Halifax's Artillery Place proposal too tall?

A development proposal for Artillery Place in downtown Halifax is heading to the city's design review committee next week but it may not go ahead because it’s too tall.

Downtown Coun. Waye Mason says it violates height restrictions

The proposed Artillery Place development is heading to the city's design review committee next week. (Halifax Regional Municipality)

A new residential development proposal for downtown Halifax is heading to the city's design review committee next week, but could be shot down because it’s too tall.

Landmark Developments wants to construct an eight-storey building called Artillery Place, but under HRM by Design the area is limited to 16 metres, or roughly four storeys.  

The development is proposed for the site bounded by Queen Street, Dresden Row and Artillery Place.  

The concept drawings show a building with close to 30 apartment or condo units and two commercial spaces on the ground floor. It also includes a small public space along Queen Street.

Waye Mason, the councillor for downtown Halifax, says the proposal violates maximum height restrictions in the area.  

"The reason why is because of the adjacency to the national historic site at Citadel Hill and the national historic site at Royal Artillery Park, which is what the street is named for," Mason said.

Developers can get permission in some parts of the downtown to add an extra storey or two if a development includes a public amenity — such as a park or a piece of art. But bonuses aren't available in every zone.

"It depends on a whole bunch of other factors that were all balanced very carefully when HRM by Design was written. In this area, no bonus heights allowed there," said Mason.

Mason said he's not interested in making any exceptions to the HRM by Design rules. He said predictable rules are why there are now 32 projects planned or underway in the downtown.