HRM Charter Amendments Support Planning, Affordable Housing

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations (to March 31, 2014)

February 4, 2014 1:31 PM

Halifax Regional Municipality now has the authority to carry out more flexible planning, implement faster development approvals, and generate more affordable housing and other community improvements that will benefit residents.

Changes to the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter expand the municipality's power to use bonus zoning and site planning tools throughout the peninsula and in Dartmouth within the Circumferential Highway.

Until now, these tools were limited to use in the downtown Halifax area. The changes take effect today, Feb. 4.

"These changes give the municipality the flexibility it needs to move forward with strategic development," said Mark Furey, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. "We are pleased residents of HRM will see additional community benefits as a result of these changes."

Site plan approval provides clear, consistent, predictable policies for development. Its faster approval process has been proven to encourage development and increase economic activity.

Incentive or bonus zoning is a strategic planning tool used by municipal governments to secure community benefits from developers, including affordable housing.

"The proclamation of Bill 83 provides Halifax with a greater range of tools to advance planning and development applications in the Regional Centre," said Mayor Mike Savage. "These new land-use planning tools will advance affordable housing and other public benefits while also streamlining and simplifying approvals for new construction."

"This offers one additional tool to create affordable housing in HRM," said Kevin Malloy, CEO of Housing Nova Scotia. "We look forward to working with our municipal partner to bring the greatest benefits to the community."

These changes support and help advance the province's first long-term, affordable housing strategy.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Halifax Regional Municipality is now able to carry out more

flexible planning, implement faster development approvals, and

generate more affordable housing and other community

improvements that benefit residents.

     Changes to the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter take

effect today (February 4th).

     Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister Mark

Furey says these changes give the municipality the flexibility

it needs to move forward with strategic development.

     The changes expand the municipality's authority to use

bonus zoning and site planning tools throughout the peninsula

and Dartmouth within the Circumferential Highway.

     Bonus zoning is used by municipal governments to secure

community benefits from developers, including affordable

housing. These changes help advance the province's first long-

term, affordable housing strategy.

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Media Contacts: Tracy Barron
                902-424-2733
                E-mail: barrontb@gov.ns.ca

                Janet Bryson
                HRM Communications
                902-490-5057