Regional Council Summary
August 15, 2017
The Bloomfield property occupies 3.28 acres and is designated Park and Institutional land under the Halifax Municipal Planning Strategy. In 2012, Regional Council declared the Bloomfield property surplus. At the August 15, 2017, meeting, Regional Council voted to give the province 120 days to decide if it wants to purchase the property at fair market value, in hopes that a new P-12 francophone school will be built on the site. If the Province chooses not to purchase the property, Regional Council will sell it on the open market, under the conditions that a cultural centre and affordable housing be part of any development on the site. More information and background on the Bloomfield Property is available here: https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170815rc91.pdf
Noise Exemption: King’s Orientation Week
Regional Council approved a noise exemption for the University of King’s College Orientation Week for the following dates and times:
Sunday, September 3, 2017 – 7pm-12am
Thursday, September 7, 2017 – 9:30pm-11:30pm
Friday September 8, 2017 – 9:30pm -12am
Noise Exemption: Dalhousie Orientation and DALfest
Regional Council approved a noise exemption for Dalhousie University Orientation week and DALfest during the following dates and times:
Saturday, September 2, 2017 – 7pm -10pm
Friday, September 15, 2017 – 9:30pm – 10:30pm
Saturday, September 16, 2017 – 7pm -11:30pm
Disposal of Surplus Real Property – 80 Grono Road, Dutch Village
Regional Council approved the sale of 80 Grono Road, Dutch Settlement to the Riverline Activity Centre Association for $1 plus closing costs.
Fall River Water Servicing Update – Local Improvement Charges
Regional Council approved amendments to the Regional Subdivision By-law to extend municipal water service to the Fall River area. Council also approved local improvement charges for the installation of water servicing infrastructure to homes along the Fall River Road to the Fall River Village Centre, Lockview Road to the Lockview School access, and McPherson Road. More information on the Fall River Water service extension is available at https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170815rc114.pdf
Permanent Encroachment on Saskatoon Drive
Regional Council voted to approve a 16x12 shed on municipal land at 81 Saskatoon Drive.
Closure of Metropolitan Ave., Lower Sackville
Regional Council set a date for a public hearing to consider the closure of a portion of Metropolitan Ave. in Lower Sackville for snow cleaning and maintenance purposes.
Low-Income Transit Pass Program
Regional Council approved an amendment to By-law U-100 that would allow Halifax Transit to remove a participant in the permanent Low-Income Transit Pass Program after six consecutive months of inactivity, and to permit a resident on the waiting list to take their place. More information on the annual Low Income Transit Pass Program is available at https://www.halifax.ca/transportation/halifax-transit/transit-programs-services/low-income-transit-pass-program/annual-low
Vending on Municipal Lands
Regional Council voted to continue to prohibit the sale of clothing, with the exception of artisan andhandcraftedd clothing, on municipal land. Council also voted to remove the following vending locations:
- Wright Avenue, North Side, 105 metres West of Joseph Zatzman Drive
- Grafton Street, East Side, 71 metres North of Spring Garden Road
- Grafton Street, East Side, 58 metres North of Spring Garden Road
- South Park Street, West Side, 96 metres South of Spring Garden Road
New Paving Projects outside the Core Area
Regional Council gave First Reading to a proposed Local Improvement Charge of $31.84 per foot for new paving projects for homes with street frontage on Jarrett Drive, Meadowbank Drive, and Shannon Road. More information and background on this issue is available here: https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170815rc1415.pdf
In 2013, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board ordered HRM to pay Halifax Water $3.9 million annually for storm water run-off from municipal streets and sidewalks. In 2014, Regional Council voted to levy a new stormwater charge of $39 per account on those properties within the Stormwater Service Area. At the August 15, 2017 meeting, Regional Council voted in favour of a staff recommendation to have Halifax Water collect the $39 fee from all ratepayers for 2017-18, but included an amendment to revisit the issue during the 2018-19 budget deliberations. At that time, Council will debate whether to put the stormwater fee on municipal tax bills.
Regional Council voted in favour of a staff recommendation to adopt amendments to Administrative Order 17 regarding Council and Mayoral pay. The amendments include a new formula for determining Council and Mayoral pay, using Statistics Canada’s Nova Scotia Average Industrial Weekly (AIW) earnings, putting pay more in line with average workers in Halifax. Council also voted in favour of requesting the province allow for severance and/or transitional pay for councillors who are defeated or who leave office.
Case 20160 – 90 Club Road, Harrietsfield
Regional Council approved a staff recommendation to begin the process of considering an amendment to the Municipal Planning Strategy and Land-Use By-laws to allow Civtech Engineering to develop the land at 90 Club Road in Harrietsfield to commercial and residential use. The HRM Charter requires a public consultation process be initiated before any amendments can be made.
More information on this case can be found at https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170815rc1418.pdf
Case 21168 – 830, 834, 848 and 850 Highway 7, Westphal
Regional Council approved a staff recommendation to begin the process of amending the Municipal Planning Strategy and Land-Use By-law to allow for an automotive repair shop, office, and self-storage facility at 830, 834, 848 and 850 Highway 1, and 1 Broom Road in Westphal. The HRM Charter requires a public consultation process be initiated before any amendments can be made. More information on this case can be found at https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170815rc1419.pdf
Scots Lake, Musquodoboit Harbour
Regional Council approved a staff recommendation to begin the process of considering amendments to the Regional Municipal Planning Strategy and Land-Use By-law to enable development permits on ten existing 10-hectare lots located on the east side of Scots Lake in Musquodoboit Harbour.
HRMs Role in Regulating Cannabis
The Federal Government introduced its proposed Cannabis Act in the House of Commons in April 2017, and intends to bring the Act into force no later than July 2018. Cannabis related businesses are expected to expand and evolve once cannabis becomes legalized. Council voted to continue to monitor federal and provincial initiatives concerning the legalization and regulation of cannabis, and asked staff to report back when there is greater clarity regarding HRM’s role in regulating its retail sale. Council also moved to initiate the process of considering amendments to the Regional Municipal Planning Strategy looking at appropriate zoning for commercial cannabis production facilities and dispensaries.
Density Bonusing – 1363 Hollis Street
Regional Council voted to approve a density bonusing agreement with Dexel Developments for their proposed 8-storey mixed-use development at 1363 Hollis Street in Halifax. Within the Downtown Halifax Plan Area, maximum permitted building heights may only be attained when a developer provides a public benefit. In this case, the proposed public benefit includes the provision of publicly accessibly amenity space, and the provision of public art.
Accessibility Advisory Committee – Terms of Reference and Reporting Structure
Regional Council approved a recommendation from the Transportation Standing Committee to adopt amendments to Administrative Order 1 and direct the Accessibility Advisory Committee to report to the Executive Standing Committee, instead of the Transportation Standing Committee. Council also approved amendments to the Accessibility Advisory Committee’s Terms of Reference, specifically that it set out a more proactive approach that involves more interaction with business units on plans and programs where accessibility is a consideration. More information on the Accessibility Advisory Committee is available here: https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/boards-committees-commissions/a-c/accessibility-advisory-committee
Council approved a recommendation by the Transportation Standing Committee to amend By-Law P-500 Respecting Parking Meters to include language that would allow for the use of pay stations and other payment options in addition to parking meters and coin-only payments.
Letter to Minister of Transportation regarding ‘Dooring’
‘Dooring’ occurs when a driver opens their vehicle door and hits a passing cyclist. Council approved a recommendation by the Transportation Standing Committee that the Mayor send a letter to the Nova Scotia Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal supporting an amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) prohibiting people from opening their vehicle doors until it is reasonably safe to do so.
MacDonald Bridge Bikeway Connector Project
Regional Council voted unanimously to approve the $7.4 million dollar MacDonald Bridge bikeway project. The project will include new bike lanes on both sides of the bridge, as well as a flyover ramp both on and off the bridge. The project will make it easier for cyclists to move across the harbour, and is expected to be completed in 2020. More information on the project is available at https://www.halifax.ca/transportation/cycling-walking/cycling-projects/macdonald-bridge-bikeway-connector
Case 19535- 1831 St. Margaret’s Bay Road
Council gave First Reading to a proposed amendment to the Municipal Planning Strategy and Land-Use By-law for Timberlea/Lakeside/Beechville that would allow for a commercial development at 1831 St. Margaret’s Bay Road. The Development proposal includes a drive-in restaurant, office uses, and general retail uses. A public hearing on the case is scheduled for September 19, 2017 during the Regional Council Meeting. More information on the proposed development is available at https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170815rc1431.pdf
Case 19722 – 15 Shoreham Lane, Halifax
Council gave First Reading to a proposed amendment to the Municipal Planning Strategy for Halifax and Land-Use By-law for Halifax Mainland that would allow a proposed addition to an existing commercial building at 15 Shoreham Lane. The current building includes the Gem Health Care group offices, a training centre, physio centre, and denture clinic. The proposed addition would include a new restaurant. A public hearing is scheduled for September 19, 2017 during the Regional Council Meeting. More information on this case is available at https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170815rc1432.pdf
Case 20211 – Service Stations in Light Industrial Zone, Bedford
Regional Council gave First Reading to a proposed amendment to the Municipal Planning Strategy and Land-Use By-law for Bedford that would permit a service station on Damascus Road, in the Bedford Commons commercial area. A public hearing on this issue will also be scheduled at a later date. More information on this case is available at https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170815rc1441.pdf
Alteration to Cornwallis Street Baptist Church
Regional Council approved a recommendation from the Heritage Advisory Committee to approve a substantial alteration to the exterior of the Cornwallis Street Baptist Church. The proposed alteration would see a new addition to the building that would include a new library, kitchen, and administrative offices for the church. More information on this proposal is available at https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170815rc1451.pdf
HRM Community Events Float
Regional Council approved a motion by Councillor Bill Karsten to request a staff report on the possibility of adding another municipal float to HRM’s fleet. The municipality currently has one float available for community events across the municipality.
Amendment to By-Law E-200
Council approved a motion by Councillor Matt Whitman to request a staff report considering amendments to By-law E-200 that would allow staff to approve encroachments without Council approval.
HRM Science Advisory Position
Regional Council approved a motion by Councillor Richard Zurawski to request a staff report considering the creation of a new ‘science advisor’ position on HRM staff to advise Council on science issues.