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Chebucto Community Council July 7, 1997 Agenda


  • Councillor Bill Stone, Chair
  • Councillor Russell Walker
  • Councillor Stephen D. Adams
  • Councillor Ron Hanson


  • Barry Allen, Municipal Solicitor
  • Paul Morgan, Planner
  • Thea Langille, Planner
  • Stephen Feist, Planner
  • Greg Smith, Development Officer
  • Sandra Shute, Assistant Municipal Clerk


1. Invocation

2. Approval of Minutes - June 2, 1997

3. Approval of the Order of Business and Approval of Additions and Deletions

4. Business Arising Out of the Minutes

4.1 Status Sheet Items

4.1.1 Snow Removal from Sidewalks

5. Motions of Reconsideration - None

6. Motions of Rescission - None

7. Consideration of Deferred Business - None

8. Public Hearings

8.1 Case 7486 - Appeal of an Approved Minor Variance - 12 Fairmount Road 8.2 Case 7469 - Rezoning of Lands Adjacent to the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union Property on Dutch Village Road

9. Correspondence, Petitions and Delegations

10. Reports

10.1 Case No. 7513 - Stage II Development Agreement Application by Clayton Developments Ltd. for Phase 4A of Clayton Park West

11. Motions

12. Added Items

12.1 Case 7544 - 35 Coronation Avenue 12.2 Sidewalk, Curb and Gutter - Bedford Highway

13. Notices of Motion

14. Public Participation

15. Next Meeting Date

16. Adjournment


The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. with an Invocation at 2750 Dutch Village Road.


MOVED by Councillors Hanson and Walker to approve the Minutes of meeting held on June 2, 1997 as circulated. MOTION PUT AND PASSED.


Added Items: Report - Case No. 7544 - 35 Coronation Avenue

Councillor Walker: Sidewalk, curb and gutter abutment charges - Bedford Highway

MOVED by Councillors Hanson and Adams to approve the Order of Business as amended. MOTION PUT AND PASSED.


4.1 Status Sheet Items

4.1.1 Snow Removal from Sidewalks

Councillor Walker said that now that Regional Council has set the tax rate and there will not be snow removal for the former City of Halifax, in addition to the report being prepared by the Municipal Solicitor, he would like to know the cost of snow removal for the former City of Halifax so that there would be a definite figure which could be considered for next year.

The Chair noted that the possibility of snow removal in the City of Halifax had been discussed briefly during budget deliberations but it would cost 3.6 cents on the tax rate which was felt to be too high, particularly when the former City of Dartmouth would be paying .007 cents as an added cost.

MOVED by Councillors Walker and Adams that a Staff Report be requested for the September 8, 1997 meeting with regard to costs. MOTION PUT AND PASSED.





8.1 Case 7486 - Appeal of an Approved Minor Variance - 12 Fairmount Road

A Staff Report dated June 17, 1997 was before Community Council which was an appeal of a minor variance approval. Greg Smith, Development Officer presented an overview of the report with the aid of overheads. He advised that three neighbours appealed the decision, one on the right side at 14 Fairmount Road and two on Herring Cove Road, #5 and #7, within the area of notification.

There were no questions from members of Community Council.

Speakers in Favour

Mr. Laird Bolt, owner of the property, advised that the reason for the addition was to have a third bedroom upstairs. He provided a letter from the neighbour at 8 Fairmount Road, Reg Ryer, expressing approval but had not contacted the neighbour at 10 Fairmount Road as they had just moved in. The architect who drew up the plans lived at 5 Fairmount Road. He noted that there was only a hint of a view of one of the houses belonging to the two people who appealed on Herring Cove Road. He agreed that 14 Fairmount Road was definitely the affected house as the addition would be built on that side. He provided a site plan of what would happen if approval was not received and explained the implications, particularly with regard to the neighbours' view plane. It was not uncommon in the area for houses to have less than the 8' requirement.

Councillor Stone asked if it was correct that by extending back 2', the addition could be built as of right. In reply, Mr. Bolt advised he had the right to build an 8' setback and 4' on the garage with the land usage less than 50% of the total area with no restrictions.

Councillor Stone referred to the letter received from Mr. McEachern and his comments about the overhang of the roof and asked for clarification. In reply, Mr. Bolt stated that there was a 2" overhang on the side. There was a 1' overhang at the back of the house. With the new elevation there would be a 1' overhang on the front of the house.

Speakers in Opposition

Mr. Graham Read, 19 Lawnwood Avenue advised he was representing Dorothy Read at 5 Herring Cove Road and Mary Graham at 7 Herring Cove Road. The request for lot modification, in his opinion, should have been rejected by the Development Officer as it was prohibited by the Planning Act and Land Use By-law unless certain specific conditions exist and do not exist in this case. He referred to Sections 86.3 (a), (b) and (c) which specify the conditions under which variances may be granted and quoted from same. If it violated the intent of the Land Use-By, then the variance was not minor according to the Act. The proposed addition clearly violated the intent of Sections 12 and 21 of the Mainland portion of the Land Use By-law. He quoted from those sections.

