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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered



  1. Hi Sam. Thanks for this great series. FYI, for the list of Halifax contributors donating to councillors’ campaigns, Armco Ltd. (#1) and APL (#4) are essentially one in the same. Both companies are owned by George Armoyan. So that means Armoyan gave fives times more than any other developer. Coincidentally, APL is also applying to build a 29 storey building on Quinpool Rd. on a piece of property that is zoned for a maximum of 14 storeys. The proposal also violates the existing Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) and Land Use By-Laws (LUB) in numerous other ways. Yet Council voted to send the proposal to the community consultation phase. In order to allow a proposal like this, which breaks so many rules, to proceed, Council has to amend the MPS and LUB. The Municipal Government Act allows Council to do this where circumstances can be demonstrated to have changed since the MPS and LUM were approved. However, neither Council no the developer has provided any justification to demonstrate that “circumstances have changed” to such an extent that over double the allowable height. Essentially, if Council approves the Armco application, they are granting him development rights that are $15 million in excess of what he could build under the current rules. Pretty remarkable return on a modest investment….

    If you want to know any more about the proposal, check out this website.

  2. By the time we have new regulations it will be too late for Halifax. Developers are picking up choice pieces of real estate all over the city knowing that the rules will be changed to suit them. Even if we get new regulations or indeed the long awaited Centre Plan, the die will be cast. Developers will have grandfathered approvals under the old rules…..that will extend for years to come. The examples are piling up , meaningless public consultation ongoing. Once a site specific MPS amendment is approved by Council the reality means they can build just about anything provided it meets the height and sq footage approvals. All else is only to be “considered” ….by the same Council that approved the amendment…..again another meaningless round of consulation. Wellington street was a prime example of pro development Councillors having their way….over protests by staff, the public and the PAC ….the Willow Tree will no doubt follow the same path.