Central Kingston Growth Strategy

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The City is launching the Central Kingston Growth Strategy, which aims to create a policy and regulatory framework to guide infill and intensification in the central area of the City. The aim of this strategy is to facilitate a long term vision for the residential areas of Central Kingston by preserving what is valued in Kingston’s communities and identifying the appropriate locations and forms for accommodating future growth.

The study area for the strategy includes the residential areas of central Kingston except for the area covered by the North King's Town Secondary Plan, the Kingston Provincial Campus Secondary Plan, and the downtown core and the Princess Street corridor (including Williamsville Main Street). View the study area map.

Learn more about the Central Kingston Growth Strategy.

The City invites Kingstonians to share their experiences to help shape the Strategy. The Study will be informed by a series of public consultation and engagement activities which will encourage residents and stakeholders to engage with our team in strategic thinking and decision-making as the project progresses. From urban design workshops, to neighbourhood audits, and other web-based interactive engagement tools, we look forward to working with you, and learning from you, as we develop the new growth strategy for central Kingston.


Phase 3 Policy Directions and Recommendations presentation


The City is launching the Central Kingston Growth Strategy, which aims to create a policy and regulatory framework to guide infill and intensification in the central area of the City. The aim of this strategy is to facilitate a long term vision for the residential areas of Central Kingston by preserving what is valued in Kingston’s communities and identifying the appropriate locations and forms for accommodating future growth.

The study area for the strategy includes the residential areas of central Kingston except for the area covered by the North King's Town Secondary Plan, the Kingston Provincial Campus Secondary Plan, and the downtown core and the Princess Street corridor (including Williamsville Main Street). View the study area map.

Learn more about the Central Kingston Growth Strategy.

The City invites Kingstonians to share their experiences to help shape the Strategy. The Study will be informed by a series of public consultation and engagement activities which will encourage residents and stakeholders to engage with our team in strategic thinking and decision-making as the project progresses. From urban design workshops, to neighbourhood audits, and other web-based interactive engagement tools, we look forward to working with you, and learning from you, as we develop the new growth strategy for central Kingston.


Phase 3 Policy Directions and Recommendations presentation


Do you have questions about the Phase 3 Policy Directions and Recommendations presentation? Leave them below and a member of the City's planning staff will respond as soon as possible. Q&A closes June 23 at 4 p.m.

Q & A

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    What are the chances the planning department might actually take a lead in promoting interesting architecture downtown, in spite of the planing strategy that seems to stress compatibility/reflection of the environs?. I urge planning and developers to offer up iconic contemporary designs so that we are not shackled by mundane, homogeneous brick and stone. The Isabel Bader is a good start and has been well received. Other cities world wide are giving their citizens fascinating and sometimes controversial but certainly interesting buildings. If you and colleagues don’t already, I suggest you get in the habit of looking at ArchDaily on line for a glimpse of what is happening internationally. Thanks, Don Campbell

    Doncampbell asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your comments and the resources referenced. You are correct in noting that one of the goals of the project is to guide new development to better integrate with existing development, another goal of the project is to encourage creativity and flexibility within those same areas. Compatibility does not necessarily mean reflection, however at the same time there are instances for iconic architecture (such as the Isabel Bader Centre) and more often instances for contextual buildings, ones that contribute to the general character of an area. Although, this project is more focused on contextual buildings, the intent is still to allow and encourage a high quality of design. To that end, the Urban Design Guidelines that will be presented in the final phase of the project, are intended to help identify key foundational characteristics of the various neighbourhoods within the study area and identify features to elevate the level of design of new development. Furthermore, beyond the Zoning By-law, which establishes the general form of new buildings (height, width, depth, distance from the street and neighbouring buildings), the Site Plan Control process provides additional opportunities to determine the design of the building and site through material choice and landscaping. Lastly, as you may be aware, the City is working on a concurrent policy project called “Density by Design: Kingston’s Mid-Rise and Tall Building Policies”. This project will be providing recommendations on appropriate locations and design of mid-rise and tall buildings in the urban area. Examples of topics that will be examined include: building height; ground floor/ street wall design; architectural details; and podium design. Additional information on this project can be found through the following link: https://www.cityofkingston.ca/city-hall/projects-construction/density-by-design Thank you.

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    Hello, I had trouble logging in. I reset my password and logged in. I am pasting my questions and comments below. They may be a duplicate if my log in worked. Hello CKGA staff, I have read the slide show (and viewed the video) and the strategic recommendations report. I have not read the background report for this response. Overall, I appreciate the report. I think the concept of proportionality is a valuable conceptualization of how to view developments. If I understood the application of this concept, it is measured in terms of massing, consistency with the character of the neigbbourhood, and consistency with set backs and depts of buildings in the neighbourood, Before getting into the meat of the matter, I wish to comment on a public comment about Kingscourt. I read someone’s idea that development should happen in Kingscourt because the cost of housing is moderate there. I find that recommendation to be contrary to the objective of maintaing the supply of moderate cost housing. Increasing the demand for Kingscourt housing will just exacerbate the pressures on Kingscourt housing prices. We have already seen unseemly overbuilding on some properties and rising house prices in Kingscourt. In terms of the report, I was disappointed in not seeing greater details on the character of Kingscourt. The wartime housing is unique as an early example of pre-fab building. The nature of adapting to the intended temporary nature of the building set the stage for the composition of the community and its life style. It would have been valuable to emphasize this aspect of Kingscourt as an example of maintaining character and how this objective would apply to the land use planning role of the OP and Zoning Bylaw. The short description describing Kingscourt as small single detached homes on relatively small lots compared to other areas is helpful, but incomplete. Of course, Kingscourt has other subneighourhoods that are somewhat divergent from the wartimers, but relatively modest nonetheless. Also missing from the description was the relatively large number of social housing and low income rentals in the Kingscourt area. I didn’t notice these sites on the maps that including markings for social housing (Sorry if I missed it.) I want to be sure that I understood the recommendations that I perceive as implicating Kingscourt. 1. Do I correctly understand that the 40% maximum coverage recommendation applies to Kingscourt? If the average lot coverage is 24% in Kingscourt, that represents over a 50% greater coverage. How is that consistent with the object of maintaining the character of this historic area. How do you allow that coverage and maintain the depth of building recommendations in this report? 2. Do I understand correctly that the recommendation to limit height to 2.5 stories would apply to Kingscourt? (I was confused by a comment that greater height would be less imposing than greater depth of building. I understand the rationale: incongruous building depth intrudes into the private space of adjacent households. On the other hand, disparate height in Kingscourt would undermine the goal of maintaining the character of the neighbourhood. Some variance in height can be absorbed if it is well designed as suggested. Step backs help in that, even in low rise settings like Kingscourt. Does 2.5 floors satisfy your vision of greater height in place of greater depth of building? If so, this all fits together nicely. 3. If discrepant development has already intruded int a street, will that make it difficult to implement the protections you are suggesting? 4. Do I correctly understand that you are recommending 8-10 stories along the Leroy Grant right of way on the Alcan site. Can they be formulated for upper floors to be stepped back to reduce impact on the adjacent neighbourhood (Victoria Street and Brant Avenue)? Can a 6-8 story height be suggested and meet intensification goals and be financially viable? Will commercial and retail and local work components be included on the ground floors to encourage active transportation and walking in the neighbourhood? And when do you see these developments happening? 5. My observations of developers providing “studies” such as urban design studies and architecutral heritage studies is that they get the results they want. How can we be sure that a review of the Kingscourt wartimer area will not over emphasize the modifications already made and social changes?

    Matthew Gventer asked about 1 month ago

    Hello, thank you for your comments and questions. We will take your comments into consideration as the project progresses. To your questions, we have reached out to the consultants and can offer the following:

    1) Regarding the 40% maximum coverage: We are examining the appropriateness of a 40% maximum coverage as it would apply to Kingscourt, as well as the other areas of the Study Area. Variable lot coverages is being examined. In addition, we are proposing to apply added criteria for building length, depth and width which would create a building envelope that must be adhered to as a whole to control the size of development on a lot.  In the next phase we will also be reconfirming the appropriateness in the context of the neighbourhood groupings. Some flexibility must be built in to allow neighbourhoods to grow and develop still.

    2) Regarding height limit, the current maximum height recommended for homes in Kingscourt is 2-3 storey buildings. Built form is intended to be limited to 2 storeys where adjacent to existing heritage buildings.

    3) Regarding discrepant development, in terms of Zoning regulations such as height restrictions and ultimate building depths, for the most part, no, as they will apply to all new development.  The only exception is front yard setbacks, which may be reduced to the average of the two adjacent buildings. This could have an impact in that regard, but the intent is, over time, to have new development aid in achieving a more continuous street frontage by averaging adjacent properties.

    4) Regarding greater heights along Leroy Grant, the current recommended maximum height for homes along the Leroy Grant right-of-way is 2-3 storey buildings. Should larger development be proposed in this area that does not comply with the Zoning regulations, a Planning Act application would be required. Development would need to satisfy the transitional criteria in the Zoning and Urban Design Guidelines similar to what you have suggested, with stepbacks on upper floors. It will be the City’s decision on whether retail/commercial uses would be permitted at-grade. We do not know when development may occur but we are creating zoning and design criteria to indicate development requirements.

    5) Regarding required studies, the City will have the ability to require design studies completed to their satisfaction for higher density developments. Proposed development will also need to demonstrate consideration of the requirements in the Urban Design Guidelines being prepared as part of this study. These Guidelines will help to identify key design elements to allow new development to integrate well within existing neighbourhoods, respective of the existing character while also recognizing the natural evolution of neighbhourhoods. As part of any analysis there needs to be reference to development that has recently occurred as well.  The objective of this study is to provide recommendations, criteria and requirements that will result in appropriate development that is sensitive to area context and neighbourhoods.  

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    l understand the need for intensification in the central city area. However there is a limited amount of land for this approach. This study needs to complemented by a realistic transportation plan, that can get persons to and from their work sites and homes. It is clear in Kingston where the employment centers are, and this plan will help but not resolve the transportation issue facing Kingston. A comprehensive and thorough blending of the housing and working zones in our city needs a careful thought approach to intensification and transportation together and in unison. Not individually created. The need for very long term thinking is required, and necessary if we are to maintain the unique character of the central core but still allowing employment growth through institutional expansion. Our institutions are several hundred years of age.

    Laurence Gray asked about 2 months ago

    Thank you for your comments on the study and the need for transportation studies to support development. This is an important question as this can be problematic, especially in areas that are experiencing intensification where updated transportation modeling has not been completed or was not anticipated.  

    The City is ultimately responsible for managing the transportation network and completes long term City-wide transportation master plans and neighbourhood level transportation studies that are regularly updated to reflect existing and committed transportation capacity.  New developments or site intensification may be required to complete site level transportation analysis that can be incorporated into these neighbourhood and City-wide transportation models.  If additional transportation modeling is needed in areas where intensification is occurring, the City would review this and devise next steps from there.  The CKGS includes transportation analysis that will inform some of these next steps.