Case 23820: Southdale Future Growth Node Planning Process

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Introduction
On January 11, 2021 Regional Council initiated a process to amend the Regional Centre Secondary Planning Strategy (RCSMPS), the Regional Centre Land Use By-law (RCLUB), and a concurrent development agreement process to develop a master neighbourhood plan for the Southdale Future Growth Node (FGN). The FGN designation under the Regional Centre Plan is intended to support a comprehensive planning process needed to effectively guide the development of mixed-use communities with supporting public infrastructure.

The FGN is composed of four separate lots. Three of the four lots are held by one landowner and are undeveloped, including a large wetland. The fourth lot is under separate ownership and is occupied by an office building, located on Research Drive.

The Southdale Future Growth Node was designated a “Special Planning Area” by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on the recommendation of the Executive Panel on Housing of the Province of Nova Scotia to address housing challenges in the Capital Region. The Special Planning Area delegates development approval authority to the Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs as outlined in the Housing the Halifax Regional Municipality Act.

Given the area’s Special Area status, draft policies, development agreements and other documents will be shared on this page for public comment before their submission to the Executive Panel on Housing for review. The panel will provide a recommendation to the Minister who will then make a decision.

View the staff initiation report.

Wetland
The lands at Southdale-Mount Hope were once owned by the province and slated for industrial development. With increased growth in the region and the need for more housing at all income levels, these plans changed, and the property was sold for development.

Only a small portion of the wetland will be altered. The wetland is about 13.2 hectares or 132,000m2 in size. About 6.1% (8,064m2) will be altered. The approved alteration allows for construction of an access road to the development site. This includes the necessary infrastructure to support and maintain water flow within the wetland.

Before wetland alteration applications are approved, they undergo a detailed review to confirm that all required information has been submitted and that the activity being proposed aligns with the requirements outlined in the Department of Environment and Climate Change’s Wetlands Conservation Policy.

This wetland alteration will be compensated at a ratio of 2:1 and Ducks Unlimited Canada is expected to construct 16,128m2 of wetland to offset this alteration

The residential development at Southdale-Mount Hope will be constructed on privately-owned land located outside of the wetland area.


What is the proposed planning process?
The planning process will address what is needed for a new complete community through a neighbourhood plan for the entire area. This will include new roads, parks, pathways, housing mix, and any other amenities. Policies will be drafted for the municipal plan to guide development by development agreement.

Public Comment Period
The public is invited to share their feedback on the draft policies, development agreement and submitted plans posted on this site. Feedback provided will be reviewed and considered by staff when finalizing the proposed planning documents and will be shared with the Executive Panel on Housing and the Minister. The public comment period will be open until Monday, September 19, 2022.

Introduction
On January 11, 2021 Regional Council initiated a process to amend the Regional Centre Secondary Planning Strategy (RCSMPS), the Regional Centre Land Use By-law (RCLUB), and a concurrent development agreement process to develop a master neighbourhood plan for the Southdale Future Growth Node (FGN). The FGN designation under the Regional Centre Plan is intended to support a comprehensive planning process needed to effectively guide the development of mixed-use communities with supporting public infrastructure.

The FGN is composed of four separate lots. Three of the four lots are held by one landowner and are undeveloped, including a large wetland. The fourth lot is under separate ownership and is occupied by an office building, located on Research Drive.

The Southdale Future Growth Node was designated a “Special Planning Area” by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing on the recommendation of the Executive Panel on Housing of the Province of Nova Scotia to address housing challenges in the Capital Region. The Special Planning Area delegates development approval authority to the Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs as outlined in the Housing the Halifax Regional Municipality Act.

Given the area’s Special Area status, draft policies, development agreements and other documents will be shared on this page for public comment before their submission to the Executive Panel on Housing for review. The panel will provide a recommendation to the Minister who will then make a decision.

View the staff initiation report.

Wetland
The lands at Southdale-Mount Hope were once owned by the province and slated for industrial development. With increased growth in the region and the need for more housing at all income levels, these plans changed, and the property was sold for development.

Only a small portion of the wetland will be altered. The wetland is about 13.2 hectares or 132,000m2 in size. About 6.1% (8,064m2) will be altered. The approved alteration allows for construction of an access road to the development site. This includes the necessary infrastructure to support and maintain water flow within the wetland.

Before wetland alteration applications are approved, they undergo a detailed review to confirm that all required information has been submitted and that the activity being proposed aligns with the requirements outlined in the Department of Environment and Climate Change’s Wetlands Conservation Policy.

This wetland alteration will be compensated at a ratio of 2:1 and Ducks Unlimited Canada is expected to construct 16,128m2 of wetland to offset this alteration

The residential development at Southdale-Mount Hope will be constructed on privately-owned land located outside of the wetland area.


What is the proposed planning process?
The planning process will address what is needed for a new complete community through a neighbourhood plan for the entire area. This will include new roads, parks, pathways, housing mix, and any other amenities. Policies will be drafted for the municipal plan to guide development by development agreement.

Public Comment Period
The public is invited to share their feedback on the draft policies, development agreement and submitted plans posted on this site. Feedback provided will be reviewed and considered by staff when finalizing the proposed planning documents and will be shared with the Executive Panel on Housing and the Minister. The public comment period will be open until Monday, September 19, 2022.

Page last updated: 20 Sep 2022, 01:54 PM