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Chebucto Community Council March 2, 1998 Agenda


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


  • Barry Allen, Municipal Solicitor
  • Gary Porter, Planner
  • Stephen Feist, Planner



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


MOVED by Councillors Adams and Hanson to approve the Minutes of meeting held on February 2, 1998 as circulated. MOTION PUT AND PASSED.


Councillor Adams requested that Correspondence, Petitions and Delegations be moved up before Public Hearings.

MOVED by Councillors Walker and Hanson 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 expressed concern that the request made by Community Council at the last meeting had not been considered by staff for inclusion in the 1998/99 budget. Rather, staff had put forward a blanket policy in the budget of not doing any snow removal from sidewalks. He wanted to redirect back to staff that at the next Community Council meeting, staff provide information on the residential assessments in Districts 15-18 and what an area rate would be for snow removal from sidewalks. That did not mean Community Council would do it, but he wanted the information. He felt it was too late for an area rate for this year but it could still be considered for the next. He was concerned that the request was falling on deaf ears.

It was agreed to request the information for the next meeting; however, if it could be ready earlier, then it could be included for budget deliberations at Regional Council.





Councillors Adams read into the record a Petition received with 103 signatures from those opposed to the development that has been suggested for the Colpitt Lake/McIntosh Run area. Having submitted this Petition to Regional Council on February 24, he wanted to note that all the individuals did not live in the immediate area but those who did not, were using the land for their own enjoyment and had their reasons for leaving the land as it is. The ones in the immediate area have other concerns as well.

MOVED by Councillors Adams and Walker to receive the Petition. MOTION PUT AND PASSED.


9.1 Case 7556 - Rezoning of Approximately 156 Acres of Land Owned by Midyat Investments Limited between McIntosh Run and Colpitt Lake in the Mainland South Area of Halifax

A Staff Report dated February 11, 1998 was before Community Council together with an Information Report dated February 27, 1998.

The Chair outlined the format for the process for the Public Hearing.

Gary Porter, Planner provided an overview, with the aid of overheads, of the application. Should Community Council agree to rezone the land, it would be necessary to consider a Development Agreement at a later date pursuant to an RDD. During the course of his presentation, Mr. Porter pointed out that the lands were presently designated Holding under the Municipal Development Plan for the area. The current Plan policy said that the Holding zone should remain in effect until such time as servicing is available. It was determined that the land in question could be serviced so there was no need to continue with the Holding zone. There was some thought that the land was a park but, through the Development Agreement, it would be possible to acquire 53 acres for park purposes. The Municipal Development Plan requires that the proposal be reviewed to determine it is not premature or inappropriate by reason of the fiscal capacity of the municipality to absorb the cost related to the development and the adequacy of all services provided by HRM to serve the development. Staff reviewed the proposal in detail and was of the opinion that services were adequate and there was no direct effect on HRM's capital budget. As well, the Land Development Distribution Strategy for Halifax suggests that the area should have a population of 35,000 and currently it was approximately 20,000. The development would generate approximately 2500 people. There has to be a certain population to support such services as schools and fire and there were examples of what declining population can do in Mainland South already. The sewer system was designed to accommodate the lands and sewage would go untreated to Herring Cove; however, at this time, harbour solution issues were being addressed. There has not been a moratorium on dumping sewer in the harbour and it was where all sewer from Halifax and parts of Dartmouth goes. With regard to the Rotary, the increase amounts to 1% annually. Staff felt the application meets the policy requirements within the Municipal Development Plan and was recommending approval of both the rezoning and the Development Agreement, as attached to the Staff Report.

Councillor Stone referred to the two Public Information Meetings held and asked if staff had considered the concerns from the public and addressed them. In reply, Mr. Porter advised most of them were addressed in the Staff Report and the Information Report which included detail with regard to the Rotary and school overcrowding. He understood there was a commitment to have students from the new Beechville development bused to Mainland South. This particular development would probably develop at the rate of 50 homes per year.

Councillor Stone said he understood there were 12 phases over 20 years. Mr. Porter said this was a realistic time frame but it would depend on the market.

Presentation by Applicant

Mr. Barry Zwicker, Wallace Macdonald & Lively, on behalf of the applicant, advised that since Spring, 1996 they had met and talked with people and interest groups in the area to determine if there were specific concerns that should be addressed in the early stages of the development. From those meetings and from input from the Public Information Meetings, it was felt that the majority of the concerns had been incorporated into the design of the project. The project occupies 156 acres, 80 acres for residential purposes, 53 acres for park and open space and 23 acres for roads. Whereas the requirement for parkland was normally 5%, it was actually 66% of the land being utilized for residential development, without the area utilized by streets. If the entire area was used as a percentage, then 34% of the total area was being dedicated as parkland. There would be 509 single family homes, ranging in lot sizes from 32' in width to excess of 50', 58 lots for semi-detached, 74 townhouse units in two clusters and three apartment buildings, for a total of 843 units. It could take, in an optimistic market, 15-20 years for the project to be fully built.

As to the area being looked at, Mr. Zwicker advised it was the area which could be serviced by gravity and the system had the capacity to handle the area without the need for additional pumping stations. The early stages of the proposal would see a connection made to the existing McIntosh Estates followed by a connection to Drysdale Road. This was being done in conjunction with a traffic study undertaken for the project, reviewed by Traffic Services of HRM. The study recommended that there was existing capacity in the present network to deal with an additional 200 units before there was a need to connect at Drysdale. In the Development Agreement, there was agreement to restrict it to half that amount. There was also provision that, after a certain number, to bring a third access on.

Mr. Zwicker advised that incorporated into the Development Agreement were things like the impact of urban stormwater runoff making its way ultimately to Williams Lake. The plan was to incorporate more open space in that area and pull away from the Williams Lake watershed such that all the developed land occurring on the site would not fall into the Williams Lake watershed but drain towards McIntosh Estates, which was where the plan policies indicate storm water should be directed, and dispersed throughout the site so as not to concentrate storm water. By leaving a considerable amount of open space along McIntosh Run and by dispersing the number of outlets for storm water, the impact would be minimized on McIntosh Road. As far as urban runoff making its way to Colpitt Lake and eventually into Williams Lake was concerned, the proposal was pulled back totally from that area and turned into parkland.

With regard to the floodplain of McIntosh Run, Mr. Zwicker said that no portion of the development would be contained in the 1:100 year floodplain of McIntosh Run. The parkland on the site was back further again from the 100 year floodline indicated on the Municipal Planning Strategy.

With regard to the need for more parkland, Mr. Zwicker said that discussions took place with Recreation staff who were looking at: the need for passive parkland, maintaining trail systems, providing for open space as well as active playground facilities. A number of sites were provided on the project, one large one in the middle to handle a full size soccer field and the applicant proposed, as part of the Development Agreement, to provide the grading for the site. Another parkland piece on the northeast side was sufficient in size to handle another type of active recreational facility that could be added to other parkland, assuming the land on the other side may develop in future. A number of tot lots were being provided within the project of sufficient size to handle playground equipment that can be put in during development.

With regard to a suggestion for more units clustered tighter together to use less land and make it more advantageous for transit services, Mr. Zwicker advised this had been done. As part of the re-design, a road was actually eliminated so that the highest density of the project happens in the centre, which is easily accessible by transit and has the most direct access to parkland. In terms of maintaining the existing trail system, the areas presently used for a natural pathway system would all be maintained as well as linkages from McIntosh Run through to Colpitt Lake.

With regard to tree cutting, Mr. Zwicker said a survey had been undertaken to determine the extent of the vegetation. A fair amount of it was burned over in years past and was exposed bedrock. In the area where there are mature trees, 75-80% of it would be maintained by pulling the development in. No trees over 4" in diameter that exist outside of where the streets and actual homesites have to be built, will be cut. Normally this was a 6" requirement.

With regard to architectural style particularly regarding small lot single family developments which have occurred over the last while and as a result of a recent report by staff, Mr. Zwicker said there was agreement to include architectural controls in the Development Agreement not unlike the controls added to the Morris Lake development. It would require fairly extensive review of each plan.

Mr. Zwicker added that the agreement included sidewalks on all streets and security for each phase.

There were no questions from Community Council members.

Speakers in Favour

Mr. Danny Chedrawe, 153 Spinnaker Drive said he did not have an interest in this land but had voiced some concerns at the Public Information Meeting and reviewed the development since then. It was hard for developers to always agree with residents; residents wanted no development and developers wanted to develop to the maximum. It was not practical to leave undeveloped; the municipality needed revenue and growth. Developers should have a right to develop land but this did not necessarily mean giving a blank cheque. There should be controls and guidelines to development to ensure quality and control. He supported the Development Agreement process. There were certain guidelines in a development agreement that a developer has to comply with. He understood the sensitivity of the residents insofar as the lakes and watercourses were concerned in the area but felt the developer had a good professional team concerned with the protection of watercourses.

There were no further speakers in favour.

Speakers in Opposition

Mr. Michael Vlahos, 133 Abrams Way, advised that after the recent Public Information Meeting, he personally canvassed his neighbours to get a feel for what they were feeling about the development. There was concern raised with regard to no environmental impact assessments done. There was concern over how runoff would affect not only McIntosh Run but also its floodline. There was talk about the inadequacy of the existing sewer trunk and concern over the buffer of the development encroaching within 100' of Colpitt Lake. There were several compelling business economic reasons - the negative image of the builder Armoyan associated with Midyat Investments. The fear was for the potential abuses and violations of policy code, environment and other standards and the impact this would have on the existing community. Since the demise of the PST and GST rebates, building in McIntosh Estates, where he resides, has proceeded at a snail's pace. With new housing sales so flat in the area, residents were wondering why such a large scale development was proceeding so quickly. There were many desirable apartments found throughout HRM that remain vacant today. A recent civic assessment of his home and others in the McIntosh Estates, showed values have fallen. Although the short term benefit to reduce taxation was desirable, there was a real concern over the future market value of property in the area with such a huge and lengthy development. This led him to ask if he would have purchased his first home in the area if he knew there was such a proposal and its effects. Out of instinct, he felt he would have backed away and, therefore, asked himself what other person would want to purchase his home with the full knowledge that the land would be developed. There were also compelling safety issues - years of blasting, heavy earth moving/construction equipment, traffic. He was not against development and few people would categorize themselves as being anti-development. The value of lifestyle appreciation, however, increases dramatically when the community is threatened. He requested that Community Council vote against the rezoning and allow time for the community to obtain more information, and become involved in developing a new set of planning and development policies for the area. He submitted a Petition from residents from the west end of Halifax, which indicated that residents throughout HRM desire to participate in plans and policies guiding development in communities. He read the Petition.

