Kingston Planning Committee – 15 Feb

| Published , updated March 25, 2024

This meeting summary was written by Parth Pasnani & GPT and originally published here. You can subscribe to Kingston Townhall Tracker here.

Main topic of discussion was streamlining the planning process

The Planning committee on 15 Feb 2024 discussed the following points. Meeting details can be found here.

Members present: Councillor Vincent Cinanni, Councillor Gary Oosterhof, Councillor Jeff McLaren, Councillor Lisa Osanic,

  1. Planning Applications Process: The meeting outlined the process for presenting planning applications, emphasizing that the community meeting's purpose was to obtain public feedback on pre-application stages before moving into formal applications under the Planning Act. Formal applications would involve initiating an official plan amendment and a zoning bylaw amendment, anticipated to begin in early April, with a statutory public meeting at the planning committee expected in early May, followed by council consideration and an appeal period in June​​​​.

  2. Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF): The city's successful application to the HAF and the awarded funds are intended to support various housing initiatives and amendments proposed during the meeting​​.

  3. Amendments Overview: The amendments presented were broadly aimed at aligning the official plan and zoning bylaw with Bill 23, supporting affordable housing, promoting housing innovation, and making administrative changes for clarity and efficiency.

    1. Allowance for Four Units: One of the significant amendments is the proposal to allow a fourth unit in urban areas, which is a departure from the current limitation of up to three units. This amendment is designed to increase housing density and diversity within established urban neighbourhoods. To ensure that the infrastructure can support this increase, a holding overlay is proposed, which would require verification of sufficient servicing capacity before a fourth unit can be added​​.

    2. Concerns about Aberdine and Williams Street Development: A member of the public expressed concerns about a proposed six-story development in the Aberdine and Williams street area, highlighting the potential on the local heritage and character of the area. There were worries about the development not being in harmony with the existing community and the potential loss of trees and green canopy​​.

    3. Housing for Employers and Institutions: Another public member inquired about the possibility of employers and institutions, such as Queen's University, building housing on their lands, including at sites like the St. Mary's site and main campus. Questions were raised about the public process for such developments and the guidelines for form and scale that they would be subject to​​.

    4. Parking Limitations and Green Space: Concerns were voiced about parking limitations associated with new housing units potentially leading to the conversion of rear yards into parking spaces, thereby reducing green space and outdoor amenity areas. There was a call for tools or strategies to combat this issue and preserve green spaces in neighborhoods undergoing intensification​​.

    5. Affordable Housing and : Questions were raised about the number of affordable housing units that could be created with the $27.6 million from the Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) and the impact of the HAF on the overall number of housing units expected to be built. There were inquiries about the estimated to the city for participating in the program and the definition of "affordable" housing in this context​​.

  4. Streamlining Development Review Process: Specific amendments proposed to streamline the development review process included updating the complete application materials list and enabling alternative measures for providing public notices and . The aim was to enhance the efficiency of the planning process and facilitate smoother development approvals​​.

  5. Delegated Bylaw Amendments: The meeting discussed delegating all applications related to the Housing Accelerator Fund to the director of planning, potentially expanding the list of minor zoning bylaw amendments to include the addition or removal of housing constraint areas. This delegation is intended to simplify the approval process for certain housing developments​​​​.

  6. Conversion of Non-Residential Buildings: Amendments were proposed to allow the conversion of existing non-residential buildings along major corridors into residential units, aiming to increase housing supply by repurposing existing structures. This includes minor amendments to mandatory ground floor commercial requirements in some areas​​.

This meeting summary was written by Parth Pasnani & GPT and originally published here. You can subscribe to Kingston Townhall Tracker here.

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