Zann says consultation on Centre Plan too little, too late
August 10, 2016
For Immediate Release
HALIFAX—NDP Communities, Culture and Heritage Critic Lenore Zann is concerned that events like the recent demolition of homes in the North End of Halifax could happen again without provincial intervention.
Steele Auto Group purchased and obtained permits to demolish 17 homes, mainly single family homes and multi-unit rentals, to expand the parking lot for their car dealership on Robie Street. In May, over 1,000 community members signed a petition to Halifax City Council to protect the neighborhood. Demolitions are now underway.
“People should have a say in how their communities are planned and developed,” said Zann. “Without legislative changes, any community could be in the same situation as the residents of North End Halifax.”
According to the Halifax Regional Municipality and Municipal Government Act, property owners are free to demolish their own buildings provided the safety requirements are met.
In 2015, the Liberal government amended the Heritage Property Act to make it easier to deregister and demolish heritage properties. In 2016, they also amended the Municipal Government Act and Halifax Regional Municipality Charter to further streamline the process for demolishing buildings.
“The McNeil government has recently made damaging changes to municipal legislation, which I spoke against in the House at the time,” said Zann. “Communities should have the opportunity to determine if demolitions will have a negative impact on their neighbourhoods.”
City representatives will be meeting with North End community members this evening to hear residents’ concerns about its Centre Plan.
“These consultations are just not enough when perfectly good homes have already been destroyed,” said Zann. “Why didn’t they happen sooner when community members could voice their concerns and prevent the demolition? We need to ensure that policies are in place to protect other communities from being destroyed by being paved into parking lots.”
For more information, contact Kaley Kennedy at 902-229-6881.