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  #881  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2019, 10:05 PM
mleblanc mleblanc is online now
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It would be nice to see a few good towers in that whole area. Eventually I can see Gottingen businesses extending down all the way until Duke/Brunswick
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  #882  
Old Posted Nov 3, 2019, 11:06 PM
Querce Querce is offline
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Originally Posted by teddifax View Post
What height restrictions are on the Police Station site? I understand eventually the police station is to be relocated and wondering what could go up in its place.
Looks to be 23 metres (~7 stories). It's right under one of the Citadel view planes.
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  #883  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2019, 1:36 AM
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didn't see above post, ignore this

Last edited by j.graham; Nov 4, 2019 at 1:37 AM. Reason: oops
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  #884  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2019, 3:01 AM
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teddifax teddifax is online now
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I don't understand the rationale of the view planes overall.... I can see the value to see out the mouth of the harbour... but there isn't much water to be seen across the harbour, so I believe it is time to review the view planes bylaws. They are not necessary anywhere but facing out the harbour....
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  #885  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2019, 1:14 PM
atbw atbw is offline
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Originally Posted by teddifax View Post
I don't understand the rationale of the view planes overall.... I can see the value to see out the mouth of the harbour... but there isn't much water to be seen across the harbour, so I believe it is time to review the view planes bylaws. They are not necessary anywhere but facing out the harbour....
I think this is the one that lets you see the bridge and Tufts' cove from the top if I'm not mistaken.

Coming back from Boston, it does put into perspective how 'stumpy' Halifax's skyline is from some angles.
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  #886  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2019, 2:59 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Aren't these the site lines that are supposed to not allow you to see any modern buildings from inside the Citadel?

Seems a little silly to curtail development of the downtown for the enjoyment of a national park site. To be honest, I don't think it would take away from the experience even if you could see buildings - so IMHO these view plane restrictions should be removed.

Last time I was up there, you could see little of the harbour anyhow... So those view planes do not appear to be significant. Those views are the biggest loss, IMHO, so might as well get rid of the rest of them.
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  #887  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2019, 3:37 PM
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I totally agree!!!
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  #888  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2019, 3:21 AM
K-Man K-Man is offline
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I gotta say, I think the Pavilion looks pretty good in it's new surroundings. Took these this morning at sunrise.


Source: My image


Source: My image
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  #889  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2019, 1:10 AM
mleblanc mleblanc is online now
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Originally Posted by K-Man View Post
I gotta say, I think the Pavilion looks pretty good in it's new surroundings. Took these this morning at sunrise.


Source: My image


Source: My image
The density looks amazing but some height variation would be even better
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  #890  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2019, 3:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mleblanc View Post
The density looks amazing but some height variation would be even better
Blame it on those view planes....those mostly unnecessary viewplanes....
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  #891  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2019, 3:43 AM
K-Man K-Man is offline
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Originally Posted by mleblanc View Post
The density looks amazing but some height variation would be even better.
Hmmm, ya know that's a good observation. I hadn't really taken notice but you're right, another couple floors would have made that stretch of buildings a little more interesting to the eye, eh? I wonder, and I know very little about the height restrictions for building in that area, but would they have been limited the same way they are on the waterfront?
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  #892  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2019, 11:31 AM
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Keith P. Keith P. is offline
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When these were seeking approval there was a legion of voices, both the usual suspects but also from Parks Canada, saying that even the height they were ultimately built to was TOO TALL!! and would have disastrous consequences for the area. They wanted them at no more than 4 floors. I agree that being even taller would not have been a bad thing but the heightophobes in this town always prevent that.

Last edited by Keith P.; Nov 13, 2019 at 3:04 PM.
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  #893  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2019, 1:19 PM
IanWatson IanWatson is offline
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Originally Posted by teddifax View Post
Blame it on those view planes....those mostly unnecessary viewplanes....
None of those are under a viewplane.
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  #894  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2019, 2:30 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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I'm confused... why are they not taller then?

No viewplanes...

But, more height was not approved because?...

Was there actually a plan for more height? (I could read back through the thread for those buildings, I suppose, but no time for that now.)
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  #895  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2019, 3:13 PM
IanWatson IanWatson is offline
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There are height limits on most places of the city despite not having view planes everywhere. I'm not sure what the rationale was for those particular sites.

For reference, here are the viewplanes:

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  #896  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2019, 3:37 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Thanks. The reason I asked the question is that I don't think the new buildings are too short (I actually think they are attractive as is), and am wondering if it was a business case decision or whether they were actually forced to cut off the height (as was alluded to). Sometimes there is a lot of bluster here about height which leaves me wondering how important it really is to have super-tall buildings...

