The Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia took one last shot at HRMByDesign yesterday, releasing results from an informal survey of preferred views from Citadel Hill before the controversial urban design plan is debated by city councillors.
“There is overwhelming public support for retaining views of the central harbour,” Phil Pacey said while standing with supporters at the top of the National Historic Site. “It is most unfortunate that we are potentially only one vote of council away from the adoption of an option that is so far away from the wishes of downtown pedestrians.”
Pacey pointed to the poll, consisting of 169 surveys collected by seven volunteers, showing that eight per cent favour a potential view plane under HRMByDesign. He said eighteen per cent preferred an option for lower building heights proposed by the Heritage Trust, while 73 per cent of people actually want to “keep the view as it is.”
But Tori Jarvis, urban development director for FUSION Halifax, said the Heritage Trust “paints a picture that really just plays into everybody’s worst fears.”
“It’s really not taking into account the design guidelines, which are such a huge part of HRMByDesign,” she said, adding heritage protection is strengthened and view planes are respected under the proposed plan.
Jarvis said it’s high time the municipality came up with what she called a “moderate and “liveable” plan for growth.
“This city needs to grow to attract world-class companies who are going to pay good salaries (so) we can retain the people who are graduating,” she said.
HRM’s Andy Fillmore said councillors start debating this afternoon. He said the city has received about 145 comments on HRMByDesign from the public and politicians.