Steele Group plans to move forward despite opposition

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HALIFAX, N.S. – Call it a case of much ado about parking.

After drawing criticism when it revealed its plan to demolish 19 properties and expand the parking lot of Colonial Honda, the Steele Auto Group told local media this week it is going to move forward with its plans.

“It’s zoned for this use and we haven’t asked for any variations. When we’re done we’ll have one of the nicest commercial properties on Robie,” Steele president Dave MacRitchie told the The Halifax Chronicle Herald.

His insistence comes after a news release from the Ecology Action Centre said the dealership’s residential neighbours wanted the dealership group to pause plans and work with them to develop a solution everyone was happy with.

The store has been embroiled in a little local controversy in recent weeks when it announced it would knock down the 19 properties it had purchased over the years to expand its parking facilities.

The move drew the ire of some citizens and prompted the submission of a 1,000-signature petition to city hall, local news reported.

According to the EAC, its goal is to develop a new expansion plan that would come closer to meeting both Steele’s needs and the needs of the community.

One suggestion included a multi-level design that would cut down on the amount of service area.

“One attractive, well-maintained house at the corner of May and Robie currently hosts two homes and one small business,” EAC urban planning advocate Tristan Cleveland said in the release. “Steele will replace it with six parking spots for Hondas. Is that good corporate citizenship?”

-with files from The Halifax Chronicle Herald