November Update 2016

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour,
So much happening in a rush before December party time!
Please take note.

1) Future of Wellington St Extension:
Input on draft report really needed!

It’s now or never if you want input into future development of the Inner Harbour and Old Industrial Area.
North King’s Town Public Meeting,
Mon, Nov 14, 3:30 – 5:30, Artillery Park.

2) Need for recreational opportunities in Inner Harbour and Old Industrial Area.
3) AGM Reminder, Thurs, Nov 24, 7 pm Frontenac Village.
4) Outer Station News
5) Coalition of Kingston Communities Community Outreach, Nov 23, 7 pm
6) Frontenac Heritage Foundation OMB challenge to Capitol Theatre high rise + Heritage News,  Book Launch Event and Portsmouth Olympic Harbour update
7) Tannery Clean-Up?
8) Noise By-Law update
9) What to do about neighbourhood school properties?

1) Future of the proposed Wellington St. Extension:
Input on Draft Report needed!

Message from Wellingtonx
“A person can feel a little helpless about the state of the world right now. But here’s something you can do — it’s nearby, it’s easy, it’s right, and it might make you feel a little better.

The Planning Department and Dialog consultants have released a draft of the North King’s Town Visioning Report & Preliminary Market AnalysisWe only have until Tuesday, November 15th to suggest changes to it  — and it does need changes! It is important that we get this right, because this is the document that will guide Phase Two of the Secondary Plan. And Phase Two will be the guiding policy document for the future of the Inner Harbour and Old Industrial Area.

We ask you to submit suggestions for changes to Sonya Bolton, Senior Planner, at nktplan@cityofkingston.ca and please copy us at wellington.x.kingston@google.com.

See our blog post  at www.wellingtonx.wordpress.com for more details if you want to get into the thick of things, but it would be great if you could simply write and say:

  1. Thank you for acknowledging the importance of walking and cycling and recreational activities in the study area, BUT
  2. The report does not reflect that the majority of those consulted are against the Wellington Street Extension.
  3. The report does not demand strongly enough that the waterfront be protected (e.g. p. 66, 73)
  4. The report appears to favour the northern section of the WSE and it should call for a thorough cost/benefit analysis and transportation analysis before any such construction happens.

If as well as writing a letter you would like to do more, please drop by the Open House on Monday November 14 from 3:30-5:30pm at Artillery Park Centre to share your concerns and questions about the draft report in person.

If you have any questions please contact us at wellington.x.kingston@gmail.com.
Thanks for taking action!
Anne, Laura, Mary M, Justine and Sayyida for Wellington X”

2) Need for Recreational Opportunities in the
Inner Harbour and Old Industrial Area

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of this.  

Once things get accepted in the Visioning Report for North King’s Town they will become part of the Secondary Plan and then part of the Official Plan and that means they will be written in stone.

The draft report states in their vision for North King’s Town:

” North King’s Town is at the heart of Kingston’s 21st century community, building on a legacy of providing great places for people to live, work, and play, and fostering innovative growth that continues to diversify the city’s economy.  It is a place for industry, both new and old; a hub for recreation and community services, supporting active and accessible daily life; and home to walkable neighbourhoods, with strong connections to jobs, and amenities, so families can grow, thrive and age in place”.

Sounds lovely – then practically nothing about recreation!!

WE NEED A SMALL CRAFT HUB ALONG THE WATER (Tannery?) – WITH RENTALS?
After all, this is Kingston’s premier small craft site.
WE NEED OFF-ROAD CYCLING TRAILS ON ALL THE ABANDONNED RAIL BEDS.  What a fabulous opportunity to increase quality-of-life, provide safe off-road routes for families and seniors, mountain biking options for youth and fun for all ages.
WE NEED MORE OPTIONS AT BELLE PARK FOR ALL AGES – frizbee golf? pickle ball? pitch & putt?
AND WE NEED CYCLE CONNECTIONS TO RIDEAU HEIGHTS AND KINGSCOURT CONNECTING KIDS TO SCHOOLS AND FAMILIES TO THE WATERFRONT
WE NEED THE VISION TO TIE IN WITH OTHER CITY VISIONS SUCH AS SUSTAINABILITY.
WE NEED MENTION OF SOCIAL EQUITY.
WE NEED A TRUE VISION – not just a few more east-west roads and the Wellington St. Extension.
Please consider coming to the meeting, Monday, Nov 14, Artillery Park, 3:30 – 5:30 to have a look at the vision and to state what you think would be best for the neighbourhood and for the city – and what would do most to increase quality-of-life, attract 21st century businesses and the millennials the city wants so much.
SO IMPORTANT! PLEASE COME!

