Mid-December Update 2016

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
The final message of 2016! 
 
1) TRAGIC DESTRUCTION OF PARK AND TURTLE SITES
2) CANADA 150th COMMUNITY FOUNDATION GRANTS:
Discover the Trail Family Event, ON THE WALL Street Art Festival + Celebration of the Arts Day, Citizen Scientists as Turtle Ambassadors, Wheelchair Rally, Community Kale Garden
3) FIRST DRAFT: NORTH KING’S TOWN VISIONING – consultation comments online
4) CITY POLICY ON SCHOOL PROPERTIES
5) WALK AND ROLL SURVEY
-Trail on LeRoy Grant right-of-way?
6) THIRD CROSSING – Opposition continues
7) KINGSTON MILLS UPDATE
8) OUTER STATION? MOVE TO WOOLEN MILL?
9) WSE IMPLICATIONS FOR LAKE ONT. ICE PROPERTY?
10) SEWER UPGRADES ALONG K&P TRAIL
11) PAVING OF K&P ANNOUNCEMENT
 
1)  DESTRUCTION OF PARK AND TURTLE NESTING SITES 
The destruction is evident. 
Go down and have a look for yourselves!
Here is the e-mail I sent to Neal, Unsworth, Manager of Parks, yesterday, Sat. Dec 10, 2016:
 
“Hi Neal,
I was quite distressed to hear back from Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour members, Margaret, Kendra and Harriet, that you are planning to insert gates instead of Jersey barriers at each end of the Doug Fluhrer Park – gates that can be opened for Utility vehicles.
 
Earlier in the year you said, in no uncertain terms, that the Doug Fluhrer Park re-visioning was not happening at the moment – and that was the reason why no turtle basking logs could be placed further south along the shoreline of the actual park – despite the fact that more turtles nest there than nearer the Woolen Mill.
 
Now it would appear that a definite “tidying-up” of the park, which was part of the “articulated wild” concept is actually in process.  The community is extremely upset.  No notice has been given that the park is officially being redone.  There has been no official direction from Council to begin this particular project.
 
I would suggest that as decision is still pending re the future of the Wellington St. Extension, there should be absolutely no changes of any kind made to the road allowance.  This would be money spent that was not recommended by Council – as the future of the road is currently in limbo.
 
Already the park has been altered considerably and unnecessarily with the unneeded filling of potholes along the mid section (while leaving the actually bigger potholes in the southern section), the unnecessary ripping out of all of the wild flowers that the community loves along the retaining wall, and the wanton destruction of two major turtle nesting sites that you knew about because we talked about it the day before the Hip concert.  At that time, the trench that had been dug through one of the sites along with the 10 foot pile of dirt that was placed nearby was filled and smoothed out and pylons were placed to prevent cars from parking on the nesting site immediately south of the southern barriers.  Now, it would appear that the contractors used snow plows to plow snow and further dirt and gravel on both of those sites, interfering with them further.  (I can only presume it was the contractors as Damon and Troy said it wasn’t Public Works)
 
What was a road allowance is now being used as a road.  It certainly looks like a road, especially when construction vehicles are using it.  Most of the community is extremely upset about this.  I am receiving a lot of phone calls and e-mails.
 
PLEASE
1) Tell the construction guys not to plow snow, dirt and gravel on those nesting sites
2) Replace the jersey barriers as they were before – no gates.  The barriers have presented no danger for many many years.  No need to suddenly consider them a danger now.
3) Do not do any further actions that resemble construction of the Extension when it is in limbo awaiting the NKT Visioning. Such actions are not in keeping with direction from Council
4) Do not do any further actions that resemble re-construction of the park until that receives direction from Council.”
 
2) CANADA 150TH COMMUNITY FOUNDATION GRANTS:
Thanks so much to everyone who came out to the AGM, Nov 24. and especially to those who have taken on extra volunteer responsibilities and are helping out with some of the suggested events.  SO VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!
Lots of great ideas including:
 
DISCOVER THE TRAIL – Family Event, June 3
ON THE WALL Street Art Festival + Celebration of the Arts Day, June 12-18
CITIZEN SCIENTISTS AS TURTLE AMBASSADORS,  
June 3/4 + June 10/11
WHEELCHAIR RALLY, some evening in June
COMMUNITY KALE GARDEN, to be created early June.
 