Mr. Elliott Beatty, 11A Halls Road stated he was not against development, acknowledged that a lot of work went into the proposal but asked how many people had come forward saying there was a need for the development in the first place. He expressed concern re blasting so much bedrock, problems with access, sewage treatment. Over the next 20 years the idea could become cloudy and redirected and there was the possibility that it could decline. He did not feel that the additional homes would save the Spryfield business area. He felt all the trees should be left.

Mr. Steve Sutherland, 7 Granby Court stated he was not opposed to development but there were a number of unanswered questions and the proposal answered a lot of questions that did not need to be answered. He was concerned with street capacity and traffic flow - particularly with the extension to Drysdale Road, impact on the schools and McIntosh Run and the time line. The right of way for Drysdale Road was currently 66'. It was an old forest area with a lot of fallen trees. In order to ensure safety for the road and bridge, the developer would have to clear cut land well back of what is owned to keep trees from falling across. If Drysdale Road was widened, he asked who would pay for it. With regard to traffic flow, he counted cars a few evenings over the past couple weeks and 2-300 cars per hour used Drysdale Road. Even if you allowed 1600 trips per day, as soon as the bridge is built, you would be looking at an additional 1200 trips a day when the new homes are built and occupied. With regard to school load, it was probably fine at the moment but it grows each year. He did not care how many cars went through the Rotary or out North West Arm Drive; his concern was Drysdale. There were two schools where students frequently cross Drysdale with no crosswalks. There would have to be upgrading for safety and his question was who would pay. With regard to McIntosh Run, in addition to visual ruin by putting in the bridge and messing up the migratory waterfowl area, there would be impact of storm drainage because there was 23 acres of pavement. McIntosh Run today was full of plastic bags and things that HRM uses to block off lanes on roads. A 15-20 year licence for development was too long; it should be a phased method for the developer to come back to allow for checks and balances. It was not a question of what you would leave your children but, because of the 15-20 year time frame, it was a question of what you leave your grandchildren.

Mr. Fred Holtz, President, Fergusons Cove Residents Association and Co-Chair of the Wildlands Working Group, stated that back in 1987 the former City of Halifax, upon the adoption of the Mainland South Plan, reviewed the Holding zone area west of the McIntosh Run. He quoted from an Information Report prior to June, 1989 indicating that the PAC recommended that Council request staff to develop a comprehensive plan for the areas within the serviceable boundary located east of Herring Cove Road and report back in six months, based on the premise that a Comprehensive plan would avoid long term problems created when large parcels of land are developed on the basis of ownership. Staff advised that the RDD would be sufficient mechanism for dealing with problems or setting up mechanisms for development in the area. With regard to the proposed treatment plant on McNabs Island and years of participation by the Wildlands Working Group, the federal/provincial environmental assessment review panel brought forth its recommendations in 1993, one of which called for a new detailed area plan for Mainland South. The efforts to get the former City to review the proposal went to PAC but, with amalgamation, there was no further discussion because the PAC ceased to exist. He argued that this large parcel of land was exciting the Wildlands group interest and concern because it needed to be looked at overall. They were not opposed to development but would like to see development occur consistent with a particular set of values and within a planning process which requires public participation. While there has been increased public participation recently, there was evidence that the RDD designation was not sufficient or there would not be as many people here this evening. There needed to be rules to preserve the heritage of the community and there was a need to go back to the original idea of re-establishing a public participatory process.

Mr. Kermit Stick, 19 Kirk Road said the impact that a development such as this would have on the greater community was strong. To make a decision on the information received from staff and the applicant, there were too many questions. You needed to consider not only grandchildren but generations; many cultures look at the impact on seven generations. It was too soon to vote yes. Once you approve it, it was too late to change anything.

Mr. David Drysdale, 833 Herring Cove Road said the entire recommendation fails because it does not include any calculation on the effect of services for already approved developments. The sanitary sewer had capacity but the storm sewer feeds into the system and there was no capacity to deal with that. There will eventually have to be a storm sewer built. There was no consideration given to the number of cars coming from the Sobeys development. This would all add up to a blocked Rotary, peak times like years ago, there would be a problem selling the houses, the Rotary would have to be improved over time. Fire protection was already inadequate. The Herring Cove Road Fire Station was currently staffed with four people, a driver, an officer and two firefighters to service almost 500 private residences, 130 apartment buildings. Second call would mean an extra three to five minutes. He asked what could two firefighters do for a fire in an apartment building fully involved.

