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Old Posted Feb 4, 2014, 7:37 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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Originally Posted by halifaxboyns View Post
I think you have to be careful when you are talking about the Mirvish Gehry towers because there are a lot of local plan issues with that. The Corridors/Avenues Plan of Toronto's Official Community Plan didn't consider the site for high rise, so they were asking for a huge variance from the policy which the chief planner felt was inappropriate. The OMB will deal with that question because it really comes down to what is more important: density or the plan that council approved.

Frankly; the challenge I have with Ontario's system is that despite council making a decision (and case law showing that most court's tend to favour the decision of council as being the key decision makers by statute) you can steel appeal it. I think there are sometimes a decision of a local council should be appeal-able in certain cases, but in Ontario all decisions of council on land use can be and that just isn't right to me. In Alberta, if a plan is brought forward to council - once it's adopted; you can't appeal that. That seems to be the more appropriate way to go - you get one crack at the can (that seems to be the way it is in NS too). But the fact you can appeal parts of all of a new zoning bylaw and that it takes years to implement; that 's silly.

I agree with your point about the Halifax market though - it is drastically underserved for condos, but hasn't proven that the market can handle more (with certainty). I think there is still some reluctance of banks to fund projects until other ones have gone forward and sold out. It's only the power house markets like Toronto, Vancouver and now Calgary where the lenders seem to be more willing to take risk. I think this was underscored by the building that went up near the commons and how the lender went out on a limb and that building still hasn't sold yet. I'm referring to this building.
Also pertinent to the Mirvish/Gehry thing is the demolition of three listed heritaage structures, which is raising a lot of hackles in Toronto, and Jennifer Keesmaat (chief planner)'s contention that the density may be TOO much to handle there. The King streetcar can only take so much, after all.

As far as Halifax condos, I didn't know about that Commons project, but I know projects like the Grainery have sold well, and didn't Southport hit a pre-sales record? So demand is there...
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