close
close

Kingston Council approves planning policy changes

Article content

KINGSTON – City council approved more than 280 changes to its planning policy as part of the city’s efforts to attract housing finance.

Advertisement 2

Article content

The changes to the Official Plan and zoning ordinance include allowing four units per residential area, streamlining the development process, encouraging multifamily housing along transit routes and allowing employers and institutions to build employee housing.

Many of the changes were made to bring the city’s policies in line with the province’s Bill 23 and the federal government’s Housing Accelerator Fund, money that will be key to the city meeting its housing goals in the coming years.

Failure to meet any of the requirements set by upper-level governments can reduce the amount of money the city is eligible to receive.

“The (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation) is following very closely each of the initiatives, what we complete, what we don’t complete,” Growth and Development Commissioner Paige Agnew told the council.

Article content

Advertisement 3

Article content

“At the end of the day they’re also looking more specifically at creating new housing and currently we’re at about 400 building permits,” Agnew said. “We need to be at 1,400 for this year and 1,400 next year, 1,400 the year after, so anything we can do to help achieve the overall goal is important as well as completing the individual initiatives themselves to the greatest extent possible. “

While they approved the changes, many council members did not celebrate, with some characterizing them almost as a necessary evil to access the funding.

“I’m not going to shake the pompoms because our hand has been forced in terms of some of the things that we have to do,” said Sydenham Dist. gref Conny Glenn, who sits on the planning board.

Advertisement 4

Article content

“These amendments were brought to the planning committee with a lot of thought and care and we tried, I think, very hard to achieve to be responsive to the neighborhoods to which they would apply while recognizing our commitments and our need for increased housing.

“So I’m not celebrating them, I’m saying I think we did the best job we possibly could.”

Glenn was among the council members who were happy with changes that allowed four units per residential lot but limited to 10 the number of bedrooms allowed per lot.

“There are a lot of hard things that we have to accept with this,” added Countryside Dist. gref and Planning Committee member Gary Oosterhoff. “It makes me uncomfortable what we’re doing.”

Article content

Back To Top