Ms. Krista Cook, 14 Colpitt Lake Road expressed concern with runoff because landscaping is not done until after development, with blasting damage to homes up to a mile away. Over the past eight years, in her area the storm drains overflow in a heavy rainstorm and run down directly into Williams Lake. With increased housing, there would be a greater effect from runoff. She enjoyed the wildlife around Colpitt Lake and questioned the sanity of 800 homes emptying their toilets into Herring Cove Bay and how the people of Herring Cove felt about it. She pointed out there were tourist dollars involved; tourists liked Herring Cove and the areas out around there because they were green now.

Mr. Ernest Pass, Williams Lake Road said he saw more questions than answers. With regard to the parkland, it sounded like a generous offer and commitment but it was still dependent on HRM being willing to accept the donation of the land and being in a financial position to support and maintain it if it is accepted. The traffic impact was glossed over. He referred to the Minutes of the Public Information Meeting and quoted statistics re Rotary traffic. He did not understand the mathematics. There seemed to be four roads projected from the development which seemed to go nowhere. With regard to schools and not being able to stop development because there was no room, the answer received from the School Board - included in the Information Report - advised that students would be assigned to a nearby school but he asked what was considered a nearby school. As well, the School Board indicated it was not possible to predict growth as the required information was not available.

Ms. Susan Mercer, Abrams Way strongly urged Community Council to think about what the citizens were saying. They did not want it to go ahead as a 20-year project - do it in phases, wisely and with research.

Mr. Alan Ruffman, 202 Fergusons Cove Road said one of the reasons there is a holding zone over much of the acreage going from McIntosh Run to Purcells Cove Road was because of people from Herring Cove who kept saying there was enough raw sewage going into Herring Cove and for the former City to get their act together. The best they could do was to recognize that the most developable part of the city was Mainland North and Mainland South would have a holding zone put on it. All the planners would agree that it was done so that the city could do a reasonable plan for the southern sub-area. As far back as 1987, citizens in both the County area and the Williams Lake area made requests to the former City to do the plan. Staff, led by Richard Matthews at the time, said it did not need to be done - RDD would do it nicely. They were saying, in effect, that they would let the developers do the planning to come in parcel by parcel to be accepted or rejected. There has been no framework for the wildlands ever since the Halifax Municipal Development Plan of 1975, Halifax Plan 1978 and Mainland South plan 1987. He asked where the transit route has been laid out and where the bus would turn around. He wanted to know if there was a design for the bridge at Drysdale and would there be design controls. With regard to sewer, he asked where it came across and pointed out that gravity sewer was a matter of interpretation. In his opinion, it would come down the hill into a pipe in McIntosh Run, drop into the sewer to Princeton Avenue. Every time it rains, there had to be a combined sewer overflow in a number of spots. He asked what the expense would be to add yet more pumping at Princeton Avenue to get more sanitary sewer and the leakage and infiltration up over Chambers Hill to Herring Cove where there is no treatment. Councillors were in the chair but the developer was doing the planning. This was an atrocious way to be doing planning for the wildlands but it was what was inherited from the former City of Halifax. At least the planning for District 5 of Halifax County attempted to address the wildlands the best it could. The Crown lands were put into Conservation Zone trying to show some guidance.

The Chair advised that Mr. Ruffman's questions would be answered by staff after everyone has had a chance to speak.

Mr. Neil Baines, South End Halifax urged Community Council to vote against the rezoning. The area known as the wildlands, of which the Midyat lands are an integral part, represents the last of the great relatively unspoiled areas and is part of Halifax's heritage. The loss would be tragic and a decision to develop would be irrevocable. Future generations will wonder where was the vision for the lakes. A passive recreation area costs the municipality no money in maintenance. He asked not to let the slogan "Love the Way We Live" become hollow. The importance of the resource was recognized in the Parkland Strategy recently adopted by Regional Council which envisions a network of trails between several lakes in the area and called for an environmental study. If this proposal is approved, it will never happen because it would lead to the adoption of the Mainland South ring road which is proposed in the Go Plan. He referred to Minutes of the Public Information Meeting held in September where both HRM planning staff and the developer saw the North West Arm extension as an integral part of the project which would pierce the Purcells Cove backlands from two directions and open up the backlands and Purcells Cove to further development. The buffer of 100' proposed by the developer hardly warrants the designation as parkland. Even if the water quality of the lakes is not affected, the aesthetics and wildlife habitat would be irreparably affected. In the long run, these developments cost just as much money to the municipality as they bring in in tax revenue.

The Chair indicated at this time that Community Council had received Mr. Baines' written submission prior to the meeting as well as one from Ralph Logan, 27 Litchfield Crescent in opposition.

Ms. Joan O'Keefe, 267 Herring Cove Road said that if it is approved at all, it should be done cautiously and a long time from now. You needed to look at what you should be grateful for and the needs of all those who are not here who think they are not important enough to come and have their say.

