Explore the Draft Regional Plan

The Regional Plan is organized into 10 chapters. Please use the table below to read the plan and learn more about key topics.

Regional Plan Chapters and Descriptions

The Halifax Regional Municipal Planning Strategy (also called the ‘Regional Plan’) sets out a common vision, principles, and long-range, region-wide planning policies outlining where, when and how future growth and development should take place.

To read the full draft Regional Plan - click here.

To read the summary factsheet introducing the draft Plan - click here.

On Tuesday, June 20, the Regional Planning team presented the draft Regional Plan to Regional Council. Click here to view the staff presentation.
Chapter 1 - Introduction

This chapter:
  • Introduces the plan, provides historical and planning context, and sets out the Plan’s Vision, Guiding Principle and Principles
To read chapter 1 - click here.

Chapter 2 - Planning for our region

This chapter:
  • Sets out the municipality’s approach to regional and community planning
  • Establishes a strategic growth target directing 90 per cent of new housing growth to the Urban Area
  • Establishes a program to regularly monitor population, housing and employment to inform reviews and amendments to the Plan, Community Plans, and supporting planning documents or studies
  • Sets direction to develop a Strategic Growth and Infrastructure Priority Plan, to provide a framework for future long-range growth and investment
  • Establishes the regional land-use structure

To read chapter 2 - click here.

Chapter 3 - Building healthy and complete communities

This chapter
  • Sets out the Community Planning Framework for the Regional Centre, Suburban Areas and Rural Areas
  • For the Regional Centre: provides the Vision, Core Concepts and Guiding Principles; identifies Regional Centre Growth Areas.
  • For Suburban Areas: provides a Vision and Guiding Principles for Suburban Communities to be used as part of the Suburban Community Planning program; identifies Growth Areas aligned with proposed rapid transit corridors; sets out guidance for planning future serviced communities
  • For Rural Areas: provides a Vision and Guiding Principles for Rural Communities to be used as part of the Rural Community Planning program; identifies Rural Centres, which will be further refined as part of the Rural Planning program; establishes intent to study rural services and mobility options as part of the Rural Community Planning program.

To read chapter 3 - click here.

To view the chapter 3 summary factsheet with key information - click here.
Chapter 4 - Strengthening community infrastructure

This chapter:
  • Identifies Community Infrastructure as critical for building healthy and complete communities
  • Includes policies related to:
    • Parks
    • Community facilities (indoor recreation)
    • Libraries
    • Schools
    • Public safety and emergency services
    • Food security
    • Solid waste
    • Energy and telecommunications

To read chapter 4 - click here.

To view the chapter 4 summary factsheet with key information - click here.
To learn more about emergency services and street connectivity - click here.
Chapter 5 - Fostering diverse and affordable housing

This chapter:
  • Includes policy to increase housing supply through:
    • Opportunities to build a diverse range of housing types
    • Encouraging gentle density and missing middle housing
    • Adaptive reuse of underutilized buildings
    • Reducing parking requirements
  • Includes policy to increase housing affordability through:
    • Exploring initiatives such as inclusionary zoning and no net loss/rental replacement
    • Incentive or bonus zoning
    • Regulating short-term rentals
    • Partnering with other levels of government, non-profit and private sector housing providers

To read chapter 5 - click here.

To view the chapter 5 summary factsheet with key information - click here.
Chapter 6 - Protecting the environment and acting on climate

This chapter:
  • Updates environmental policy to reflect the Halifax Green Network Plan and HalifACT
  • Includes policy to protect open space and promote landscape connectivity, including: urban forests; natural/ wildlife corridors; naturalization
  • Includes policy to protect water resources through:
    • Establishing intent to develop a watershed management framework
    • Setting parameters for watershed studies and lake water quality monitoring
    • Increasing required buffer distances around watercourses and wetlands
  • Directs the municipality to pursue resilient infrastructure, including stormwater management using green infrastructure and to address flooding and erosion control
  • Includes policy related to coastal protection with a focus on mitigating coastal risk, including requirements for coastal setbacks and limiting development on islands and undersized coastal lots
  • Includes policy supporting HalifACT actions related to renewable energy

To read chapter 6 - click here.

To view the chapter 6 summary factsheet with key information - click here.
To learn more about protecting water and watersheds - click here.
Chapter 7 - Transforming how we move in our region

This chapter:
  • Updates policy to reflect the Integrated Mobility Plan
  • Identifies strategic mobility corridors
  • Establishes the Urban Transit Service Boundary
  • Updates mode share targets
  • Directs future updates to the Moving Forward Together Plan and Active Transportation Plan
  • Directs the municipality to collaborate with the Joint Regional Transportation Agency on a future Regional Transportation Plan

To read chapter 7 - click here.

To view the chapter 7 summary factsheet with key information - click here.
Chapter 8 - Driving economic prosperity

This chapter:
  • Updates economic policy to reflect People Planet Prosperity, Halifax’s Inclusive Economic Strategy 2022-27, and the African Nova Scotian Road to Economic Prosperity action plan
  • Includes policy to support African Nova Scotian community-action planning
  • Includes policy to support subdivision of lots in areas designated under the Land Titles Clarification Act, to ensure African Nova Scotian residents can establish legal title to their lands
  • Supports collaboration with institutional partners including post-secondary institutions, Department of National Defence, Halifax Stanfield International Airport, and the Halifax Port Authority
  • Establishes region-wide policy to protect industrial employment lands
  • Establishes the Halifax Harbour sub-designation and policy related to harbour-related land uses
  • Directs consideration for rural employment lands as part of the Community Planning program
  • Includes policy to support the Integrated Tourism Master Plan and rural tourism

To read chapter 8 - click here.

To view the chapter 8 summary factsheet with key information - click here.
Chapter 9 - Celebrating culture, arts and heritage

This chapter:
  • Updates culture and heritage policies to reflect the forthcoming Sharing Our Stories: Culture & Heritage Priority Plan.
  • Includes policies in support of reconciliation with Mi’kmaq and Indigenous communities
  • Includes policies to support African Nova Scotian community planning, as well as community-led approach to supporting planning efforts for other traditionally under-represented groups
  • Includes comprehensive policies regarding the protection of heritage resources, including but not limited to:
    • The Municipal Heritage Registry
    • Heritage conservation districts
    • Heritage development agreements
    • Cultural landscapes

To read chapter 9 - click here.

To view the chapter 9 summary factsheet with key information - click here.
Chapter 10 - Implementation

This chapter:
  • Includes a range of technical policies to support implementation of the Plan and sets a standard for community engagement
  • Outlines the range of planning tools used
  • Includes policies related to the Regional Subdivision By-law, including growth management policies which limit subdivision outside the Urban Service Area and parkland dedication
  • Includes policies related to water and wastewater services in both urban and rural areas, including establishing the Urban Service Area boundary
  • Sets requirements for monitoring of key performance indicators and reviews of the Plan

To read chapter 10 - click here.

Appendices and maps

To view Appendix A and Appendix B - click here.

To view Appendix C Suburban Design Guidelines - click here.

To view maps click the links below:

Existing Policy Table

To view a comparison of policy of the existing Regional Plan with the Draft Regional Plan, please click here.

Open House Materials

To view the boards used at our Open Houses click the links below:
1. Welcome Boards
2. What is the Regional Plan Review
3. What is the Suburban Plan
4. Suburban Plan Area Map
5. What is the Rural Plan
6. Healthy and Complete Communities
7. Housing
8. Community Infrastructure
9. Environment and Climate
10. Mobility
11. Economic Prosperity
12. Culture, Arts & Heritage
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