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Interim Planning Area Order

made under subsections 214(3) and (4) of the

Halifax Regional Municipality Charter

S.N.S. 2008, c. 39

N.S. Reg. 310/2013 (September 6, 2013)

Whereas the Governor in Council adopted the Statement of Provincial Interest Regarding the Development of the Nova Centre by Order in Council 2013-258 (dated August 6, 2013), (the “SPI”) pursuant to Section 193 of the Municipal Government Act and identified that the timely construction of the subgrade portion of a proposed development complex by Argyle Developments Inc. (“Argyle”) in the site bounded by Argyle, Sackville, Market and Prince Streets in downtown Halifax (the “Nova Centre site”) is a matter of provincial interest;

And whereas Argyle has been carrying out excavation of the Nova Centre site, at its sole cost, expense and risk, for the construction of the development complex, which is to include office towers, a hotel, retail shops, residential space, a parking garage and a convention centre (collectively the “Nova Centre”);

And whereas the next phase of the development of the Nova Centre involves the construction of footings and foundations and other building parts, including two floors of underground parking and one floor, in whole or in part, of convention centre space (collectively the “Nova Centre Subgrade Construction”);

And whereas the Nova Centre Subgrade Construction is intended to be constructed in that part of the Nova Centre site that is below the level of the established geodetic elevations at the top of the curb along the west side of Argyle Street between Prince Street and Sackville Street and the required grade of the sidewalk between the curb and the building (the “Nova Centre Subgrade Portion”);

And whereas Argyle’s participation in the HRM by Design process resulted in changes to the original design of the Nova Centre to reflect the public’s input, and these changes have prevented Argyle from filing an application showing a design for the entire Nova Centre with the Municipality in a timely manner, and whereas Argyle has not obtained an encroachment license or street closure authorization or otherwise complied with planning requirements of the Municipality, with the result being that the Nova Centre Subgrade Construction cannot be considered for site plan approval or a development permit or building permits by the Municipality’s permitting authority as a result of the present requirements of the Downtown Halifax Secondary Municipal Planning Strategy (“MPS”) and the Downtown Halifax Land Use By-law (“LUB”);

And whereas Argyle cannot proceed with the Nova Centre Subgrade Construction without a site plan approval, development permit and building permits, and other municipal approvals, licenses and permits, including an encroachment license or street closure authorization in respect of Grafton Street;

And whereas Argyle has applied to the Municipality, by application dated July 19, 2013, to amend the MPS and the LUB, and the Argyle application is currently under consideration by staff of the Municipality as Case No. 18708;

And whereas on July 23, 2013, the Council of the Municipality passed a resolution requesting that the Province consider the adoption of a Statement of Provincial Interest and the creation of an Interim Planning Area Order to facilitate the timely construction of the underground portions of the Nova Centre site;

And whereas the Municipality has advised that should it receive a request from me to adopt or amend its planning documents so that they are reasonably consistent with the SPI, it could not comply with the request in a manner that would permit the timely development and construction of the subgrade portion of the Nova Centre site, as is required in the SPI;

And whereas I am satisfied that there are necessary and compelling reasons to establish and regulate the Nova Centre Subgrade Portion as an interim planning area pursuant to Section 214 of the Halifax Regional Municipality Charter to protect the provincial interest;

Now therefore, I order the following:


1     The Nova Centre Subgrade Portion shall be established as an Interim Planning Area.


2     The LUB is amended by adding to subsection 10 of section 5 the following clause:


       (j)     development of the Nova Centre Subgrade Construction pursuant to subsection 15BA of section 7 of this By-law.


3     The LUB is further amended by adding subsection 15BA of section 7 as follows:


       (15BA)     The Nova Centre Subgrade Construction may be developed in the Nova Centre Subgrade Portion;


4     In addition to the requirements of the LUB, the following additional conditions and requirements shall apply for the issuance of a development permit:


       (a)    Development of the Nova Centre Subgrade Construction shall be built so as to structurally support the reinstatement of Grafton Street pursuant to municipal requirements; and


       (b)    Vehicular access to and from the parking levels shall meet all municipal requirements and shall not be from Argyle Street.


5     Nothing in this Order shall:


       (a)    prevent the closure, sale, or lease of lands owned by the Halifax Regional Municipality, including Grafton Street; and


       (b)    exempt the development of the Nova Centre, other than to the extent prescribed in this Order, from complying with the requirements of any other By-law of the Municipality or from obtaining any license, permission, permit, authority, or approval required by any other By-law of the Municipality or any regulation or other enactment of the Province of Nova Scotia or the Government of Canada.

This Order has effect on September 6, 2013, and continues in effect until it is amended or revoked.


Sgd.: John MacDonell

Honourable John MacDonell

Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations