Check This Out

Alan Ruffman, Voice of the People, Chronicle Herald, June 3, 2009 (3rd item in listing)

Re: the May 19 headline "Unelected, unknown and in charge," referring to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. You have taken no interest in another such body that is soon to be enshrined. Halifax by Design will set up a review committee to vet and approve all new structures in the area of the plan, which stretches from Cornwallis Street south to Green Street and west up Spring Garden Road to the Gardens.

The proposed Design Review Committee will replace and obliterate all public hearings and input by the elected councillors, and will eliminate all appeals by the public to the URB. Only the developer can appeal to the URB.

No members of the public can sit in nine of the 10 places on the Design Review Committee unless they wear an iron ring of an engineer or are a "professional" planner or architect. There is one chair for a non-professional. No doctors, lawyers, geologists, psychologists or any other professional is seen as fit to sit on the committee. Only one member of the present URB would even be eligible to sit on the proposed HRM Design Review Committee.

The new committee will also be "unelected, unknown and in charge" and probably appointed in secret at a closed in camera meeting of the HRM council.

Alan Ruffman, Halifax