The Shore Club is allowed to build its new patio after municipal councillors voted down an appeal from neighbours.

As the Halifax Examiner reported on Friday, the owners of the restaurant and venue applied with HRM to build a new patio with a bar and washrooms. But they needed the municipality to approve a few variances to the land-use bylaw to build right up to their property line.

The municipal development officer approved those variances, but the club’s neighbours appealed. They cited traffic, parking, noise, and drunkenness among their concerns.

The North West Community Council heard the neighbours appeal during a meeting in Middle Sackville Monday night.

Darlene O’Neil spoke on behalf of herself and another one of the appellants. She told councillors the patio would create “an unsafe mixture” of more people, more traffic, and more drinking. She said she’s concerned emergency vehicles won’t be able to get through on the busy nights.

Susan McCann, a summer resident of the area, shared those concerns. She worried there’d be music on the new patio, turning a mostly Saturday night noise issue into a daily one.

Owners say there’s plenty of parking

Cousins Jared and Luke Harnish, who own and operate the Shore Club, told councillors they have ample parking for their customers.

The Harnish family owns a field across the road from the patio with capacity for 300 vehicles, they said. They also noted there’s still enough space between the planned patio and the road for people to park.

Rhys Harnish, who operated the club before Jared and Luke, told councillors the family will work to better direct traffic on big nights.

The Harnishs said they decided to put the new patio on the side of the building so they wouldn’t diminish the building’s facade. While site plans in the staff report show the patio wrapping around and connecting with the front steps, the plan is to cut it off at the corner.

An architectural drawing shows an overhead view of the plan for the shore club.
A site plan showing the proposed patio and bar and kitchen area. Credit: HRM/Shore Club/Brad Goodsell

On the noise issue, the Harnishs said the bar will act as a sound barrier to the properties behind it.

The motion to allow the appeal failed on a vote of 2-1. Councillors Lisa Blackburn and Tim Outhit voted no, and Paul Russell voted yes.

Russell’s concerns revolved around an accessible ramp on the backside of the bar.

Accessibility ramps are exempt from building setback rules, meaning they can be built closer to the property line. But the Harnishs said it would be used for bringing goods and equipment into the club, not for patrons using wheelchairs. There’s another ramp in the front of the building.

Zane Woodford is the Halifax Examiner’s municipal reporter. He covers Halifax City Hall and contributes to our ongoing PRICED OUT housing series. Twitter @zwoodford

Join the Conversation


Only subscribers to the Halifax Examiner may comment on articles. We moderate all comments. Be respectful; whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims. Please read our Commenting Policy.
    1. Agreed. I hope that in approving this variation all the accessibility factors that should be provided for potential users were taken into account!