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March Update 2018

Dear Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour, 
1) Tannery Update
2) Capital Development Project OMB Hearings
3) Cycling news: a) Cycle Kingston AGM, b) Yellow Bike Action upcoming event
4) City’s Short Term Rental policy
5) Nature Conservancy of Canada World Water Day Conference Call – March 22
6) FYI: Great Lakes Commons –
7) World Water Day Soundscape Meditation – March 22
8) New Public Works Policies re brushing, grass cutting, noxious weeds + invasive plant species.
9) Mary Farrar’s Notes on the Tannery Development
10) Councillor Lisa Osanic’s Notes on the Tannery Development.
11) Our New Friend.  Muskrat?  Thoughts?  Comments? (See pic.)
1) Tannery Update
Most important was the public meeting (March 8 at City Hall) about the proposed Patry development on the old Davis Tannery property.  Past FKIH updates have included the link to his project as well as our concerns.  More info?  Monthy updates at –
At the end of this update (Items 9 and 10) see:  Our very serious recent concerns about the environmental impact of this project esp re destruction of turtle habitat and  important questions to staff from Councilor Lisa Osanic.  As always, you are free to decide for yourselves what you think about all of this.  But do have a look.
2) Capital Development Project OMB Hearings:
What:  39 Kingston citizens have requested the opportunity to offer comments about the project. In order to speed up proceedings, some citizens have joined together as one group.  Mary Farrar is in a group with Chris Cannon, Graham Lodge, Karen Pagratis and Peter Barnett.  The focus of our presentation will be on the incredible potential of Queen St. that could be lost if new developments only promote Queen St. as blank walls with garage entries and on global best practice re no high rises in historic downtowns.  Many thanks to Herb Helmstaedt for spending a morning taking great photos for our PowerPoint presentation.
When: March 26, 11 am.  On this first day of hearings the Board Chair will set the hours that it will sit each day. The meetings have been scheduled from March 26-29, and also April 10-11, 2018.
Where: Council Chambers, City Hall, Kingston
Check the calendar on our webpage later this month for more precise information – or phone 613-544-1246
3a) Cycle Kingston’s AGM.
What: This  Kingston-based non-profit charitable organization provides safe cycling education and cycling skills training so citizens can gain competence and confidence, and feel comfortable choosing cycling as a personal means of transportation. Cycle Kingston works with many community partners to offer a broad variety of safe cycling initiatives, including in-school presentations, coordinating Cycling Week in Kingston, individual and group cycling skills courses, and outreach to community service groups and businesses. Do come and hear about their past programs and plans for 2018.  All welcome!
When: Thurs, March 22, 7 pm
Where: Ongwanada, 191 Portsmouth Ave. Kingston, ON
3b) Yellow BIke Action’s Peddling Into 2018 Fund Raiser
What: Help Yellow Bike Action fund-raise for their 2018 cycling year. They have received a large stock of ready to ride bicycles just in time for the spring cycling season. Do stop by to purchase a bike, grab a spring tune up, book an appointment, or purchase YBA merchandise.
When: Sunday April 1, 10 am  and Sunday April 8, 10 am
Where:  Memorial Centre Farmers’ Market
4) City’s Short Term Rental Policy
The City has prepared a set of background documents that are available on the City’s website (Kingston STA Context & PolicyLearning From Others) to provide context on the status of short term accommodations in Kingston and what other communities have done.  
You are invited to participate in their survey (on the City website from March 5-26), and/or
You can also provide comments via email to
5) Nature Conservancy of Canada World Water Day Conference Call – March 22
To participate in this call, contact
“Great Lakes. Great Conservation. Great Conversations!
What: Join us on World Water Day for an exclusive call and Q&A with senior leadership at the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC) Ontario region.
Why: Hear firsthand from NCC about conservation achievements in Ontario and submit any questions you have. Get a sneak peek at their biggest conservation initiative ever and how you can be an important part of it.
