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Mainland Common Loop Trail, Rockingham South Development, Help for the Unhoused and Green Light for Cogswell Project

Ever wonder who keeps the trails at the top of Fairview and Clayton Park looking so nice? It's this dedicated group:
Halifax North West Trails Association. On Saturday morning I spent a few hours with volunteers from HNWTA and the Princess Louise Fuseliers, hauling and raking wood chips. Not only does the Loop Trail look and smell great, the layer of woodchips keeps it drier, softer, and more comfortable for those with joint trouble. You can get to the Mainland Common Loop Trail from the Mainland North Linear Trail, at the top of Westridge Drive or Main Avenue.

New Development in Rockingham South

A proposed development in Rockingham South at Dunbrack and Ruth Goldbloom (across from the gas station) goes to community council and final public hearing next Tuesday evening. The developer, WM Fares, is proposing a 5 storey apartment building or hotel (Case 22539). Both uses are permitted in that location. Here are the details if you'd like to tune in or participate:

www.halifax.ca/city-hall/community-councils/september-21-2021-halifax-west-community-council

Help for the Unhoused

Starting next Monday, Assistant Chief of Emergency Management Erica Fleck will lead HRM's emergency response to homelessness. For the next 3 months, she will coordinate all efforts related to Council’s recent directive to invest $500,000 for emergency accommodations. Meanwhile municipal staff continue to work to identify potential sites in HRM for temporary housing. HRM is also in the process of hiring a full-time Social Policy Strategist who will focus on longer-term solutions to homelessness.

For more information on the municipality’s approach to homelessness visit www.halifax.ca/about-halifax/regional-community-planning/public-safety/common-questions-regarding...

A Step Forward on Affordable Housing

Last week at regional council I brought forward a motion related to affordable housing. The motion requested a staff report on ways to require developers in District 10 and other suburban districts to contribute to the creation of affordable housing. The motion received unanimous approval. Once the staff report comes back, I'm hopeful council will have another tool to promote the creation of affordable housing. Right now we're hampered by a suburban plan that is more than forty years old and out of date.

Learn more about these recent Council decisions, and past highlights this year: www.halifax.ca/city-hall/regional-council/making-a-difference-our-region

Cogswell Project Approved

After many years of negotiations and public engagement, regional council has approved the first construction tender for the massive Cogswell District redevelopment project. A new neighbourhood will be built where the underused Cogswell Interchange now stands. With highrise housing and parks, the $120 million+ project is designed to create a more vibrant and attractive downtown. Project costs are expected to be recovered through partnerships and the sale of some of the land. The project is scheduled to begin construction this winter.

For full details, and to learn more about the Cogswell District, visit: www.halifax.ca/about-halifax/regional-community-planning/construction-projects/cogswell-district-...

Councillor Kathryn Morse
District 10 (Fairview, Clayton Park and Rockingham)
Contact me at kathryn.morse@halifax.ca
... See MoreSee Less

Mainland Common Loop Trail, Rockingham South Development, Help for the Unhoused and Green Light for Cogswell Project

Ever wonder who keeps the trails at the top of Fairview and Clayton Park looking so nice?  Its this dedicated group:  
Halifax North West Trails Association.  On Saturday morning I spent a few hours with volunteers from HNWTA and the Princess Louise Fuseliers, hauling and raking wood chips.  Not only does the Loop Trail look and smell great, the layer of woodchips keeps it drier, softer, and more comfortable for those with joint trouble.  You can get to the Mainland Common Loop Trail from the Mainland North Linear Trail, at the top of Westridge Drive or Main Avenue.

New Development in Rockingham South

A proposed development in Rockingham South at Dunbrack and Ruth Goldbloom (across from the gas station) goes to community council and final public hearing next Tuesday evening.  The developer, WM Fares, is proposing a 5 storey apartment building or hotel (Case 22539). Both uses are permitted in that location.  Here are the details if youd like to tune in or participate: 
 
https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/community-councils/september-21-2021-halifax-west-community-council

Help for the Unhoused

Starting next Monday, Assistant Chief of Emergency Management Erica Fleck will lead HRMs emergency response to homelessness. For the next 3 months, she will coordinate all efforts related to Council’s recent directive to invest $500,000 for emergency accommodations.   Meanwhile municipal staff continue to work to identify potential sites in HRM for temporary housing.   HRM is also in the process of hiring a full-time Social Policy Strategist who will focus on longer-term solutions to homelessness.

For more information on the municipality’s approach to homelessness visit https://www.halifax.ca/about-halifax/regional-community-planning/public-safety/common-questions-regarding-homelessness

A Step Forward on Affordable Housing

Last week at regional council I brought forward a motion related to affordable housing.  The motion requested a staff report on ways to require developers in District 10 and other suburban districts to contribute to the creation of affordable housing.  The motion received unanimous approval.  Once the staff report comes back, Im hopeful council will have another tool to promote the creation of affordable housing.  Right now were hampered by a suburban plan that is more than forty years old and out of date.

Learn more about these recent Council decisions, and past highlights this year: https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/regional-council/making-a-difference-our-region

Cogswell Project Approved

After many years of negotiations and public engagement, regional council has approved the first construction tender for the massive Cogswell District redevelopment project.  A new neighbourhood will be built where the underused Cogswell Interchange now stands.  With highrise housing and parks, the $120 million+ project is designed to create a more vibrant and attractive downtown.  Project costs are expected to be recovered through partnerships and the sale of some of the land.  The project is scheduled to begin construction this winter.  

For full details, and to learn more about the Cogswell District, visit: https://www.halifax.ca/about-halifax/regional-community-planning/construction-projects/cogswell-district-redevelopment-0

Councillor Kathryn Morse
District 10 (Fairview, Clayton Park and Rockingham)
Contact me at kathryn.morse@halifax.ca

Comment on Facebook

Those people need housing NOW not more reports!!! There is land at the former Shannon park site that could be used over the winter for the small wooden units that were built for them and it wouldn't hurt anyone, but YOU as COUNCIL,won't even suggest it as it might "look bad" to prospective buyers or land use developers 🤬

Castle Hill Party, Titus Park and Affordable Housing

Congratulations to Brad MacLeod and Andrew MacKinnon on the 29th annual Castle Hill street party and BBQ on Saturday. The bouncy castle, tug of war and candy toss were hits with the kids. A highlight for both kids and adults was the very sporting dip in the dunk tank taken by newly-elected Bedford South MLA Braedon Clark. Talk about taking the plunge into political life. I'll have to get there earlier next year!

Week in Review: Food pantry, Titus Park, Affordable Housing


This was one of those “six days’ work crammed into four” kind of weeks. Along with prepping for council next Tuesday and responding to lots of calls and emails from residents (that blasting is coming from the project at 3514 Joseph Howe Dr), here’s what I was up to in District 10:

*Met with Councillor Iona Stoddard at the Mainland Common to look at facilities on our shared border
*Met with the team involved in the Food Pantry in Fairview
*Met with someone planning an affordable housing project in District 10
*Met HRM’s urban foresters at Titus Park to finalize the tree planting plan

Coming up next week: Motion for Affordable Housing

On Tuesday at regional council I will be asking for council’s support on a motion intended to address a gap in affordable rental housing in Fairview, Clayton Park, Rockingham and other suburban areas. My motion requests a staff report and recommendations with the goal of establishing an Interim Density Bonusing Program outside the regional centre. My hope is this program would support the creation of more affordable rental housing throughout HRM.
The challenge now is that council has no ability to require the inclusion of affordable units or other benefits in new developments in suburban areas. This is because, outside of downtown Dartmouth and the peninsula of Halifax, the planning and zoning rules are 40 years old and don’t permit such requirements. Change is needed.

Also on Tuesday, regional council will vote on municipal election campaign financing rules, car booting regulations, and the pending Cogswell District Project--downtown’s massive revamp.

Safer Streets

On Tuesday (and possibly Wednesday) councillors and staff will discuss how HRM’s streets will look in the future once new draft Municipal Design Guidelines are adopted. The goal of HRM's "Complete Streets" approach is streets that are safer, convenient and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities, and include various modes of transportation. There will be public hearings on these guidelines at a later date.
www.halifax.ca/transportation/streets-sidewalks/municipal-design-guidelines-red-book

Councillor Kathryn Morse
District 10 (Fairview, Clayton Park and Rockingham)
Contact me at kathryn.morse@halifax.ca
... See MoreSee Less

Castle Hill Party, Titus Park and Affordable Housing

Congratulations to Brad MacLeod and Andrew MacKinnon on the 29th annual Castle Hill street party and BBQ on Saturday.  The bouncy castle, tug of war and candy toss were hits with the kids.  A highlight for both kids and adults was the very sporting dip in the dunk tank taken by newly-elected Bedford South MLA Braedon Clark.  Talk about taking the plunge into political life.  Ill have to get there earlier next year!

Week in Review:  Food pantry, Titus Park, Affordable Housing

 
This was one of those “six days’ work crammed into four” kind of weeks.  Along with prepping for council next Tuesday and responding to lots of calls and emails from residents (that blasting is coming from the project at 3514 Joseph Howe Dr), here’s what I was up to in District 10:

*Met with Councillor Iona Stoddard at the Mainland Common to look at facilities on our shared border
*Met with the team involved in the Food Pantry in Fairview 
*Met with someone planning an affordable housing project in District 10
*Met HRM’s urban foresters at Titus Park to finalize the tree planting plan
 
Coming up next week:  Motion for Affordable Housing

On Tuesday at regional council I will be asking for council’s support on a motion intended to address a gap in affordable rental housing in Fairview, Clayton Park, Rockingham and other suburban areas.  My motion requests a staff report and recommendations with the goal of establishing an Interim Density Bonusing Program outside the regional centre. My hope is this program would support the creation of more affordable rental housing throughout HRM. 
The challenge now is that council has no ability to require the inclusion of affordable units or other benefits in new developments in suburban areas.  This is because, outside of downtown Dartmouth and the peninsula of Halifax, the planning and zoning rules are 40 years old and don’t permit such requirements.  Change is needed.

Also on Tuesday, regional council will vote on municipal election campaign financing rules, car booting regulations, and the pending Cogswell District Project--downtown’s massive revamp.

Safer Streets

On Tuesday (and possibly Wednesday) councillors and staff will discuss how HRM’s streets will look in the future once new draft Municipal Design Guidelines are adopted.  The goal of HRMs Complete Streets approach is streets that are safer, convenient and comfortable for people of all ages and abilities, and include various modes of transportation. There will be public hearings on these guidelines at a later date.
https://www.halifax.ca/transportation/streets-sidewalks/municipal-design-guidelines-red-book

Councillor Kathryn Morse
District 10 (Fairview, Clayton Park and Rockingham)
Contact me at kathryn.morse@halifax.ca

Comment on Facebook

". . .sporting dip in the dunk tank taken by newly-elected Bedford South MP Braedon Clark." I wondered if I had fallen asleep and slept through the next nine days -- or maybe you meant "MLA Braedon Clark." 😆

The community awaits your comments about the Mainland Common, it's a great community resource that needs more TLC for everyone ..most of the assets are locked or gated for team use. Perhaps its time to revisit/renew the 2008 Mainland Common Report and listen to the public once again.

I'm glad I voted for you. So far you're striving to keep you promises and I appreciate that. Good luck creating positive change

210 Willett, Titus Park Spruce Up and Emergency Housing


After sitting vacant for almost three years, the round tower at the corner of Willett and Dunbrack is finally getting some attention. Crews have been getting the tower (and neighbouring buildings) ready for demolition, possibly in late September or October. The replacement buildings at 210 Willett are expected to be completed in 2024/2025. For a timeline on the project and more details: 210-214willettst.com/

Sprucing Up Titus Park

At my request, there will be a few dozen trees planted at Fairview’s Titus Park this fall. The park has been bare and spare for a long time so the additional trees will give it a fresh look. If you’d like to comment on this tree planting project please contact me in the next few days.


Back to School

It’s back to school on Tuesday! Why are July and August always the fastest two months of the year? Over the summer I’ve been talking to residents, Halifax Regional Police, and HRM traffic staff to try to work out some solutions to address traffic safety concerns around our schools. Starting next week HRM staff will be monitoring schools on a regular rotation to enforce parking rules. Halifax Regional Police will also continue their monitoring of school zones.

Progress on Emergency Housing

The August 31 regional council meeting was a 10 am to 10 pm marathon session. A big part of the meeting was devoted to emergency housing, with council passing a motion approving $500,000 to help those in HRM experiencing homelessness. Council also approved 3 projects that will receive $13 million in funding from the second phase of the federal government’s Rapid Housing Initiative. These three projects will provide an additional 85 housing units in Dartmouth and Chezzetcook. For more details:


www.halifax.ca/city-hall/regional-council/making-a-difference-our-region

Green Initiatives

Also at regional council I introduced two motions that passed unanimously: the first was a motion aimed at protecting urban wetlands and the second was a motion requesting an assessment of the resources needed to implement HRM’s Green Network Plan. Both will require staff reports to determine next steps.

Enjoy the long weekend.


Councillor Kathryn Morse
District 10 (Fairview, Clayton Park and Rockingham)
Contact me at kathryn.morse@halifax.ca
... See MoreSee Less

210 Willett,  Titus Park Spruce Up and Emergency Housing 

 
After sitting vacant for almost three years, the round tower at the corner of Willett and Dunbrack is finally getting some attention.  Crews have been getting the tower (and neighbouring buildings) ready for demolition, possibly in late September or October.  The replacement buildings at 210 Willett are expected to be completed in 2024/2025. For a timeline on the project and more details:  http://210-214willettst.com/

Sprucing Up Titus Park

At my request, there will be a few dozen trees planted at Fairview’s Titus Park this fall.  The park has been bare and spare for a long time so the additional trees will give it a fresh look.  If you’d like to comment on this tree planting project please contact me in the next few days. 
 

Back to School

It’s back to school on Tuesday! Why are July and August always the fastest two months of the year? Over the summer I’ve been talking to residents, Halifax Regional Police, and HRM traffic staff to try to work out some solutions to address traffic safety concerns around our schools. Starting next week HRM staff will be monitoring schools on a regular rotation to enforce parking rules.  Halifax Regional Police will also continue their monitoring of school zones. 

Progress on Emergency Housing

The August 31 regional council meeting was a 10 am to 10 pm marathon session.  A big part of the meeting was devoted to emergency housing, with council passing a motion approving $500,000 to help those in HRM experiencing homelessness.  Council also approved 3 projects that will receive $13 million in funding from the second phase of the federal government’s Rapid Housing Initiative.  These three projects will provide an additional 85 housing units in Dartmouth and Chezzetcook. For more details:

 
https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/regional-council/making-a-difference-our-region

Green Initiatives
 
Also at regional council I introduced two motions that passed unanimously:  the first was a motion aimed at protecting urban wetlands and the second was a motion requesting an assessment of the resources needed to implement HRM’s Green Network Plan.  Both will require staff reports to determine next steps.

Enjoy the long weekend.

 
Councillor Kathryn Morse
District 10 (Fairview, Clayton Park and Rockingham)
Contact me at kathryn.morse@halifax.ca

Comment on Facebook

I thought wetlands were already protected? I would like to know if there is any truth to the rumour that the commons land bordering Thomas Raddall (across from Halifax West school) has been sold for development. Is that in your area? That would eat into the naturalized walking trails of the Mainland Linear Loop.

Maybe utilizing spaces like these to combat the homelessness issues that we face here in Halifax is a topic worth discussing at the council level.

Has there been any work done on the greenbelt beside Glenforest Drive? There were some invasive species that have been narrowing the path every year there. It's becoming overgrown in spots.

Oh I didn't know that building was vacant. I drive by it daily and it looks so cool.

Thanks for the report. I appreciate getting Council updates.

Be nice if Titus park got a splash pad.

Ong every second year MSVU student lived there when I was a student!

Gosh, I can't find my comment on this subject. Vernon Martin

Sarah Kaizer

Thanks for the update. 👍

View more comments

Making Their Beds



Congratulations to the Birdland Community Garden Society for getting their raised beds built and installed this week at DJ Butler Park on Flamingo Drive. Next step: filling them with soil and planting the fall crops! It was an extra-challenging time to initiate this project because of Covid, shortages of materials and rising costs, so kudos to Renee Field and all the volunteers for sticking with it. I was pleased to help this community garden get off the ground with a contribution from my councillor’s fund.



Local Star on Ice


Congratulations also to Centennial Arena manager Stuart Poteri for reaching a milestone this week: 40 years working full-time at the rink. The arena has been a real community hub in Fairview and Clayton Park ever since it opened. Stuart has been involved for much of that time and has no plans to slow down. Community commitment certainly runs in the family. Stuart took over from his father Jack, who worked at Centennial Arena for 44 years.



Council Meeting August 17



Regional Council meets next Tuesday. Some of the hot topics we’ll be working on include finalizing the new Centre Plan; regulating car booting companies; standardizing recreation fees; planning to host the World Sailing Championships in 2022; and changing by-laws related to backyard chickens. We’ll also discuss some admin changes including the councillor code of conduct and how HRM handles surplus properties.

I have two motions going before council next week: the first is a request for recommendations to change the C-2C zone in Fairview, which I feel allows too much density and not enough room for street trees, sidewalks, bike lanes and parking. My second motion is a request to include climate adaptation measures in the 2022 HRM budget. For the full agenda:


www.halifax.ca/city-hall/regional-council/august-17-2021-halifax-regional-council-special-meeting

Nuisance Fireworks

I’ve been getting complaints about frequent late-night fireworks, especially in and around Piercey Field, which I brought to the attention of police recently. Fireworks may be fun for those setting them off, but when launched in residential areas they can actually be harmful for kids and adults with anxiety, autism or PTSD. Fireworks can also be very frightening for animals. In HRM fireworks exist in a kind of legal limbo: the sale and purchase of fireworks is ok but setting them off is against the municipal noise by-laws. Sharing information that fireworks can be stressful for people, pets and wildlife is helpful. If fireworks are a recurring problem in your area, you may wish to report them to the non-emergency police line (902-490-5020).

Councillor Kathryn Morse
District 10 (Fairview, Clayton Park and Rockingham)
Contact me at kathryn.morse@halifax.ca
... See MoreSee Less

Making Their Beds

 

Congratulations to the Birdland Community Garden Society for getting their raised beds built and installed this week at DJ Butler Park on Flamingo Drive.  Next step:  filling them with soil and planting the fall crops!  It was an extra-challenging time to initiate this project because of Covid, shortages of materials and rising costs, so kudos to Renee Field and all the volunteers for sticking with it.  I was pleased to help this community garden get off the ground with a contribution from my councillor’s fund.

 

Local Star on Ice

 
Congratulations also to Centennial Arena manager Stuart Poteri for reaching a milestone this week:  40 years working full-time at the rink.  The arena has been a real community hub in Fairview and Clayton Park ever since it opened.  Stuart has been involved for much of that time and has no plans to slow down.  Community commitment certainly runs in the family.  Stuart took over from his father Jack, who worked at Centennial Arena for 44 years.  

 

Council Meeting August 17

 

Regional Council meets next Tuesday. Some of the hot topics we’ll be working on include finalizing the new Centre Plan; regulating car booting companies; standardizing recreation fees; planning to host the World Sailing Championships in 2022; and changing by-laws related to backyard chickens.  We’ll also discuss some admin changes including the councillor code of conduct and how HRM handles surplus properties.  

I have two motions going before council next week:  the first is a request for recommendations to change the C-2C zone in Fairview, which I feel allows too much density and not enough room for street trees, sidewalks, bike lanes and parking.  My second motion is a request to include climate adaptation measures in the 2022 HRM budget.  For the full agenda:

 
https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/regional-council/august-17-2021-halifax-regional-council-special-meeting

Nuisance Fireworks

I’ve been getting complaints about frequent late-night fireworks, especially in and around Piercey Field, which I brought to the attention of police recently.  Fireworks may be fun for those setting them off, but when launched in residential areas they can actually be harmful for kids and adults with anxiety, autism or PTSD.  Fireworks can also be very frightening for animals.  In HRM fireworks exist in a kind of legal limbo:  the sale and purchase of fireworks is ok but setting them off is against the municipal noise by-laws.  Sharing information that fireworks can be stressful for people, pets and wildlife is helpful.  If fireworks are a recurring problem in your area, you may wish to report them to the non-emergency police line (902-490-5020).

Councillor Kathryn Morse
District 10 (Fairview, Clayton Park and Rockingham)
Contact me at kathryn.morse@halifax.ca

Comment on Facebook

For forty years, Stuart Poteri's been keeping doors open, the books balanced, and the ice smooth at Centennial Arena.

You must be hearing now the crazy fireworks up by Clayton park Dr, this area too has that problem.

HRM's Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes--A National Urban Park?
(Photo: Irwin Barrett, courtesy HalifaxToday.ca)

Exciting news for nature lovers this week: HRM is one of the first municipalities in Canada to sign on to the new National Urban Parks program, announced on August 5th by Parks Canada. It’s very early days, but the agreement is for HRM to work with Parks Canada toward creating a national park at Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes! The park boundaries have yet to be defined, however more than half of the park is already protected in patches from Bayers Lake to Upper Tantallon. Other green spaces in HRM will also be considered for inclusion in a possible national park.


The announcement of a National Urban Park program for Canada is a real turning point. It recognizes that conserving nature is an investment in healthy communities. It recognizes that more people want to enjoy the outdoors close to home, and for 72% of Canadians, home is in cities. It also recognizes cities have an important role to play in conserving nature to help the climate.

The next steps are for Parks Canada and HRM to appoint leaders and supporting teams. Expect to see opportunities for citizens to engage in this project in the months ahead. Congratulations to the many people who have worked for many years to get to this point, especially to the Friends of Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes. If you haven’t already joined the Friends, now would be a great time.


www.bluemountainfriends.ca/



For more on the new National Urban Parks program:



www.newswire.ca/news-releases/government-of-canada-invests-130-million-to-work-with-partners-to-c...

Councillor Kathryn Morse
District 10 (Fairview, Clayton Park and Rockingham)
Contact me at kathryn.morse@halifax.ca
... See MoreSee Less

HRMs Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes--A National Urban Park?
(Photo: Irwin Barrett, courtesy HalifaxToday.ca)

Exciting news for nature lovers this week:  HRM is one of the first municipalities in Canada to sign on to the new National Urban Parks program, announced on August 5th by Parks Canada.  It’s very early days, but the agreement is for HRM to work with Parks Canada toward creating a national park at Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes!  The park boundaries have yet to be defined, however more than half of the park is already protected in patches from Bayers Lake to Upper Tantallon.  Other green spaces in HRM will also be considered for inclusion in a possible national park.
  

The announcement of a National Urban Park program for Canada is a real turning point.  It recognizes that conserving nature is an investment in healthy communities. It recognizes that more people want to enjoy the outdoors close to home, and for 72% of Canadians, home is in cities.   It also recognizes cities have an important role to play in conserving nature to help the climate.  

The next steps are for Parks Canada and HRM to appoint leaders and supporting teams.  Expect to see opportunities for citizens to engage in this project in the months ahead.  Congratulations to the many people who have worked for many years to get to this point, especially to the Friends of Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes.  If you haven’t already joined the Friends, now would be a great time.

 
https://www.bluemountainfriends.ca/

 

For more on the new National Urban Parks program:

 

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/government-of-canada-invests-130-million-to-work-with-partners-to-create-a-network-of-national-urban-parks-887305875.html

Councillor Kathryn Morse
District 10 (Fairview, Clayton Park and Rockingham)
Contact me at kathryn.morse@halifax.ca

Comment on Facebook

I enjoyed a hike to Susies Lake last month with Mark Young and Dale Smith from Friends of BMBCL.

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