Regional Council Summary

September 19, 2017


Spaying and Neutering of Cats Grant Program

Regional Council made the decision to continue the 2016 feral cat Trap-Neuter-Return project and provide funding for the next five years, commencing April 1, 2017, in order to continue the effective partnerships that have developed between the Nova Scotia SPCA, the Spay Day HRM Society, and HRM. Furthermore, Council directed that any additional funds be subject to annual budget considerations.

Award – Province of Nova Scotia RFP WS49662970 for Heating Fuel/Propane/Jet Fuel/Diesel/Gasoline

Regional Council approved two standing offers from provincial RFPs for fuel that will award contracts to  Highland Fuel Delivery G.P./ Irving Oil Commercial G.P o/a Irving Energy for the furnace oil, and Bluewave Energy for the gasoline portion of the solicitation, for a period ending June 2020 with the option to renew annually for two (2) additional one year terms for the approximate amount of $1,650,000 per year and directed the Chief Administrative Offer (CAO) to execute the services contracts with each contractor with terms and conditions acceptable to the CAO and subject to review and approval as to form and authority by Legal Services.

Case H00450 – 33 and 35 Pleasant Street, Dartmouth

Following an application from the owners of the property and a positive recommendation from the Heritage Advisory Committee, Regional Council held a Heritage Hearing regarding 33 and 35 Pleasant Street, Dartmouth. The request was approved to include this five-story Queen Anne Revival style apartment building in the Registry of Heritage Property for the Halifax Regional Municipality.

Case 19434 – 1831 St. Margaret’s Bay Road, Timberlea

Regional Council conducted a public hearing regarding proposed amendments to the Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) and the Land Use By-Law (LUB) for Timberlea/Lakeside/Beechville. Following the public hearing, Council adopted the proposed amendments to re-designate 1831 St. Margaret’s Bay Road to the Commercial Core Designation and rezone to the General Business Zone (C-2). This will enable a proposed development with a restaurant, retail uses and office uses, reduce parking standards for the restaurant, require new or expanded commercial parking to be visually screened from abutting residential or community properties, and require landscaping in the front yard of any new or expanded commercial developments in the C-2 Zone.

Case 19722 – 15 Shoreham Lane

Regional Council conducted a public hearing regarding proposed amendments to the Halifax Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) and Halifax Mainland Land Use By-Law (LUB) and Amending Development Agreement for 15 Shoreham Lane, Halifax, to enable additional commercial land uses, including a restaurant in an existing commercial/office building located at 15 Shoreham Lane, Halifax. Following the public hearing the proposed amendments were approved.

Fly-Past Request – Remembrance Day Ceremony

Regional Council granted permission for a flypast of a Sea King helicopter from 12 Wing Shearwater at levels as low as 500 feet above the highest obstacle on Saturday November 11, 2017 at 11:02 a.m. over the Halifax Grand Parade, as part of the Remembrance Day Ceremony.

Pride Rainbow Art Crosswalks

Regional Council directed staff to continue to include funding for the Pride Crosswalk Program as part of Transportation and Public Works’ (TPW) operational budge, which would include the installation and maintenance of rainbow art at four signalized locations to be determined by the Director of TPW. Council also authorized the Director of TPW to approve requests for rainbow crosswalk art at additional locations, only if sufficient funds are provided from an external source and the design is approved the by the Traffic Authority. Council also requested a staff report to explore an option for safe paint applications and explore design guidelines for future instances.

Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Grants Program

Symphony Nova Scotia received a $10,000 grant as part of the Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Grants program in February 2016. In August, they requested that the terms and conditions of the grant be amended to accommodate revisions to the scope of their centennial project. Regional Council approved a motion allowing Symphony Nova Scotia to include expenditures for commissioning an original music composition and extended the deadline for the final report from March 31, 2017 to March 31, 2018.

Street Improvement Charges – Amendment to By-Law S-400

In January of 2015, Halifax Regional Council approved the Nova Scotia Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (NSTIR) Aid-to-Municipality Construction Agreement, which is a three-year agreement between NSTIR and Nova Scotia municipalities (including HRM), to upgrade provincially owned and maintained “J” class gravel roads to asphalt or chip seal. Regional Council approved the 2016 Local Improvement Charges for Jarrett Drive, Meadowbrook Drive, and Shannon Road and adopted By-Law S-445 to amend By-Law S-400.

Cole Harbour District and Charles P. Allen High Schools – Joint Use Agreement

Regional Council authorized the Mayor and Municipal Clerk to enter into a Joint Use Agreement with Halifax Regional School Board regarding the Cole Harbour High School and the Charles P. Allen High Schools.These joint use agreements enable HRM to provide funding to a school enhancements in exchange for reciprocal use to the new facilities. The enhancement to Charles P. Allen High School includes a community centre attached to the school and an artificial turn field. The enhancement to Cole Harbour District High School is the renovation of the gymnasium.

Motorized Bicycles

Regional Council directed staff to amend the By-Law respecting Municipal Parks to adopt the definition for bicycle from the Motor Vehicle Act to assist in the consistent enforcement of what bicycles are permitted in parks and trails in the Municipality. This change would still allow electric-assist bikes to be used on trails and in parks, but would prohibit gas-powered bicycles.

