Developing Dartmouth: Is Linden Lea the right place for this building?

Back in August, the Halifax Examiner ran a story on a development proposal brought forth for the property at 8 Linden Lea, Dartmouth. In it, Tim Bousquet ably conveys the charm of the existing neighbourhood.

The article gives background on why the city might be considering this type of development, and raises some questions about whether it makes sense on this site. Bousquet states, ” …I have no idea what council will do with this, or what neighbours think of the proposal.” (Read the full story here.)

The proposal went to Council on August 5th, and was quickly passed. It then moved on to a Public Information Meeting on October 22 at Sportsplex, where there were about 20 community members in attendance. There were concerns voiced at the meeting, one of which was that only a very small number of neighbours were informed that the meeting was taking place.

A group called “The Friends of Linden Lea” has formed to make the public aware of the proposed development, and to present their case for why a 41-unit, 5 storey rental apartment building is not appropriate for the site.

Apartments and duck pond on Linden Lea, 2014

Apartment building and duck pond on Linden Lea, 2014

Proposed new building

Proposed new building


Below are some thoughts from The Friends of Linden Lea. What do you think?

WM Fares, on behalf of Milestone Properties, have applied for an amendment to the Secondary Planning Strategy (SPS) to have 8 Linden Lea designated an “Opportunity Site”. There are five such sites designated under the SPS, only two of which have started development. The SPS was designed for specific sites of downtown, and this is not one of those sites.

Secondary Planning Strategy (SPS) Requirements include:

  • Be in keeping with the character of the neighbourhood
  • Shall not involve wholesale demolition of existing housing stock
  • Provide substantial benefits to the neighbourhood in terms of additional open space, landscaping and urban design amenities
  • Provide adequate recreation and amenity space including play areas for children
  • The proposed building would not meet the current by-law for the neighbourhood, which limits structures to three storeys
  • The requirement for building design and development which is in keeping with the natural terrain is not in compliance

This proposed apartment building does not meet the requirements of the current zoning and will not meet the requirements of the SPS should it achieve the amendment it is looking for. Further allowances would have to be made. Some of the resident’s concerns are:

  • Potential for 90 rental residents – parking for only 49 vehicles
  • Traffic control and parking is a serious issue. There is nowhere to turn around as it is a dead-end street, leaving private driveways as the only option to turn.
  • It would quadruple the population of the street
  • It is not in keeping with the character of the neighbourhood in any way
  • WM Fares are calling it a 4 storey building, not counting the parking level. 5 stories can clearly be seen in the rendering, making this much too high and towering over all else
  • Demolishing existing building and displacing the residents, some of which have lived there for many years
  • The shaded area in the rendering is actually a two family duplex home. This building would actually sit in behind it

Milestone Properties – check out their website. They advertise this building as though it were already approved. Milestone call Linden Lea a cul-de-sac when it is actually a dead end gravel street, also occupancy is expected for the end of 2016.

This is moving a lot more quickly than we were lead to believe at the Public Information Meeting in October. We need to act NOW before it goes to the public hearing stage. It needs to be stopped at Regional Council. And it can be.

This is very concerning for all of us in HRM, even if we are not directly affected. Where will this end? Let’s not let it happen at Linden Lea. We need to put a stop to these types of amendments that serve only to financially benefit the developer and owner and alter the unique character of our neighbourhoods.

We do not oppose development that enhances and fits in with the character of this old neighbourhood and our existing bylaws, but this proposed development clearly does not. Please help in protecting and saving our beautiful community of Downtown Dartmouth. We are in this together.

All information regarding the Proposal, Secondary Planning Strategy (SPS), Traffic Study and more can be found at the Halifax Planning website.

Yes, we can stop this from happening.

Please contact the following representatives with your opinion:

Dr. Gloria McCluskey, Councillor, District 5 at

Mayor Mike Savage at

Hon. Mark Furey, Department of Municipal Affairs at

Hello Dartmouth

About Kate Watson

Kate Watson is a co-founder and contributing editor of Hello Dartmouth. Her day jobs include: The Coast’s theatre reviewer; freelance writer for regional and national publications; coordinator for the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award. Kate has a keen interest in municipal politics, community-building and twitter. (Follow her @DartmouthKate)


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