
A report from the city’s Design Review committee recommends against amending policies to allow construction of the twin towers on Granville Street — both of which would be more than double the permitted height.
A graphic image of the proposed Skye Towers.
[HALIFAX, NS] — Regional council has one meeting left before the new councilors and mayor are sworn in, and it will include a debate of the already much-debated Skye Halifax project.
A report from the city’s Design Review committee recommends against amending current planning policies to allow construction of the twin towers on Granville Street — both of which would be more than double the permitted height.
Paul MacKinnon, executive director for the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, said he wants to see development in the core of the city, but not at the cost of breaking HRM by Design rules.
"We feel strongly about this," MacKinnon said, noting HRM by Design was created with significant public input. “Let’s let the plan work.”
The maximum height permitted for the site is 66 metres, and the Skye Halifax towers would reach 172 metres.
“It’s such a massive change that we feel it would just create a great deal of uncertainty,” MacKinnon said. “And we don’t want to go back to that.”
MacKinnon said approving the current Skye Halifax plan will set a precedent for circumventing HRM by Design.
City staff are recommending rejecting the United Gulf project and mayor-elect Mike Savage told News 95.7’s Rick Howe he was not in favour of the proposal as it currently stands.
A report going to council from the Design Review committee highlights five violations of existing planning policies in the new proposal, including the violation of the Citadel Rampart View requirements and of street and boundary setbacks.