Where: A conference call easily accessible from anywhere, including the comfort of your couch or office (toll-free number).
When: Two time options, 2:00 – 2:30 p.m. or 7:00 – 7:30 p.m. EST on World Water Day, March 22nd.”
6) FYI: Great Lakes Commons –
Of general interest to those of you who might like to be more informed about great lakes issues
7) World Water Day Soundscape Meditation
What: World Water Day. Soundscape Meditation with the Canadian Mental Health Association
Where: 400 Elliot Avenue – Unit 11 (Rockcliffe Plaza)
When: March 22, 6-7 pm
Wheelchair accessible.
NOTES: Wear comfortable clothing and some water to drink. Feel free to bring your own yoga mat and blanket if you have one. Extra will be available.
Cost: $15/person…
8) New Public Works Policies re brushing, grass cutting, noxious weeds + invasive plant species.
Thanks so very much to Damon Wells in Public Works for the following update:
In 2016 Public Works staff presented City Council and the Rural Advisory Committee with an overview of operating practices to manage roadside vegetation.  The focus was on brushing, grass cutting and noxious weeds, including the development of strategies to address invasive plant species. 
A significant strategy related to noxious weeds and/or invasive plant species, has been to take more of a pro-active approach to their control, as opposed to what has been mostly a reactionary (responding to public concerns and questions) approach.  
In doing so staff have created an inventory of noxious weed locations (by GPS) so that control efforts can be tracked and measured.  This GPS location-based inventory is a very valuable tool in the management program. Eventually, the City of Kingston inventory data will be shared with ‘EDD Maps’, which is a public website where individuals can report suspected invasive plants and have the report confirmed and mapped. 
Additionally, staff have piloted new technologies, to help develop better strategies to manage not only noxious/invasive species, but also to better manage general roadside vegetation. These same strategies, are being utilized by Public Works, not only for roadside vegetation management; but also to address noxious/invasive plants in our parks, sport fields and along our trails. 
Public Works staff attended the Ontario Invasive Plant Council (OIPC) seminar hosted by the CRCA on February 1, 2018.  There were many constructive discussions on management techniques for both municipalities and private property owners.  Additionally, staff have attended several similar seminars and workshops over the past few years, specific to noxious weeds and invasive plants.  The fundamentals and standard best practices learned during these sessions has served as a guideline and the foundation for the development of our current vegetation management programs.  
Public Works pro-active approach will continue to investigate and pilot new technologies, and apply them as demands require and resources allow.  In doing so, we recognize that for many noxious weeds and invasive plant species, it is often more a case of control as opposed to eradication.  We also recognise that addressing both noxious weeds and invasive plants, requires long term strategies and multi-year planning and actions.
With this proactive approach, our vegetation management programs and noxious/invasive plant strategies, will evolve and continue to improve, as an on-going process.”
More info? Damon Wells in Public Works –
9) Mary Farrar’s Notes on the Tannery Development
Dear Mayor Paterson, Council and Planning staff,
Thanks to everyone involved for the opportunity to raise my concerns about the proposed Patry development on the old Davis Tannery property last night, March 8.  I truly appreciate the outreach.  Here is a summary of my comments and I am requesting that they be considered official correspondence with respect to the Tannery file.
Mary Farrar
1) Major turtle basking site off southeastern corner of Tannery property.
