As discussed at our recent AGM, the following is a summary of the recent rezoning application to HRM on behalf of Highland Park.
In Spring / Summer 2012, a request was made to our HRM councillor to consider downgrading the zoning of portions of Highland Park from the current MU-1 (Mixed Use 1) to R-1 (Single Unit Dwelling). It was first placed on the HRM council agenda on July 5th , 2012 and the motion was passed on August 2nd, 2012.
Residents affected were notified about a public information session held February 24, 2014. HRM Councillor Matt Whitman attended that meeting. The ratepayers association itself was not notified of the meeting, so no representative was in attendance.
Here is the link to the relevant HRM information about this application. Attached is the presentation made by Tyler Simms, HRM Planner, at the meeting. Kelly followed up with him directly, after the meeting.
This current application is only for the Pinetree side of the park and only for the houses noted and informed by mail. However, at the meeting it was discussed that the boundaries could be requested to be extended to the Chalamont side of the park as well.
For the majority of residents this rezoning means nothing as most homes are already currently R-1. For those residences who are currently MU-1 and have small businesses in place, the change to R-1 will mean they can continue as legal businesses, but will be considered non-conforming (meaning the change in zoning took place after the business was established). If these businesses want to change, they cannot do so legally.
We have developed some Q’s & A’s so far from our questions to Mr. Simms, in addition to the link above and the presentation attached. There are more questions that we have asked and when answered we will add the responses to this list. It will be posted on our website www.highlandparknews.ca
Question 1: What/who determines the mail out notification?
Question 2: Did the meeting February 24th have any repercussions, meaning did the attendees vote on any course of action?
Response: No decisions are made at a public information meeting. The meeting serves as an opportunity for staff and members of the public to share information. Residents were advised that following the public information meeting, a mail out survey would be conducted.
Question 3: Since only one side of Highland Park was notified does that mean another meeting will be held for the other side?
Response: Currently, there are no plans to host a second meeting. Staff will proceed with a mail out survey as indicated above. Following the mail out survey, Staff will determine if a second public information meeting is required.
Question 4: What is the policy on changing the zoning and what happens if some do not want their particular lot changed?
Response: There is no specific policy with respect to changing the zoning of multiple properties. In 1990, the Highland Park subdivision went through a similar exercise whereby multiple MU-1 properties were rezoned to the R-1 (Single Unit Dwelling) zone. Some owners (located along Rockcliffe Crescent) petitioned against the zoning change and as a result their properties were not rezoned. Community Council has the authority to make a decision concerning the rezoning of MU-1 properties in the Highland Park subdivision through a public hearing process. Following the mail out survey exercise, Staff will prepare a staff report with a recommendation for Community Council.
Question 5: Is there a cost involved to the residents?