City Matters – August 9, 2019 Issue
Kingston's Recognition Statement provides the guiding motto for City Matters: "Let us bring our good minds and hearts together."
55 Ontario and 5 Lower Union may be explored for cruise ship dock and public waterfront development
The Great Lakes Cruise Strategy, completed in 2018, estimates that 51 mid-size cruise ships could be stopping in Kingston by 2028. Making Kingston a cruise tourism hub is one of the key initiatives in the Integrated Destination Strategy. All Kingston needs to accommodate cruise ships is a deep water dock – and opening one for the 2022 cruise ship season is one of the initiatives under council's strategic priority to strengthen economic development opportunities.
City staff has recently been approached by the new owner of 55 Ontario St. and 5 Lower Union St. about partnering on a public waterfront development – part of which could be a deep water dock at that location.
"This is the area beside the former and future home of the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes. It's close to downtown and has a greater water depth than the wharf at 1 Queen St., which is the other location we have been exploring with Riggs Engineering," says Lanie Hurdle, the City's interim chief administrative officer. She notes that a partnership to develop this location could also help advance the Waterfront Master Plan which calls for access to public open space and a pathway along the waterfront.
This Tuesday, council will review a proposal (Report Number 19-220) that, if passed, will direct staff to explore a potential partnership with the owner of 55 Ontario and 5 Lower Union streets on a waterfront development that could include:
- A deep water dock
- Public access to the waterfront
- Programs with the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes
Exploring the options
A 2017 analysis (see Exhibit A to Report Number 17-282) of potential cruise ship dock locations by Riggs Engineering showed that 55 Ontario St. was the only downtown location that has sufficient water depth to accommodate larger cruise ships of about 400 passengers. However, it also showed limitations to mooring due to the condition of the infrastructure. It is expected that relatively significant structural work would be necessary to allow the wharf at 55 Ontario St. to function as a dock for cruise ships.
City staff has been working with Riggs Engineering to assess the structure of the existing wharf at 1 Queen St. and investigate navigation lines and dredging requirements. It had been identified as a preferred location for a cruise ship due to the anticipated lower costs of renovation and more central location. Located beside the Wolfe Island Ferry dock, it would be able to accommodate small (fewer than 70 passengers) to mid-sized (70 to 210 passengers) cruise ships once dredged.
See the July 9 Report to Council on the 1 Queen St. wharf which shows it needs about $4.5 million worth of work to complete a deep water dock at that location.
2019-2022 Kingston Strategic Plan
"I'm very proud of the goals we've agreed on and what we plan to accomplish. This plan builds on the momentum of the last four years pushing forward a vision to make Kingston a smart, livable and leading city," says Mayor Bryan Paterson. "As a council, we have an ambitious plan and it's going to be a busy four years but we are very excited to move our community forward together."
This document will guide the work of City staff over the next four years. It outlines the initiatives that will advance the following key priorities set by council:
- Demonstrate leadership on climate action
- Increase housing affordability
- Improve walkability, roads and transportation
- Strengthen economic development opportunities
- Foster healthy citizens and vibrant spaces
Timelines and measures of success are provided for the five to seven initiatives under each priority area. The 23-page reader-friendly plan also outlines a number guiding principles (p.2) that speak to how council expects City staff to approach its work and decision-making and the projected tax rate increases that will support the implementation of these council priorities.
City staff will offer quarterly updates to council on the progress of the plan and these will be provided to the public on the plan's website now under construction. The first update will go to council early this fall.
Why is the City moving to license short-term rentals?
"The popularity of apps like Airbnb and Vrbo has had an impact on the availability of long-term rental units and on neighbourhoods," says Lacricia Turner, manager licensing and enforcement about why the City is moving to license the kinds of short-term rental accommodations offered on such apps.
Licensing short-term rental accommodations would allow the City to regulate short-term rental accommodations and put certain controls in place. The City's approach to license and fairly regulate short-term rentals is now up for public discussion.
Offer Input on Short-Term Rentals
Those who offer or live near short-term accommodations – and those with an interest in housing availability – are encouraged to complete a Get Involved survey on short-term rental licensing by 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27.
Interested residents can also find out more about this effort and offer feedback at an open house at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 20 at Memorial Hall in City Hall, 216 Ontario St.
You can find documents offering a look at short-term accommodations in Kingston and find out how other communities are managing them.
Ideas wanted: How can we reduce GHG in the industrial, commercial and institutional sector?
Do you have ideas for low-cost and immediate ways the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) sector can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? Are you aware of initiatives to reduce GHG that have been implemented around the world that could apply here, in Kingston? The Working Group on Climate Action wants to hear from you. Visit GetInvolved.CityofKingston.ca to learn more. The ideas and strategies you share could help inform actions taken – and help fulfill the City's priority to be a leader on climate action.
Sheep Dog Trials Festival
The Kingston Sheep Dog Trials Festival presented by Subaru of Kingston returns to Grass Creek Park from Friday, Aug. 9 to Sunday, Aug. 11 with tons of family and pet-friendly fun! See the full line-up of events and information about the free shuttle. Buy your tickets now!
Ontario Street: A Vibrant Spaces Project
The Ontario Street: A Vibrant Spaces Project returns Aug. 9 to 11 as Ontario Street in front of City Hall is transformed into an artistic and cultural activity space. Come enjoy a dance party, a Two Islands drama workshop for kids, a talk on public art, live mural painting, a poetry path walk and more! See the full line-up.
Possible Made Here
The Possible Made Here website showcases the advantages of living and working in Kingston and includes job search tools, a cost of living calculator, neighbourhood quiz and interactive city map. Created by the City and numerous community partners as part of the Workforce and In-migration Strategy, it is meant to help entice talented people to apply for available jobs.