By Kate Watson
Since last November, Canada Lands has been working to boil down the three plans that were created from public input into one “preferred plan”.
It was revealed tonight to a crowd of about 100 people. Here are some highlights:
- A waterfront trail that will tap into a wider trail system. It will be bikeable and walkable while still maintaining a natural feel.
- A wedge shaped plaza that will open to the water offering views and public space
- A large green space extending from Shannon Park School to Tufts Cove through the land belonging to the Millbrook First Nation
- Planning streets that make a desirable pedestrian/bicycle network (It’s not all about cars!)
- Planning wide streets for bus routes
- Creation of a vibrant waterfront by locating shops and restaurants there
- A range of housing types including townhouses, mid-rises and high-rises. (The high-rises have been thoughtfully placed towards the back of the site where they will not block views)
Canada Lands is planning for the future. Technical studies are underway and the site demolition will be complete in January of 2017. They will be seeking HRM planning approval in 2017 with the hope of beginning work on the infrastructure in 2018. Construction by contractors who have bought development blocks could begin in 2019.
This is an exciting project – a kind of blank slate that has the potential to be a complete community.
Personally, I’ll be pushing for two things:
- The inclusion of affordable housing. HRM has the ability to use density bonusing to ensure that affordable units are built. The Province could buy a development block and build on it as part of its affordable housing strategy.
- Ensuring that Shannon Park is accessible by transit, both by bus and ferry.
What will you be watching for?