A substantial development is being proposed for the Head of St. Margaret’s Bay, across the street from the TD Bank (next to Acadian Maple Products) on the Peggy’s Cove Road, all the way down to the waters edge. The development includes two, 4 story apartment complexes totalling 94 units, 18 bungalows, a sewage treatment facility and a 60 car parking lot, as well as commercial space. The municipal development Case # is 20929.


Engineering Review for City underscores concerns of water quantity and quality in Proposed Large Scale Development.
The attached document summarises groundwater concerns re. the proposed large scale development on Peggy’s Cove Rd., Upper Tantallon from the city’s engineering consultants. It is a review wrap-up letter to HRM from CBCL Limited, consultants who are providing third party review of the developer’s consultant’s hydrogeology reports. It is important to note that developer’s hydrogeology reports and the review of them address only Phase 1 of the proposed development, which represents only half of the groundwater needs for the whole project. CBCL’s review summary letter is important as it outlines their groundwater cautions, which have also been raised by local pro bono professionals. In summary, CBCL’s letter points out: 1) “Proposed withdrawals exceed site infiltration” (absorption rates from rainfall) .  2. “There is no surplus capacity in the event of drought, unexpected demand or interference by adjacent users”. 3. Further work is warranted on salt water intrusion. Please send your concerns in writing to the city Councillors who will all vote on this at: clerks@halifax.ca  and with HRM Planner, Shayne Vipond, who is gathering public input for HRM staff review at: viponds@halifax.ca.
Note: This document was obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The developer’s consultant’s hydrogeology reports, and their Level 2 Groundwater Assessment Report, as well as their responses to previous review letters from CBCL to HRM, can be found on HRM’s website at www.hrm.ca.  In the search box in the upper right type Case 20929, then click on the first topic to see these materials.  Note that local professionals have quantitatively analysed interference from adjacent commercial groundwater users in a groundwater mass balancing report, and submitted this research un-redacted to public record, but that has not yet been done by the developer’s consultants. These groundwater issues all affect proposed project density, which is being reviewed by HRM. 


Project Design Illustration from Developer – see Halifax.ca for more info.

Attend a Public Information Session

Date: Wednesday April 18, 2018
Time: 10am-12pm, 2pm-4pm, and 6:30pm-9pm (main presentation)
Where: St. Margaret’s Bay Centre Gymnasium, 12 Westwood Blvd. Upper Tantallon

While increased development is encouraged at the crossroads, COMMUNITY MEMBERS ARE RAISING CONCERNS ABOUT:

  • Excessive water demands could dry up wells of the residents who depend on the same underground water. Independent water level testing has been completed by professional hydrogeologists who, based on their professional opinions, recommend 10 –12 units maximum for this location compared to the 112 units proposed.
  • Concerns over smell, and low flush of waste water at the head of the bay where residents swim, boat and fish. Residents do not wish to have the discharge from a sewage facility drained into the bay waters, especially if all chemicals and contaminants are not removed. Waste water treatment plants also require regular maintenance, and there is doubt that the required maintenance standards will not be kept over the many years in service.
  • Concerns over the height of TWO APARTMENT BUILDINGS 4 STORIES HIGH TOTALLING 94 UNITS far exceeding the local by-laws and vision of the Municipal Planning Strategy. The proposed development would change the look and feel of the head of St. Margaret’s bay that all residents and tourists must pass through and see from both the road and the water.
  • Impacts of a 60 car parking lot, commercial space and apartments being developed over wetlands. Wetlands hold water, and are an important part of the surface water and groundwater systems including water purification and streamflow maintenance. Parking lots and buildings have the opposite effect, by shedding water and contaminants, and reducing recharge of the ground water.
  • Increase in traffic and safety on the most heavily used road in St. Margaret’s Bay.
  • The precedent this sets for developers to build apartment buildings that are outside of the community vision. The proposal is far outside of the community vision developed by the St. Margaret’s bay Stewardship Association and residents, after several years of community consultation. The plan and bylaws supports development. In fact, the community identified this parcel as recommended for higher density than the neighboring parcels, especially for residential multi-aged housing. The fundamental problem is the increased density was recommended to go from single family to 12 units, not 112. The concern relates to scale and carrying capacity of the land and water for this site.
There is a plan for thoughtful development to support a vibrant and growing community – let’s use it.
View the Community Report Card for more information.

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