3) AGM, Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour.  All welcome!
Where:  Frontenac Village Condo Party Room,
1 Place d’Armes.  Go as far north as you can on King St. past the KROCK Centre to the cul-de-sac entry to the parking garage.  Directions will be posted there.

When: Thurs, Nov 24, 7 pm
What:  Possibilities re Future Directions and Future Events

4)  Outer Station News
A Nov 9, 2016 public notice stated the following:
“In accordance with the Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act and the Heritage Railway Stations Regulations, notice is hereby given that Canadian National Railway Company (“CN”) proposes to remove, relocate, rehabilitate and sell its Railway Station Buildings situated at 810 Montreal Street in the City of Kingston, Ontario, at mileage point 172.98 of the Kingston subdivision.
The proposed project forms part of an overall plan to facilitate the long-term revitalization of the Railway Station.
The proposed project includes:
1. Removal and relocation of the principal passenger station from 810  Montreal Street in the City of KIngston, to 2 North St. in the City of KIngston, Ontario.
2. Reconstruction of the principle passenger station in order to rehabilitate the principal passenger station into an office space.  A detailed site assessment will be undertaken in order to develop a conservation plan in line with the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada.
3. Sale of the principal passenger station, the baggage building and the breezeway to ABNA Investments Ltd.

Application will be filed with the Minister of Environment and Climate Change on November 25, 2016.  Any person objecting to this project may, within 60 days after the application is filed, serve a notice of objection in the form of a letter setting out the reasons for the objection and any relevant facts in accordance with Section 7(1) of the Act, upon:

The Honorable Catherine McKenna,
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change,
200 Sacre-Coeur Boulevard, Gatineau, Quebec, K1A 0H3

A copy of the notice of objection shall be served simultaneously on CN, at the address set out below:

Mr. Yannick Landry, Counsel, CN,
935 de ka Gauchetiere Street West, Floor 15,
Montreal, Quebec, H3B 2M9

Further information may be obtained from
Mr. Ernie Longo, Manager,
Business Development & Real Estate, CN,
1 Administration Road, Concord, Ontario, L4K 1B9
Phone 905-760-5001

Following Councillor Rob Hutchison’s query concerning  the WRONG ADDRESS which should have been 2 Cataraqui St. on Mr. Doornekamp’s own property, the following was received from Commissioner Hurdle:

Mayor and Members of Council,
I wanted to provide you with an update on a notice from CN that was posted in the media today. Staff only found out about this notice today after it was published. You will note that the notice proposes to sell the train station located at 810 Montreal Street to ABNA Investments and to be relocated to 2 North Street (Doug Fluhrer Park). Please note that this address is incorrect. I have had a chance to speak with CN and ABNA Investments today to clarify this and request a correction. CN has confirmed that they will reissue a notice with the appropriate address, 2 Cataraqui Street, which is owned by ABNA Investments. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Lanie Hurdle
Commissioner, Community Services
City of Kingston
lhurdle@cityofkingston.ca<mailto:lhurdle@cityofkingston.ca

At this point, I am honestly not sure if further hurdles have to be overcome for the sale to proceed.  More info? Frontenac Heritage Foundation (shirleyb123@gmail.com, 343-363-1901) and your local councillor.

5) Coalition of Kingston Communities Community Outreach
Do you care about Openness and Transparency in City Decision Making? How tax dollars are spent?  Current issues like the 3rd Crossing, the Airport, KEDCO, Heritage, High Rises, Development Processes,  Neighbourhoods etc? If so, come and see what this coalition of interested citizens is all about.
Background: A group of over 20 organizations across the City came together this year to object to the way planning processes are being conducted at the City.  This group has been an effective ‘watchdog’ on city procedures so far.
When? Wed, Nov 23, 2016, 6 pm.
Where?, Confederation Place Hotel, 273 Ontario St.

Everyone is welcome.

6) Frontenac Heritage Foundation’s OMB challenge +
Heritage Committee, Book Launch and KIngston Pen:

From Shirley Bailey, Pres, Frontenac Heritage Foundation

a) IN8 Decision by Council 
The development application at 223 Princess Street (Capitol Theatre) was approved in a 7-6 vote by Council on September 20, 2016.  Essentially, the development is twice the height provided for in planning documents, and is located partly in the proposed St. Lawrence Heritage Area and partly in the Princess Street Heritage Area. There are four appellants on this matter, including the FHF.