Taxis, Accessible Taxis, and Limousines – By-Law Amendments

Regional Council gave first reading to By-Law T-1002, which would amend By-law 1000 and by adding the requirement that a taxi, accessible taxi or limousine must display and maintain any other signs and decals as set out in Administrative Order 39. This Administrative Order can be viewed at https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170919rc1416.pdf

Parking Permit Display

Councillor Austin had requested that an amendment be considered to by law P-1000 permitting the placement of Residential Parking Exceptions and On-Street Parking Permits in the rear window of the vehicle to increase visibility to parking enforcement staff. However, recognizing that changes to the current parking by-law are currently underway and a new by-law is anticipated to be before Regional Council in November of this year, Regional Council directed the Chief Administrative Officer to keep the current stipulations as they stand.

Access-A-Bus

Regional Council directed that HRM continue to provide paratransit service to clients currently in receipt of the service effective the date of the April 13, 2017 staff report and have requested a staff report outlining several improvements to the service including:

  1. Examining the cost and operational impacts of extending Access-A-Bus service to the full service day, regardless of hours of operation of conventional service in the area.
  2. Proposing revisions to the current set of Eligibility Criteria for the use of the Access-A-Bus service with the aim of restricting eligibility to those who cannot use the conventional transit service.
  3. To continue charging registered Access-A-Bus uses standard rates to ride the conventional transit system.

Regional Council also requested a staff report to return to the Transportation Standing Committee that will, after consultation with the Taxi & Limousine Liaison Group, taxi operators, and dispatch companies, present options for the development of a service delivery contract or other arrangements with taxi operators and dispatch companies that will support a sustainable framework to ensure the 24-hour provision of an accessible taxi service.

Posting of Civic Addresses

Due to the importance of civic address numbers in identifying properties for first responders, Regional Council requested a staff information report on an education campaign to ensure that civic address number are visible at all times.

Beechville Industrial Park

Regional Council requested a staff report to consider changing the name of the “Lakeside Industrial Park” to the “Beechville Industrial Park” and include consideration of renaming Lakeside Park Drive to Beechville Park Drive.

Regional Mountain Bike Strategy

Regional Council requested a staff report on developing a Regional Mountain Bike Strategy similar to that of Western Australia and British Columbia, including:

1)    The formation of a Regional Mountain Bike Advisory Committee comprised of key stakeholders (such as Mountain Bike Halifax) to help guide the strategy.

2)    Identifying and strategic planning of sustainable Mountain Bike Trails / infrastructure in HRM

3)    Identify funding sources.

Lake Banook

During the summer of 2017, Birch Cove Beach at Lake Banook was closed for half of the total season, a record 33 days due to high bacteria counts. The number of closure days has been trending upwards over the last three years. Lake Banook is an extremely important recreation destination in HRM, providing opportunities for people to swim in the urban core. The lake is a major hub for the canoe/kayak and dragon boat communities and it is home to a world-class race course. If the closure trend is a sign of degrading conditions in the lake, there will be increasing impacts on its value as a recreational space. Regional Council requested a staff report for a pollution control study of Lake Banook and Lake Micmac.

HRM Children’s Charter of Rights

Regional Council requested a staff report on creating a HRM Children’s Charter of Rights guided by the belief that “all children deserve basic rights and freedoms and that all levels of government, in partnership with communities, have a duty to support families by putting the health and well-being of children first.” The HRM Children’s Charter of Rights is to include areas under the municipal mandate as outlined in the MGA and Halifax Charter and should include consideration of:

  1. The Right to Affordable Housing: enforce minimum standards in dwellings with young children and ensure affordable housing is considered with every new development and/or renovation project
  2. The Right to Affordable Child Care: consideration of permitting more “home-based” or neighbourhood day care centres in Municipal Planning Strategies and Land Use By-Laws.
  3. The Right to Access Healthy Food: Encourage more community gardens, Mobile Food Markets.
  4. The Right to Safety: ensure the Integrated Halifax Regional Police/RCMP continue Community Officers presence in the schools/communities and the School Crossing Guard Program; ensure pedestrian infrastructure (sidewalk/crosswalk) is adequate especially in elementary school districts.
  5. The Right to Safe Potable Water: work with Halifax Regional Water Commission by developing options to assist families in danger of having water services cut.
  6. The Right to Recreation and Healthy Lifestyle: continue to offer affordable recreation activities for all; consider expanding the Inclusion Program as required; ensure community space is included in all developments; Continue Active Transportation and Integrated Mobility Plan and trail development to ensure healthy/active living options for families.

Multilingual Service Available Policy

Regional Council requested a staff information report on the implementation of an HRM-wide Multilingual Service Available Policy that would request all HRM facilities providing customer service (Access Centres, Arenas, Libraries, Pools, Recreation Centres, etc.) to advise in what language service can be provided at that location.

St. Paul’s Church

Regional Council approved the conditional provision of in-kind assistance of up to $500,000, with a net municipal project cost not exceeding $250,000 to the Parish of St. Paul’s for the restoration of a portion of the wall and cast iron fencing surrounding the church. St. Paul’s Church is one of the oldest buildings in Halifax and the oldest existing Protestant church in Canada, and has significant historical value. The funding is conditional on a cost-sharing agreement with the federal government, which will contribute 50% of the cost of the project ($250,000). For more information, please see the full staff report available here: https://www.halifax.ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional-council/170919rc172.pdf