Young Avenue homeowners concerned about proposed planning rules

·2 min read
A home on Young Avenue was demolished in 2016. (CBC - image credit)
A home on Young Avenue was demolished in 2016. (CBC - image credit)

Homeowners along Young Avenue in Halifax's south end are worried about the impact of proposed new planning rules on the character of their neighbourhood.

"There are three or four fundamentals that just cannot be victimized by greed," said Darrell DIxon.

The first phase of the Centre Plan, which guides the planning process for the regional centre, was approved in 2019.

The second phase, or Package B, focuses on established residential neighbourhoods, and is the final leg of the approval process.

Young Avenue features stately homes and large lots.

In 2016, a developer demolished several houses and created a large vacant lot for redevelopment.

People who live in the area want to ensure any new construction has a similar look to the rest of the street. That includes how far the construction must be set back from the front and side property lines as well as the maximum amount of land a building can take up.

The existing rule for Young Avenue is 35 per cent coverage. The second phase of the Centre Plan proposes a change.

"They've significantly increased the lot coverage area to 50 per cent," said Dixon, "They're really promoting a dense, more packed-in effect."

Similar look

Ben Sivak, the project manager for the Centre Plan, said a developer would be allowed to have four units per building as long as they are built to resemble the large homes in the area.

"The specific details are close but don't quite match the rest of the street, and that's about having a similar look, not the exact same," said Sivak.

He said maximum lot coverage ranges from 35 to 50 per cent on peninsular Halifax.

Sivak added there would be other controls such as requiring a pitched roof, allowing only one door in front and putting limits on the amount of surface parking.

According to Sivak, the issue of front setbacks along Young Avenue has already been raised at the Heritage Advisory Committee and there could be a recommendation for a change.

Package B will be reviewed by several HRM committees and all community councils before it heads to regional council for a public hearing. Planners hope it will be approved in September.

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