Truly wonderful and amazing list of great projects with help and encouragement from a number of community organizations and businesses including The Kingston Outdoor Adventure Club, The Kingston Field Naturalists, Susan Irving of Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre, Easter Seals Ontario, Kingston Community Health Centre, Living Rooms and Loving Spoonful.
Application deadline Dec 22.  Wish us luck!
More info?  inverarymary@yahoo.com

3) FIRST DRAFT OF NORTH KING’S TOWN VISIONING:
Thanks again to the over 60 people who came out to the Open House at Artillery Park to raise concerns about the draft report – most especially re the proposed Wellington St. Extension and the proposed Third Crossing.  The report provided some useful summaries of existing data and some interesting ideas.
However there were also some serious failings.
Major objections from the NKT working group included:
a) Lack of accurate reflection of strong opposition to the Wellington St. Extension.  The southern portion should not be ?; it should be eliminated.
b) Working group was told the Third Crossing was not part of the discussion but the report praises it in glowing terms.
c) Lack of background homework on the part of consultants, i.e. Insufficient acknowledgement of existing visions, e.g.: Swamp Ward and Inner Harbour History Project, Sustainable Kingston, Kingston’s Climate Action Plan, Downtown and Harbour Architectural Guidelines.  Lack of integrating the NKT vision with these existing visions.
d) Insufficient description of tie-in with neighbouring neighbourhoods such as Kingscourt, Rideau Heights
e) Pedestrian-friendly focus loses sight of exciting cycling opportunities and possibilities.
f) Inappropriate depiction of the northern portion of the Wellington Street Extension as a fact when this was supposed to be a “visioning”, not the detailed follow-up report.
g) Keep Belle Park wild.  Keep Belle Island off limits
h) Respect the Indigenous peoples in terminology
i) Protect and Treasure Green Space.
j) Consult with community service workers and include Social Equity in the report
For a summary of the major comments at the Open House visit:
https://www.cityofkingston.ca/documents/10180/12431730/Project_NKT_ConsultationSummary_2016-11-14OH.pdf/b9ce8120-8429-44cf-9a34-7c0679cd8ba9

“Our community loves North King’s Town and cares deeply about protecting the things it loves most about this area. We heard loud and clear that many were unhappy with the draft report and we want to assure them that their feedback will be better reflected in the next draft,” says Greg Newman, manager, policy planning
Second draft forthcoming  in the new year.
 
4) CITY POLICY ON SCHOOL PROPERTIES
The following is a distillation of a discussion that took place at a recent Kingscourt Community Association meeting discussing what should be done with the First Avenue and St. Peter’s School properties.  It is relevant to the Inner Harbour as both Frontenac and St. Pat’s either are, or will no longer be, in use as schools.  It is our hope that as much green space as possible will be saved in both Kingscourt and the Inner Harbour – particularly as protecting Green Space is a stated Council priority.  Here is what was discussed.
 
The size of First Avenue School property is 2.5 acres.  Looking at other townhouse developments in Kingscourt it probably could hold 50 or 60 townhouses.  The zoning for the First Avenue School property is A5 which is residential with one or two family homes and two stories in height.  It was noted that a developer, if a developer purchased the property, could ask for a zoning change for greater density and height, but that would be considered in the light of the official plan which defines the neighbourhood as stable residential.    We are not likely to get a high rise on the property.
 
City Councillor, Mary Rita Holland, explained that the Limestone District School Board did send out requests for interest. Public school boards and other government agencies or hospitals would have first opportunity to buy the property, and after that a municipality could offer to buy it.  The City has 90 days to express an interest but such a decision is restricted to an in camera (closed) Council meeting.  If government organizations do not express an interest in buying the property, it would go on sale on the open market.  

