Nova Scotia

Opposition expected at Dartmouth development meeting

Concerned residents in downtown Dartmouth are planning to attend a public meeting Monday night to argue against the construction of three proposed buildings for their neighbourhood.

Neighbours say buildings too tall for neighbourhood

Concerned residents in downtown Dartmouth are planning to attend a public meeting Monday night to argue against the construction of three proposed buildings for their neighbourhood.

Bruce Hilchey, the president of the Canal Bridge Condo Association, said residents fear the height of the new buildings will set a precedent for future developments.

"We're really in a state of disbelief that HRM would permit this to happen," he told CBC News.

Developer Darrell Dixon has proposed a three-building, mixed-use residential and commercial development on four parcels of land located on Ochterloney Street, Irishtown Road and Queen Street in downtown Dartmouth.

The proposal is for a total of 300 residential units — plus ground floor commercial space — in three buildings of seven, 14 and 18 storeys.

A development agreement and amendment to the municipal planning strategy is required to build the complex.

Hilchey said he's shocked the Halifax Regional Municipality would allow a height exemption for the buildings and is worried it will lead to future developments that will cast a shadow on the area.

"It destroys, what I believe, what has been set out: the traditional, small town character of the neighbourhood," he said.

"That is the law, that is what's set out in the bylaws."

Dixon told CBC News his project has received a lot of support and said his plan is in line with the Halifax Regional Municipality's goal to develop downtown Dartmouth and increase the population of the area.

Hilchey said he's not opposed to growth but the size of the buildings simply doesn't fit the character of the neighbourhood.

"We're concerned that this development is insensitive to the local residents and that it's also an exception to the strategy that has been developed and that many people have relied on," he said.

A public information meeting on the project is scheduled for Monday night at 7 p.m. at the Dartmouth Sportsplex.