During May and June it is possible to see up to 50 Northern Map turtles basking in a secluded area at the southeastern corner of the property.  This must be protected and is definitely threatened by the proposed development.  Currently the Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour are partnering with Dr. Stephen Lougheed of Queen’s University to begin a long-term demographic study of Inner Harbour turtles from the LaSalle Causeway to Kingston Mills on both sides of the river.  Already this past February, hibernacula studies were done (drilling through the ice, taking water samples and isolating turtle DNA to determine areas of hibernacula concentration).  We have applied for several grants to begin GPS monitoring of a few turtles as pilot projects this coming season.  Accounts of our work with turtles over the past two summers is on our webpage –
2) Major turtle nesting sites in and around the Tannery
For the past two summers the Friends of KIngston Inner Harbour have protected over 100 nests from predation – Northern Map, Snapping and Painted turtles.  Although the range extends north of River St along the trail, west of Rideau opposite Rideaucrest and south and west of Frontenac Village Condominium, they are mainly concentrated in Douglas R. Fluhrer Park exactly where the Wellington Street Extension is proposed.  We will be engaged in our citizen-science work again this summer.  It involves over 50 volunteers from all over the city. (See
3) Patry’s Environmental Impact Study is superficial and inadequate
Nothing is in the report about this extensive turtle population. I actually telephoned Jay Patry about my concern about the turtles this past November so I was surprised that there was no mention of it in the Ecological report.  I’m wondering if the writers of the report even know about these turtles and what else might be missing.
Their Ecological report is quite sketchy and I was surprised by the comments during their presentation that any ecological concerns can be dealt with relatively easily.  Personally, I’m not so sure.  This is a fairly extensive turtle population.
Similarly the Tree Inventory is very sketchy missing some of the oaks – in particular the Burr Oaks along the K&P Trail.
1) 2011 Focus Kingston
This lengthy public exercise was completed to determine citizens’ vision for the future. Citizens wanted Kingston to become Canada’s most sustainable city.  This was reflected in the Strategic Priorities 2011-1014 with the four pillars of sustainability- Economic, Environmental, Social and Cultural.  The proposed plan makes a mockery of sustainability with the number of cars to be added to Kingston’s downtown and the proponent’s  insistence on the Wellington St. Extension.
2) Strategic Priorities of  current Council 2015-2018
Four out of six are centred around sustainability and citizen inclusion: Greening the City, Vibrant Waterfront, Livable City and Open Government.  Superficially one could suggest that the proposal demonstrates all of these.  However on closer examination it actually doesn’t: 
a) ) The public waterfront space proposed is truly minimal and completely inadequate in terms of protecting turtle habitat.
b) Every single tree will be cut down simply because that is the cheapest alternative.  Council wants to double the tree canopy, not cut down every tree in a given area.  Cutting down trees and covering ground with asphalt is not good for the environment in the long-term as trees help create nutritional rivulets going into the water that feed the small organisms that themselves feed into the more complex shoreline ecology.  The Phase 2 ESA can actually be as detailed as they want it to be.  Remediation can be more targeted and development planned around the worst areas, preserving some of the existing natural features.
c) A vibrant waterfront should be just that – for all the living creatures that are a part of it!
ACTUAL 21st century thinking is needed here.  The Brownfield clean-up is exemplary and needed.  However, waterfronts shouldn’t be only for humans and their water sport pleasures – at the expense of all the other creatures. Considering only humans is truly a 19th century value.
d) In addition, The City’s Official Plan policies regarding sustainable development, open spaces and environmental areas, land use compatibility, protection of resources, waterfront protection have not been adequately addressed.
4) The new motto – “A Smart and Livable 21st Century City”
The proposed design is actually based on the earlier 1980s concept fixed up with several contemporary touches. The Brownfield clean-up component is truly worthy and the Tannery should definitely be developed, but the plan itself falls short. 
High rises on Rideau, possibly with lower rises nearby on the water side, and way more public green space!
I actually discussed this with DIALOG consultants who are in charge of the North King’s Town outreach and they agreed with me.
Why high rises?
1) Perfect location on the periphery of the downtown.  Great transit and trails
2) Could be truly creative exciting building emulating old chimneys of Tannery and Smelter. Could rest on old building footprints.
3) Maximize the green space with Orchard St. being the eastern boundary
4) Minimize destruction of ecosystem, esp turtle and fish habitat with natural shoreline and buildings farther away from the shore.
5) Can create needed density while accommodating more public green space.
