NS: Halifax council divided on plan for high-rise apartment in south end

Ruth Davenport, Metro Halifax
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Halifax regional councillors say the public should get to weigh in on Dino Capital's plan for a high-rise apartment building in a neighbourhood dominated by single-family homes.

Coun. Waye Mason urged councillors to support the staff recommendation, saying local residents were opposed to the development – and pointing out there’s other places to put density.

[HALIFAX, NS] - Halifax regional councillors say the public should get to weigh in on a developer’s plan for a high-rise apartment building in a neighbourhood dominated by single-family homes.

Dino Capital Ltd. is asking HRM to alter the density, zoning and height restrictions of four lots on Wellington Street near Inglis.

The changes would allow a 58-unit building with two towers of seven and nine storeys atop a three-storey “podium” building.

City planners recommended rejecting the proposal.

“The height is not appropriate for this site and in this neighbourhood,” said HRM planner Mitch Dickey. “The development…does not fit in with the residential context.”

But councillors lined up to oppose the staff recommendation, citing a need for increased residential density in the urban core.

“If not here, where?” said Coun. Barry Dalrymple. “We either take our (regional plan review) discussions and throw them out the window, or we start allowing building in the downtown.”

Coun. Waye Mason urged councillors to support the staff recommendation, saying local residents were opposed to the development – and pointing out there’s other places to put density.

“There’s hundreds of acres on the peninsula and Dartmouth that don’t even have anything on them,” he said. “There’s all sorts of identified areas where we could …put up the large residential. This (neighbourhood) is not that.”

But Coun. Linda Mosher noted that if the proposal is rejected, the developer can, “as of right,” put in 23 units with more than 200 bedrooms on the site.

“I have to put myself in the shoes of the residents,” she said. “If you told me either go through a public process for a development agreement, or… someone can put 200 rooms in, I’d be very concerned about that.”

Council defeated the staff recommendation 11-5, and approved a motion to begin a process that includes public consultation.

Council could still reject the proposal, following the public consultation.

Organizations: Halifax council, Dino Capital

Geographic location: HALIFAX, Wellington Street, Inglis Dartmouth

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