The School Board is required to sell the property at its market value which is high. Mary Rita suggested the City has limitations on what it can afford.
 
Mary Rita urged group members to volunteer to be on a City Committee that is being created to look at school property purchases in terms of:

  • rationales for which ones to purchase
  • what priority uses should be of such properties
  • how the local communities should be consulted on such uses.

Council has mandated that this 6 person committee be composed of people from different areas of the City. The first call has not met that requirement so the call for volunteers is being reissued and someone from Kingscourt could have a good chance to be included. Brendon Tozzo offered to apply to be on the School Site Land Acquisition Community Working Group. He offered to make his email address available if anyone wants to share ideas with him if he is appointed.
The floor was then opened for ideas on what should be our community priorities in terms of First Avenue School and St Peter’s Schools. 
 
Main recommendations:
 
1) Provide the opportunity for community initiative:
◦   Stay in character with the community as a diverse and welcoming community
◦   space for community activities
◦   volunteer base exists for implementing programs
 ◦  Kingscourt community would consider raising funds to help buy part of First Ave property.
 
2) St Peter’s property is more viable as a community hub in co-operation with the City:
◦   The building is in better shape than First Avenue School
◦   It already is integrated with a major park (Lavalee Fourth Avenue Park)
 
3) Strong opposition to any suggestion that the First Avenue School site be used for multi- residential units that stand out in height.  Density should be similar to the rest of Kingscourt.  Housing styles should blend in. Housing should allow for diversity, affordable housing,  mixed income or group home.
4) Strong recommendation that some of the land being reserved for public green/recreational space no matter what happens in terms of sale.  (Mary Rita noted that Kingscourt has the second least amount of park land of all the districts in the City.)
5)  Many of the following ideas about use of a community facility apply more to the St Peter Catholic School property. Those that refer to physical recreation would be applicable to a park on the First Avenue School property as well:
▪   An adult and youth physical activity space including such equipment as web climbing equipment, weight bearing exercise equipment, adult oriented adventure equipment
▪   skate board park
▪   space for children to play organized games
▪   basketball court replacing the one lost with the closing of First Ave School
▪   An auxillary building for storage of community recreational equipment
▪   A portable potty to allow people to use the facilities without having to go home.
▪   Community programs organizations would have auxiliary space for their programs such as the Senior Association or Boys and Girls Club.
▪   The community would have space for public meetings
▪   Space for a tool library (sharing rakes, drills, etc.) and/or sports equipment library
▪   Library, history room, off leash dog park
Note was made of the unavailability of the utility building at Lavalee Fourth Ave Park. Possibility of that building being used for some of the ideas mentioned above. 

5)  WALK AND ROLL SURVEY
Kingscourt Community Association is asking for support to create a cycling trail on the LeRoy Grant right of way to connect with the K&P Trail.
 
“We want to see a bike/pedestrian path constructed from Third Avenue Park to John Counter Blvd to link in with the KP and waterfront trails.  Along Leroy Grant right of way. Easy to do now. Already used by pedestrians, but often waterlogged.  Would also encourage student active transportation to the new schools.  
You can help by completing the city’s survey  at
https://www.cityofkingston.ca/city-hall/get-involved/walk-roll-kingston
 
6) THIRD CROSSING – THE SAGA CONTINUES 
The city is doing a lot of active promotion for the Third Crossing that is easily available to anyone interested.  The community group NoThirdCrossing.ca provides a careful, examined look at alternatives. Here is a recent e-mail:

“We are initiating a regular email update for those who oppose the City proceeding with the Third Crossing, dubbed by the Mayor as the ‘largest infrastructure project in the history of Kingston’. 

In a move to better understand the current process being undertaken by City Staff, a NoThirdCrossing delegation met with City project management on Monday, 5th December. 

We were informed that the project is on track, closely following the Action Plan laid out in Staff report 15-268 – www.cityofkingston.ca/documents/10180/10868623/COU_A2215-15268.pdf  and adopted by City Council in September of 2015. 

We took the opportunity of highlighting a number of unaddressed concerns raised by Kingston residents, and pressed for a more meaningful dialogue between the City and taxpayers. 

