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Fougere Says "Developer Architect of Own Misfortune"

(Friday, August 22/2003)-- It is the developer-- not Peninsula Community Council-- who is responsible that a proposed development agreement for construction of a major downtown redevelopment project is not going to a public hearing, Councillor Sheila Fougere said today.

Councillor Fougere said the main reason the proposed development agreement for a redevelopment of the Brewery Market is not going to a public hearing is that the developer, Halkirk Properties, "insisted " it go to Peninsula Community Council before it was ready.

"They were the architects of their own misfortune," she said

Councillor Fougere said the proposed development agreement had four major inconsistencies with the Municipal Planning Strategy (see page 2) and HRM staff recommended that it not go forward to a public hearing until these issues were resolved.

"Contrary to what many in the development community and others are saying in the media, the decision not to go forward to a public hearing was not anti-development; was not politically motivated; and was not an attempt to thwart public participation in the process. Plain and simple, the project wasn't ready to move forward, but the developer, against the advice of staff, insisted that it go to a public hearing and they lost,"she said.

Councillor Fougere said members of Community Council are not permitted under Section 85 of the Peninsula Land Use By-law to consider or approve any development project that is inconsistent with the Municipal Planning Strategy.

The Councillor said Halkirk Properties was well aware that its proposed redevelopment of the Brewery Market was inconsistent with the MPS; was well aware that HRM staff could not recommend it go forward to public hearing; and yet, they seemed to be hoping to get it approved in the court of public opinion.

Councillor Fougere, who voted along with Councillor Dawn Sloane that the project not move forward to a public hearing, took exception to certain comments in the media that a multi-million dollar downtown development was being thwarted because two members of the Peninsula Community Council were opposed to it.

"There are many good aspects of the proposed development, but there are difficulties as well. Peninsula Community Council was created more than two years ago at the insistence of the public. Many people thought local Councillors would be more sensitive to planning matters on the peninsula, rather than the entire Regional Council, which has much broader scope of interest. However, when a vote goes against a development, whether its two or 23, it seems the notion of a Community Council is all wrong," she said.

Councillor Fougere said the Halifax Municipal Planning Strategy is more than 20 years old, yet it has been amended 96 times throughout that period, so it is consistent with, and sensitive to, how the public feels about development matters in the community.

"The developer knew the project wasn't ready, and now they are crying foul and trying to blame the whole thing on Community Council. That's a little self-serving," she said.

Brewery Market Project Inconsistencies- Municipal Planning Strategy:

  • Incompatibility with registered municipal heritage properties in the area by virtue of the scale and proportion of the proposed Alexander building in relation to heritage buildings;
  • Incompatibility with established building heights within the Southern Sub-Area of the Halifax Waterfront Development Area, represented by developments approved under the current MPS policies;
  • Incompatibility with policies of the Southern Sub-Area of the Halifax Waterfront Development Area related to buildings of "human scale" within the area;
  • Incompatibility with established building heights in the South End Area Plan which lies adjacent to the proposed development.


Councillor Sheila Fougere
(902) 452-3209

Above content last modified Wednesday, May 22, 2024 at 4:36pm.