Nova Scotia

Unclear timeline for Centre Plan expected to delay Shannon Park construction

It could take up to a year to approve the final version of Halifax's ambitious Centre Plan and that timeline is expected to delay anticipated construction at the site of the former military community in Dartmouth.

Redevelopment of former military community in Dartmouth must wait for approval of urban core plan

Demolition in Shannon Park started in 2016 as part of a redevelopment plan. (CBC)

It could take up to a year to approve the final version of Halifax's ambitious Centre Plan and that timeline is expected to delay anticipated construction at Dartmouth's Shannon Park. 

The Centre Plan is a new set of rules that will guide development of the city's urban core, defined as peninsular Halifax and parts of Dartmouth, for years to come.

There are six future potential redevelopment sites tied to the proposal: Penhorn Mall, Mic Mac Mall and Shannon Park in Dartmouth, as well as the Mumford/Halifax Shopping Centre area, a Young Street 'superblock' and land along Joseph Howe Drive. 

Shannon Park, a former military community, is currently the only site with a proposed concept plan.

Chris Millier, the director of real estate with Canada Lands, a federal Crown corporation responsible for overseeing the redevelopment of Shannon Park, had hoped that engineering work could take place in 2018. That would have allowed construction to begin in 2019, including the laying of pipes and building of roads. 

The proposed concept for Shannon Park. (Canada Lands Company)

But everything hinges on the adoption of the Centre Plan and the approval of the site's concept designs.

"It isn't that it can't be done, but there's a significant risk of having to redo the work," said Millier. 

The timeline for the Centre Plan doesn't appear to yet be finalized. 

"It's going to depend on which path we take," said Carl Purvis, the principal planner for Halifax Regional Municipality. "We'll need to make that decision in May."

A multicoloured map of Halifax's Centre Plan. (Pam Berman/CBC)

Right now, just one section of the Centre Plan — known as Package A — is going through public consultation.

If Package A goes to regional council on its own, that section could be in place by the end of 2018. 

But if planners decide public consultation on Package B should be done first, allowing for both parts to be approved together, final adoption of the new development rules may not happen until spring 2019. 

There are two upcoming public consultation sessions scheduled for the first part of the Centre Plan:

  • Tuesday, April 3, at the Halifax Forum, Maritime Hall, 2901 Windsor St., from 6-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 5, at Dartmouth North Community Centre, 105 Highfield Park Dr., from 1-3 p.m. (lobby), and 6-8 p.m. (multipurpose room). 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca

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