Jason here. Well it was a short meeting- only an hour with only two Councillors missing- Boehme and Holland although many others were late- a little snow, I guess. This was a Special Meeting of Council, the regular meeting the night before had been cancelled because of the snow. Don’t know what Cogeco did to fill in the slot, but they (Cogeco) were there last night to film the meeting, even though they were not showing it!
The changes to the Rideau Heights plan passed without a whimper or a protestation last night on the referral from Planning Board. This is a mistake on top of a mistake. The first Rideau heights plan- to put too many subsidized units together was a mistake and the most recent plan which raises the density to 75 units per acre is a mistake as well. The only thing that can save Rideau Heights now is a mix of buildings. Jason bets it won’t happen!
GHG (greenhouse gases) are very much on the city’s mind. So much so that the City’s Paul MacLatchy, director of Environment and Sustainability is working on it, so is KEAF so is Sustainability Kingston. In a presentation by Ruth Noordegraaf the President of Sustainability Kingston, they hope Kingston will (with others) become a founding partner in the GHG initiative. Sustainability Kingston is an interesting beast, in that the city gave birth to it, although they did not take it into the City, making it instead a non-profit, group – with admitted ties to the city. (Much like Fanny May’s relationship to the Feds south of the border) Should it fail, it will be a black mark on this Council and the one before it. Anyway, they will establish benchmarks and see how everyone is doing in reducing GHG. The question was raised was $10,000 enough “Yes” if other partners are found. If you think that the environment has taken over Sustainability Kingston, you would be right. But this passed unanimously as wished by Councillor Neill.
They will (so they say,) be reporting regularly. One should hear from them often – with three Cities creations guiding them!
Under New Motions a request by Councillor Boehme that the request for a “bump- up” to Planning Board of a request by Tamarack Corp for a commercial plaza to have a site plan reviewed for issues such as Traffic and parking and landscaping was deferred to the next meeting of Council when presumably Councillor Boehme will be present.
Jason here. Last night’ Council meeting was all about ‘planning matters’ all other items of interest being deferred (including the Transportation Master Plan- (the staff person was unable to attend)
First we heard from the owner of the property at 218 Green Bay Rd on how much it was going to cost him to renovate the building in Barriefield (where else!). Then we heard from the President of the Barriefield Village Heritage group who told us why the building should not be torn down (most of the houses on Green Bay Road appear to be new and BIG.) Council voted to go with the heritage committee which went against the staff report that said that the building should be demolished. Toward the end of the meeting Councillor Allen asked for a reconsideration of the vote that had occurred on 218 Green Bay Rd because the staff report appeared not to have asked for a Heritage Easement. Staff replied that the owner had not asked for an easement even though they were asked if they wanted one. Apparently such a reconsideration at the same meeting, does not need 2/3, only a majority of Councillors- this caused a ruffle among those who determine voting protocol. In the end the Councillors voted the same way- in spite of the reconsideration or- perhaps because of it. The option is now with the owners of ask for a Heritage Easement which could restrict the type of house he could ask for. This is an interesting question that will occur again and again. Hopefully, the Sydenham Ward Heritage District won’t cause as much stress.
Next up was the question of ‘ secondary suites’ When is a duplex a duplex? When it’s more than a secondary suite- or more than 40% . A secondary suite is only 40 % of the area of the main building- a duplex can be equal in size. Hence the building in Westbrook which has servicing constraints- (sewer)-should be withdrawn from the secondary suite area…it should be in closed session. While Jason agrees that it should be in closed session, it will be hard to overcome the motion of Boehme and McLaren that deferred further discussion of the problem area until the next Council meeting. This is a problem area because it is an industrial area above 401and not below 401 where all the industrial areas are now. As Councillor Allen said, this is the area of the highest residential density in his Ward. No one (with the exception of Councillor George) knows how the zoning got the way it has. It appears to be Institutional but allows Industrial uses.
It would appear to Jason that an inordinate amount of time is being spent on Heritage issues.
Where is Glover when you need him?