City Matters – April 11, 2019 Issue
Kingston's Recognition Statement provides the guiding motto for City Matters: "Let us bring our good minds and hearts together."
Council drafts priorities for its term
Council held its initial strategic planning sessions in late March to officially drafted its 2019-2022 priorities for Kingston. The draft priorities are:
- Increase housing affordability
- Improve walkability, roads and transportation
- Demonstrate leadership on climate action
- Strengthen economic development opportunities
- Foster healthy citizens and vibrant spaces
Staff will now take these defined priorities and develop a draft strategic plan document that contains options, budget implications and financial constraints for council's further review on May 7.
This session was rescheduled to May 7 to allow staff to assess the impact of the provincial budget (to be announced on April 11), on a council request made earlier this year. It directed staff to identify up to $24.2 million in deferrals of 2018-2022 capital reserve fund expenditures that can be re-directed to affordable housing efforts (up to $18 million) and road and sidewalk repairs (up to $6.2 million). See the motion on p. 24 City Council Meeting minutes (2019-08).
Once finalized, the strategic plan will direct the work of City staff over the next four years.
Your priorities: What council heard
Council decided its priorities with the benefit of feedback from a community consultation on Kingston's strengths, aspirations, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- An online survey was posted on the City's Get Involved site from Jan. 29 to Feb. 25.
- Ninety people attended a Special City Council Meeting with an open house format on Feb. 19, where they could express their priorities to councillors in-person, as well as in writing and online.
- Residents were offered feedback via email and social media.
Council received consolidated input from the consultation – contained in this 458 page Information Report to Council (19-084) – ahead of its strategic planning sessions.
Fund to help create made-in-Kingston solutions to reduce harmful effects of climate change
A recently approved council motion is directing staff to research and recommend options to allow residents to donate funds to a Kingston Climate Fund to be used for local climate action initiatives.
The intent of the fund is to encourage and position Kingston as an innovative hub to support technology that can help the City achieve its climate goals.
Staff will report back with recommendations about how the City could create such a fund and ensure residents receive tax donation receipts. Staff will also investigate setting up a grant framework to distribute donated funds.
This move follows a March 5 council decision to declare a climate emergency in Kingston to name, frame and deepen our commitment to protect our economy, eco systems and community from climate change. And, on March 15, Mayor Bryan Paterson officially joined the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy – an international group representing 120 countries dedicated to collectively reducing CO2 emission by 1.3 billion tons a year.
Proposed development on waterfront property stalled indefinitely
City staff directed to oppose plan in current state.
The site of the former Marine Museum of the Great Lakes is likely to remain dormant for the foreseeable future.
Two properties, one at 55 Ontario St. and a second at 5 Lower Union, make up the 1.7 hectare parcel of land. Both are designated as a National Historic Site under the Ontario Heritage Act.
A 20-storey residential development has been proposed for the property. On April 2, council directed staff to oppose the plan, based on a number of outstanding issues, including the fact the area is identified as a floodplain.
Paige Agnew is the City's director of planning. She says more technical information is needed to address environmental and public health and safety concerns. "We need evidence that the principle of development can be established. We are not convinced the development as proposed represents good planning."
City staff has suspended further discussions with the applicant until all requested technical information is provided.
Although the applications that would allow building on this site have been under appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) for over a year, no pre-hearings or LPAT hearings have been scheduled.
Last spring, those applying to develop the 20-storey, 292-residential unit building on this dry dock and pump house complex site made the LPAT appeal based on the City's failure to make a decision on proposed Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw amendment applications within a prescribed time.
Responsible pet owners help control Kingston's pet population
"Ideally, we wouldn't need pound services," says Lacricia Turner, of a March 19 council decision to have the Kingston Humane Society provide pound services at a cost-effective fixed monthly rate for Kingston for the next five years.
The City's Responsible Pet Ownership Program encourages residents to take measures to prevent the loss of a beloved dog or cat – and to help control the pet population by having pets spayed or neutered.
- Licensing: A cornerstone of the Responsible Pet Ownership program is pet licensing: all dogs in Kingston and all cats within the city's urban boundaries are required to have a licence under the Animal Control Bylaw. Licensing services for Kingston are offered through DocuPet. When you license your pet online you will receive a pet tag and rewards card. Only licensed dogs can use the City's off-leash dog parks.
- Spaying/Neutering: Residents who spay/neuter their pets also receive reduced rates for pet licences. The City offers a limited number of spay/neuter vouchers to help low-income households (apply through the Municipal Fee Assistance Program).
The municipality must also do its bit to control the animal population through enforcement of the Animal Bylaw and through a Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Return program (TNVR) used to control the feral cat population. The City is now examining options for a TNVR program, as the Spay Neuter Kingston Initiative has advised that it can no longer offer this service, which has proved effective.
"This work is needed and we are working on solutions. We want all cats in Kingston to be cared for," says Turner.
How does Kingston reach 65 per cent waste diversion?
Heather Roberts, director of solid waste, shows us what is in an average Kingston garbage bag sent to landfill and discusses the need for new strategies to capture all divertible waste. Have ideas for new waste diversion strategies? Go to GetInvolved.CityofKingston.ca to share them and/or sign-up to participate in an upcoming focus group.
Belle Park Master Plan
The Belle Park Master Plan survey closes 4 p.m. on April 12! Offer input on park elements and priorities to shape the plan for this 80-acre park overlooking the Cataraqui River at 731 Montreal St. Learn more about this project on the Belle Park Master Plan project page.
Shaping Public Engagement
Help us continue to shape public engagement in our community! We are evaluating our public engagement efforts – including the Public Engagement Framework, Get Involved Kingston, our online engagement platform – and want to hear about your experience with public engagement. Go to Get Involved Kingston to complete the survey by April 15 or sign up for a focus group on April 16.
Know a local musician? The City and Kingston Accommodation Partners (KAP) are seeking submissions from local musicians, groups and organizations that can be featured on YGK Music's Traditional or Contemporary playlist. Find out how to submit your song.
KARC Open House
Come to the Kingston Area Recycling Centre (KARC) Open House 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 28 at 196 Lappan's Lane. See what happens to the items you put in your blue and grey boxes after the City collects them from the curb.