“Shame!” yelled Rev. Rhonda Britton from the gallery of Halifax regional council last night.
“At the push of a button, you wipe out a community. It is a shame.”
Britton didn’t leave council chambers quietly after council voted 18-4 to award a contract to Jono Developments Inc. for a mixed-use residential project on the site of the former St. Patrick’s-Alexandra School.
Coun. Dawn Sloane tried to get council to defer the decision for a month for “public education” but was voted down.
Britton and a few other community members were outraged at the lack of community consultation. They also didn’t like the fact three non-profit groups landed at the bottom of the list of applicants to develop the land.
“You have not asked us what we would like in our community,” Britton yelled towards council chambers from the hallway.
She said she found out about the request for proposals last summer, 12 days before it was due and couldn’t get together a competitive proposal in that time.
“How can you convince me you are going to develop some condos on that land that are going to sit next door to Uniacke Square?” she said. “How long will it be before you now want to wipe out Uniacke Square and send those residents somewhere else?”
Sloane pleaded for more time as the community deals with four upcoming developments in the area.
“I’m not trying to kill development. I’m trying to get the right development,” she said.
Other councillors raised questions of legality. And others doubted anything would change if the decision was put off.
Coun. Russell Walker said the development will require a rezoning so that the residents will be able to speak at a public hearing then.