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Old Posted Mar 2, 2012, 11:52 PM
Hali87 Hali87 is offline
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Originally Posted by halifaxboyns View Post
In regards to the opening; I'm not surprised this happened. I figured the HT would try to stack the room full of people, it sounds like they were successful to a degree, but that doesn't always mean they've 'won the war'.

I have found through my experience in public meetings and engagement there is often a very silent group that sits in the background and doesn't say much. I find those are the ones I make a direct line too once the meeting is over and try to talk with, because they say little to nothing and just take it all in.

The avenues plan is interesting - it does cap development to 12 stories along the major corridors, but as was pointed out in the Bosquet article about the Dartmouth cove work - you have to be able to have a certain amount of people to be able to make commercial work. While I think if you put 12 stories all along say Quinpool you might be okay, shorter areas like Agricola between North and Cornwallis might require more height because of the shorter stretch of commercial.

But certainly putting 12 storey buildings in places like Robie and Young makes no sense, when the existing provisions of the MPS (Schedule Q) allow for buildings up to 19. Personally I was a land owner and I ended up being downzoned or having that ability taken away, I would be quite upset. But 12 stories might be a good start for places like Highfield Park.

With the new attitude that seems to be occuring in Halifax; something tells me 12 stories might just be the tip of the iceberg. Keep in mind, this is just the kick off - it's a long ways to public hearing!

This isn't really how it would work though; I probably should have explained it better. There wouldn't be any 12 storey buildings on Quinpool or likely any of the corridors in HRM, and a very select few even in Toronto.

The basic principle is that there should be a 1:1 ratio between the width of the street (or the distance between the buildings) and the height of the buildings. This ensures light penetration (one of the requirements for Toronto's plan was a minimum of 5 hours sunlight on all of the identified streets) and creates a very specific massing/aesthetic - Paris was often used as an example. So what you'd get on Quinpool is probably 6 or 7 storeys at its widest points. Maybe. The other thing to keep in mind is that there would be minimum heights as well, probably a couple storeys lower than the maximum heights. So again you can kind of see how dramatically it would increase density (and significantly change the appearance of the street) without allowing for high-rises.

This last point is what makes me think that this plan won't really fly in Halifax. People will want Quinpool to "keep its character" and replacing the existing buildings with sleek midrises would be a dramatic change. Also many of the streets that would logically be considered are too narrow to build anything over 2 or 3 storeys under this approach. The problem is, once there are too many compromises, you miss the whole point of the plan. The Dartmouth Cove sessions actually made reference to the 1:1 approach as well, but it works better in that specific case because they get to decide how wide the streets are going to be. So they basically determined that 18 storeys would be necessary to accommodate what the public wanted, and then designed a street/greenway that would be about as wide as the 18 storey buildings are tall.
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