May 2016 Newsletter

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
Honestly I can’t believe that so much is happening this month:
1) K&P Trail + Turtles: Public meeting:
Wed, May 4, 7 pm
2) Life and Labour in the Inner Harbour: Jane’s Walk- May 7.
3) Vision for Kingston meeting:  Wed, May 11, Wilson Room, Downtown Library, 7 pm.  ALL WELCOME!
4) Open House and Public Meeting: Third Draft of Official Plan, May 4 and May 19
5) Commuter Challenge Info Session: Tues, May 10.
(+Ride with Mark and Sophie June 10)
6) City Seeking Input on new Public Engagement Strategy: 
Wed, May 11, Thurs, May 12, Fri, May 13
7) Woolen Mill Experience: Sun, May 15
8) Update info on K&P Trail construction this summer.
9) Secondary Plan for Inner Harbour and Old Industrial Areas
10) Community Announcement for 99 York St: Theatre, May 4
11) New group to advocate for Affordable Housing
12) Heads up for upcoming Cycle Kingston Festival:  June 12
13) Something to note: Mail Chimp correspondence and g-mail
14) Paige and Greg’s answers to questions re Secondary Plan

1)  City Information Session: Proposed Turtle Strategy for Doug Fluhrer Park/Molly Brant Point.
City’s Recreation and Leisure staff have arranged for an information session to showcase and discuss a proposed turtle strategy for Doug Fluhrer Park / Molly Brant Point.
The consultant team from MMM Group including their biologist Kristen Harrison will be present as will Councillors Lisa Osanic and Rob Hutchison.
Date: Wed, May 4th, 2016
Time: 7 pm to 9 pm                
Location: Rideaucrest (175 Rideau St)
Room: 1st floor boardroom off the lobby. (Sign in at building entrance.)

2) Life and Labour in the Inner Harbour tour:
Part of Jane’s Walks – Saturday, May 7 & Sunday, May 8
We are truly thrilled that Laura Murray will be leading a new tour, in English and in French, to celebrate the creation of her new city tour app that expands so beautifully on the old Inner Harbour Heritage Tour.
Life and Labour in the Inner Harbour, Saturday, May 7, 10am, Gate 1, K-Rock Centre
Vie et travail dans le secteur Inner Harbour, samedi, le 7 mai, 13h30, Porte 1, Centre Rogers K-Rock

Once again, several area neighbourhood associations and community groups have come together to present a Jane’s Walk Weekend this May. Jane Jacobs, a journalist, author, and activist best known for her influence on urban studies and book The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) introduced the concepts of “eyes on the street” and “social capital”. Her grassroots efforts stimulated residents’ interest in their own neighbourhoods and precipitated a world-wide phenomenon of volunteer citizen-led tours.  Come for a stimulating selection of tours on a variety of subjects throughout Kingston including at the Inner Harbour, Barriefield Heritage District, Williamsville Main Street, Old Sydenham Heritage District, the Insane Asylum and Church of the Good Thief.
Info? http://janeswalk.org/canada/kingston/ or contact Kingston co-ordinator John Grenville through the website.

3) VISION FOR KINGSTON MEETING:
Are high rises really the best solution for population densification in Kingston’s downtown?
Panel discussion followed by Q&A.  Panelists speaking from a variety of perspectives include Helen Finley (Heritage Advocate), Prof. Robert MacDermid (York University  Finance Specialist), Laurie Davey-Quantick (Downtown Business Owner), Christine Sypnowich (Chair, Coalition of Kingston Communities), Patricia Streich (Queen’s School of Urban and Regional Planning) and John LeBlancq (Design/Builder).
IN ADDITION – Tim Soper has created an AMAZING SCALE MODEL with moveable buildings showing the effects  of the proposed high rises on the downtown and how alternatives can work better.  Tim will be available from 6 pm to share his model and answer any questions you might have.
Date:  Wed, May 11, 2016
Time: 6:30 pm to 9 pm
Location: Wilson Room, Downtown Public Library, Johnson St.

