HRM’s population is growing rapidly and there is a legitimate need for more housing. Both municipal and provincial governments are making changes to planning and development processes to meet the increased housing demand. EAC is supportive of some of these changes, and critical of others. We are committed to the ongoing advocacy of strategic and sustainable growth in the right places.
Special Planning Areas
On March 25, 2022, The Executive Panel on Housing in the HRM, a joint provincial-municipal housing task force, announced that nine large parcels of land were identified to be fast-tracked for development. Designating these as 'special planning areas' gives the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing the authority to approve agreements with developers, approve or change existing land-use by-laws, and change existing Municipal Planning Strategies. The nine special planning areas would total up to 22,600 new housing units.
EAC acknowledged the need for new housing but raised concerns about the task force’s decision-making process. Development of many of the identified 'special planning areas' will have negative impacts on the environment. Sandy Lake, one of HRM’s last remaining old growth forest and wild areas, is positioned to receive the bulk of the development at 6,000 units. Furthermore, a third-party study, commissioned by HRM staff to identify ecologic assets around Sandy Lake Regional Park, has not been completed.
Map of the Special Planning Areas
This map shows the 'special planning areas' selected by the task force. Using the Legend (click the >> button), you may also turn on layers to view several environmental features, including proposed wildlife corridors from the Wildlife Corridor Landscape Design Charette Report and the Halifax Green Network Plan. HRM parks and provincial parks and protected areas can also be viewed.