Where is the Saint Patrick’s Alexandra Site located?

    This 3.85-acre site located at 2326 Brunswick Street and 2277 Maitland Street, Halifax is bounded by Brunswick Street, Maitland Street and Murray Warrington Park.  

    Who owns the site?

    The Municipality completed the sale of the former school site in the spring of 2020 and it is currently privately owned by JONO Developments

    Why is the Municipality consulting specifically about this site as part of Centre Plan Package B?

    When Council approved Centre Plan Package A in September of 2019 and new zoning for the site, it also provided direction for planning staff to explore changing the zoning from the HR-1 zone to the HR-2 zone as part of Centre Plan Package B. Consultation on Package B is currently underway.  

    The community is invited to provide feedback on whether Centre Plan policies and zoning should be changed to better support the community’s values related to housing, scale of development, heritage, open space, and potential public benefits.  All feedback will be presented to inform Regional Council, who ultimately make the final decision on zoning for the property.      

    What will the consultation process include?

    As public consultation is challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of online options are being developed to seek community feedback. In addition to an online survey (which will be open until Nov. 30, 2020), paper surveys will be distributed through community organizations, and can be made available upon request.  

    Virtual stakeholder and community meetings, including a “what we heard” meeting are being planned. If your group would like to meet with planning staff, please feel free to e-mail us at planhrm@halifax.ca or call 311 and request to speak to Centre Plan team.  

    Who is being included as part of this process?

    Everyone is welcome to provide input, however those residents, community groups, and property owners located close to the site are especially encouraged to participate. This includes the Indigenous, and African Nova Scotian community, youth, and all other communities that feel a connection to the site.  

    The community was previously consulted about this site. How is previous input going to be used?

    The goal of the consultation process is to build on previous community feedback, which goes back nearly a decade, but to also ask new and more specific questions based on the Council direction and the current context.  

    Where can I find information on previous community consultations?

    The following links provide information on some of the previous community consultations related to Saint Patrick’s Alexandra site, Centre Plan, and related planning policies. While some of the consultations were led by the Municipality, others were led independently by community organizations and community members.     

    Is there any development currently approved on the site?

    There is currently no development approved on the site. However, under the current Centre Plan policies, the site could be developed for residential and some commercial uses up to a maximum height of 14 metres (approximately four storeys).  

    Is there a development application currently on the site?

    There is currently no development application on the site.  

    Will the current historic school building be protected on the site?

    The former school is not a registered heritage property so there is no requirement to protect it under current policies. Should the school be successfully registered, the site could be considered for a heritage development agreement.  

    Will the development include community benefits?

    Any development can provide certain benefits such as new housing and retail spaces. Some Canadian cities have legal tools for securing broad community benefits, but under provincial legislation in Nova Scotia, the Municipality (HRM) may only require limited types of community benefits by using the incentive or bonus zoning, or development agreements. For example, the Municipality is currently unable to enforce third party agreements between a landowner and community members or community organizations.  

    Will a bonus zoning apply to the property?

    Under the Centre Plan, any development over 2,000 square metres is required to contribute to bonus zoning public benefits, with 60% required to include money for affordable housing. For the remaining 40%, the developer could choose to provide heritage protection, public art, or contribute to affordable indoor community cultural spaces, or municipal park improvements.

    What can the community influence as pat of this process?

    As part of this process, the community can influence:  

    • Overall vision 
    • Zoning (land use and building heights) 
    • Heritage preservation 
    • Integration within the neighbourhood 
    • Preferred community/public benefits, and 
    • Development approval process 

    What is a “development approval process”?

    The Municipality can approve a development based on its planning policies and complexity of development.  For example: 

    • development permit process assures the development complies with all of the requirements of a Land Use By-law and this process does not include public consultation;
    • site plan approval process assures the proposal complies with all of the requirements of a Land Use By-law including design requirements and may be subject to a Design Advisory Committee review and public consultations on limited building design items; or 
    • development agreement assures the development meets policies specified under a Municipal Planning Strategy through a legal contract between the property owner and the Municipality, which is subject to public consultation and Community Council review/approval. 

    Where can I find out more?

    Check out our online presentation about this process and visit www.centreplan.ca for more information