Modifications to Existing Municipal By-laws

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There is currently one survey available on this page:

Background for Halifax Complete Streets Guidelines Survey

The Halifax Complete Streets Guideline (Guidelines), (formerly called the Municipal Design Guidelines and commonly referred to as the “Red Book”), was developed to provide a uniform approach for the construction of infrastructure within the region. The Guidelines provide minimum standards to be met in the design of streets, including drainage, street trees, streetlighting, and other municipal infrastructure. After amalgamation in 1996, four sets of municipal standards were combined to produce the first edition of the Guidelines in 2000. The Guidelines were last updated in 2013.

On December 5, 2017, Regional Council unanimously approved The Integrated Mobility Plan, and directed staff to update the Guidelines to incorporate best practices for all transportation design elements. In August 2019, Council agreed to initiate updates to the Guidelines.

The municipality is now updating the Guidelines to adhere to industry best practices, including the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC), and the International Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Association (CPTED). The Guidelines also need to align with the most recent adopted versions of HRM’s various Plans such as the Regional Municipal Planning Strategy (Regional Plan), Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP), Active Transportation Priorities Plan, Moving Forward Together Plan, Urban Forestry Master Plan, Centre Plan, and HalifACT.

The objective of this update is to create uniform design standards, with a focus on a “Complete Street” approach. “Complete streets” are streets designed to consider all users: people who walk, bicycle, take transit or drive, and people of varying ages and levels of ability. They also consider other uses like sidewalk cafés, street furniture, street trees, utilities, and stormwater management.

To establish an annual review process, housekeeping amendments to the Regional Subdivision By-law, and the introduction of an Administrative Order to streamline annual updates are being proposed. This would allow Regional Council a well-established, open, and transparent process for regular updates to the Guidelines.

Since the last formal update of the Guidelines, staff have continued to review and identify sections that require updates. Here are the sections being updated in 2020:

  • stormwater management;
  • complete streets;
  • urban forestry;
  • street lighting;
  • streetscaping standards; and,
  • design details for traffic calming measures, multi-use paths, pedestrian ramps, tactile walking surface indicators, protected bike lanes, and new traffic signal bases.

Ongoing assessment will inform future annual updates.

The municipality is seeking your input on:

  • proposed amendments to the Regional Subdivision By-Law to allow regular updates,
  • aspects of the 2020 guidelines such as the “complete streets” approach

This survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Take the survey.


Background for Construction Noise Survey

As the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) experiences growth and economic investment, it is important to understand how the impacts of construction on existing communities and residents are perceived. There are a number of ways the municipality is managing the impacts of construction. This includes certain requirements for the Construction Management Plan for building permit applications, and Lot Grading By-laws. Another method used by the municipality is the Noise By-law (N-200) which allows all noise-generating activities, including construction-related noise during the following times:

  • Monday through Friday - 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m
  • Saturdays - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Sundays and statutory holidays - 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Regional Council and staff may consider exemptions to the hours above. In doing so they must consider the social and commercial benefit to the community at large, and the views of residents.

With respect to managing noise, some Canadian municipalities have few controls, while others have adjusted the hours that construction is permitted to mitigate the impact on residents. These include not permitting construction noise on Sundays and statutory holidays, or implementing an earlier end time for construction. These measures can improve quality of life for residents, but can also negatively impact construction timelines and the economic feasibility of projects.

The municipality is currently considering potential changes to the Noise By-law N-200. In this survey we are seeking your feedback on how concerned you are about construction noise, and whether the current times when construction related noise is permitted should be maintained or changed. This survey is now closed.

Any changes would apply to property owners conducting home-based renovations as well as large projects, but would not apply to blasting times which are governed by By-law B-600.




There is currently one survey available on this page:

Background for Halifax Complete Streets Guidelines Survey

The Halifax Complete Streets Guideline (Guidelines), (formerly called the Municipal Design Guidelines and commonly referred to as the “Red Book”), was developed to provide a uniform approach for the construction of infrastructure within the region. The Guidelines provide minimum standards to be met in the design of streets, including drainage, street trees, streetlighting, and other municipal infrastructure. After amalgamation in 1996, four sets of municipal standards were combined to produce the first edition of the Guidelines in 2000. The Guidelines were last updated in 2013.

On December 5, 2017, Regional Council unanimously approved The Integrated Mobility Plan, and directed staff to update the Guidelines to incorporate best practices for all transportation design elements. In August 2019, Council agreed to initiate updates to the Guidelines.

The municipality is now updating the Guidelines to adhere to industry best practices, including the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC), and the International Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Association (CPTED). The Guidelines also need to align with the most recent adopted versions of HRM’s various Plans such as the Regional Municipal Planning Strategy (Regional Plan), Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP), Active Transportation Priorities Plan, Moving Forward Together Plan, Urban Forestry Master Plan, Centre Plan, and HalifACT.

The objective of this update is to create uniform design standards, with a focus on a “Complete Street” approach. “Complete streets” are streets designed to consider all users: people who walk, bicycle, take transit or drive, and people of varying ages and levels of ability. They also consider other uses like sidewalk cafés, street furniture, street trees, utilities, and stormwater management.

To establish an annual review process, housekeeping amendments to the Regional Subdivision By-law, and the introduction of an Administrative Order to streamline annual updates are being proposed. This would allow Regional Council a well-established, open, and transparent process for regular updates to the Guidelines.

Since the last formal update of the Guidelines, staff have continued to review and identify sections that require updates. Here are the sections being updated in 2020:

  • stormwater management;
  • complete streets;
  • urban forestry;
  • street lighting;
  • streetscaping standards; and,
  • design details for traffic calming measures, multi-use paths, pedestrian ramps, tactile walking surface indicators, protected bike lanes, and new traffic signal bases.

Ongoing assessment will inform future annual updates.

The municipality is seeking your input on:

  • proposed amendments to the Regional Subdivision By-Law to allow regular updates,
  • aspects of the 2020 guidelines such as the “complete streets” approach

This survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Take the survey.


Background for Construction Noise Survey

As the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) experiences growth and economic investment, it is important to understand how the impacts of construction on existing communities and residents are perceived. There are a number of ways the municipality is managing the impacts of construction. This includes certain requirements for the Construction Management Plan for building permit applications, and Lot Grading By-laws. Another method used by the municipality is the Noise By-law (N-200) which allows all noise-generating activities, including construction-related noise during the following times:

  • Monday through Friday - 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m
  • Saturdays - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Sundays and statutory holidays - 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Regional Council and staff may consider exemptions to the hours above. In doing so they must consider the social and commercial benefit to the community at large, and the views of residents.

With respect to managing noise, some Canadian municipalities have few controls, while others have adjusted the hours that construction is permitted to mitigate the impact on residents. These include not permitting construction noise on Sundays and statutory holidays, or implementing an earlier end time for construction. These measures can improve quality of life for residents, but can also negatively impact construction timelines and the economic feasibility of projects.

The municipality is currently considering potential changes to the Noise By-law N-200. In this survey we are seeking your feedback on how concerned you are about construction noise, and whether the current times when construction related noise is permitted should be maintained or changed. This survey is now closed.

Any changes would apply to property owners conducting home-based renovations as well as large projects, but would not apply to blasting times which are governed by By-law B-600.



  • The Halifax Complete Streets Guideline (Guidelines), (formerly called the Municipal Design Guidelines and commonly referred to as the “Red Book”), was developed to provide a uniform approach for the construction of infrastructure within the region. The Guidelines provide minimum standards to be met in the design of streets, including drainage, street trees, streetlighting, and other municipal infrastructure. After amalgamation in 1996, four sets of municipal standards were combined to produce the first edition of the Guidelines in 2000. The Guidelines were last updated in 2013. 

    On December 5, 2017, Regional Council unanimously approved The Integrated Mobility Plan, and directed staff to update the Guidelines to incorporate best practices for all transportation design elements. In August 2019, Council agreed to initiate updates to the Guidelines. 

    The municipality is now updating the Guidelines to adhere to industry best practices, including the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC), and the International Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Association (CPTED). The Guidelines also need to align with the most recent adopted versions of HRM’s various Plans such as the Regional Municipal Planning Strategy (Regional Plan), Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP), Active Transportation Priorities Plan, Moving Forward Together Plan, Urban Forestry Master Plan, Centre Plan, and HalifACT.  

    The objective of this update is to create uniform design standards, with a focus on a “Complete Street” approach. “Complete streets” are streets designed to consider all users: people who walk, bicycle, take transit or drive, and people of varying ages and levels of ability. They also consider other uses like sidewalk cafés, street furniture, street trees, utilities, and stormwater management.


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