What is Centre Plan?

Centre plan has been in development for several years.  It is focused on simplifying zoning bylaws and the development application process in the urban core of Halifax and Dartmouth. The goal is to add density to address our increasingly competitive housing market.  To date, this has been achieved by creating density corridors that allow taller buildings to be constructed along the busiest transit routes like Gottingen Street, Robie Street and Quinpool Road. 

Introducing Package B – Draft Stage.

Some changes are significant but perhaps the most impactful is R1 zoning will no longer exist.  R1 zoning states that you are only allowed one unit per household, meaning you are not allowed to have a legal secondary suite.  In package B, there will be four zones in the urban structure.

Established Residential 1 (ER-1) – applies to lands not located on a major or minor community nodes or a mobility link, and allows for one unit plus secondary or backyard suite

Established Residential 2 (ER-2) – applies to lands surrounded by or in close proximity to, but do not directly abut, mobility links and community nodes, and allows for up to three units and local commercial uses on corners only

Established Residential 3 (ER-3) – applied to lands that abut transportation links, and allows for up to four dwelling units and local commercial uses

Land-Leased Community (LLC) - applies to existing land leased communities, and allows for mobile home uses and accessory uses

Their goal is to add housing units without negatively impacting the character of communities. They also propose opportunities for local commercial, home businesses and day cares as well as urban agriculture uses like raising chickens.

Secondary/Back Yard Suites

A secondary suite (within the main dwelling) or backyard suite will be permitted on a lot containing a single-unit, two-unit, semi-detached or townhouse dwelling.  Backyard suites must be:

  • A minimum 1.25 metres from any side or rear lot line
  • A maximum 5.5 metres in height
  • A maximum 60 square metre footprint

HR Zoning – Higher Residential Use

In other areas like along parts of Joseph Howe Drive, the changes even more significant for some residents.  These areas will allow for buildings upwards of six storeys with a mix of commercial and residential units. This could be cause of concern for homeowners within those new zones.  However, it does offer the potential for them to capitalize on their new zoning regulations to sell to potential developers.

Want to learn more?

Centre Plan B will be presented to the public over the coming months through multiple engagement sessions.  You can learn more about the Centre Plan here or review the zoning map.  Real estate investment in the HRM will be affected by Centre Plan and it’s very important that you understand how.  Review the information on their website and attend the public engagement sessions.  

Connect with Halifax real estate professionals

The real estate professionals at HaliPad are here to answer your questions.  Learn more about our real estate selling system that's designed to get you more for your house, in the least amount of time. Call or email us to discuss your concerns or how you can capitalize on upcoming changes to our marketplace.  

Written by

Chris Perkins, Broker/Owner
HaliPad Real Estate Inc. 

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