February 2016 Monthly Updates

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
January was a very busy month!
Upcoming events,projects and meetings include:

1) Feb 18 Public Meeting for Homestead’s proposed high rises in the “North Block” that will alter the downtown and have a major influence on  Inner Harbour population and waterfront use.
2) Feb 23 Special Public Meeting for Official Plan Update
3) Keeping the downtown “Human Scale”
4) Feb 17 Heritage Resource Centre Grand Opening
5) March 6 Wellingtonx neighbourhood meeting
6) K&P Trail/Inner Harbour Trail Proposed Alternate Route
7) Waterfront Working Group
8) Waterfront projects and events in process for this spring and summer
9) Pro Bono Students Canada

10) March 2 Coalition of Kingston Communities meeting
11) Funding for Third Crossing not a Federal Priority
12) Marine Museum News
13) RFP for proposals for Secondary Plan for Old Industrial and Inner Harbour areas.
14) Bailey Broom Company
15) Nine North St.  No news

Do feel free to contact me with any concerns.
Cheers,
Mary Farrar,
President, Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour

1) Public Meeting: 21 Storey High-Rises at Wellington, Queen and King
Thursday, Feb 18, 6:30 pm, Council Chambers, City Hall
The Planning committee is holding a public meeting concerning Homestead’s proposed 21 story high-rises in downtown Kingston.  At this stage, the planning application hasn’t been published and not much is known except for the overall building design and the city’s agreement with Homestead to pay 18 million for downtown parking ($65,000 per parking space) as part of the project.

FYI: The city paid consultants to formulate appropriate design guidelines for the downtown in 2007.  Homestead’s proposed design would appear to fly in the face of these.
https://www.cityofkingston.ca/city-hall/strategies-studies-plans/urban-design-guidelines/downtown-and-harbour-area-architectural-guidelines

As Heritage preservation is one of the objects of our corporation, we have legitimate concerns about the lack of heritage aspects in the design as well as the lack of lively streetscapes.
Personally I find it upsetting that the city would pay experts to create excellent design guidelines and then disregard the advice.
Do come, be informed, listen to concerned citizens, and consider voicing your own opinion.

2) Special Public Meeting of Council for the Official Plan Update
Tuesday, Feb 23, 6:30 pm, Council Chambers, City Hall
The city is requesting the community to provide input regarding sections of the Official Plan (OP) that warrant further review.  The OP is the most important document regarding planning in the City of Kingston.  It will provide overall guidance for city planning for the next 5 years.

3) Keeping the ‘Human Scale”.
David Tran, MaSc Urban Design, has been very involved creating a Facebook page (Vision for Kingston  – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1009085055828757/) and a couple of web pages (ygkhumanscale.weebly.com, and designingcities.wordpress.com).  The aim is to mobilize support for keeping the downtown “Human Scale”.  He also sends out news updates if you are interested in signing up on the ygkhumanscale.weebly.com webpage.  A very interesting new community initiative.

4) Heritage Resource Centre – Grand Opening Wed. Feb 17, City Hall 11 am
Here is part of the city’s description:
“As part of the Kingston Culture Plan, a Heritage Resource Centre has now opened as a one-year pilot project on the lower level of City Hall, 216 Ontario St.  The Centre ensures Kingston’s strong foundation of built heritage protection and management can be built upon to develop new and innovative approaches to heritage stewardship….
At the Heritage Resource Centre, visitors will:
• Learn about cultural and built heritage conservation best practices
• Obtain information about Heritage Act requirements  and approvals, and
• Learn about Kingston history through its built form, archaeological resources, artefacts and stories.
In collaboration with the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, the City has improved the heritage section of the website to include better access to information and an online database of our resource collection.”

Of course we remember that there was a previous “Grand Opening”, followed a few months later by its closing and incorporation into “Planning”.  Hopefully this “one-year pilot project” will be more successful and long-lived.  As preserving heritage is one of the objects of our corporation, we wholeheartedly support the re-opening of Kingston’s Heritage Resource Centre and encourage you to show support by coming to this grand opening.

5) Wellingtonx invites local residents to Inner Harbour neighbourhood meeting
Sunday, March 6, Ukrainian Church, 472 Bagot, 1:30 pm:

– hear an update regarding what Wellington X has been up to
– talk to each other about what we like about where we live and what we think can be better
– learn about the City of Kingston’s upcoming secondary planning process for our district (Inner Harbour and Old Industrial areas now known as “King’s Town North”) and how we as local residents can actively participate in that.
-All welcome! Light refreshments provided.  Accessible entrance.
-More info? wellington.x.kingston@gmail.com
-NOTE: They will be hosting a similar meeting for residents of the Old Industrial Area in late March/early April.  More anon….

6) K&P Trail/Inner Harbour Trail Proposed Alternate Route:
The conceptual report can be found at
https://www.cityofkingston.ca/web/guest/search?q=eitp-15-025&x=3&y=1
We await the detailed report.

7) Waterfront Working Group:
Awaiting both the final report online and the date for an upcoming public meeting.