Mr. Read stated that the character and value of neighbouring properties would be adversely affected by the proximity to the property line of the proposed two-story addition. The neighbourhood was characterized by large lots, well set back from the property line. The privacy was gained by distance rather than fences and the proposed addition would reduce the openness of the area. The lot in question has no unique conditions which would necessitate modification of the side yard regulations as it was large, wider than the minimum, reasonably level and was not of an unusual or restrictive shape. There was ample room on the lot to construct an addition of the required area, to the front or rear, without modification of any regulations. It was argued that the design of the house restricts expansion to the side; however, there was ample space on the lot and the dwelling was not so unusual that an architect could not design a suitable addition that would not intrude into the side yard. The Land Use By-law only permits consideration of modification of the regulations if there are unique conditions applying to the lot, not the dwelling. The proposed plan calls for a 17' wide master bedroom but he pointed out that a 15' wide master bedroom would still be huge and, with a bit of imaginative design, the desired area could still be realized without intruding into the side yard. The lot was not of a restrictive area that it could not be appropriately developed as it was twice the minimum required. The difficulty seemed to be that the side of the house was not parallel with the property line; however, most dwellings in the area have the same difficulty. He noted that if there was intrusion into the side yard, the owner was still entitled to 35% coverage. Although there would be 16' separation between the addition and the abutting dwelling, he pointed out most of the addition was because 14 Fairmount was more than the required minimum to the sideline. He asked what would happen if 14 Fairmount wanted to expand and would they be entitled to the same exemption. Although the variance was for only 34.5' sq. ft. of the total 710 sq. ft., he said if only that much was needed, surely it was possible to find it somewhere else without intruding into the side yard. The proposed deck appears to intrude even more into the side yard.

Mr. Read stated that from both 5 and 7 Herring Cove Road, you could see Mr. Bolt's house and 14 Fairmount. Even if all the neighbours agreed, this type of addition is still not permitted and he had not seen any justification for the relaxation of the side yard requirements. There were thousands of other dwellings in the city where someone might want to put in an addition but does not because they respect the sideyard requirements. If the variance was approved, it would mean that the minimum side yard requirement in the City was 6'. If this is the case, then the Land Use By-law should be amended.

Councillor Walker asked if the residents of 5 and 7 Herring Cove Road would have any objections if the owner took the whole back yard and put on a big addition as he could do that as of right. Mr. Read said he thought it was unlikely this would happen but if it was as of right, then all right. He could not go into the side yard as of right. He might do something worse in the back yard but that was the risk you take and you did not take that as a justification for modifying the side yard.

Councillor Walker asked what Mr. Read considered minor. In reply, Mr. Read said it was something that did not violate the intent of the Land Use By-law. If a corner of a deck intruded, that was minor but a two story addition was not minor.

Councillor Stone said that the difference from 8' to 6' or 7', to him it did not appear to be a major variance when, as of right, you could go 2' the other way and put on an addition which in effect does the same thing. He asked for Mr. Read's rationalization of major and minor. Mr. Read replied that just because he said it was not minor as defined by the Planning Act did not mean he meant it was major. The Planning Act allows minor things to be done and defines what is minor - something that does not violate the intent of the Land Use By-law. He would rather see him go 2' out in the rear than the side. It was certainly possible to make additions to houses which fit within the constraints of the Land Use By-law and there were no restrictions in this case to make it difficult to comply with the requirements of the Land Use By-law and still be able to have the development.

Councillor Stone asked if the objection of 5 and 7 Herring Cove Road was the Planning Act or the distance between the houses or something else. Mr. Read replied that it was because there would be a relaxation of the requirements of the Land Use By-law. Why should some people be allowed to build or make an addition which does not conform to the requirements of the Land Use By-law. Everyone should be subject to the same conditions unless there is something unique about the property.

Mr. Wilf McEachern, 14 Fairmount Road stated there were alternate architectural plans for the property but they were not acceptable to the Bolts. There were no constraints on the property - it was only their desire to get what they wanted, to go along the side. He requested that Mr. Read's argument regarding the By-law be accepted as his argument as well and added there were no restrictions on the property to move in other directions. In his opinion, a variance was not justifiable. It would be setting a precedent in the neighbourhood. When he looks out his window, if the variance is granted, it would not be just a 2' expansion but would cut off the view of the Arm. Staff indicated that a 16' separation would still be maintained with the variance but 9' of that was his and it was just like saying give away 1' of his property. When his house was built, it was built according to regulations and he did not have any intention of giving up 1' of his property because of view plane or any other reason. He expressed concern that if the variance is accepted, it would condemn everybody in the future who owns his house to the larger surface area and the smaller view plane.

Councillor Walker asked if Mr. Bolt built a piece on the back, would the view plane to the Rotary still be lost. Mr. McEachern replied yes, but Mr. Bolt had just said it was a possibility he would build at the back and, if so, that was fine. This, however, was not even mentioned in the Staff Report and was, in his opinion, not a valid question.

Councillor Walker pointed out that the impression he was getting from Mr. Read and Mr. McEachern was that this was the first time in the former City of Halifax that such a variance has been granted. This was not so. Mr. McEachern replied that he was being asked to comment on something that has nothing to do with the variance.

Councillor Stone referred to Mr. McEachern's letter regarding the overhang of the roof. Mr. McEachern replied he could not tell from the plan how much of an overhang there was. Normal houses had a fairly large overhang but it appeared there would not be a large overhang on his side.

Mr. Graham Read asked to be able to clarify. Although the Chair was reluctant to do so, it was agreed to allow Mr. Read to provide further explanation.

Mr. Graham Read said he had not meant that Council had never granted minor variances but they were thought to fall within the requirements for which a minor variance would be granted. In this particular case, the conditions do not exist to permit a minor variance. If this is granted, there were possibly hundreds or thousands of other situations for which this would become a precedent because the conditions under which you grant a minor variance have been changed.

Decision by Council

Councillor Hanson said this is a situation where the applicant can do things as of right and he was convinced that as far as the view plane to the Rotary, it was irrelevant. The important thing was that the character of the community would not be challenged or disturbed by the application. He did not think the application would create a precedent. Minor Variances had to be approved on a one-by-one basis. In this particular case, he felt the Development Officer had made the right decision and he did not think the intrusion on other people's property in this case was severe.

Councillor Stone asked if the Development Officer felt that the presentation made any difference to his decision. In reply, Mr. Smith advised he respected the appellants' views but he had heard nothing that would even make him want to recommend to Planning staff to change the rules and regulations, for this application or any done in the past.

MOVED by Councillors Hanson and Adams to deny the appeal of the Minor Variance - Case No. 7486 - 12 Fairmount Road.

Councillor Stone, having viewed the properties, agreed that the properties were very close and was concerned with what was said about the variance being against the Planning Act and that was why he asked for input from the Development Officer. He felt, however, that the variance was minor and only made a difference of 1-2' even though it caused some difficulty to the neighbour. The bottom line was that the property belongs to the person putting on the addition. Community Council is supposed to decide re variances when there is a dispute and whether or not the variance is minor. While he knew the decision would not be popular, he was supporting the motion.


8.2 Case 7469 - Rezoning of Lands Adjacent to the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union Property on Dutch Village Road

A Staff Report dated June 17, 1997 was before Community Council. Thea Langille, Planner provided an overview of the application with the aid of overheads. Staff was recommending approval to allow the expansion of an existing parking lot.

Councillor Walker asked if there was a possibility of another driveway to allow one driveway for entrance and the other for exit. In reply, Ms. Langille advised that Traffic Services considered this but there was a slope involved and they wanted to maintain the one way loop. Traffic Services did not want to see any additional accesses onto Dutch Village Road.

Councillor Stone asked how many trees would stay. In reply, Ms. Langille advised they intended to retain as many existing trees as possible but also intended to introduce shrubbery and plants along the rock wall.

Speakers in Favour

Mr. Danny Chedrawe, 153 Spinnaker Drive suggested that as many trees as possible should be kept and additional trees should be planted. He recommended that lighting for the parking lot not shine into the abutting residences or onto Dutch Village Road. He also asked if taxes were paid by the NS Teachers' Union.

Ms. Maureen Smith, Business Manager, Nova Scotia Teachers' Union advised there was every intention of maintaining pleasing vegetation on the property. She thought the new lighting would be turned off after night meetings so it would not shine into windows of adjacent buildings. Lighting would be on the side of the building and from two poles in the centre of the lot. As many trees as possible would be saved. The Teachers' Union paid taxes.

Speakers in Opposition - None

Decision by Council

MOVED by Councillors Hanson and Adams to approve the application by the Nova Scotia Teachers' Union to rezone Lot 1 and Lot 2 as shown on the Plan of Survey Lot TU-1 (P200/21153) from R-1 (Single Family Dwelling) to P (Park and institutional), shown generally on Map 1 attached to the Staff Report dated June 17, 1997. MOTION PUT AND PASSED.



10.1 Case 7513 - Stage II Development Agreement Application by Clayton Developments Ltd. for Phase 4A of Clayton Park West (Lacewood Business Campus

A Staff Report dated June 18, 1997 was before Community Council together with a Memorandum dated July 7, 1997 explaining that a page was inadvertently omitted from the Staff Report and supplying that page. Paul Morgan, Planner provided an overview of the Staff Report. This being a Stage II agreement application, a Public Hearing was not required. Staff was recommending that the Development Agreement presented in the Staff Report be approved.

Mr. Mike Willett, Clayton Developments was in attendance. He answered questions from Councillors regarding landscaping and access.

Mr. Hiram Tiller, Thackeray Close expressed concern with traffic control in the area. Now with the advancement of this proposal, there would be more traffic and more danger involved in making a left turn off the BiHi onto Lacewood. He asked for an update.

Councillor Stone replied that Transportation Services and Department of Transportation and Public Works have been meeting to try to come up with some kind of solution for the intersection. He expected it would take a while to resolve and it would take a lot of money to do so.

MOVED by Councillors Walker and Hanson that the Development Agreement attached to the Staff Report dated June 18, 1997 be approved. Further, that the applicant be given one hundred and twenty (120) days to sign the Development Agreement from the date of approval by Community Council, or the date of any other approvals required to sign the agreement as the case may be, unless an extension thereof is granted by Community Council at the request of the applicant; otherwise, this approval will be void and obligations arising hereunder shall be at an end. MOTION PUT AND PASSED.

11. MOTIONS - None


12.1 Case 7544 - 35 Coronation Avenue

A Staff Report dated July 4, 1997 was before Community Council. Stephen Feist, Planner provided an overview of the Staff Report. The recommendation from staff was to amend the Development Agreement with Steven Metledge to extend the completion date to July 28, 1998. A decision to extend did not require a Public Hearing.

Councillor Adams asked if Mr. Metledge had started the project to which Mr. Feist replied he had not begun.

Councillor Stone asked what would happen if the extension was not granted. Mr. Feist replied the project would be dead. There was, however, the ability for the proponent to make another application. Family health reasons had been cited as the reason the project was not started.

Councillor Walker stated he would be moving a motion not to extend the application. He found Mr. Metledge was not helpful in dealing with the problems associated with the property such as having the old bowling alley removed, clearing the site, use of the site as a storage area, no maintenance of the fence around the building. After much persuasion, Mr. Metledge has levelled the lot somewhat but has not maintained the sidewalk during the winter nor mowed in the summer. The property has been for sale; therefore, he did not think Mr. Metledge had intentions of going forward with the Development Agreement. The residents in the area were willing to take the chance of having eight units, have endured problems for five years and nothing has happened to date, except for some earth being dumped on the property recently. He did not feel Mr. Metledge was co-operating in any way.

MOVED by Councillors Walker and Hanson that the request for an extension of the Development Agreement with Steven Metledge dated August 28, 1995 be denied.

Councillor Adams asked if the extension was refused, was there a need for specific reasons to be provided. Mr. Allen, the municipal solicitor, advised that no reason is required. The only restriction is that you cannot do it in bad faith in order to achieve something somewhere else unrelated to the project.


12.2 Sidewalk, Curb and Gutter - Bedford Highway

Councillor Walker advised he was receiving calls from residents who received bills for sidewalk, curb and gutter abutment charges four years after the commencement of the Bedford Highway project. He understood that since there had not been the right to petition, the residents did not have to pay these charges, especially since it was cost shared. The widening of the Bedford Highway did nothing to improve the residents' properties. He requested that a Staff Report be prepared in this regard.

Councillor Stone said the fact was there was access onto the Bedford Highway and just because there was an infrastructure program and cost sharing, it did not take away the obligation. As well, the infrastructure program or the right of petition could have nothing to do with it. If there was going to be a Staff Report prepared, then that should also be included.

Councillor Walker said the Kearney Lake Road had been widened at the same time and he understood those residents did not have to pay. He also wanted clarification in this respect.

It was agreed to request a Staff Report for the next meeting.



Mr. Danny Chedrawe expressed concern that Halifax Peninsula Community Council and Chebucto Community Council were both dealing with development issues but that issues could affect both areas. He asked how this could be dealt with. He had brought this matter up previously. As an example, he used the North West Arm as something that could affect both Community Councils.

The Chair advised there would be a public process and that advertisements were placed in the newspaper and residents of the other Community Council area were welcome to come and speak on an issue affecting Chebucto Community Council. Councillors from Halifax Peninsula Community Council would be provided with the information regarding a public meeting.

Mr. Jerry Callahan, 36 Coronation Avenue thanked Councillor Walker for his motion to deny an extension for 35 Coronation Avenue and for his diligence over the years in dealing with this property. He hoped something worthwhile could be done with the property in future.

15. NEXT MEETING - Monday, September 8, 1997


On a motion from Councillors Adams, the meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

Sandra M. Shute
Assistant Municipal Clerk