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The following are excerpts from the executive summary of the City of Kingston, Urban Growth Strategy Final Report. The full report and the supporting reports can be downloaded using the links below. It should be noted the Urban Growth Strategy's conclusions, recommendations and means of implementation were approved in principle by Council on July 14, 2004, and the study was used in the development of the City's new Official Plan.

Executive Summary

The Urban Growth Strategy study began in June 2002. It was the first comprehensive review of the growth issues faced by the amalgamated City of Kingston. The Official Plans prepared by the three former municipalities were based upon independent approaches to development. However, with the new City, there is a need for a single, unified concept to guide decisions on City wide issues. This Strategy provides an integrated approach to coordinated growth management of the City for the next 25 years (i.e. to 2026).

The population of the City of Kingston grew from about 90,000 to 114,000 between 1976 and 2001 and was projected to increase to between 147,000 (medium projection) and 164,000 (high projection) in the next 25 years. The Urban Growth Strategy has evaluated where and how this growth should be accommodated, using a logical step by step process:

  • it examined how much growth the existing Committed Development Area (CDA) (previously referred to as Growth Alternative 1 in "Revised Draft Interim Report No. 2," dated April, 2003) could accommodate;
  • since the CDA contained insufficient land to handle growth to 2026, additional lands (Growth Alternatives) for potential development were considered;
  • these lands included the alternatives previously proposed by the former municipalities, along with some additional areas. These are shown on Figure 2.

Evaluation Criteria (Table 1) were established and confirmed through a public consultation program. The criteria were applied to the Growth Alternatives, and Growth Alternative 2 was identified as the most preferred. The criteria were not applied to the CDA since growth there is already considered to be the first priority. The evaluation process and findings were presented to the public in April 2003. This process is described fully in Interim Reports No. 1 and No. 2.

Council directed that an additional Growth Alternative (GA 1A) be considered and that an additional servicing cost analysis be completed. This analysis examined the impacts of infrastructure costs on municipal revenue sources: taxes, water/sewer rates, impost fees and development charges.

Following the additional analyses, Growth Alternative 2 (GA 2) continues to be preferred for development, in addition to the CDA. Although GA 1A was similarly ranked, GA 1A is federal land and is not currently available for urban development.

The Urban Growth Strategy also examined the issues affecting how development should occur. This included considerations such as the urban boundary, phasing, commercial development, "smart growth", density, infilling, alternative development standards, Kingston's Greenhouse Gas Reduction commitments and related issues, many of which were raised by the public during the community consultation process.

The results of this study will be implemented through City decisions on development applications, locations for new municipal facilities and through the four project deliverables which are found in the appendices. They include:

  • Water Servicing Concept Plan which identifies the type, cost, location and timing of needed water system improvements;
  • Sanitary Servicing Concept Plan which identifies the type, cost, location and timing of needed sanitary sewage system improvements;
  • Financial Plan;
  • Official Plan Amendments to each of the three existing Official Plans.

The 17 numbered recommendations of this study are in Sections 4 and 5 of the Final Report. They, in turn, lead to the Urban Growth Strategy, which is described in Section 6. The major recommendations of the Urban Growth Strategy focus on four initiatives:

  1. Costly infrastructure improvements and expansions must be managed using all available planning mechanisms to prevent capacity hoarding, premature land development and to avoid unnecessary financial pressures on the City.
  2. Kingston's projected growth rate requires a modest supply of additional urban land to accommodate it. Figure 3 identifies the preferred location and approximate order of future urban growth. It establishes an urban boundary encompassing sufficient land to accommodate development to the year 2026, based on current growth projections, and also identifies potential Future Development Areas.
  3. To accommodate projected growth without unnecessary outward expansions will require increased diligence in accommodating increased residential density, mixed land use and additional employment opportunities within the existing Committed Development Area.
  4. A new Princess Street Transit Priority, Mixed-Use Corridor from the harbour to Midland Avenue should be established in the Official Plans to provide a focus for transit supportive, higher density development.

This combination of broad initiatives, combined with the detailed recommendations of the Water and Sewer Concept Plans and the Financial Plan, will help the City to implement this comprehensive Urban Growth Strategy.

The Urban Growth Strategy Study's conclusions, recommendations and means of implementation were approved in principle by Council on July 14, 2004. There were subsequently two public meetings held in 2005 on draft Official Plan Amendments. They were held on July 21, and November 17, 2005. Following a working session with the Council, early in 2006, staff were instructed to include the Urban Growth Strategy policies into the new Official Plan which was being developed. Following the consideration of a series of updates, reports and evaluations the final Urban Growth policies and mapping schedules were included in the Official Plan which was adopted by Council on July 19, 2009.