February Newsletter

Hi all Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour and trail supporters,

Thanks so very much to everyone who showed up for the Belle Park meeting and the mayor’s meeting at City Hall!

It was a great meeting with a truly wonderful diversity of perspectives.  We are hugely grateful for your support.

1) We have a webpage under construction!  We need pictures and suggestions.  Please do forward them: inverarymary@yahoo.com

2) Parkland By-law debate.  Thurs, Feb 7, Public Planning Committee Meeting, 6:30 pm City Hall. This could have major implications for our trail if the amount of parkland in new developments is to be reduced. The following is taken from the McBurney Park Neighbourhood Association’s newsletter.

www.cityofkingston.ca/pdf/cityhall/committees/planning/agenda/2013/PLN_A0113-13009.pdf

http://www.cityofkingston.ca/pdf/cityhall/committees/planning/agenda/2013/PLN_A0113-13009.pdfMajor concerns with the draft parkland by-law: 

  • it substantially reduces parkland requirements for new developments in many circumstances
  • it allows land unsuitable for development that would be a liability to the city (contaminated lands, unstable slopes, etc.) to be traded to the city instead of parkland
  • it allows land on which there is an easement  or land that must be conveyed to the city or the conservation authority and has no value for development (i.e. land required for storm water management, roadways) to be traded to the city instead of parkland
  • it reduces parkland requirements for high-density residential buildings when the need for nearby park space is even greater for people who live in this type of apartment
  • it offers developers who build affordable housing significant parkland reductions without any system for recouping the lost parkland should the developer charge higher rents for these units in the future
  • it requires significantly less parkland dedication than other municipalities across Ontario , yet we aim to be Canada ‘s most sustainable city.

Good things about the draft parkland by-law:

  • it creates the same rules for all of the City of Kingston
  • it provides a way for the city to acquire environmentally-important lands such as woodlands and buffer lands next to areas protected by provincial laws by allowing a trade of those lands instead of parkland. However, it proposes a ratio of 10:1 (buffer lands to parkland) when the City of London uses a 16:1 or 24:1 ratio depending on the land type. The consultant to the city on the by-law recommended a 16:1 ratio for Kingston ’s draft by-law.

3) Meeting about affordable housing options: Delahaye Room, Library – Central Branch, Sat. Feb 9, 1pm-3pm

These new possibilities may well affect the character of our Inner Harbour neighbourhood.

  • Kingston Cohousing – a newly formed group interested in developing a multi-generational planned community/neighbourhood based on the cohousing model developed in Europe and North America over the past thirty years.
  • Options for Homes – non-profit housing developers of Anna Lane in Kingston dedicated to building quality homes at affordable prices bringing home ownership within reach of families with incomes as low as $30,000.
  • Abbeyfield Kingston – affordable and supportive housing for seniors.  This 16 unit independent living complex for seniors on Portsmouth Ave. is the first of its kind in Kingston .

4) The first section of our trail will be built this spring. 

A general plan has been conceived for the small section at the sewage pumping plant just north of the Rowing Club. Landscaping will be done either in late spring or early fall.  Volunteers interested in helping should get in touch.

5) Application for Charitable Status OKd by Service Ontario .  Awaiting news from the Charities Directorate in Ottawa.