Why maximize green space?
1) Greening the City is a strategic priority
2) Increased population needs increased green space
3) Natural shoreline much better for environment (flora and fauna – esp turtles). 
(Story of Hokaido farmer from Beresford Kroeger’s book “The Global Forest” where a farmer cut trees to farm and the unexpected consequence was a desert in the neighbouring ocean.  Nutrients from the treed landscape were no longer descending into the water to feed small organisms that sustained the ecosystem.
4) Green space less expensive to remediate – passive remediation.
5) City is committed to Enhancing the Tree Canopy – not cutting down every tree in an area.
Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority has written 6 pages of comments saying the design is deficient in many ways re environment: floodplain, invasive boathouse, erosion hazard, woodland destruction esp on southern shoreline, building too close to wetland boundaries and that pollution attenuation and natural and environmental protection issues have not been adequately addressed. 
Their recommendation?:  “That the City defer making a decision on application D35-009-2017 until such time as the proponent provides a more fulsome submission that is satisfactory to both the City and CRCA staff.”
Parks Canada also has written a 7 page report outlining how the project falls short of a 21st century vision in keeping with the UNESCO world heritage site and the Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy.
” The extent of the setback and the proposed interventions do not respect the adjacent natural landscape character for this section of the waterway, and together with the high density development, presents a development plan which is disconnected and unharmonious with the surrounding environment…
This development proposal provides a great opportunity to showcase how sustainable development can be sympathetically integrated into the landscape character of the area through the identification of an appropriate setback for the scale and density of the buildings proposed … including the planting of large native tree species.  A thoughtful design can minimize the visual impact of the high density development and provide a harmonious, high quality public realm and near seamless experience with the adjacent wetland.”
“In summary Parks Canada has concerns with the development proposal as presented and the extent of analysis completed to date to support it.” They want to see a more extensive Remedial Action Plan, landscape plan, visual impact assessment including 3D modelling and heritage impact statement.
In summary, here are my 15 reasons against the development as it now stands:
1) Density of 1500 units (even 20% less at 1200 as they have stated is their actual plan) is too much.  Total change of vision and design needed with high rises on Rideau and 50% green space.
2) Projected timeline too long.  A messy and noisy construction site for 10-12 years.  And what happens if there is a cash flow problem and construction is halted?
3) Traffic congestion problems.  With WSE bottleneck at s. end of Doug Fluhrer Park and then no parking downtown.  Better transit, trails and shared cars should be stressed. 
4) Turtle population destroyed – basking, hibernation and nesting sites gone.
5) Should wait until completion of NKT for road infrastructure.  No WSE needed.  Alternatives TBA.  Not sustainable 21st century vision.
6) Natural shoreline removal not 21st century.  Many environmental concerns.
7) Removal of every tree not actually necessary.
8) Storm water management issues.
9) Building too close to Provincially Significant Wetlands.
10) Clean-up of land does not include clean-up of marsh with serious chromium contamination (although I am told via Parks Canada grapevine that work is being done on the water lots as we speak)
11) Compliance issues with Parks Canada, UNESCO World Heritage designation constraints, Rideau Corridor Landscape Strategy, 30 metre ribbon of life should be larger.
12) Compliance needed with City policies: North King’s Town, Official Plan, Transportation Master Plan, Active Transportation Master Plan.
13) No accommodation so far for affordable housing or homeless problems.
14) Worries about Mr. Patry giving a million dollars to the Rowing Club – ostensibly in return for their support of his project?
15) Concerns about the boat house – location untenable for turtles. 
Location would be better at current rowing club site.
Compromised with this outdated and shortsighted vision.
Short term tax gain for long term tourism loss.
1) People fly to the Caribbean to see turtles hatching! 
Seeing turtles here in such numbers in the downtown of a North American city is incredible! 
Seeing turtles laying eggs is truly amazing!  A truly tragic loss if turtle habitat is to be lost.
