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HRM's Mayor and CAO Are Presenting to Provincial Law Amendments Today

(Tuesday, November 18, 2008) Mayor Peter Kelly and HRM's CAO, Dan English, presented to the Province's Law Amendments Committee today in support of the HRM Charter (Bill No. 179) and HRMbyDesign (Bill No.181).

Attached are the documents that were distributed at the committee meeting.

Mayor Peter Kelly

Law Amendments Committee
November 18, 2008

Bill 179 – HRM Charter

• HRM would like to thank the Premier, the Minister, UNSM, the Chamber of
Commerce, and a number of other organizations that have given their support for the
creation of the Charter.

• HRM accounts for 40% of Nova Scotia's population. Growth has been strong over
the past 25 years, with the population growing from 264,000 in 1971 to 373,000 in
2006. This is good news as a strong and growing HRM benefits the entire province.

• The Municipal Government Act was not designed to address the imbalance and
unique challenges faced by each Nova Scotia municipality. Currently, HRMrequested
amendments to the MGA on issues that only pertain to the Municipality
still must go through province-wide consultations and UNSM approval.

• HRM amendments often are of no interest to other municipalities, and in some cases
may even create issues for them.

• The Charter will provide HRM greater ease in effecting legislative change in support
of municipal initiatives. By allowing the Municipality to create administrative
amendments on matters that only affect HRM, the process will be streamlined.

• The Charter does not contain substantive changes from the current MGA; rather the
intent of the Charter is to enable HRM to deal with its specific issues in a timely way
and so increase the efficient governance of the Municipality.

• Passing the Charter will demonstrate that the Province understands the changing
urban realities of HRM and wants to be a partner to resolve them.


Bill 181 – HRMbyDesign

• Bill 181 contains enabling legislation for HRMbyDesign – the urban design study of
HRM's Regional Centre.

• Downtown Halifax is the economic, social and cultural centre of the region. A
healthy and prosperous downtown will result in a healthy and prosperous
Municipality and province.

• A key objective of HRMbyDesign's Downtown Halifax Urban Design Plan is the
implementation of a more streamlined development approvals process, to provide
more clarity and predictability for both citizens and private developers.

• Site Plan Approval has been proposed as the new development approvals process.

• Enhancements to the Site Plan Approval process are proposed in Bill 181 including
the ability to consider the design of buildings and structures, and a provision to allow
Council to establish a decision-making Design Review Committee to take its place in
the consideration of substantial development applications.

• Only once HRMbyDesign is enabled through these legislative amendments, Halifax
Regional Council will be able to implement the overall plan for downtown Halifax.

• Bill 182, Heritage Property Act, contains a provision for a 2-year demolition delay for
registered heritage buildings. A key objective of HRMbyDesign is to find the right
balance between new growth and development and protection of our heritage

• There is a tremendous amount of public support behind HRMbyDesign. A recent
web-based survey conducted by Zoomerang Online revealed that 80% of those polled
support the adoption of a more transparent and streamlined development process as
proposed by HRMbyDesign.

• Downtown Halifax needs HRMbyDesign to move forward. It will help bring more
people to live, work, and visit the downtown, providing the type of investment,
quality of building and public space design that can be noted in successful
downtowns throughout North America.




Above content last modified Thursday, November 02, 2023 at 11:40am.