4) City of Kingston Open House and Public Meeting re Third Draft of Official Plan:
The Open House will include an informal opportunity to review the revised OP schedules and policy sections followed by a presentation by staff (at 6:30pm) and an opportunity for formal input by interested members of the public.
https://www.cityofkingston.ca/business/planning-and-development/official-plan/update
Date: Wed, May 4, 2016
Time:  5:00pm
Location: Memorial Hall, City Hall 216 Ontario Street

ALSO: Public Meeting on Third Draft of Official Plan:
Date: Thurs, May 19, 2016
Time:  6:30pm
Location:  Council Chambers, City Hall, 216 Ontario St. 

5) Commuter Challenge Info Session, May 10:
This year’s Commuter Challenge will take place June 5th to June 11th, 2016. The aim is to encourage individuals in the City of Kingston to take a more sustainable form of transportation (e.g., transit, cycling, walking, carpool) for their daily commuting to work – or play! As persons and/or employees track their active commuting on the National Commuter Challenge website they will be able to see the total kilometers traveled, litres of fuel saved and reduction in carbon footprint. The info session will help you:

  • get prepared for the Commuter Challenge,
  • network with other local Commuter Challenge champions,
  • maximize employee and individual participation, and
  • come away with innovative and creative ideas for the week!

Date: Tues, May 10th, 2016
Time: 8:30 to10:00 am.
Location: KFL&A Public Health Office, 221 Portsmouth Ave Kingston Ontario
Please RSVP to peter.bearse@kflapublichealth.ca by Fri, MAY 5, 2016
                              
Also mark your calendars: Fri June 10th
MP Mark Gerretsen and MPP Sophie Kiwala have agreed to come with us (as part of the Commuter Challenge and Cycle Week)  early on Fri morning, June 10 to cycle what will become the K&P Trail in to Market Square for a free “Roll-In Breakfast”.  So if you want to give them an earful, here is your chance! Mayor Bryan Paterson has said he will come on another morning that week as he has a mayor’s meeting that Friday.  More details in June update……

6) City of Kingston seeks input to new Public Engagement Strategy:
The City is hosting three sessions (registration required) to seek public input into a new public engagement strategy.  Citizens are encouraged to participate and spread the word as widely as possible. Broad and diverse participation is desired. Three workshops:
Dates, Times and Locations:
Wed, May 11, 6:30pm, Ecole Sir John A MacDonald,
Thurs, May 12, 6:30pm, Royal Kingston Curling Club
Friday, May 13, 9am, City Hall
Info and to register?
www.cityofkingston.ca/city-hall/get-involved/communications-engagement

7) Woolen Mill Experience: Sunday, May 15
Come and enjoy a variety of activities: wine tasting, music, bird watching, dockside rowing, face painting, art with Leahurst College, tours of the historic site to find out what those businesses are all about + a 1 pm cycle tour of what will become the new K&P Trail to the downtown – to be built this summer!  Trail bikes or hybrids needed! All welcome. The Kiwanis Club will be volunteering and any monies raised will go to: The Music Festival, RKY Camp for children and Kingston Interval House.  More info?
Jill McCubbin-Clare – http://jillmccubbinclare.com
Date:  Sunday, May 15
Time: 11:00 to 3:00 pm
Location:  Woolen Mill, Cataraqui St. at the water

8) Update on K&P Trail construction this summer
Thanks so much Neal Unsworth in the City’s Parks Department for these answers to our question concerning tape on trees north of River St. and update on construction this summer.

ALMOST READY TO GO TO THE MARKET FOR THE CONSTRUCTION PHASE FOR BOTH ON ROAD AND OFF ROAD SECTIONS.  ON ROAD SECTIONS DONE IN HOUSE WITH ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT.  OFF ROAD SECTIONS WITH MARSHALL MACKLIN WHO ALSO DID THE FEASIBILITY STUDY AND THE OTHER SECTIONS OF THE K&P.  BIOLOGISTS AND ARBORISTS HIRED FOR ADVICE.
The tree ribbons along the route just north of River St. are just marking where the arborist captured particular information for the inventory they produced for the detailed design. They are not necessarily trees to be removed (or retained) as part of the works. Some trees and brush are required be removed as part of the trail construction and that will be done according to the best arboricultural and biological practices.

9) Secondary Plan for Inner Harbour and Old Industrial Areas:
The city has hired the consultancy firm DIALOGdesign.ca to conduct a preliminary visioning and market plan analysis of the Inner Harbour and Old Industrial areas.  This area is being referred to as the North King’s Town area – Actual boundaries to be determined as part of the visioning exercise!
The lead consultant is Antionio Gomez-Palacio, considered one of the 10 most successful Mexican-Canadians. http://www.dialogdesign.ca/about-us/principal/antonio-gomez-palacio/.

Four items of recent interest on this file: 

a) Paige Agnew and Greg Newman from the City’s Planning department invited a couple of members of both the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour and Wellingtonx to attend an April 13 stakeholder’s meeting to share our vision for the area.  I stated that I would like to see the area move from the 19th to the 21st century without an intervening 20th century.  Here is Kingston’s opportunity to lead the way globally by creating  a truly world class development. Ideally residents should be able to live, walk, work, study, shop and play close at hand without having to get in cars.  In the 19th c. people did live and work close by out of necessity.  People used to have small businesses out of their homes like Eddie’s Saw Filing. Now it should be out of choice – to help the city move towards it stated goal of becoming the most sustainable city in Canada. Young millennial entrepreneurs could be encouraged to move here and create online businesses out of their homes.  To attract these millennials, we need to do two things:  i) Concentrate on creating great quality of life through an incredible trail system on the old rail routes including improved waterfront park land, and  ii) Improve computer infrastructure.  Is there really a need for old fashioned Industrial Parks or Business Parks? What a strange use of the word Park!  These parks are not green and sustainable at all.  Instead they support and encourage car use.  The currently inaccessible sections of land like the forested section behind Quattrocchi’s can be accessed for residents and businesses alike without the Wellington St Extension simply by following and extending the old grid system.  As local planner Carl Bray has noted – what we actually need in the area are east-west linkages.  Historically, north/south rail lines created a problem of east-west accessibility.  If the Wellington St. Extension were to be put through, these smaller east-west roads would have to be created as well anyway.  Have a look at Google Earth and decide for yourselves.

b) Paige and Greg came to an April 14 meeting with the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour to answer residents’ questions concerning the Secondary Plan.  These questions and answers are included at the end of this update as Item #14 for those interested.

c) On April 19, Council approved the creation of a community working group for the North King’s Town Secondary Plan: Report Number 16-128.  The working group will include 6 members of the public, 8 technical representatives, and 2 members of Council.  The nominations process for the working group starts April 29 and runs until Friday May 13.  More info?
www.cityofkingston.ca/city-hall/committees-boards/current-openings or the city clerk’s office, City Hall, 216 Ontario St.

To be developed over the next two years, the plan will support the revitalization and redevelopment of this significant portion of Kingston’s urban core. “We value the knowledge and experience of our community volunteers and how they help make Kingston a smart and liveable city. This is a great opportunity to become more deeply involved in shaping the future of this key area of the city,” says John Bolognone, City Clerk. Residents, business owners, property owners and/or representatives from local community groups and non-profit organizations are all invited to participate in the North King’s Town Secondary Plan community working group. Newcomers with permanent resident status and who have lived in Kingston for at least a year are welcome to apply to volunteer, thanks to a recent change in the eligibility requirements. Applicants must also be 18 years or older and live or own property in Kingston.

d) Formal public launch of the Community Visioning Exercise and Preliminary Market Analysis
Date: Tues, May 24
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m – Formal Presentation at 7:00 pm
Location:  Royal Canadian Legion, 734 Montreal Street (across from Belle Park).

10) Community Announcement: Kingston Community House, 99 York St:
Annual fundraising evening in association with the Domino Theatre – 12 Angry Men
Date: Wed, May 4
Time: 8 pm
Location: Domino Theatre
More info?:  http://www.kingstoncommunityhouse.org/domino-theatre-fundraiser/
Contact: Daniel at 343-989-0930, or daniel.beals@gmail.com.
Kingston Community House has a 30+ year tradition of offering an affordable central space for community members and organizations to meet and come together to learn, share, and grow. Find out more atwww.kingstoncommunityhouse.org.

11) New group to advocate for Affordable Housing
Matthew Gventer (birms@kos.net) is trying to convene a committee of about 7 to 10 enthusiastic supporters of affordable housing who want to work on a concrete goal.  In the next couple of years they expect some properties to become open to the possibility of development of affordable housing. For example the properties at First Avenue, St. Peter’s, Frontenac and St Pat’s Schools are likely to become available with the amalgamation of downtown school populations.The group hopes that money will become available from federal infrastructure money for non-profit affordable housing.  Goals:
•       an incorporated body needs to be in place as a proponent
•       the entity needs to have a development plan ready
•       a draft conceptual model needs to be available
•       the entity needs to show the financial viability of the project
•       initial funding needs to be found
After this initial phase, efforts will be made to get the project accepted, approved and implemented.  The committee may need to reorganize itself recruiting new members with skills needed and letting others drop out in turn. Building plans, contracting with a developer, monitoring the progress, managing finances, legal contracts, selecting tenants or members are some of the tasks that will arise if we reach that stage. For now they are looking for seven to ten dedicated individuals willing to work a few hours a month plus meeting times to do:
•      strategic planning
•      investigate funding sources
•      conceptualize a model for development such as co-operative housing. The model will include conceptual drawings and may require an architect’s help.
•      advocate with Municipal, Provincial and Federal departments for support
•      work within the City’s decision-making processes to move forward.

12) Heads up for Cycle Kingston Event:
Date: Sunday, June 12
Location: KROCK Centre

The fourth annual event will focus on cycle safety for youth.
More info?  Or to be involved? Neal Scott – pres.cyclekingston@gmail.com or Graham Rush – graham.rush@gmail.com.  They want to have a poster (with all logos) ready close to May 1.  So please confirm your participation ASAP to be included on the poster.

13) Something to note: Mail Chimp correspondence and g-mail:
FYI: One disadvantage to using Mail Chimp is that Gmail automatically sorts emails from Mail Chimp into the Promotions tab. With the help of Jolene Simko and Claire Grady-Smith I now have a new sender e-mail address.  So this problem should be solved for the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour updates. However, it you receive other notifications from Mail Chimp you may wish to follow the following instructions:
1) Find your newsletters in the Promotions tab.
2) Click hold and drag the email over to the Primary tab.
3) A message above your inbox will ask if you want to undo that action or choose to always put messages from that sender in the tab you chose.
4) Click “Yes” to the latter.
There’s more info here: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/3055016?hl=en&ref_topic=3394594

14) Paige and Greg’s answers to community questions regarding Secondary Plan:
An excellent summary was presented by Greg Newman and Paige Agnew addressing just what a Secondary Plan is and a rationale for the choice of DIALOGdesign as the consultants along with the other companies that will be involved: Hemson Consulting (marketing feasibility), Soskolne Associates (real estate and brownfield development), and Steer Davies Gleaves (transportation).   The Secondary Plan includes a Community Visioning component as well as a Marketing Feasibility Study. The Marketing Feasibility Study will be secondary to and based upon the Community Visioning component. Also included in the summary were pictures of the area demonstrating the diversity of building and land use types. A Land Use document for the area is being prepared by staff and will be available online shortly.

Questions from those in attendance and short summaries of the responses given are included here (I may have missed some and I have conflated some when an issue was addressed a second time)

Q1) Is the 3rd Crossing a given?
R1) No. Although the city has requested a detailed plan for the 3rd crossing, everything is on the table for this first Community Visioning part of the Secondary Plan. DIALOG will show visual representations of design options, e.g. What the area would like with a 3rd crossing and without.

Q2) Will a new Environmental Assessment (EA) be part of the process?
R2) The Secondary Plan is broader in scope.  It could potentially eliminate the need for an EA. Legislation recognizes this. Actually the City’s description of the parameters of a Secondary Plan are quite broad allowing the city more freedom in designing what community outreach will look like.  So this initial Community Visioning exercise is quite broad in scope.  Phase two, the detailed phase will conform to what is required in the Planning Act.  The Secondary Plan  for provides justification for what is included in the Official Plan.

Q3) What is the timeline?
R3) At the April 19 Council meeting, Staff received approval from Council for the creation of a community working group for the North King’s Town Secondary Plan that will meet for a period of two years. https://www.cityofkingston.ca/documents/10180/13676301/COU_A1316-16128.pdf/19d65718-d575-4a5a-86d4-3cfeeaf38570
There will be Community Engagement meetings in May, June, and September and a presentation to the City’s Planning Committee in the fall of 2016. The city is in the process of finalizing the dates, times and locations of the events in May and June. Details will be published in the near future on the City’s website and will also be sent out to the stakeholder e-mail contact list.

Q4) Will the public actually have a voice?  Will the comment of one member of the public be given the same weight as that of a developer?
R4) Yes.  All meetings will entail a written summary of verbal comments.  Meetings will begin with the minutes from the previous meeting and discussion as to completeness and accuracy.  These minutes will be considered part of the public record. However, it is always best to submit comments in writing with a copy to the clerk for it to be considered part of the public record.
To clarify…What will be produced will not be official minutes, at least not like what is done for committee meetings. The format of some of the events (open houses, workshops, etc.) would make it very difficult to produce traditional minutes. At each public event, we will be recording the key issues that we hear, summarizing them, and then reporting back at subsequent events to ensure that we have captured everything. As always, it is much easier to track and respond to specific comments if they are submitted in writing.

Q5) How does the City communicate with Transport Canada and their ownership of water lots?
R5) It is difficult to engage Transport Canada.  The City does try.

Q6) Arterials increase traffic flow and thereby decrease quality of life in neighbourhoods.  Will the issue of potential loss of quality of life be addressed?
R6) Yes.  The Community Visioning exercise will allow opportunities for this kind of discussion.

Q7) Green space is the economic driver of great urban centres and to relegate the creation of green space to a low priority on the agenda is to misunderstand what draws people to a downtown locale. Kingston has relatively little waterfront green space left.  Is the creation of green space a priority in the plan and if  not, why not?
R7) Everything is on the table in the Community Visioning exercise.  There will be opportunities for citizen input.  For Planning to state that green space is a priority would bias the openness of the process.

Q8) How will the projects like the 3rd Crossing and the Wellington St. Extension, that are already on the City’s books, be integrated into the visioning exercise.
R8) Everything is on the table in the Community Visioning Exercise – whether or not they are in the Official Plan.  Results from the Community Visioning Exercise have the potential to alter what is in the OP if Council pays heed.

Q9)) How will the City attract citizen participation from those parts of the area where people are not normally involved in a process like this?
R9) The City is working on that.  Different modes of communication attract different demographics: Meetings, Facebook, Twitter, KFLA Public Health, North Kingston Community Health, flyers for nearby community meetings? The possibility of updates to a mailing list of where things stand throughout the process.  DIALOG did something like this in their project in Abbotsford.  You can find it online. Otherwise all suggestions welcome.

Q10) What other areas of the City have Secondary Plans?
R10) The Downtown has one and the most recent is Williamsville.  There are 5 altogether.

A number of people who couldn’t make the meeting sent their questions to me and some were addressed at the meeting.
I am labelling these as PQ for previous question.  Those that were answered at the meeting have not been included separately.

