May Newsletter 2013

Hi all,
Well it has been a pretty tumultuous April. I had been looking forward to a bit of a break!

GOOD NEWS FIRST:

1) A GREAT CLEAN-UP DAY IN DOUG FLUHRER PARK
Really super! Thanks so very much to everyone who came to help. We so appreciate your involvement.
Pics will be posted in the Gallery on our WEBPAGE sometime soon: http://friendsofinnerharbour.com
Now it’s on to the OLD RAIL LINE CLEAN-UP SUNDAY, MAY 5.
Meet on Rideau St. just north of River St. – 9am til noon once again.
All welcome – even if it’s just for 15 minutes. Coffee, juice and goodies provided.

Many many thanks to Joe Quattrocchi for fruit, to the Main Street Market for coffee, and to Food Basics, Costco and Cards Bakery for wonderful goodies.

2) W E WERE FINALLY AWARDED CHARITABLE STATUS
Thanks so very much to the young staff at the Queen’s Business Law Clinic for helping us out with this through all the trials and tribulations of different demands between federal and provincial jurisdictions. We are now in the process of trying to figure out how people will be able to donate online.

WARNING: Do not click on the Donate button on our webpage yet!! The receipts do not yet include the charitable number or the webpage – both required for charitable tax deductions. WE ARE WORKING ON IT.

3) THE VISIONING EXERCISE FOR DOUG FLUHRER PARK IS HAPPENING SOON
If you live or work in the area of the park and want to be part of a small stakeholder group that works with the City Staff and Thinc Design as part of the consultation process contact Kristine Hebert at khebert@cityofkingston.ca or drop off/send a letter to Parks Development co 216 Ontario St. Kingston K7L 2Z3 by MAY 2nd outlining:
a) Where you live or work;
b) Why you wish to participate in the stakeholder group
c) What the park means to you.
NOTE: There will be 3-4 meetings between May and October (2013). Selection of the stakeholders will be based on creating a diverse and representative group of persons from the public. If you do not have time to sit on the stakeholder group, there will be two (2) public meetings for the community to participate and express opinions on ideas and on the concept plans.
For further info contact Kris Hebert at 613-546-4291 x 1256

4) FINALLY, AFTER 40 YEARS, THE DAVIS TANNERY IS TO BE REDEVELOPED!

On Thursday, May 9 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, the City is holding a public visioning workshop which will include: A brief presentation on the history of the Davis Tannery site and a chance for you to participate and share your thoughts on the redevelopment opportunities for this site.

For further information contact: Carola Bomfim Lima cbomfimlima@cityofkingston.ca.
You can also visit www.cityofkingston.ca/projects
This development will have a huge impact on the development of our waterfront trail.

5) THE SOLAR FARM AT BELLE PARK IS A DEAD ISSUE
Thankfully Council voted 9-3 against the idea at the April 23 Council meeting. Now it will be up to the Friends of Belle Park to get together a business plan to try to make the golf course viable.
We wish them luck. Thanks so much again to all of you who came to the public meeting on that cold January day and wrote letter to the editor of the Whig to express your concerns.
It really paid off.

6) THE SHORELINE SHUFFLE EVENT (JUNE 23) IS BECOMING EVEN BIGGER AND BETTER
We are collaborating with the Water Access Group for this event. wateraccessgroup.weebly.com.
Artist Su Sheedy, is curating a truly wonderful series of Art Installations called “Dear Kingston” along the way and Irina Skvortsova recently won an Awesome Kingston grant to create larger-than-life puppets to carry processionally. Yey

7) THE OLD STONE HERITAGE BUILDING AT 9 NORTH ST. IS SAVED FROM DEMOLITION BY NEGLECT
We are truly thrilled with Council’s (April 23) almost unanimous vote to go ahead with a feasibility study to assess how much it would cost to refurbish the building. We would love to see it develop as a warehouse facility for the Rowing Club to house the ever-growing numbers of high school rowers with the upper level rented out as office space. Thanks are due to Brad Brennan of the KCVI Rowing Club for the initial concept, to Mayor Mark Gerretsen for suggesting a partnership with the high school building program and to Councilor Rob Hutchison for his continued strong support for Inner Harbour initiatives.

8) COUNCIL IS MOVING FORWARD WITH DEVELOPMENT OF THE NORTH BLOCK – STAGE 1: THE PARKING LOT BESIDE THE KROCK CENTRE.
We are very pleased to see the creation of more high density housing in the downtown.
• The site will open to a full range of uses in the zoning permitted on Block 4.

• The City will consider proposals within a range of 6 to 18 storeys
• Council agreed with the on-site public parking requirement of 40 spaces.
• The City would consider proposals for reduced parking requirements related to the new development, as long as proper justification is provided and reasonable traffic demand management measures are included in the proposal.

• The City will include the heritage buildings in the sale of Block 4 and the developer would be responsible for the restoration.
• The City will consider all manner of value propositions, monetary consideration for the land, maximizing provision of public good items and maintaining a “break even” scenario, or proposals requiring a public funding component.
• On the conference centre possibility, Council passed a motion allowing proponents to include a conference facility component that might require alternate funding, but that a more detailed cost/benefit analysis would be necessary.

“We’ve established some key parameters to ensure the future development on the North Block property generates the highest possible value to the community,” said Councillor Brian Paterson. “We’re looking at including a lot of exciting features for this development, like top quality architectural design, park space, convention centre facilities, new residential development and restoration and rejuvenation of heritage buildings on the property. This property will be a signature part of Kingston’s waterfront and downtown for years to come.”
This is the first phase in the North Block work plan to get the Block 4 site ready for development proposals. The next steps are that Council will be provided with more detailed information on how the Request for Proposals (RFP) might be structured, how the evaluation criteria would be set, and the design criteria – including sustainable design features – that will be included in the RFP.
For more information:

10) THE KINGSTON COMMUNITY IS BUILDING A CLIMATE ACTION PLAN
Did you know that our community is part of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program? As part of this program, the City of Kingston is now building a Community Climate Action Plan – a set of strategies intended to guide community efforts for reducing greenhouse gas emissions through adaptation and mitigation. Kingston’s Climate Action Plan will be built over the next year. Want to be kept in the loop? Join the mailing list: email esi@cityofkingston.ca.