Because the report by the Integrity Commissioner (who found that Adam Candon had a conflict by voting on the planning application) City Council will be voting on a motion to reconsider that decision. This will take place at the Council meeting on November 15.
Because the FHF is a party to the appeal, we will be watching closely. Whichever way the vote goes, an appeal will continue (either by the developer or the existing appellants) This is an expensive process and will involve hiring a lawyer, and planning and heritage specialists. I am pushing for mediation of this matter, and even then, a lawyer and specialists will be needed. The four appellants have met with a lawyer to seek advice on the next steps, and it will be important to hire experts to defend the policies of the Official Plan. The Foundation’s board voted for an initial contribution of $5,000 towards expenses.
If you wish to make a financial contribution to this fight, the FHF can provide a tax receipt for an amount donated. I want to reassure the membership that the rules for issuing tax receipts have been confirmed by our auditor, and that our charitable status will not be threatened if we issue tax receipts. Info?
Shirley Bailey – shirleyb123@gmail.com, or
343-363-1901

b) Heritage Kingston Committee News:
City staff and lawyers interpret S. 42 of the Ontario Heritage Act to say that alteration applications in heritage districts should not go to the municipal heritage committee for a review of the staff recommendation by the volunteer experts, but should go to Council directly.  A petition to Council was then circulated objecting to this process and explained how all 14 municipalities larger than Kingston that have district plans consult with their respective heritage committees.  People gathered a total of 244 names, and the petition was read aloud at Council on September 6, 2016.  Staff were then directed to review the situation in other municipalities, and because of that review, it was clear that the process across the province is to consult with municipal heritage committees.
Thus, a new process is being adopted by Heritage Kingston committee to ensure that input is gathered regarding alteration applications in districts. Time will tell over the next months whether this new process is successful or even adequate.

c) Upcoming Book Launch Event:
When: Monday, December 5, 7:30 pm,
Where; Rennaissance Event Venue, 285 Queen. St.
What; The Frontenac Heritage Foundation and the Kingston & District UELAC are co-hosting a book launch for Peter C. Newman – “Hostages to Fortune:  The United Empire Loyalists and the Making of Canada.”  CASH BAR

This will be a good time to do some holiday shopping, and also renew your FHF membership for 2017.

d) Kingston Penitentiary + Portsmouth Olympic Harbour Visioning The Working Group met during a two-day workshop on October 12 and 13, and this was followed by an Open House. Four scenarios have been released by the City for review by November 28.  You are encouraged to comment on these ‘Explorations’ as they are called and complete the survey. All scenarios show residential development on both the Kingston Penitentiary site and the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour site, and only the third scenario shows the POH building being kept. As a reminder, the POH site is designated for Open Space – not residential.
https://www.cityofkingston.ca/city-hall/projects-construction/kingston-pen/consultation
Info?  Shirley Bailey, Frontenac Heritage Foundation 343-363-1901

7) Tannery Clean-Up?
David Rowins has expressed interest in helping clean up the current mess in the Tannery.  Lots of shopping carts, a mattress and chest of drawers, tons of junk.  We have done this a couple of times in the past.  If you are interested in helping out and if the weather holds out, we might try for a weekend in early December.  Do contact inverarymary@yahoo.com if you are interested.  Could be fun.  We will talk about it at the AGM, Nov. 24.

