HRM Council has given “First Reading” to consider proposed amendments to all of the Regional Municipal Planning Strategies and their respective land use by- laws with the exception of the Regional Centre Land Use By-law, to allow secondary suites accessory to single unit, two-unit or townhouse dwellings and backyard suites accessory to single unit dwellings. A Public Hearing will be scheduled in late March or April 2020. Secondary suites are additional dwelling units, typically located within single unit dwellings. Both secondary and backyard suites are considered accessory to the principal dwelling and often include additional land use regulations such as floor area restrictions or height requirements. The floor area of a secondary suite shall not exceed 80 square metres (861.11 sq.ft). Backyard suites are additional dwelling units that are located within an accessory building like a detached garage. A backyard suite is only permitted on lots of at least 371.0 square metres (3,993.41 sq.ft.) The floor area of a backyard suite shall not exceed 90 square metres (968.75 sq.ft) There are several benefits associated with secondary and backyard suites such as increasing the overall density of an area without affecting the overall built form of the neighbourhood (hidden density); providing opportunities for affordable home ownership; providing rental opportunities in areas where there is traditionally little to no rental supply; and providing an additional source of income to existing landowners, including seniors looking to age in place. For more details about this subject, please refer to this report:


HRM Council has approved four Operating Grants totalling $128,921 to our local Volunteer Ground Search and Rescue (GSAR) teams that provides assistance to all three levels of government in the event of a missing person search, and evacuation aid for any natural or man-made disaster.

• Halifax Regional Search & Rescue Team, $53,786

• Eastern Shore Ground Search & Rescue Team,


• Sheet Harbour & Area Ground Search & Rescue

Team, $28,155

• Musquodoboit Valley Ground Search & Rescue Team, $15,747

Furthermore, a Capital Grant in the amount of $2,334 to the Eastern Shore Ground Search and Rescue Team for the purchase of a purpose-built trailer to transport kayaks and canoes used in shoreline searches. And a conditional capital grant in the amount of $10,045 to the Musquodoboit Valley Ground Search & Rescue Team to complete the purchase of a vehicle and enclosed trailer.


The HRM Community Grants Program provides aid to registered non-profit organizations and charities throughout the municipality to help with their endeavours. There are two types of grants:

• Project Grants up to $5,000 

• Capital Grants up to $25,000

The program provides assistance to specific types of projects in the following categories:

• Arts & Crafts

• Diversity & Inclusion

• Environment

• Emergency Assistance & Safety 

• History

• Housing

• Leisure

• Recreation

Application deadline is March 31st. More info is at: community-grants. Or, HRM Grants Guidebook & Applications can be obtained from a HRM Service Centre or by e-mailing:, or call 902-490-7310.


Normally Open-Air Burning Season begins on March 15th. There is an on-line fire index map at: https:// It will ensure everyone knows the risks of wildfire in all areas of the province each day. The map will show green, red, or yellow in each county to let us know if it is safe to burn, unsafe to burn, or safe with restrictions. The map and recorded phone message will be updated daily. Call Burn Safe toll-free 1-855-564- 2876. These changes affect brush burning on domestic properties, such as rural residential lots, woodlots, fishing camps and cottage lots. But Commercial/ Industrial brush burning still requires a permit from a DNR office. Be sure to follow all instructions, rules of conduct and be respectful of your neighbours when you want to burn. Be cognizant of those with any sensitivity to smoke. Please be careful when burning.


Traditionally, many property owners think about cleaning up the yard in the spring, but with the few number of large snowfalls over this past winter, dead grass and other vegetation in your yard can dry out quickly becoming flammable as early as mid-March. In fact the highest number of wildfires occur in April and May, usually the result of grass or brush burning that got out of control. There are alternatives to burning such as chipping or composting, but if your best option is burning, the best time to do it is during the winter when the woods are protected from fire with a blanket of snow. Burning outside of the fire season, especially when snow is on the ground, greatly reduces the chances of a fire spreading and saves you a few dollars in burning permit fees. You should also pick a day when weather conditions are favourable for smoke dispersal so as not to annoy the neighbours! So if you must burn brush, avoid the fire season, the most dangerous time of the year to burn, and do it safely. For more details: firecentre/winterburn.asp


The nomination deadline for the Order of Nova Scotia (ONS) is on the third Friday of March (March 20th,2020) The ONS recognizes Nova Scotians for outstanding contributions to their communities. NS citizens are encouraged to nominate or re-nominate someone they feel has made a significant contribution. Nomination forms are available at Access Nova Scotia Centres throughout the province. For more information, please call the NS Protocol Office – One Government Place, Barrington Level, 1700 Granville Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1X5. Telephone: 902-424-2467 Fax: 902-424-4309 or by E-mail:  or check ONS Website: order.asp


HRM has entered into a less than market value lease agreement with the Sheet Harbour and Area Chamber of Commerce for the MacPhee House premises at 22404 Highway #7 for the purposes of a Tourist Information Centre and Heritage museum. www.halifax. ca/sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/regional- council/191126rc1543.pdf


Kendar Enterprises Ltd. have applied for a Development Agreement: Case # 21856 to convert an existing mixed-use building located at #8005 Highway #7, Musquodoboit Harbour into a five-unit residential building. The existing building is accessed by a private easement over the abutting property at #8001 and #8003. The HRM Harbour East Marine Drive Community Council will be having a Public Hearing on Thursday, March 5th at 6 PM at the Old School Gathering Place (#7962 Hwy #7) in Musquodoboit Harbour. For details about this application: sites/default/files/documents/city-hall/community- councils/200206hemdcc1312.pdf


• Spring Forward — Set your clocks ahead one (1) hour. 

• Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.