11) CITIZENS WORKING HARD TO BLOCK/ALTER A WATERFRONT CONDO DEVELOPMENT
Homestead is planning a large waterfront condo complex at the marina on the east side of the Great Cataraqui River across from Belle Island. The three major concerns from our perspective are:
1) The design does not appear to be in keeping with aspects of Parks Canada’s Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy recommendations for the UNESCO waterway. The Landscape Strategy report is available online at www.rcls-sacr.ca. Have a look.
2) The buildings are ugly mediocrity. If condos are to be placed there, could we not have some great uplifting architecture like the Tett Centre?
3) Homestead does not appear to ensure public access to the waterfront in their developments. Public access matters.

The citizens of Point St. Mark have other concerns as well.
For more information, contact James Duquette at duquette.james@gmail.com,
Also, FYI: https://www.facebook.com/CitizensAgainstPointStMarkApartmentDevelopment?ref+hl
https://www.dropbox.com/s/s87amxxe10e5sj7/Planning%20Rationale_FINAL%20%28Revised%20April%202013%29.pdf
Your presence at a Thursday, May 2, City Planning Committee meeting would be hugely appreciated by these residents.

12) THE GREAT LAKES COMMONS MAP
FYI: The Great Lakes Commons Map is trying to showcase people’s connection to water – using art, science, story – whatever it takes. it’s part of a larger movement to see the lakes as a shared commons – you can see it here:
http://www.greatlakescommonsmap.org

13) OUR INNER HARBOUR HERITAGE TOUR IS NOW BEING PROMOTED BY TOURISM KINGSTON!
http://directory.kingstoncanada.com/Details.aspx?id=Inner Harbour Harbour Heritage Route&tokenId=23

BELATED THANKS:

THANK YOU JOLENE!!!!
WE FORGOT TO SAY THANK YOU SO MUCH TO JOLENE FOR THE PHOTOS FOR THE HOME PAGE!
THAT CLEAN UP PIC WAS FROM LAST YEARS EVENT THAT SHE ORGANIZED FOR HEARTHMAKERS IN COOPERATION WITH A NUMBER OF COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS.

SAD:

1) NO GRANT FOR AUDIO-TOUR OR MAP-BROCHURE
We were truly disheartened to hear that our application to the Community Foundation in partnership with theFrontenac Heritage Foundation for $6000 to create an audio tour and map/brochure for our Inner Harbour Heritage Trail was not successful. The City’s audio tours, downloadable from the Tourism Kingston webpage and the map/brochures of walking tours on historic streets have been hugely successful.
We really wanted to add to the collection with an interesting historical tour of Kingston’s Inner Harbour particularly as we recently heard that, according to the health unit, seniors have been demanding more interesting heritage walks.
On a personal note, as my husband is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s we had thought we had this window of opportunity to create the tour together while his mind is still relatively OK this summer. I do not believe this will be possible next summer. We can pass on the research we have done to the City and in ten years, after the first stage of our trail has been completed, the City will possibly use our research to create the tour and map then.
Thanks so very much to the Frontenac Heritage Foundation for helping out with our grant application. It was truly wonderful for them to agree to help after we had tried so hard for a couple of years without success to find any official charitable organization willing to sponsor us.
On the other hand, if anyone of you might like to take on this really fun and interesting project, that would be wonderful. Most of the groundwork has been completed including finding a good collection of skilled volunteer helpers, finding excellent audio and graphic design studios to help, collecting photos and stuff from the archives, deciding on the heritage sites to include and creating the rough draft of the map.
What needs to be done now, is to create 30 second sound bytes for each sites, acquire high-quality archival photos from the Queen’s archives and work with the audio studio and graphic designer to put everything together. ACTUALLY FUN!

2) SERVICE CANADA GRANT PROBABLY NOT POSSIBLE
Although we have not heard as yet whether or not we will qualify in our grant application for a student to help with event organization this summer, it appears that the cost of liability insurance for having a student work in our home and in the park will be prohibitive.
Although we have actually absorbed costs in the thousands of dollars in the past from our savings for the various park and trail initiatives, at this point, we are not sure how much we will need in the way of future nursing home costs so we simply can’t continue spending in this way.
If we do get the grant, we will look again to see if we can find cheaper liability coverage. Wish us well.

3) THE SUMMER SUNDAY DRUMMING CIRCLE IN DOUG FLUHRER PARK MAY BE MOVING AWAY
Julian and Alicia did a totally wonderful job setting up this summer Sunday evening Drumming Circle in Doug Fluhrer Park. Alicia had to leave it because of other responsibilities but Julian has continued and expanded it all winter long at Ben’s Pub. Fantastic! We hope they will decide to remain in our park this summer but we wish them well whatever they decide.

4) CALENDAR ANNOYANCE
Please bear with the advertising that is now being foisted on our webpage calendar.
It didn’t occur for the first couple of months and now it is a plague. Please try to disregard.
At this point, it would be too much trouble to set up another online calendar. We will try to figure out how to delete them.
If any among you would be interested in helping us with the webpage, we would be very happy.

All in all, things are looking pretty promising.
Hoping to see you all on some of these lovely spring days out in the park or on the trail.
Cheers,
Mary Farrar,
President,
Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour