‘Watered-down process’: Homeowner unhappy with proposed Young Avenue bylaws – Nova Scotia

A homeowner along Halifax’s Young Avenue is not convinced that proposed new land-use rules will protect the historic nature of his neighbourhood from the wrecking balls of developers.

“It’s disappointing,” said resident Darrell Dixon. “We fought hard to get this initiative brought forward after two houses were destroyed, so this watered-down process is very demoralizing to the residents.’

A public hearing on the proposed bylaw will be held Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at Halifax city hall.   

The push for new rules began after a developer purchased two properties on Young Avenue and four on adjacent MacLean Street. The lots were consolidated and the homes were demolished for a redevelopment project.

Proposed changes

The proposed bylaw to protect the character of Young Avenue includes following conditions for any new developments:

  • An increase in the required minimum lot frontage to 80 feet of continuous street frontage. 
  • An increase in the required minimum lot size to 8,000 square feet.
  • An increase in the required minimum lot width to 80 feet.
  • An increase to the required minimum lot depth to 100 feet.
  • The house must be at least 10 feet from the property line

But planners only want the changes to apply to homes that now have 80 feet of frontage or more. That would mean the current redevelopment site and existing homes with properties under 80 feet would be grandfathered, or exempt from the rules.

Dixon said the grandfathering clause is unnecessary, because the developer has already been given the go-ahead to build on the vacant land. He also worries that by not including smaller lots in the new rules, the door remains open to a developer demolishing a home on the property and building something much larger or out of character with the neighbourhood.

“It’s maddening,” he said.

City says grandfathering is needed

But a recent staff report says the grandfather clause is needed to protect current property owners. And in an…

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