7) Waterfront Projects and Events in process for this summer:
1) Turtle Tally in Doug Fluhrer Park.  We are most grateful to Lesley Rudy for taking the lead in coordinating actions with Ontario Nature and the City of Kingston.  The city has agreed to create a plaque to be placed at the north end of Doug Fluhrer Park that will highlight four major species: Northern Map, Snapping, Painted and Blandings turtles.  The plaque will also contain information about how to contact Ontario Nature with a sighting and a contact number for volunteers to come and place covers over laid eggs.  Anne Powers did a great job of having her grade 2-3 students work on turtle book marks which were sold for a toonie each.  Congrats on collecting $92.50! We are also planning a “Toonies for Turtles” campaign in local stores where book marks can be bought for a toonie each to support this project.  And a table display is being organized for promotion at local downtown businesses along with the possibility of window displays.  Anne and Serena Manson are also working designing an educational  workshop that can be taken to local schools to educate students about turtle stewardship and conservation.  If you would like to help in any way, contact inverarymary@yahoo.com
2) “Eating Lake Ontario” David McDonald of the Water Access Group is hoping to organize an event sometime in May that will include eating local fish and learning from a Fisheries representative.
3) Aboriginal Water Ceremony  Date, time and location TBA.
4) Swamp Ward and Inner Harbour History Project activity/installation/event in Doug Fluhrer Park with Laura Murray sometime in early May.
5) Jane’s Walks,  in memory of community activist Jane Jacobs, walks are being organizing and will once again include something related to the Inner Harbour.
6) Blanket Exercise  We are hoping to organize a blanket exercise in Doug Fluhrer Park sometime in May/June in cooperation with other community groups.
7) If you have other ideas and suggestions for activities and events along Kingston’s waterfront, but especially in Doug Fluhrer Park, do get in touch: inverarymary@yahoo.com or 613-544-1246.

9) Pro Bono Students Canada:
A group of four Queen’s Law students is currently helping us gain useful information on municipal, provincial and federal environmental legislation and how it might apply to our endangered turtle population, the K&P Trail and the proposed Wellington St. Extension.

10) Coalition of Kingston Communities:
Meeting Wed March 2, Confederation Place Hotel, 7 pm  This Coalition was initiated after the November Official Plan public meeting.  Originally made up of 12 community associations and/or groups, the Coalition has been dedicated to improving the processes of civic engagement and accountability of City Council and City Staff, in order to further the well being of Kingston. The Coalition is currently focussed on improving planning processes and the 5-Year Official Plan Review.http://www.thewhig.com/2015/11/23/community-watchdog-groups-form-coalition
A Planning Brief for the Coalition has been written. Currently the number of people represented by organizations involved in the Coalition is estimated at between 3,000 and 5,000. And, at this point more than 20 groups have expressed an interest in the Coalition. If you would like to learn more contact christine.sypnowich@queensu.ca.  Info also at http://www.ourneighbourhood.ca/

11) Funding for Third Crossing not a Federal Priority
At his recent public pre-budget meeting in Memorial Hall on Feb 9,  MP Mark Gerretsen stated clearly that new federal infrastructure money would be allocated to fixing and improving existing infrastructure, NOT CREATING NEW INFRASTRUCTURE!  So – no money for either the airport or the third crossing for this mandate. The federal government is stressing transit, green infrastructure and social infrastructure.  In order not to miss out on this federal funding, it makes sense for the city to invest in transit for the next few years. Here is the link to my letter to the editor of EMC Heritage that is currently available online and will be in print this Thursday. It stresses the importance of increased bus frequency, connecting the north and free transit.
http://www.kingstonregion.com/opinion-story/6305017-funding-for-transit-infrastructure-a-priority/

12) Marine Museum news concerning property purchase
The winning bid for the Museum property was $3.2 million submitted by local Kingston developer, Jay Patry.  The sale closed on Jan. 29, 2016.  Prior to the sale closing Mr. Patry met with Chris West and Doug Cowie of the Marine Museum and had a comprehensive tour of the building and its collections.  Evidently the meeting was very preliminary but cordial and positive in tone.  Further, Mr. Patry stated his wish for the museum to be able to remain at the site.
Mayor Bryan Paterson told the Whig-Standard that it was “good news” that Mr. Patry wanted to help the museum stay in its current location and that the City was prepared to help the developer apply for tax relief through its Community Improvement Plan.
More info?  Doug Cowie –manager@marmuseum.ca

13) Request for Proposals for the Secondary Plan for the North King’s Town area, formerly known as the Inner Harbour and Old Industrial Areas:
https://www.cityofkingston.ca/city-hall/projects-construction/north-kings-town

The City is at the beginning of a new secondary plan process for the “North King’s Town” area. This secondary plan will be focused on supporting the revitalization and redevelopment of a significant portion of the City’s urban core.
The North King’s Town area comprises approximately the northern two-thirds of the King’s Town electoral district, as well as a small portion of the Kingscourt-Rideau electoral district. The plan area is strategically located between Highway 401 and historic downtown Kingston. The area is bounded by John Counter Boulevard and the CN rail line to the north, the Great Cataraqui River to the east (which is part of the Rideau Canal system and part of a UNESCO World Heritage designation), the central business district designation in the Official Plan for the downtown to the south, and Division, Patrick and Sydenham Streets to the east.
The first phase of the project will involve a community visioning exercise and a preliminary market analysis. The terms of reference for phase 1 were approved by Council at their meeting on December 1, 2015, and the City is now issuing a request for proposals (RFP) to hire a consulting team to assist with the work.
The RFP document was posted on the City’s website for information purposes. The deadline for submission of proposals was 3:00:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10, 2016.

14) Bailey Broom Company

RAW Architecture of Toronto has evidently put an offer on the Bailey Broom Factory. There were no other offers despite numerous inquiries. Evidently RAW offered $1, an offer Mayor Mark Gerretsen said last June he would take, though the City has since listed the property for more. The costs of soil remediation are substantial, and ditto renovation, so RAW, which hopes to make its Eastern Ontario headquarters here, hopes that its investment in the property is worth more to the city than the direct income from the sale. Look up their website and see what you think — this is NOT condos, but rather in a way a modest renovation. http://www.rawdesign.ca/ for photos.

15) Nine North Street designated heritage building – No news
It would seem that Hank Doornekamp is currently involved in other projects – in the downtown at Brock and Wellington as well as the proposed new Walmart at the quarry on the Division St.