Developers behind Bedford West project launch appeal with province's utility and review board
Cresco Holdings sought to replace commercial space with 200 residential units
The developers behind a project in Bedford West have appealed the decision of two Halifax Regional Municipality community councils to reject their application to change a commercial building to a residential one.
Cresco Holdings Ltd. has had a development agreement for a mixed-use project on Hogan Court since 2012. The project includes a grocery store, a hotel, 72 residential units and an office building.
But the company decided to try to replace commercial space with 200 more residential units. The developers said the maximum number of people would remain the same at just over 1,200.
The site is located close to Kearney Lake and adjacent to a provincial roundabout. It straddles two planning zones.
The Halifax and West Community Council and the North West Community Council held a public hearing on Nov. 26.
Brian Murray was the only local resident who spoke. He had concerns about increased traffic.
"It's going to be gridlock," he said. "We see gridlock now. We're on the other side of the highway and we see it everyday. I think it's only going to get worse when you put more people in there."
HRM planners recommended approval of the proposed amendment, saying traffic engineers thought there would only be a "minor increase" in local traffic.
But Coun. Shawn Cleary said he could not support the proposal.
"It's absolutely atrocious planning and awful development," said Cleary. "It's not transit-oriented, it's not friendly to pedestrians or cyclists."
Coun. Pam Lovelace also had concerns.
"Where are the kids going to walk to actually get to the bus?" said Lovelace. "I'm struggling with understanding the liveability of this."
All but two councillors, Waye Mason and Lindell Smith, voted against the amendment.
The councillor for the area, Tim Outhit, who believes the nearby roundabout is at capacity, had a warning for his colleagues.
"I think it's going to be hard for our lawyers to defend this," said Outhit.
Cresco Holdings has filed an appeal with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. Its application states that the decision does not "reasonably carry out the intent of the municipal planning strategies or the development agreement."
The board has scheduled a hearing for Feb. 4, 2021.