Mr. John Maher, Armshore Drive said as far as he could see, the development would not harm any possible recreational facilities of Colpitt Lake, he liked it on the whole and it went further than most developers to satisfy everyone. He had objections, however, to blasting because the area resembles Peggys Cove. Fill would have to be brought in which meant movement of trucks and there should be an access road for trucks, not through several developments. He hoped the planners would stay on their toes if the development goes ahead because he understood there had been problems with the Armoyan developments.

A gentleman from 16 Oakmount Drive, Bedford said he owned undeveloped land next door to the proposed development. He referred to the dotted line and access points - roads to nowhere - and advised that Subdivision By-laws required every 1000' of boundary to include an access road to the neighbouring properties.

Mr. Martin Willison, 40 Rockingstone Road said the developer was in the wrong place. The land is unsuitable for development; most of the land does not have trees but bare rock. He questioned this area as a good place to develop. He did not know if the proposal was sensible because there was no vision for the development of Spryfield yet this development, if it goes ahead, will create a vision of the environment forced to conform to the world of humanity. He recommended less dynamite, less force and more respect for the land and its character and not develop a huge piece of granite.

Ms. Kathleen Hall, Purcells Cove Road said you had to say no to any development until there are properly developed plans. She had asked Councillor Hanson to put forth a resolution and read same: "Be It Resolved that the application made by Midyat Investments Limited to rezone 156 acres along McIntosh Run be rejected and Be It Further Resolved that there be no rezoning in the Holding area, otherwise known as the wildlands, until there has been a review of the Mainland South Planning Strategy regarding this area to incorporate community concerns and principles of environmental sustainability including protection of lakes and waterways". There was a lot of enthusiasm and energy to be put into something that everyone could be proud of.

Mr. Graham Read, 19 Lawnwood Avenue, Armdale said tonight there was a call for a detailed area plan for Mainland South. In the early 1990's he became a member of PAC and there had been suggestions that a detailed area plan be developed for the holding zone of Mainland South. The most significant response he remembered was that it was unnecessary to prepare a detailed area plan because market forces would establish development patterns. He contended that was not planning and it was time to develop the detailed area plan for the Holding zone so that projects such as this can be evaluated in a broader context and how it will fit into the overall scheme of things. The Planning Act requires that there be a review commenced five years after the adoption of the Planning Strategy. The Planning Strategy was adopted in 1986/87 and there has been no overall review with a public participation process since that time although there have been changes and modifications. Citizens, however, have not had an opportunity to look at these changes and modifications in the overall scheme of things along with projects such as this proposed development.

Ms. Helen Lofgren, Albion Road said she was concerned about building on granite, about blasting. People had gardens and yards and subdivisions had covenants which made provision for what you could have in your yard. She did not know anyone who had an exclusive rock garden and, therefore, felt there would be fill put in. When fill is put in and lawn put in, it only stays green because it has heavy applications of pesticides and fertilizers. She was concerned because the application of those chemicals would have an impact on the residents and runoff. There is an active movement within the municipality to have the spraying of chemicals banned from lawns and gardens which was coming before HRM at the present time. A development like this on top of rock should not be considered until this very serious question is addressed.

Mr. Peter Pelham, Herring Cove explained that the provincial government proclaimed a law in 1973 that each community must treat its sewage in the receiving waters. Ecum Secum, Joggins, New Minas, Shearwater/Eastern Passage, Bedford, Timberlea have treatment plants because the laws were obeyed and respected. He referred to the Staff Report which indicated there was no policy guidance with respect to treatment but the former City of Halifax did not adhere to the laws. Historically, a lot of food for Herring Cove came out of Long Lake, which is now a provincial park and there was a Water Protection Act over and above the municipality's own drainage and storm sewer law that says you cannot dump untreated sewage, waste and stormwater in a fresh water body. It seemed amiss to be here today discussing whether or not another development should go in to break the laws proclaimed in 1972. It was now 1998 and residents of Herring Cove have fought to have the laws to treat sewage obeyed and then welcome development enthusiastically. He acknowledged that the developer had a right to develop but not a right to violate the law. Before there was any consideration for anything else in Spryfield, he was asking for a treatment plant. He asked how the municipality could superimpose these unlawful standards on a former County area which has a history of respecting laws. He did not want his tax dollar going for unlawful activity and did not want people to think that Community Council would act outside of the law.

There were no further speakers in opposition to the application.