Your diagram raises a new question, though... why was the Nova Centre exempted from the view plane rule? It clearly blocks VP6 and I can say it pretty much blocks most views of anything from behind it. Curious if it was made a special case for political reasons, or if I just don't understand the view plane requirements.
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  #897  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2019, 3:45 PM
IanWatson IanWatson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Your diagram raises a new question, though... why was the Nova Centre exempted from the view plane rule? It clearly blocks VP6 and I can say it pretty much blocks most views of anything from behind it. Curious if it was made a special case for political reasons, or if I just don't understand the view plane requirements.
So the viewplanes also have a vertical component to them (which obviously doesn't show up on a 2D image from above). They're basically a sloped plane measured from 6' (human eye) above the ground at certain points on Citadel Hill, down to a different elevation at other points of interest (George's Island, harbour mouth, etc.). Since Citadel Hill is a high point, and most of the end points are at sea level or close to it, there is space underneath the view planes.

On the Nova Centre you can see this in the location of the convention centre (under the viewplane) and the angle of the south-east tower. That same viewplane goes down over the Metropark building, which is basically built up as high as it can be underneath that viewplane.

Google Maps doesn't allow you to get to the exact vantage point, but you can basically see the effect here:



EDIT: To your other question, there are maximum heights set within the Downtown Halifax Plan (and basically every other planning document). They are set for a variety of rationales: shadowing, desired built form, economics, etc. I don't know what the rationale was for the the Sackville-South Park block. It is worth noting though that the Pavillion + Curve site originally had a lower maximum height, but they got Council to amend that height based on the inclusion of the YMCA as an "exceptional public benefit".
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  #898  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2019, 4:02 PM
Phalanx Phalanx is offline
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If I had to hazard a guess, the height restrictions probably have something do do with views from inside the public gardens (IE 'imposing' buildings being viewable from within the park, possible shadows etc).
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  #899  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2019, 4:18 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Thanks for the explanation, Ian. It makes much more sense to me now.

And yes, Plalanx, I would not be surprised if its effect on the Public Gardens is a factor - and it probably should be as it is one of Halifax's jewels.

Probably what rings strongest to me is that, (at least in my opinion) those buildings wouldn't be improved by increased height. They are quite nice as is.
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  #900  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2019, 4:21 PM
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Nouvellecosse Nouvellecosse is offline
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The centre plan and the general zoning guidelines have very strict restrictions on building heights for every area. Many cities have height guidelines in all or some of their districts for a variety of reasons sometimes citing concerns with shadowing, wind, and excessive density. But the most common motives seem to be aesthetic. Unlike most highrise/skyscraper enthusiasts, many people don't consider tall buildings to be attractive. I don't know if the average person writ-large feels that way, but certainly the average person who gets involved with and offers feedback on planning decisions seems to feel that way. The aesthetics can be complicated but the stance tends to be that having buildings that are much larger than the existing built form overshadows other buildings figuratively even if not literally, and that these larger buildings come to dominate the architectural language of an area. This isn't desirable for people who find the existing smaller buildings - often in older styles - to generally be more charming than the newer, modern styles prevalent in contemporary.

Also, the character of a neighbourhood is related not only to the styles of architecture it contains but also things like the size/dimensions of buildings and the street interface. For instance, people don't seem to like an extreme contrast in sizes since they view it as being jarring (the thought being that buildings within close proximity to one another should be in basic agreement to prevent things from seeming unplanned and messy). In fact, in some neighbourhoods in HRM there are also bylaws that prevent buildings from being built closer than a minimum specified distance to the street. Having properties fronted by lawns or other open space gives a totally different character than buildings whose door opens right to the sidewalk. I personally despise such setback requirements both because I hate the aesthetic (which I view as being more suburban and therefore less charming) but also because I believe there to be a negative psychological effect associated with this withdrawal or retreat of buildings from the public realm in the sense that people simply feel less connected with the city and less part of a larger whole, less interested in walking to places, less disposed to wider social integration/ interaction, etc.

When speaking strictly in terms of aesthetics (greater height variation looks better) there isn't much potential for argument since one aesthetic taste vs another is mostly just a numbers game (which preference is more popular). Unless there are more utilitarian arguments to be made, we probably just have to accept that with the centre plan, the people have spoken. And the only utilitarian arguments I can think of for greater heights at this point is in terms of greater density. But the planning department doesn't actually want individual projects to be too large since this presents the risk that growth in housing can be controlled by too few companies. Also, having a larger number of smaller projects helps to spread out the density load on infrastructure and spread the benefits of increased street activity and business patronage across wider areas. So we're stuck with strict height limits for the foreseeable future.
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