New Centre Plan Offers Clarity for Homebuyers

New Centre Plan Offers Clarity for Homebuyers

New Centre Plan Offers Clarity for Homebuyers

Halifax finally has a development plan to guide it into the future. It’s not perfect and not everyone is thrilled with all parts of it, but it is a big step forward, bringing some clarity to where development can and can’t happen in the Regional Centre. 

QUOTE: Ryan Hartlen: “The current legislation around development in Halifax hasn’t been updated in many years and the needs/wants of consumers has changed. Existing legislation is very much focused on single family development while today there is a strong need and demand for multi-unit development which make more sense for infrastructure and best use of the land area.” 

Designed to modernize and streamline the development process, the Centre Plan replaces Halifax’s outdated collection of planning documents that made the approval process for developments lengthy and complex. As a result, there was a string of one-off agreements for specific projects and no cohesive game plan. The new plan focuses on the Regional Centre, a 33-square kilometre area that encompasses the Halifax peninsula and downtown Dartmouth to the Circumferential Highway. By 2031, up to 40 percent of HRM’s growth is expected to happen in that urban core and the plan is designed to accommodate up to 18,000 new residential units to meet the housing demand.

Phase one focuses on high-growth areas

The Centre Plan has two phases. Part A, which was approved by the regional council in September, focuses on the highest priority growth areas. It sets the ground rules for where development can happen and which types of projects are allowed. The plan limits buildings to a height of 27 stories in parts of downtown Halifax and Dartmouth and also provides more protection for heritage properties and well-established neighbourhoods. A key focus of the plan is to promote communities with mixed-use development where people can live, work and play without having to commute long distances.  

For people who either own or are looking to buy or develop residential property in the Regional Centre, the Centre Plan is positive news. Why? Because they finally have clarity about the kind of development that will be permitted in specific neighbourhoods. 

QUOTE: Ryan Hartlen: “With these new changes both developers and everyday homeowners will have a better understanding about what type of development or dwelling is permitted where. This along with a smoother process for development applications and greater focus on multi-unit buildings will improve density within the Penninsula and surrounding areas.”

What should people do to inform themselves? How can a REALTOR® help?

So, if you’re among the many homebuyers searching for your ideal home in popular areas like the Halifax peninsula or downtown Dartmouth, it’s important to review the Centre Plan and find out what future development might look like in your preferred neighbourhoods. What you don’t want are any unpleasant surprises down the road.

As for the Centre Plan itself, there are still a few contentious issues to be resolved. One of the big ones involves incentives for affordable housing. These issues will be addressed in Part B of the plan, which is expected to be ready for review in September 2020. 

Want to know more about Halifax real estate or need some help searching for your ideal home? Contact us today and one of our experienced RE/MAX nova agents will be happy to help you.