2) Proposed Maritime Heritage Centre in Anglin Parking Lot within walking/cycling distance from deep water port will contain a waterfront restaurant and family opportunities for hands on boat building as well as watching experts built heritage craft.  This venture, to be located in the Anglin Parking Lot, will really open up the Inner Harbour heritage tourism potential.  Shoalts and Zabak architects are currently putting together a promotional video we hope to share soon.
Current tourists are looking for unique and unusual tourism experiences – especially within easy walking distance of the downtown. The Inner Harbour with heritage boat building and turtles, not to mention the art wall in Doug Fluhrer Park is perfectly situated for this.
10) Councillor Lisa Osanic’s Comments on the Tannery Project
Further to the public meeting on March 8th, there wasn’t enough time to ask all of my questions. 
These are my additional questions for the applicant and staff.
1)    Both the CRCA and Parks Canada recommended that the City defer the decision on the application until the proponent provides a more fulsome submission that is satisfactory to City and CRCA staff.
With that comment by both organizations, is the City going to request that the applicant provide the information that CRCA and Parks Canada asked for?  The clock has now started, hasn’t it, for the city to respond with a recommendation or denial of the application.  Is the city going to request that the proponent provide their more fulsome submission in an efficient timeframe so that the city still has enough time to make their recommendation to planning committee in order to avoid before forced to the OMB where the OMB gets to decide, based on the city missing the deadline to make their recommendation?   That is what has brought the city to the OMB on numerous other occasions such as the Homestead submission on Queen and Ontario Streets and Rideau Marina. 
If the city were to defer making a decision on the application, does that deferral come from city council as a motion?   Or from planning committee? What would the process be to defer making a decision until the CRCA and Parks Canada say that the proponent has provided a fulsome submission?
2)    There was a lot public support by the rowing club members for the boathouse.  The boathouse is going to be located in the floodplain and it does not fall in the definition of a marine facility since this boat house will be two stories and will contain habitable living space.  What is going to be the process to give the proponent a permit to build the boathouse?   Is it all up to the CRCA or does the planning department have a process too?    Is the city’s only involvement in the rowing club’s new homebase to be allowing them to set up on the shoreline which is public space?
3)    Can new trees be planted on the clay cap?  I heard that no, the roots would have to go deeper than where the clay will be. Therefore, very few new trees can be planted.  If that is really the case and 2000 trees are in the tree inventory that will all have to be removed, can the city plant new trees right away to the north in Belle Park to make up for the net loss of the urban tree canopy?  In other words, whatever money is collected from the tree preservation bylaw for the removal of all of those trees, use that money right away to buy and plant new ones in Belle Park.  Belle Park, as you know, is undergoing a new revitalization with the elimination of the golf course and part of Belle Park will be more naturalized with walkways and a natural state.  Let’s use the money from the loss of the Davis Tannery trees and plant new trees right away in the naturalized section of Belle Park.    I am very worried, as is Councillor Stroud, of the net loss of the urban tree canopy in this small part of Davis Tannery/Belle Park shoreline area.   Since the public were very good at quoting the city’s Strategic Plan and how well the Davis Tannery redevelopment fits to the city’s Strategic Plan, using the money right away instead of leaving it in a tree fund in the budget for years to come to instead naturalize Belle Park right away, fits into the City’s Strategic Plan of Greening the City.  We cannot have a deficit of the urban forest due to the redevelopment of the Davis Tannery.
4)    I won’t reiterate the CRCA’s comments and concerns other than to say that I will be looking that all points #1 to #9 in the CRCA comments can be addressed and the solutions/outcomes/decision identified in the comprehensive plan so that the public will know the outcome of each.