Information from Staff

Mr. Porter advised the following with regard to comments made. No development would be permitted within the watershed of Colpitt Lake. Storm water will be discharged into McIntosh Run, which is the policy guidance in the Municipal Development Plan. There will be adequate controls to stop infiltration which will be worked out at the design stage. There will be multiple discharge points so there will not be a big rush of water at any one spot. There is a Blasting Ordinance in effect which the developer would be required to follow. There was the option of breaking the rock as opposed to blasting but it would take longer. A traffic report was done by a professional traffic consultant and other approved and potential developments were taken into consideration. With regard to traffic on Drysdale Road and the figures quoted, he would have to see the figures and compare them to figures from Traffic Division. With regard to schools, there was no definitive answer from the School Board as to where each child would go; there was no five-year plan but children are accommodated within the existing system. With regard to preservation of the natural area, this was a privately owned piece of land. The Planning Act does not exactly prevent the Municipality from designating it as a park but, if this is done, HRM has three years to buy it and pay the owner 10% of the assessed value of the land for each year it is not bought. Then, after three years, if the land is not bought, it would have to be rezoned back to a zone that allows the owner to do something. There is no commitment on the part of HRM. The agreement saves quite a bit of the land and people talked about going in and enjoying walking on it but it was actually private property. Through this agreement, the public would have the right to go in and use the land designated for park purposes. With regard to storm sewers in general in Mainland South, there are streets where there are no storms sewers. This particular development will have separate sanitary and storm systems. Only the sanitary sewer will go to Roach's Pond pumping station. There is a requirement for a provision for access to abutting lands and that was why there were roads that appeared to go nowhere. The Route 20 Herring Cove stops at Drysdale Road. Also Route 14 and 32 are up near the shopping centre. There is no plan at the moment for buses to come into the area but Halifax Transit indicated it would come when there was a demand. The streets are laid out in a circular fashion so it is possible for the bus to go in, turn around and not end up on dead end streets. There has been no design of the bridge shown to staff at this time but it would have to be designed to conform to all HRM standards. Regarding adequate separation for pedestrians and vehicle traffic on the bridge, it would be incorporated in the design. The buffer was a minimum of 100' and would include the floodplain. It was true the Plan was adopted in 1987 and the Planning Act says there should be a five-year review but it was a matter of staff resources. There were other Plans outdated more so than this one. He was not optimistic that a Plan Review would designate the area as a park for the reasons mentioned earlier re purchase of land. Council has made a priority to come up with harbour solutions and a report was expected very soon. Chemicals on lawns needed to be addressed on a broader scale than this development. A lot of Drysdale Road was 66'. If it was to be widened to 74', some land would have to be acquired but he did not know at whose expense. It would not have to be widened until such time as vehicular counts were there; however, the developer could build 100 homes before the Drysdale connection had to be put in. The next cutoff point was Phase 6 for a third access.

Councillor Walker asked why the lands were zoned Holding. In reply, Mr. Porter advised that in 1978 the lands were designated and zoned Holding when the Municipal Development Plan was first adopted. There were policies in the Municipal Development Plan that said development should be discouraged in this area and encouraged in Mainland North. The original policy was for a five-year time period. When the Mainland South Plan was adopted, the designation of the lands was changed from Holding to RDD, which was a major policy shift that said eventually the lands would be developed. The policy in the Plan says that the Holding zone shall remain until such time as it can be serviced.

Councillor Walker asked for confirmation that the lands were put in Holding until services were in place to accommodate the lands. Mr. Porter said, yes that was how he read the Plan. He added that the name "Holding zone" was misleading; it was not like a moratorium zone. A Holding zone was an R-1 zone that permits development on wells and septic tanks as opposed to water and sewer, which is the traditional R-1 zone. If the developer wanted to and realizing the soil conditions, the zoning would allow the land to be developed right now with single family dwellings on wells and septic tanks. They would be big lots and it might not be economical to do that but there was no moratorium.

At this time - 9:20 p.m. - it was agreed to take a recess. The meeting resumed at 9:30 p.m.

Rebuttal by Applicant

Mr. Barry Zwicker responded with the following comments. He said that what was being left for the grandchildren was a community to live in, with an opportunity for housing and with natural open space and active playgrounds. The developer has attempted to put forward a plan in the framework of the policies that presently exist. Neither Wallace Macdonald & Lively nor the client could anticipate what the policies will be in the future but had to work within the documentation that is approved written policy. This has been done and the Staff Report acknowledges this. With regard to calculations not taking into account background traffic and additional growth that will occur as a result of development other than this, the traffic study projects a certain amount of growth outside the development and indicates how it is impacted as a result of this project and growth that will happen in the community outside. This was built into projections for each of the roads analyzed, including the Rotary. With regard to piped storm sewer, the system has a separate piped storm sewer system consistent with the policies in the Planning Strategy in terms of where the storm water is to be directed and will not negatively impact any of the storm water systems. The Colpitt Lake development, where it had been indicated there were problems with storm water, was outside the watershed of the area. Nothing the developer does will have an impact on storm sewer systems or sanitary sewer systems at all. With regard to parkland, if HRM was not prepared to take the parkland, then the developer would be prepared to talk to the various conservation groups and deed it to them so that the land would become public. As to where the roads go, this has been answered and you cannot create a landlock situation. The process set up in the Planning Strategy, as amended, put an RDD designation on the lands and envisaged an applicant coming back to change the zoning and bring forward a Development Agreement. The applicant was 100% consistent with the planning policies set out for the area. Halifax Transit indicated it was not prepared to put buses in yet but as the development grows, they could. The roads, however, were transit friendly. As to whether or not the buffers were too small at 100', there was one spot in the development where the buffer comes to 120'; otherwise, it was 175'-500' in width in terms of buffering around the lakes. He asked that consideration of the planning policies in place in the Planning Strategy guide the decision. The developer cannot force HRM to review the plans and he had written a letter to the Director of Community Planning advising there was a cry coming from the community to initiate a Secondary Plan. The developer, however, was not prepared to pull back this application in anticipation of a process that may take a number of years. If the vision for what happens to the rest of the land in Spryfield sets the stage for open space, separation standard, storm water management, architectural controls, pathways, housing mix, it was not a bad model.

Mr. Zwicker concluded that there was a two-part process to consider. The design of the bridge was a detail design element for the Development Agreement stage. Tonight Community Council was considering the rezoning and at some future time would consider the details of the Development Agreement after the rezoning is in place, assuming approval. As much as it may be appropriate to consider the emotional side of the decision, based on the comments tonight, Community Council must consider the policies and what staff put forward in terms of recommendations. To make decisions outside of the policies renders all the policies within HRM useless and that was not what they were designed for. He believed in the Planning Strategy approach for setting policy and for reviewing them on a regular basis. Tonight, to be consistent with the Planning Strategy, Community Council should consider the rezoning in a positive light and then get back together to deal with the details of the Development Agreement.

Decision by Council

Councillor Stone acknowledged that people were concerned about what was going to happen in their neighbourhood but the land is privately owned, not parkland, and something was going to happen to it. As was mentioned, part of the Municipal Planning Strategy is to make sure there are policies in place to make sure it is done compatible to the neighbourhood. So far, there have been two Public Information Meetings and this Public Hearing to find out the concerns of the neighbourhood. At this time, Community Council either has to deal with it or give the community a chance to hear how the concerns have been addressed. From what he heard, people wanted things to remain the same but he was not sure that could happen. As the Chairman, he was prepared to see what happens and was open to members of Community Council to make a motion or refer it back to staff.

Councillor Adams said this was indeed a unique situation whereby there is a development in one District which affects not only one District but another as well - Districts 17 and 18. There have been a number of issues raised this evening and also at the two Public Information Meetings and he wanted to touch upon some of those concerns. He referred to Phase I of 100 units and the capacity of St. Michaels Avenue. He was not satisfied with the answer from the School Board that children could be accommodated but there are no distances given as to how far the children must travel and it did not take into consideration that Beechville/Lakeside/Timberlea may be bringing students into the Spryfield area. With regard to firefighters, there are more than four firefighters in the station at any one time and he brought this issue forward during budget deliberations today. As well, there was not only reserve available from Bayers Road but from the Harriets ield and Herring Cove Volunteer Fire Departments. With regard to harbour cleanup, the zone was Holding for a reason. His interpretation of the reason was not to dump further untreated sewage into the community of Herring Cove. The Holding zone was for septic and wells only. It was odd how a project 5-10 km. away from a community could have such an impact on it, not only a physical impact but a moral/ethical impact. There will be a report coming to Regional Council regarding harbour solutions in the near future and he would be meeting with staff to discuss the future of cleanup in Herring Cove. He was personally committed to making this the first plant done in HRM. With that could be the possibility of clean drinking water for Herring Cove, working with the Halifax Regional Water Commission. He referred to the Municipal Planning Strategy for Mainland South approved in 1987, and which should have been reviewed in five years. He acknowledged that Mr. Zwicker was right that Midyat worked along the lines of the Plan. As to why the Plan was not reviewed, he had been told it was too expensive but there were also the non-monetary costs involved. He acknowledged that the residents were not against development but wanted to help with the Municipal Planning Strategy and work hand in hand with Armoyan Group to parallel a process so that development could go through the way they would like. If the review had been done, he felt it would have been a two-second Public Hearing tonight. He was faced with a situation of looking at the legal and moral aspects and he was elected to protect the community's interests.

MOVED by Councillors Adams and Hanson that the application made by Midyat Investments Limited to rezone 156 acres of land along McIntosh Run be rejected and there be no rezoning in the Holding area, otherwise known as the wildlands, until there has been a review of the Mainland South Planning Strategy regarding this area to incorporate community concerns and principles of environmental sustainability, including protection of the lakes and waterways.

Councillor Walker asked the Municipal Solicitor, because the Plan was not reviewed in five years, did it throw the Plan out. In reply, Mr. Allen advised that there is a Plan that exists and any planning decisions have to be based on the policies in the Plan as it exists at the moment. The fact that it was not reviewed is not relevant.

Councillor Walker asked for confirmation that the development application has gone along with the present Planning Strategy and is valid. In reply, Mr. Allen said it appears from what was said that it was designed with the existing policies in mind and it was up to Community Council tonight to decide whether the rezoning and development would meet the policies that now exist.

