We are concerned residents of St. Margaret's Bay requesting improvement to the proposed development in Upper Tantallon, Case # 20929, to bring it in line with environmental sustainability, and closer to the by-right standards of our local land use (zoning) by-laws. While the Halifax Charter allows, via the development agreement process, for development that exceeds local by-right standards, this proposed development exceeds the by-laws our community helped develop by an excessive degree, especially in terms of dwelling unit density.
According to the by-right standards in our by-laws, up to 12 multi-family units can be built on a lot within the Village Centre zoning designation. This proposal is for 112 units (plus 11,477 sf of commercial space) on an 8.34 acre lot, which is 10 times the by-right density.
This was not our community's intent. For the future, we need policy amendments to our local municipal planning strategy to put a cap on density and other by-right standard over-rides that can be considered under the development agreement process. But that would be too late for this already proposed development, for which we need to voice our opinions to HRM.
We support residential and mixed use development at the crossroads, including seniors and multi-aged rental housing. The main issues with this development are its excessive density and the resulting impacts on water quantity for surrounding wells and wetlands, and on water quality due to sewage effluent discharge to the ocean. Also, the scale is too large for our community.
Residents have had several senior environmental professionals evaluate water and wetland issues for this development. Groundwater calculations by two of these professionals, which have been submitted to public record, show that no more than 12 dwelling units can be supported on this site without impacting surrounding wells and wetlands.
Please sign if you wish to see this project brought to a density that can be supported by the available groundwater in the area, that will not pollute the water at the Head of St. Margaret's Bay, and that meets the vision our community sought to set out for the future.