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The Centre Plan is a colossal waste of time, money, public attention, newsprint, and reporter energy – Halifax Examiner

September 18, 2019

A public hearing on the Centre Plan was held at City Hall yesterday, and lasted well into the night. Council will debate the various issues and presumably vote to enact the package later today.

I’ve never seen such a colossal waste of time, money, public attention, newsprint, and reporter energy devoted to a local governmental project.

History has taught us that these sorts of planning initiatives take a predictable route: Citizen concerns about rampant and under-regulated development are hijacked by woo-woo planning grad students who offer up the solution that those legitimate citizen concerns can be married to developers’ unquenchable pursuit of profits through a plan! and everyone will be happy forever, amen. The suggestion is ridiculous on the face of it both because it incorporates all sorts of preposterous notions such as the solution to the housing affordability crisis, which is the natural result of rampant and unregulated capitalism, can be solved with more rampant and unregulated capitalism, and because adoption of any plan will be delayed so that developers can throw up all sorts of ugly shit that would violate whatever plan would later be adopted, and then innumerable “exemptions,” “grandfathers,” and “public purpose considerations” will be written into the plan to make it resemble swiss cheese. Finally, even should any regulations with merit be mistakenly left in the actual document, the whole thing can be ignored at any time because councillors can instead enter into a development agreement with favoured developers — that is to say, all developers — and sidestep the plan entirely.

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