Councillor Walker said he could not support the motion on the floor at this time. He agreed there were a lot of questions asked tonight that needed answers. The motion on the floor did not give any answers and, if it passed, the answers would not have to be given. He felt it should go to staff and then be debated at the next meeting to allow enough information to make a proper decision. He did not see how you could make a proper decision when so many questions had been asked and there was nothing in writing. He would, therefore, be voting against the motion. If the motion passes, however, the issue is not ended because there is another process in place for the developer. He wanted to see Community Council do all its homework before anything is passed or defeated.

Councillor Hanson said the message has been loud and clear that this is not an anti-development motion; what it was doing was allowing an opportunity to be part of the Plan. It was a people's motion. The comments made here tonight are responsible and he listened very carefully to every detail. It allows the opportunity for proper planning. He pointed out there is development going on at present in Mainland South that is far from fruition; all the motion was asking for was allowing a time gap for public input into the process.

Councillor Stone said this was not an easy decision. There certainly was a strong feeling on the part of the residents that they did not want this to happen. There is a Staff Report indicating that the developer has followed all the regulations and policies and there was a recommendation from staff for approval. There were many concerns that the residents had that he agreed with and would like to see them addressed but one of the ways it can be addressed is by the Development Agreement which also provides the opportunity for public input. He had received a fair number of calls and correspondence which indicated they were not against development but keep the area the way it is. The bottom line was that the area belongs to somebody and they are following the process. While there are things that have not been done in the past, the information available is that the Plan before us is reasonable and is following a process. For Community Council to do what the motion says, really does not delay it but the intent is to kill it. He would have preferred that this be delayed or deferred until all residents had a chance for more input but the input had to be what were the changes and what could be done to make it better, reduce the density, help plan it better. He was hearing from most people, however, that they did not want it, period and he did not think that was one of the options. What was happening was that HRM was not prepared to buy the land and it has not been the case that citizens were coming forward to buy it. His problem was dealing with an emotional or legal issue and what he was hearing was that all the policies have been followed and while he sympathized with the motion, he could not support it at this time either. He preferred to defer it to give the residents a chance to make a more acceptable development but if it was to do nothing and leave it the way it is, he did not think it was possible unless someone else was prepared to buy it. This process was an opportunity to make the best of the development of somebody else's land.

The Chair then acknowledged that there could be a tie vote and asked the Municipal Solicitor what happens in the case of a tie.

Mr. Allen replied that in the case of a tie vote, the motion is defeated.

Councillor Adams then asked when the Chair could vote - only in the event of a tie or all the time. In reply, Mr. Allen replied all the time.

Councillor Adams said he was disappointed in some of the comments he was hearing and amazed as well because he heard very few people say they did not want development. He would have supported the project if the Municipal Planning Strategy had been reviewed after five years with input from the community. He would not sit here and hold the citizens responsible for negligence, whether on staff, Council's or his own part, and he would not spit in the face of the people of Herring Cove by continuing to dump raw sewage into Herring Cove. He asked the Councillors who were not supporting his motion to ask themselves the question: could you dump more sewage in Herring Cove and, through no fault of the developer, hold the citizens responsible for a Municipal Planning Strategy which is flawed.

Question on the motion was called. The vote was a tie vote - 2-2.


Councillor Stone suggested then that it should be sent back to staff to get further information and further involvement of the residents to try to get an acceptable development that would be appropriate for the neighbourhood.

Councillor Walker said here again he has heard another definition of Holding zone by Councillor Adams. He wanted it brought back at the next Community Council that if indeed Holding was placed there to not dump raw sewage into Herring Cove, then he would like to know that. He wanted it spelled out by staff and also wanted to know the status of the provincial law for treatment of sewage in 1972-73 - was HRM in violation. He also wanted answers to all the other questions asked tonight.

MOVED by Councillors Walker and Stone to refer the concerns and suggestions back to staff for further information and to address in writing the concerns and legalities of what has occurred this evening and what can occur if the motion had passed.

Councillor Adams said that with regard to his "definition" of Holding zone - statement made earlier in the meeting - the Minutes should reflect it was his interpretation, not definition.

Question on the motion was called. The vote was a tie vote - 2-2.


The Chair declared a deadlock.

MOVED BY Councillors Walker and Adams to close the Public Hearing. MOTION PUT AND PASSED.


10.1 Case 7622 - Clayton Park West - Phase 4B

A Staff Report dated February 17, 1998 was before Community Council. Stephen Feist, Planner provided an overview of the report, with the aid of overheads.

There were no questions from Community Council members. Councillor Stone, however, expressed support for the application.

MOVED by Councillors Walker and Hanson to approve the Stage II Development Agreement presented as Attachment II to the Staff Report dated February 17, 1998. 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.

Ms. Bonnie Katz Webber, Clayton Park Homeowners Association requested permission to ask questions. The Chair pointed out this application was not one that followed the Public Hearing process but he allowed her to ask the questions. Mr. Mike Willett, Clayton Developments provided answers to her questions.


11. MOTIONS - None

12. ADDED ITEMS - None



15. NEXT MEETING - Monday, April 6, 1998


On a motion by Councillor Adams, the meeting adjourned at 10:40 p.m.

Sandra M. Shute
Assistant Municipal Clerk