Nova Scotia

Spirit Place proposal draws mixed reviews

Supporters and critics spoke out Wednesday night about a proposed housing development for seniors in Halifax.

Supporters and critics spoke out Wednesday night about a proposed housing development for seniors in Halifax.

About 150 people attended a public meeting to discuss Spirit Place, an inclusive apartment complex planned for the corner of Willow and Windsor streets.

The seven-storey complex would be built on the site of the St. John's United Church. It would have 65 apartment units.

Some people say the building would be too large and imposing, and that it would cause traffic problems.

"I can't imagine what it would be like sitting in my backyard with a seven-storey building towering over and people looking into my backyard and my home," said Liz Cunningham, who lives nearby.

There is also strong support for the project.

Alyson Holland said the Halifax Regional Municipality must consider innovative ways to reduce urban sprawl.

"I just think that seniors residences like this are so important to the community. Also, I'm a young professional looking for a city that encourages growth and dynamic change," she said.

The architects said the building would have tiers so it wouldn't reach its maximum height of 22 metres on all sides.

They also said Spirit Place would cast a shadow on adjacent buildings about an hour earlier only at certain times of the year.

There were still people waiting to speak when the meeting wrapped up at 9 p.m. Some asked for a second public session so more people could share their thoughts on the proposal.

Municipal staff will prepare a report for council. It will then be up to Halifax regional council to decide whether to amend land-use rules so Spirit Place can proceed.

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