PQ1) What was the rationale for making the southern border a bit odd and not the same as the map of the Inner Harbour  in the Neighbourhood Profiles section of the City’s webpage?  The neighbourhood profile has the southern border as Princess St. and many Inner Harbour residents consider Queen Street to be part of our neighbourhood.
R to PQ1) This southern boundary was chosen so as not to overlap with the Downtown and Harbour area map. The boundaries of the study will be part of the discussion in the Community Visioning exercise.

PQ2) The RFP states that the Market Analysis will include “strategies to maximize key investment considerations for the development of the area”.  What are these key investment considerations?
R to PQ2) The Old Industrial Area includes a large proportion of employment lands.  Opportunities in these areas will be considered. Also, the main key investment considerations for the municipality will involve costs to upgrade infrastructure to support future development. This includes not only roads, transit and pathways, but also piped water and sewer, and other public services and facilities.

PQ3)  As congestion in the transportation corridors is largely the result of commuters from Countryside and South Frontenac, will this broader picture be taken into account when infrastructure needs are formulated?  What about Park and Rides from Glenburnie and Elginburg?  What about increased transit during peak hours for commuters from the north?
R to PQ3)  The intent of the visioning exercise is to look broadly at all of the issues and envision what this area will look like in the coming years. Solutions to specific issues such as traffic congestion will be dealt with as part of a transportation plan that will be done in the next phase(s) of the secondary planning process.

PQ4) Will adjacent neighbourhoods be considered – especially regarding the new high school and elementary schools planned for the Kingscourt area?
R to PQ4) Adjacent neighbourhoods will be considered, especially with respect to the social services and public facilities that are available to the larger area, including the new schools that will be built.

PQ5) There seems to be no mention of Active Transportation in the RFP and no mention of developing an off-road trail system on the old rail lines  Why?  These would really contribute to the Quality of Life for all Kingstonians.
R to PQ5) These are the types of issues and ideas we want to hear about from residents and other stakeholders as part of this visioning exercise. The details regarding plans for trail systems would be examined as part of the next phase(s) of the secondary planning process.

PQ6) Right now raw sewage is dumped into the Great Cataraqui River from Kingscourt  in storm surges.  Will dealing with this problem be a priority? Similarly, there is a big problem in Frontenac Village with flooding in the basement during large storms.  There was never a problem before construction of the KROCK Centre.  Perhaps the sewer system along Queen and Place d’Armes should be part of what will be considered?
R to PQ6) Infrastructure, including the issue of combined sewers and overflows, is something that will be dealt with through the secondary planning process, but at a later phase. Specific concerns about infrastructure can and should be raised during the community visioning exercise.

PQ7) What sort of telecommunications are being considered?
R to PQ7) Infrastructure, including the issue of telecommunications, is something that will be dealt with through the secondary planning process, but at a later phase. Specific concerns about infrastructure can and should be raised during the community visioning exercise.

PQ8)  What sort of consideration will be given to the preservation of Heritage buildings?
R to PQ8)  Issues such as the preservation of specific heritage buildings and other cultural heritage resources are something that will be dealt with through the secondary planning process, but the specific details will be developed at a later phase. Concerns about heritage should be raised during the community visioning exercise.

PQ9) What consideration will be given to environmental concerns – e.g. the turtles in Douglas R. Fluhrer Park?
R to PQ9)  Issues such as the protection of natural heritage features, including wildlife, are something that will be dealt with through the secondary planning process, but the specific details will be developed at a later phase. Concerns about environmental issues should be raised during the community visioning exercise.

PQ10) It was noted that Greg Newman was the person who signed the letter on behalf of the Builders Association threatening to sue the City if the Wellington St. Extension was not forthcoming.  Doesn’t this represent a conflict of interest of sorts?
R to PQ10)  Although no written response was received from Greg, he did state in a chance meeting that he had reluctantly resigned from the presidency of the Kingston Home Builders Association in order to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest.

Happy Springtime!
Mary Farrar,
President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour