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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Willow Tree Wallowing

Posted on Wed, Sep 23, 2015 at 4:00 AM

I don’t understand the predictable response to developments like the Fares proposal for Quinpool and Robie – no homes would be affected by shadow or wind, and contrary to the people who “slammed” the development, there are benefits to the whole city from developments like these.

The missing piece of the puzzle in my mind is not the height or scale of the development, but that in this country cities don’t have the constitutional rights to enact inclusionary zoning policies (density bonusing) with developments like this.

Regardless of the lack of an affordable housing component (because of the inadequacies of our city’s charter and inaction by the province on the file), concatenating the property taxes a development like this will produce (~$1 Million a year) to 1/4 of a city block helps Halifax to pay to maintain the unpaid-forward infrastructure sprawling out all around us. Which the Stantec report pegged at Billions of dollars over the next few decades.

Without density in our core, how do we ever hope to get a handle on our problem with runaway suburban development and auto-centric culture? Should this be built in Clayton Park or Bedford West instead so we can have another 1,000 people driving into the core every morning? So we have to build new water and sewer mains, new sidewalks, new streets and new transit lines to service it?

These opponents may mean well but it seems their knee jerk reactions are really uneducated ones – contrarians without merit.

Are these vocally oppositional residents special? Do they have the right to effectively raise the taxes for the rest of the city because they have a quasi rural fantasy they identify with while living next to one of the busiest intersections in the city?

I’m not a growth at all costs kind of guy, but this location is Halifax’s gold Coast, and like central Park, the land costs at this location are naturally higher because of location and demand.

Sure, Fares could propose a 4 story development, with each unit costing $1 million so they could recoup costs and perhaps make a little profit as businesses are destined to do, but does that alternative, that could satiate the quasi-rural fanatics, make sense?

—Tried of the bullshit

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