Permit revoked after Halifax building demolition began before tenant moved out
Municipality says demolition permit revoked for North Street project
The Halifax Regional Municipality has revoked the demolition permit for a construction project at the corner of Oxford and North streets.
The decision comes after stop-work orders were issued in December by both HRM and the province when Mosaik Properties began tearing down the residential building at 6399 North St.
The demolition got underway before a final tenant had moved out and while a hearing at the Residential Tenancies Board was pending. The province's stop-work order has since been lifted, but Halifax's order is still in effect. The tenant is no longer living in the building.
Even so, the stop-work order only applies to the demolition of the overall structure. A spokesperson for HRM, Erin DiCarlo, said in an email to CBC the company is still allowed "conduct specific work to make the site safe, including the removal of glass and hazardous materials."
DiCarlo confirmed the building does have asbestos that will need to be remediated.
Joan Fraser has lived on Seaforth Street, across from the back of the property, for 57 years. She has been watching material being thrown out the windows by workers who were not wearing masks or hazardous material suits.
"I think the air is being polluted," said Fraser. "It's very disconcerting."
Oxford School is located across the street from the site. The co-president of the school's parent teacher association is also worried about noise and dust.
"Especially right now where our school has no mechanical ventilation system and must rely on open windows for fresh air during the pandemic," said Kari Riddell.
George and Stavros Giannoulus, who own Mosaik Properties, plan to construct a seven-storey apartment building with 130 units. According to HRM, the developers can appeal the decision to revoke the demolition permit to the Nova Scotia Building Advisory Committee.
The developers did not respond to calls and emails from the CBC.
As of Monday a company that specializes in the removal of hazardous materials has been on site.
"There's now security signs and I've been told they've hired a company the city uses," said Pat White, who also lives on Seaforth Street. "But in my heart I don't trust this developer."
The removal of hazardous materials is regulated by the provincial Department of Labour. A spokesperson for the department, Shannon Kerr, said the contractor has come up with a demolition plan to "ensure the proper removal of this hazardous material."
Kerr also said the work would be monitored to "verify that the removal of this material is in compliance with the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act."