We need to ask ourselves if this Crossing is the right thing for all residents. The cost of this project for each household in the City will be at least a permanent addition of 2.6% on top of any property tax increase. Recently, the 2017 budget for Kingston was raised by 2.5%. This does not reflect any increases from the Provincial or Federal Tax which are sure to follow. 

Just what is a Third Crossing worth? 

If you are interested in joining this debate subscribe to http://nothirdcrossing.ca/subscribe/ 
or sign the petition http://nothirdcrossing.ca/petition/ 

By doing so you will add their voices to a growing number of Kingston residents looking for answers. More info?
www.nothirdcrossing.ca 
Facebook: No Third Crossing – Kingston Ontario
Twitter: no3crossingYGK 
      
7) KINGSTON MILLS UPDATE:
December 12, 2016 – Work on the Kingston Mills Swing and Fixed Bridges is progressing well. In order to capitalize on the good weather we have been experiencing, work will continue over the weekends of December 10th-11th and December 17th-18th, 2016. The contractor will be observing the City of Kingston’s noise by-law to ensure low levels of noise on Sundays. ”
 
8) OUTER STATION TO MOVE TO WOOLEN MILL?
It would appear that ABNA is applying to move the Outer Station to 2 Cataraqui St, the address of the Woolen Mill.  In our opinion the Outer Station is best redeveloped where it is, in its true heritage location.  Years ago Hank Doornekamp had a wonderful vision and re-purposed the Woolen Mill in a really derelict part of town.  It has become an icon, We believe the same can happen with the Outer Station right where it is – particularly as part of the rejuvenation of the area as a result of the North King’s Town Visioning.  
More anon in the new year……..
 
9) WSE IMPLICATIONS FOR SALE OF LAKE ONTARIO ICE
Evidently the size of the development at this site will depend on whether or not the Extension goes through.  
More anon in the new year…..
 
10) SEWER LINE WORK AFFECTS URBAN K&P TRAIL, AREA RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES
Starting Tuesday, Dec. 6, work to a sewer line has begun to affect the urban K&P trail from Rideau and Montreal streets to Hagerman Avenue.
“The urban K&P Trail is still officially under construction and is due to be completed this spring, but we wanted to give residents anxious to use it the head’s up about this work,” says Neal Unsworth, manager, parks development.
Trail users may notice equipment set up adjacent to the trail, as well as ramps at two locations where the pipes cross the trail.
The project to rehabilitate 900 meters of the 58-year old North End Outlet Trunk Sewer is being overseen by Utilities Kingston and will continue through March, 2017.
“This needed work will rehabilitate the pipe for the ongoing reliability of the sewer, environmental protection and public health. It ensures another 50 years of service life,” explains Jim Miller, Utilities Kingston’s director of engineering.
The low-dig, cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) lining technology being used is less disruptive and less costly than conventional methods, and results in a joint-less, fully-structural replacement pipe located inside the existing pipe.
Residents and businesses in the area may be affected by occasional traffic or temporary sewer service or landscape disruptions, and can look for notices to be hand-delivered when they are expected.  Utilities Kingston will restore any landscapes disturbed by construction.
The North End Outlet Trunk Sewer carries 16,000 cubic meters of sewage each day.
More info? www.CityofKingston.ca/Projects> or www.Utilitieskingston.com/Projects.

11) PAVING OF K&P DECEMBER 8 ANNOUNCEMENT
A stretch of the urban K&P Trail –  from Molly Brant Point and through Doug Fluhrer Park – is being paved by City of Kingston’s contractor today.
“We want to keep those who use and love this area up-to-date on the nature of the work taking place there,” says Neal Unsworth, manager, parks development.
The trail is still officially under construction and is due to be completed this spring. For more details see: <http://www.CityofKingston.ca/city-hall/projects-construction/urban-kp-trail>.

Thanks so very much to those of you who actually made it to the end of the epistle!
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday season and most of all a spiritually nourishing time with family and friends.
Cheers,
Mary Farrar,
President, Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour