Nova Scotia

Interest groups call for more public consultation on Halifax Common master plan

The Halifax Common master plan goes to the municipality's planning committee Wednesday.

It has been 2 years since the last round of consultations

Recommendations in the Halifax Common master plan include realigning path and field layouts. (Vernon Ramesar/CBC)

Details of the Halifax Common master plan will be presented to the community planning committee Wednesday, more than two years after the last round of public consultations.

But Friends of the Halifax Common, a non-profit community group, said there should be another public session that takes into account changes that have been approved for HRM since the last round of consultations.

"The Centre Plan has moved ahead, construction of one parking garage and approval for another, an aquatic centre has been budgeted," said Peggy Cameron.

Martyn Ritcey, president of the Halifax Minor Baseball Association, agrees with the call for another public meeting before regional council is asked to approve the plan.

Ritcey remains concerned about the recommendation to phase out some of the baseball diamonds as other facilities are upgraded. He said improving the quality of the fields and adding lights only works if the facilities are not too far off the peninsula.

"It can't be 30, 40 minutes away," he said. "Through the weeknights that's not going to work."

Plan calls for changes to paths, field layouts

HRM staff are recommending a better balance between organized activities on the Common and the unstructured use of the green space.

A November report to the community planning and economic development standing committee said there is a need for "recreational opportunities that do not require expensive equipment, special training or membership fees."

The report also suggests the Halifax Common needs a better sense of cohesion and integration through the realignment of paths and field layouts.

Staff are recommending the plan be sent to regional council for final approval and that the chief administrative officer review it every five years.

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