5)    Transit Bus Stop – where is the closest stop for the people who will live at the Davis Tannery?  I think the closest stop is Russell and Montreal.  There is no straight road that will take people from Montreal St. when they get off the bus to the Davis Tannery.  How will people get from that bus stop to the Davis Tannery?  Is there a pathway that will be built? Is the recommendation going to be that people use the KP Trail?  If so, then it will have to be cleared of snow between Montreal and Rideau St.  I don’t know by memory if there is an offshoot of the KP Trail that goes behind the ball diamonds/soccer field from Rideau St. to Montreal St. that would take people over to that area of the bus stop at Russell.  Please have this addressed in the Comprehensive Plan.  It’s 3000-4000 people that will be living at the Davis Tannery.  The city just can’t say “transit will be addressed in future year transit plans”.   A pathway is going to be needed and it will have to be cleared of snow in the winter time. 
6)    Can the CRCA comments and Parks Canada comments be posted on DASH?
7)    There is great doubt about the efficacy of using only a silt curtain along the shoreline to prevent the toxic runoff from entering the river during the cleanup.  Can water be tested for heavy metal loads at various points along the shoreline at this site before and after the cleanup to ensure that the toxic load did not increase at the shoreline?  Can the city impose that condition?   Either more details need to be provided about how toxic runoff will be prevented or we need the water to be tested before and after.  If the heavy metal loads are higher after the cleanup, what will be the course of action then? 
8)    The proponent said that trees do not clean up heavy metals.  Please do a google “do trees remove heavy metals” and you will see that that statement is misleading.  I heard that statement be made not just once, but twice.  This supports the importance of point 7) in that with the removal of all trees, there are going to be heavy metals that will be released and can easily runoff into the river.  We are not talking about toxins like E. coli; we are talking about toxicants and the ones at the Davis Tannery are the cancer-causing toxicants.   Willow Trees are especially good at sequestering heavy metals.  The proponent did say at the meeting that maybe some trees along the shoreline could remain.  Please preserve the trees along the shoreline.   Please find a way to preserve the white oaks on the property. 
9)    Will the city be getting the brownfield cleanup peer reviewed?
10) Will the city be getting the EIS peer reviewed?
11)  When the proponent buys the strip of shoreline on the north part of the site from the Federal Government, they will have the berm that the turtles are using. I think I heard that the berm at that point, once it’s in the proponent’s ownership, will have to remediated.   Will that take 1 season?  If it will take longer and therefore, interfere with the spring/summer/fall turtle movements, how will the loss of the berm during that year be mitigated?  Can another berm near the current berm be built before the contaminated berm is remediated?  The turtles can use that as the substitute?  Then actually the original berm doesn’t need to be rebuilt at all
12)  When the trees on the site are all removed, it must comply with the timeframe specified by the Bird Migratory Act.
13) An EIS is supposed to be written based on 3 season observations for the field work. What 3 seasons were used in this EIS? 
14)  In the EIS, what does “we recommend that the developers take a proactive approach and undertake a turtle nesting observation program that focuses on the berm such that undertaken by Mary Farrar and Friends of the Inner Harbor at Douglas Fluhrer Park”.   That is mentioned more than once in the EIS.  Since an EIS should be a stand alone document that can be read and understood clearly by any person in any municipality, that description needs to be clarified and expanded out in detail.   What exactly is meant by that?  What are the details?  Is the developer going to pay for that program?   At what point? Before the shoreline is cleared?  At what point if the observation program going to occur?  What is the purpose?   What outcomes are expected and then based on the expected outcomes, what will the further recommendations be protect the turtles?
15)  To get the EIS peer reviewed if staff was not going to do so, do I bring a motion to planning committee or to council? 
Lisa Osanic,
City Councillor: Collins-Bayridge District
599 Rankin Cr., Kingston, ON, K7K 7K6,
11) Our New Friend  Muskrat?  Thoughts? Comments? (See pic)
Possibly first seen on Belle Island about a month ago. 
Seen last week off shore in Doug Fluhrer Park and today in Anglin Bay.
And that’s it until April.
Mary Farrar,
President, Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour