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Ontario Construction News staff writer
The City of Kingston has completed the second draft of its new city-wide Zoning Bylaw and is inviting input until 4 p.m. on Nov. 5.
Key principles for modernizing the bylaw were to modernize it so it’s reflective of current building standards and city building and to harmonize and simplify zoning rules across Kingston and is meant to replace the five existing zoning bylaws that currently guide growth.
“This new Zoning Bylaw is an important document that is meant to help shape Kingston as it grows. We ask anyone who owns a business, rents or owns a property or has plans to renovate or build something new to, please, take this opportunity to look at this document and help us get it right,” said Paige Agnew, commissioner, community services.
The release of the second draft had been put on hold pending the completion of the Central Kingston Growth Strategy (CKGS). The CKGS recommendations will be presented at Planning Committee on Aug. 12 and have been included in the second draft of the New Zoning Bylaw.
Agnew says the three-month public consultation period reflects the significance of the document as well as its length and detail. To help collect input on this extensive document, the city is incorporating Konveio – a new engagement tool, with built-in bookmark features that can direct readers to points of interest and provides a platform for residents to easily provide comments and review/respond to comments that others have provided.
Find and offer input on the draft of the new Zoning Bylaw. Once completed, the new city-wide Zoning Bylaw will help the City reach a number of its key priorities outlined in Kingston’s 2019-22 Strategic Plan.
Zoning rules affect everything from permitted businesses to the location of buildings.
Kingston is a little unusual, Agnew says, because there are currently five zoning bylaws.
“The bylaws that we have in place are the ones that have existed since pre-amalgamation,” in 1998, she explained. “We have a lot of bylaws that are very outdated, so this is a project that has been in the making for many years and it’s super important.”
“Some of our bylaws are 40 years old.”
Agnew says one of the key elements of zoning rules that has shifted significantly is focusing on the equity consideration of land use planning.
Bylaws created in the 1970s are not in sync with Kingston’s Official Plan (OP) adopted in 2017.
One of the most important results of the comprehensive zoning bylaw process will be to ensure that the new rules are actually implementing the current OP.
“Traditionally land use planning has been about separateness. As a city as we really try to embrace growth from within, so it involves a different type of planning,” Agnew said.
“It involves a different type of planning because we’re not just expanding a new area here and a new area there, we’re growing from within and when you do that you have to start thinking about how you use land differently . . . and how we can create these complete, mixed communities.”