News / Halifax

Halifax regional centre plan meeting draws a crowd, brings forward ideas

Event at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth was a chance for education and input.

A Halifax regional municipality planning staffer talks to residents next to a wall of suggestions for the municipality's new centre plan.

Zane Woodford / Metro Order this photo

A Halifax regional municipality planning staffer talks to residents next to a wall of suggestions for the municipality's new centre plan.

Dozens of people from across Halifax Regional Municipality came out to help shape the future of the urban core on Monday night.

The event at Alderney Landing in Dartmouth was the first public meeting for the municipality’s new regional centre plan.

“Tonight is all about education,” said HRM urban design program manager Jacob Ritchie.

“We want people to understand what the centre plan is, what it isn’t in some regards, and we want people to tell us what they love about their community, and what they want to protect.”

Ritchie gave short presentations about the plan, and people were invited to write down their ideas for the plan on sticky notes, placing them into one of seven categories including land use and design, mobility, public spaces and places, and culture and heritage.

The plan will update the municipality’s planning strategies in peninsular Halifax and the area of Dartmouth roughly within the boundaries of Highway 111.

“This is a chance to take a bunch of plans that existed prior to amalgamation -- and really when a different population lived in the regional centre -- and really update them for today’s population,” Ritchie said.

“What this comprehensive plan for the regional centre does is provide clarity that when you live in a community you know what’s coming in the future.”

That clarity is something that Coun. Jennifer Watts said she’s looking forward to having in her district.

“I think there is some merit in looking at some consistency within the urban core in terms of our development plans and some direction in terms of building a really strong urban core,” she said.

“Halifax has become one of the few cities in the country where everything is done by exception,” said Coun. Waye Mason.

He said that’s because those rules are out-dated.

“We want to modernize those rules. We want to focus on the quality of the design, and we want to provide consistency.”

After more public consultation, Ritchie and his team will be putting together a draft plan by the fall, and regional council will be presented with a final plan by December.

More on Metronews.ca