8) Noise By-Law News
This from the Sydenham District Association:
Updated Noise Bylaw Would Greatly Increase Noise in SDA.  Fundamental changes are proposed in the current noise bylaw rewrite which will disproportionally affect residents in Sydenham and Portsmouth Districts. If passed as proposed, virtually any noise emanating from all “organized sports events”, will be exempt from city regulation and effected residential neighbourhoods will have no remedy for noise levels well beyond what is reasonably acceptable. People living within earshot of any of the seven lit Queen’s sports fields, near expanding St. Lawrence College fields or near school sports fields will have daytime amplified loudspeakers normalized for them and noise will continue well into current evening and weekend quiet times. These changes will permit loud speakers, whistles, shouting, hooting etc. from 7am until 10:30pm every day of the year on all of these fields. Much of this is simply never permitted in other residential areas and none of it is permitted after 9pm. This proposed exemption for sports fields offers no limit on volume, frequency of occurrence or limits the consecutive hours or days. This change directly undermines the stated purpose of the bylaw which is to control “excessive noise to ensure citizens’ rights to a good quality of life”. Until now, all residential neighbourhoods have the same protection from noise and the same quality of life standards but this would create second class neighbourhoods for people unfortunate enough to live near these sports fields. Noise is an identified environmental pollutant and under law must be effectively regulated to prevent adverse effects and these proposed changes will not achieve this. In September, the city Administrative Policies (A&P) committee heard Queen’s and St. Lawrence College enthusiastically support these changes while two citizen delegations from Sydenham and Portsmouth, strongly opposed these changes. How did we get to the point where our City bylaws are being rewritten to degrade noise standards that are needed to ensure some basic quality of life standards for Kingston residents? It is patently clear that Queen’s University, St. Lawrence College, and powerful organized sports groups stand to reap direct benefit from these changes while nearby residents will bear the many ongoing negative effects. Just this week, Queen’s University has applied for another noise exemption to rent Richardson Stadium out for a Nicro Motocross Circus. They have already signed with the Kingston Clippers to have weekly semi-pro night games using loud speakers and intentionally promoting spectator noise. What has any of this to do with a University’s purpose in society? Or student varsity games? Or supporting children’s access to healthy exercise and recreation? Queen’s A&R is demonstratively moving to become an open-air facility events management business, promoting noise intensive circuses and paid spectator sports events that sell a “Full Fan Entertainment Experience”. Over the last decade Queen’s University has responded to financial pressures with decisions having enormous impact on the City and on Sydenham District in particular. One is an enormous increase in enrolment, the effect of which we see playing out to the detriment of local housing markets. A second was a restructuring of their Athletics and Recreation (A&R) department, severing it from any academic role and making it responsible for generating an increasing portion of its’ operating costs. A&R has also assumed a renewed role in a strategy marketing the “Queen’s student life experience” to students and alumni donors. As a result, the A&R department has responded by increasing the number and variety of Queen’s (and outside) sports camps, single-mindedly pursuing paying field rentals, actively seeking business relationships with semi-pro sports teams and an intense interest in ‘sports tourism’ opportunities. This rapidly increasing intensity of disruptive sports activities, noise intensive events and an increasing emphasis on sports as entertainment are directly in conflict with the residential noise standards they are subject to. People have already had experience with what living under these proposed changes to the bylaw would be like. In 2013, Queen’s operated its west campus fields as if they already had these exemptions and those in earshot were left reeling under the impact of a relentlessly raucous neighbour who overwhelmed and appropriated the residential soundscape almost every evening and weekend. Most SDA residents have a clear appreciation for what the benefits are of a 9pm limit to loud noise. These are uninterrupted sleep for our children, an opportunity for people to relax in their own homes and enjoy their own property for at least a few waking hours a day. This is exactly what would be lost for hundreds of residents in Sydenham and Portsmouth Districts if these bylaw changes are accepted. Councilors Allen, Boehme, Candon, Holland, Stoud and Osanic make up our City Administrative Policies committee and on December 7 will be deciding to either accept, reject or defer accepting these staff report recommendations. Councillor Stroud has already indicated he will vote against adopting these changes. We will need many more of the Administrative Policies members to recognize the unreasonable and negative impacts of this, and also reject these changes. Do consider adding your voice to resisting this by writing these councilors before the December 7th meeting about your concerns. S. Reid 26 years a resident in Sydenham Ward.

9) What to do about school properties for sale?
The following is from the Kingscourt Community Association but has a definite bearing on the Inner Harbour as the properties at both Frontenac and St. Pat’s Schools in our neighbourhood are part of this issue.

Re: First Avenue School – it will be coming up for sale in the spring. It is surplus. An appraisal of its market value will be done first. Another School Board will have first chance to buy it. Then the City will be offered it. If neither a school board or the City want it, it will go on the open market and any development fitting the zoning for the neighbourhood will be allowed. OR a developer might ask for an Official Plan amendment for greater density.
To have some influence on what happens, it was agreed Kingscourt Community Association needs to enter into dialogue with the City as soon as possible. We agreed that we would flyer the areas near the school and invite people to attend our next meeting which will be totally devoted to discussing what our community needs are for the First Avenue School Property.
We will use that meeting and the flyers to try to set up a committee to dialogue with the City:

  • that they were considering the purchase of the property if it became available
  • The plan of development of St Joseph/St Mary School on Brock Street was not reopened for discussion
  • HOWEVER, the concern expressed by the residents and by our organization that community consultation should take place before a plan is presented was noted.
  • City Council approved a 6 person committee to suggest priorities and principles for determining what school properties should be purchased and for what purposes. This temporary committee is to be represented from across the City.
  • If you are interested, please apply to be on that committee. With First Avenue School coming up for sale and with St Peter Catholic School also soon to be closed, this is very important to Kingscourt.
  • Next Meeting
  • December 1, 2016 7 pm at Kingscourt Free Methodist Church, Topic: School Properties
  • Contact? Matthew at birms@kos.net.

Happy second half of November,
Hope you manage to make it to some of these meetings before things quieten down on the political front in December.
I think we will all be in need of a break come December.
Cheers,
Mary Farrar,
President, Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour