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A Growing Community

One of the joys of this job is the chance to support wonderful grassroots projects. The Fairview Community Garden on Convoy Avenue is one such project, led by husband and wife Christopher and Beverley Rhoden. The Rhodens moved to Halifax four years ago from Sudbury, attracted they say by Halifax’s green spaces and (relatively) balmy climate. Once settled in they wanted to find a way to give back. Working with a committee at their church, they’ve been connecting would-be gardeners with garden plots on the church’s land.

Many of the gardeners live in nearby apartments and wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to enjoy their green thumbs. Some of the gardeners are from Nepal and the Phillippines and are missing a taste of home. The gardens are already packed with sprouting flowers, vegetables and herbs. This year many of the 29 raised beds needed repairs, and with the cost of building materials going up, the wood was going to be a big expense. Christopher made the ask and did the paperwork and I was happy to contribute from my councillor’s fund. Community gardens are a great way for people to enjoy the outdoors and to socialize and I’d like to see more of them in our district. If you’re interested in getting a community garden started, I can help and so can HRM Parks and Recreation:

www.halifax.ca/parks-recreation/parks-trails-gardens/gardens/community-gardens

Week in Review

We didn’t have a regional council meeting last week so I had an extra day to talk to residents. Some of the issues included a new development proposed for Westerwald Street, another new development pending at Wentworth and Dunbrack, and traffic issues at Grosvenor Wentworth school. I also helped operators of a new business in Fairview cut through some red tape.

Committee meetings this week included Audit and Finance where we provided $100K to Neptune Theatre to help offset lost revenue (a 93% loss) due to Covid. We heard from the Auditor General that HRM needs to do a better job prioritizing which roads should get repairs. At Community Design Advisory Committee we continued to work our way through “Package B”, the regional plan update for Downtown Dartmouth and Halifax Peninsula. Many of the principles in Package B (more urban density, more development on major transit routes, more pedestrian-friendly design requirements) will become models for District 10 and other suburban areas in the next two years. To learn more, you can attend the June 22 Halifax and West Community Council meeting:

www.halifax.ca/city-hall/community-councils/june-22-2021-halifax-west-community-council-special

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

A Growing Community

One of the joys of this job is the chance to support wonderful grassroots projects.  The Fairview Community Garden on Convoy Avenue is one such project, led by husband and wife Christopher and Beverley Rhoden. The Rhodens moved to Halifax four years ago from Sudbury, attracted they say by Halifax’s green spaces and (relatively) balmy climate. Once settled in they wanted to find a way to give back.  Working with a committee at their church, they’ve been connecting would-be gardeners with garden plots on the church’s land.

Many of the gardeners live in nearby apartments and wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to enjoy their green thumbs. Some of the gardeners are from Nepal and the Phillippines and are missing a taste of home.  The gardens are already packed with sprouting flowers, vegetables and herbs.  This year many of the 29 raised beds needed repairs, and with the cost of building materials going up, the wood was going to be a big expense.  Christopher made the ask and did the paperwork and I was happy to contribute from my councillor’s fund.  Community gardens are a great way for people to enjoy the outdoors and to socialize and I’d like to see more of them in our district.  If you’re interested in getting a community garden started, I can help and so can HRM Parks and Recreation:

https://www.halifax.ca/parks-recreation/parks-trails-gardens/gardens/community-gardens

Week in Review

We didn’t have a regional council meeting last week so I had an extra day to talk to residents.  Some of the issues included a new development proposed for Westerwald Street, another new development pending at Wentworth and Dunbrack, and traffic issues at Grosvenor Wentworth school.  I also helped operators of a new business in Fairview cut through some red tape.

Committee meetings this week included Audit and Finance where we provided $100K to Neptune Theatre to help offset lost revenue (a 93% loss) due to Covid.  We heard from the Auditor General that HRM needs to do a better job prioritizing which roads should get repairs.  At Community Design Advisory Committee we continued to work our way through “Package B”, the regional plan update for Downtown Dartmouth and Halifax Peninsula.  Many of the principles in Package B (more urban density, more development on major transit routes, more pedestrian-friendly design requirements) will become models for District 10 and other suburban areas in the next two years.  To learn more, you can attend the June 22 Halifax and West Community Council meeting:

https://www.halifax.ca/city-hall/community-councils/june-22-2021-halifax-west-community-council-special

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

Week in Review—Peace and Friendship Park and Council Highlights

Regional council took steps toward a more inclusive and greener municipality this week. In a gesture of respect and reconciliation with the Mi'kmaw community, Council approved the renaming of Cornwallis Park (at Barrington and South) to Peace and Friendship Park. A ceremony will be held in a few weeks to mark the change. Cornwallis founded Halifax in 1749. Cornwallis issued the so-called scalping proclamation against Mi'kmaw men, women and children and offered a bounty to anyone who carried out the killings. A statue of Cornwallis was removed from the park in 2018 and is in storage. As well as renaming the park, council approved changes to allow flexibility in renaming streets to better reflect the diverse history of the municipality. Apostrophes will now be allowed on street signs for example, so names can be spelled accurately if written in the Mi’kmaw language.

Council endorsed the Anti-Black Racism Framework. The framework and pending action plan will guide projects such as the Africville Visioning Process, the Akoma development in Dartmouth, and the Cogswell District Project. A public consultation for the framework is underway and a report will come back to council in late fall.

Council took a big step toward greener power last week. Council voted to enroll HRM in the Green Choice Program, a new collaboration between the Province, independent power producers, the utility, and large energy buyers. It will allow customers like HRM to purchase up to 100% of their electricity from local renewable energy sources: novascotiagcp.com/

Finally, to help with post-Covid recovery, council voted to support small businesses in the downtown through various parking changes. Initiatives include waiving the HotSpot fee, a merchant validation program, and free on-street metered parking on Thursdays and Fridays between 4-6 pm over the summer.

Have Your Say-Upcoming Consultations

There are a number of public consultations going on, please consider having your say. To comment on the Seton Ridge development near MSVU email planner Paul Sampson at sampsop@halifax.ca

Next week there is public consultation for defining what defunding police would mean in HRM. Sign up for the virtual public engagement session on June 19:
docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfyyXaeUXG1l23nlPCISMZKywkhyJtcLg5-IHB6eDDKx_WbuA/viewform
Or comment on defunding police through the public survey: docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScsgzFnNR8yiowYe7_UWJtzxL1g7reTWA8w37iyFz2_whBjyA/viewform

Until July 16th you're invited to comment on HRM's regional plan by phone (902-233-2501) or email (regionalplan@halifax.ca). Or take the survey:
www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/regional-plan/survey_tools/regional-plan-review

And if you're a mountain biking enthusiast, HRM would love to get your thoughts on our mountain biking strategy.
docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfrJaRyHY2s14-4GGCzHNqbieNzhoedfQ7SXN1F4UjXQD_XwA/viewform

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

Week in Review—Peace and Friendship Park and Council Highlights

Regional council took steps toward a more inclusive and greener municipality this week.  In a gesture of respect and reconciliation with the Mikmaw community, Council approved the renaming of Cornwallis Park (at Barrington and South) to Peace and Friendship Park.  A ceremony will be held in a few weeks to mark the change.  Cornwallis founded Halifax in 1749.  Cornwallis issued the so-called scalping proclamation against Mikmaw men, women and children and offered a bounty to anyone who carried out the killings.  A statue of Cornwallis was removed from the park in 2018 and is in storage.  As well as renaming the park, council approved changes to allow flexibility in renaming streets to better reflect the diverse history of the municipality.  Apostrophes will now be allowed on street signs for example, so names can be spelled accurately if written in the Mi’kmaw language.

Council endorsed the Anti-Black Racism Framework.  The framework and pending action plan will guide projects such as the Africville Visioning Process, the Akoma development in Dartmouth, and the Cogswell District Project.  A public consultation for the framework is underway and a report will come back to council in late fall.  

Council took a big step toward greener power last week.  Council voted to enroll HRM in the Green Choice Program, a new collaboration between the Province, independent power producers, the utility, and large energy buyers. It will allow customers like HRM to purchase up to 100% of their electricity from local renewable energy sources: https://novascotiagcp.com/  

Finally, to help with post-Covid recovery, council voted to support small businesses in the downtown through various parking changes. Initiatives include waiving the HotSpot fee, a merchant validation program, and free on-street metered parking on Thursdays and Fridays between 4-6 pm over the summer.

Have Your Say-Upcoming Consultations

There are a number of public consultations going on, please consider having your say.  To comment on the Seton Ridge development near MSVU  email planner Paul Sampson at sampsop@halifax.ca

Next week there is public consultation for defining what defunding police would mean in HRM.  Sign up for the virtual public engagement session on June 19:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfyyXaeUXG1l23nlPCISMZKywkhyJtcLg5-IHB6eDDKx_WbuA/viewform
Or comment on defunding police through the public survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScsgzFnNR8yiowYe7_UWJtzxL1g7reTWA8w37iyFz2_whBjyA/viewform

Until July 16th youre invited to comment on HRMs regional plan by phone (902-233-2501) or email (regionalplan@halifax.ca).  Or take the survey: 
https://www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/regional-plan/survey_tools/regional-plan-review

And if youre a mountain biking enthusiast, HRM would love to get your thoughts on our mountain biking strategy.  
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfrJaRyHY2s14-4GGCzHNqbieNzhoedfQ7SXN1F4UjXQD_XwA/viewform

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

Comment on Facebook

Thanks for sharing! I like the parking waiver, but think it could go further. Would love to see more done for local businesses. Are there any other initiatives council is working on?

Thank you for all the links to allow for public consultation. Wow, a lot going on!

The Mountain Biking Survey asks about ALL TRAIL USE ..so anyone who enjoys the outdoors will want to participate. It may help to focus on trail use in general as an important all ages community & regional asset for residents & visitors. Wayfinding & Signage are huge gaps in our parks & on the trails...have your say!🥾👣🚴‍♂️👩‍🦽

Park Land vs. New School, Seton Ridge and Week in Review

New school in Clayton Park West?

The provincial government is proposing a new school in Clayton Park West (District 12). The school’s future catchment area is still to be determined, but in addition to District 12 students it would likely serve some District 10 students in Fairview, Clayton Park and Rockingham. The location selected by the province is forested park land owned by HRM near the existing Park West School. HRM requires decisions about releasing park land to involve the public. In this case, HRM is conducting an online survey until June 21. It only takes a few minutes so I hope you’ll have your say:
www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/park-west-school?fbclid=IwAR2ONITjxSYXugTaxAle7mf0lzEzjRzobhcHPgxsIgd...

The survey results will help HRM councillors decide, sometime in the summer or early fall, whether to sell or lease the park land to the province. There is no question a new school is needed with so many schools in our area at capacity or over-capacity. A school at this location (on Radcliffe Dr) could be walkable for students from Rockingham South, for example. But in our densifying district, parks and greenspace are also needed, and it concerns me that this location next to the Mainland North Trail was chosen without much explanation. Is it the best possible location for the greatest number of students? It would also be helpful to know why the other locations considered by the NS Department of Infrastructure and Housing were rejected. Perhaps there is undeveloped land off Washmill, with more space for a playing field and wider streets, that would be better suited for a new school where many students will arrive by bus and car. It would be good to know more about the other options.

Seton Ridge on June 10

HRM is hosting an online public information session for the Seton Ridge development on Thursday, June 10th at 6pm. Seton Ridge, next to MSVU, will be one of the largest developments in District 10 in the next decade. The plan is for a mixed commercial and residential community of 7000, with a variety of housing options. Construction is expected to start next winter. The information session is an opportunity to hear from the project developer and ask questions. HRM’s planner on the project, Paul Sampson, will also be available for questions. Pre-registration is required. Please email Paul at sampsop@halifax.ca.

www.halifax.ca/business/planning-development/applications/case-22896-seton-road-bedford-highway-l...

Week in Review

Last week I met with community police about traffic safety and residents’ concerns about Tremont Park. At the Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee, we supported a proposal to study 72 HRM lakes and also heard from Our HRM Alliance about the “Themes and Directions” report. At the Community Design Advisory Committee we discussed Package B, the new streamlined planning rules for downtown HRM. While getting ready for council next week, I worked with residents on a wide variety of district issues, including rats, chickens, pickleball fair play, parking disputes and reducing red tape for a new restaurant. It’s always good to hear from you.

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

Park Land vs. New School, Seton Ridge and Week in Review

New school in Clayton Park West?

The provincial government is proposing a new school in Clayton Park West (District 12).  The school’s future catchment area is still to be determined, but in addition to District 12 students it would likely serve some District 10 students in Fairview, Clayton Park and Rockingham.  The location selected by the province is forested park land owned by HRM near the existing Park West School.  HRM requires decisions about releasing park land to involve the public. In this case, HRM is conducting an online survey until June 21.  It only takes a few minutes so I hope you’ll have your say:
https://www.shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/park-west-school?fbclid=IwAR2ONITjxSYXugTaxAle7mf0lzEzjRzobhcHPgxsIgd0eDkNZqd1Aivwj38

The survey results will help HRM councillors decide, sometime in the summer or early fall, whether to sell or lease the park land to the province.  There is no question a new school is needed with so many schools in our area at capacity or over-capacity.  A school at this location (on Radcliffe Dr) could be walkable for students from Rockingham South, for example.  But in our densifying district, parks and greenspace are also needed, and it concerns me that this location next to the Mainland North Trail was chosen without much explanation.  Is it the best possible location for the greatest number of students? It would also be helpful to know why the other locations considered by the NS Department of Infrastructure and Housing were rejected.  Perhaps there is undeveloped land off Washmill, with more space for a playing field and wider streets, that would be better suited for a new school where many students will arrive by bus and car.  It would be good to know more about the other options.

Seton Ridge on June 10

HRM is hosting an online public information session for the Seton Ridge development on Thursday, June 10th at 6pm.  Seton Ridge, next to MSVU, will be one of the largest developments in District 10 in the next decade.  The plan is for a mixed commercial and residential community of 7000, with a variety of housing options.  Construction is expected to start next winter.  The information session is an opportunity to hear from the project developer and ask questions.  HRM’s planner on the project, Paul Sampson, will also be available for questions.  Pre-registration is required.  Please email Paul at sampsop@halifax.ca.

https://www.halifax.ca/business/planning-development/applications/case-22896-seton-road-bedford-highway-lacewood-drive?fbclid=IwAR2ONITjxSYXugTaxAle7mf0lzEzjRzobhcHPgxsIgd0eDkNZqd1Aivwj38

Week in Review

Last week I met with community police about traffic safety and residents’ concerns about Tremont Park.  At the Environment and Sustainability Standing Committee, we supported a proposal to study 72 HRM lakes and also heard from Our HRM Alliance about the “Themes and Directions” report.  At the Community Design Advisory Committee we discussed Package B, the new streamlined planning rules for downtown HRM.  While getting ready for council next week, I worked with residents on a wide variety of district issues, including rats, chickens, pickleball fair play, parking disputes and reducing red tape for a new restaurant.  It’s always good to hear from you.  

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

Comment on Facebook

Over capacity at Park West school has been on going concern from day one. Many constituents have expressed concerns about the new pre-primary to Grade 8 school proposed for the Park West School Park site. I have said that any decision must be deliberate, visionary, transparent and informed by rigorous community engagement.

Thank you Kathryn for bringing up the topic of the proposed sale of parkland in District 12. It goes against the Green Network Plan...once gone, our wild habitat will not return for all to enjoy the flora & fauna. Our tree canopy is already low according the the Urban Forest study! Everyone can make their voices heard by completing the Survey link, before June 21. The shared PW field for 1500 students, currently under disrepair, is just one of many points against this decision. And the Traffic study suggests 125 parking spaces ( PW has nearly 70). And 5 bus bays. The site may be too small. Local real estate values will decrease if trees are cut up to their property lines. Check out the 12 new Modules at Park West, this will serve the school and current catchment area. Ask the province where & why the other sites were located. Fact based community engagement by the Minister of Education is needed to determine a new Fairview Clayton Park 'walking' School...not a bussing Park West School. 🚶‍♂️🌲🐦👣

It's shameful that the city and province don't work better together at planning growth. Large swaths of new housing development will inevitably require schools and other services. But the province is always playing catch-up. Developers make a killing, then leave overcrowded schools (and/or no room to build a new one). Green belts are crucial habitats for urban wildlife, and we're letting developers destroy them. (I'm not an anti-growth nimby; there's still lots of poorly utilized space to build on before we cut down more trees.)

Why didn't the developers in the area have to give land for a school. They build build build, make a killing and then walk, and the growth they created makes us have to give up a park for a school. Why are we subsidizing their profit.

Is this new school in addition to the current Park West or do they plan on tearing down the old school? I couldn’t figure that out from the survey and documents.

Our city council is approving developments without consideration of the infrastructure needed for this growth. It's irresponsible. Time to make developers start donating their land for Schools and playgrounds and parks. Since the distribution of benefits from their work is far too one sided.

Please don't let them take away this park. It was one of my favourite places to go in walking distance to where we live. We already lost a lot of park And trees to the strip-mall-looking Church at dunbarak and Clayton park. We can't lose more in this area.

STOP TAKING AWAY GREEN SPACE.

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Kearney Lake Beach Refresh

One of District 10’s most popular summer destinations will be getting a facelift. The number of visitors to the park at Kearney Lake beach has soared over the last few years and it’s looking worn around the edges. The park’s popularity has led to inconveniences for residents as well: everything from traffic bottlenecks near the entrance to visitors in the shoulder season using the woods for a washroom.

After bringing these concerns to HRM Parks and Recreation, I’m very pleased to see a refresh underway. Portable washrooms were installed on Victoria Day weekend, several weeks earlier than usual, and the old bunker-like washroom will be removed to make more room at the entrance to the beach. Brush will be cleared in the picnic area and nearby trails resurfaced. The beach will get a top up of sand and the parking lot will get a top up of gravel to fill potholes and improve access. Parking concerns are being addressed. More work is planned for 2022 to align with a project Nova Scotia Power has scheduled. I’d like to thank the Kearney Lake Residents Association for their assistance and HRM Parks and Recreation staff for making the beach more pleasant for residents and visitors alike.

Trails Consultation

Also at Kearney Lake, the Province of Nova Scotia recently transferred crown land at the end of Saskatoon Drive to the Department of Environment and Climate Change for conservation (as part of 61 new protected areas announced on April 22/21). The land, near Maskwa Aquatic Club, includes a traditional trail to the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes wilderness area. The popularity of this trail is creating a number of challenges for Maskwa (which leases its land from the Province). HRM and the Province of Nova Scotia have been in discussions for some time and it’s expected that a public consultation process about the trail will be announced soon to help resolve access, liability, fire prevention and other concerns. In the long term, Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes will need to be managed and have well-planned entrance points with dedicated parking areas, in areas that can handle the traffic volume.

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

Kearney Lake Beach Refresh

One of District 10’s most popular summer destinations will be getting a facelift.  The number of visitors to the park at Kearney Lake beach has soared over the last few years and it’s looking worn around the edges.  The park’s popularity has led to inconveniences for residents as well:  everything from traffic bottlenecks near the entrance to visitors in the shoulder season using the woods for a washroom.

After bringing these concerns to HRM Parks and Recreation, I’m very pleased to see a refresh underway. Portable washrooms were installed on Victoria Day weekend, several weeks earlier than usual, and the old bunker-like washroom will be removed to make more room at the entrance to the beach.  Brush will be cleared in the picnic area and nearby trails resurfaced.  The beach will get a top up of sand and the parking lot will get a top up of gravel to fill potholes and improve access.  Parking concerns are being addressed.  More work is planned for 2022 to align with a project Nova Scotia Power has scheduled.  I’d like to thank the Kearney Lake Residents Association for their assistance and HRM Parks and Recreation staff for making the beach more pleasant for residents and visitors alike.

Trails Consultation

Also at Kearney Lake, the Province of Nova Scotia recently transferred crown land at the end of Saskatoon Drive to the Department of Environment and Climate Change for conservation (as part of 61 new protected areas announced on April 22/21).  The land, near Maskwa Aquatic Club, includes a traditional trail to the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes wilderness area.  The popularity of this trail is creating a number of challenges for Maskwa (which leases its land from the Province).  HRM and the Province of Nova Scotia have been in discussions for some time and it’s expected that a public consultation process about the trail will be announced soon to help resolve access, liability, fire prevention and other concerns.  In the long term,  Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes will need to be managed and have well-planned entrance points with dedicated parking areas, in areas that can handle the traffic volume.

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

Comment on Facebook

Are you allowed to run your dogs off leash at this trail system? There seems to be some controversy over this,

Crystal Lalonde

♥️ thatplace....biking there the best....biking home....🥺 Andrew Gubb Dave Bryan Mark MacDonald

Thank you!!!

Great news! Thank you!!!

Given the overcrowding at the beach and the lack of parking...not to mention the sale of more land to a developer where is this leaving the Kearney Lake Park?

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