Nova Scotia

HRM eyes former gas station lands

The Halifax Regional Municipality is considering tax breaks to spur the redevelopment of former gas stations and other industrial properties.

The Halifax Regional Municipality is considering tax breaks to spur the redevelopment of former gas stations and other industrial properties.

Andy Fillmore, a community planner for the HRM, said transforming these vacant lots will help to transform neighbourhoods.

"They kind of create these craters of no activity in the middle of neighbourhoods when the neighbourhoods would really benefit by introducing development there, housing opportunities," he told CBC News.

One possibility is to reduce property taxes for a specific period of time to help cover assessment and cleanup costs.

Fillmore said the short-term loss of tax revenue would be worth it in the long run if a residential or commercial development pops up. 

Coun. Jennifer Watts has at least three vacant lots in her district of Quinpool-Connaught. Two of the former gas station sites have languished for years.

"It's an unsightly sight," Watts said, "and it's such an incredible waste of developable property."

Fillmore expects to have a new strategy ready by September. It will include an inventory of the all the former industrial sites in the region.

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