New Zoning Bylaw

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The City is preparing a new City-wide Zoning Bylaw to consolidate, update and replace the five separate, outdated zoning bylaws currently in effect across the City.

The new Zoning Bylaw will provide one comprehensive framework to guide and structure land use planning and development across the City.

Learn more about the New Zoning Bylaw here.


New Zoning Bylaw banner


The City is preparing a new City-wide Zoning Bylaw to consolidate, update and replace the five separate, outdated zoning bylaws currently in effect across the City.

The new Zoning Bylaw will provide one comprehensive framework to guide and structure land use planning and development across the City.

Learn more about the New Zoning Bylaw here.


New Zoning Bylaw Q&A

Do you have questions about the New Zoning Bylaw project? Ask them below!

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    The older neighbourhoods downtown include many houses which are student rentals. Will Kingston preserve the original character and architecture of these and other older original buildings against redevelopment as neighbourhood demographics change? Kingston’s architectural history is still largely intact; we cannot afford to lose it.

    Barb MacLean asked 22 days ago

    The City is currently in the process of completing the Central Kingston Growth Strategy study to guide infill and intensification in the residential neighbourhoods in the central area of the City. Zoning recommendations from the CKGS will be implemented in the New Zoning By-law. Please visit https://getinvolved.cityofkingston.ca/central-kingston-growth for more information and to participate in the creation of policies and zoning by-law regulations for the central area of the City.

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    Has the city ever considered mandating that a certain percentage of units in a new development be geared to income for low income individuals or placed on the geared to income waiting list? That way we both avoid too much class division, especially in the downtown developments where older, affordable units are being replaced with new luxury, expensive units AND we're reducing the painful wait people have waiting for GTI housing. Maybe this isn't even a possibility or something the city has power to enforce but I like the idea of helping out people who are being pushed out of gentrified areas due to the sheer un-affordability of these new units being built.

    OliOli asked about 1 month ago

    In the Planning Act (the legislation that gives municipalities the ability to create a zoning by-law), requiring affordable housing is called "Inclusionary Zoning". Right now, the use of Inclusionary Zoning is restricted only to those municipalities that are prescribed by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, or those municipalities who can scope the application of Inclusionary Zoning to areas within a protected major transit station area or a community planning permit system. At this time, Kingston does not meet any of the criteria required by the Planning Act, so Inclusionary Zoning cannot be used in the new zoning by-law. Information Report Number 20-229 provides some additional information about this topic, with links to other background reports.

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    plans to protect natural heritage areas

    John Armstrong asked about 1 month ago

    The new zoning by-law will protect natural heritage areas in a manner that is consistent with the Official Plan. A discussion paper about environmental protection areas and the ribbon of life was the subject of a public meeting on April 29th - view the discussion paper here: https://www.cityofkingston.ca/documents/10180/38898539/Planning-Committee_Meeting-11-2021_Report-PC-21-032_Environmental-Protection-Areas-and-the-Ribbon.pdf/34ad5fd8-3ac1-ba28-e1fb-7b077f289e06?t=1619191672101. Written comments may be submitted to NewZBL@cityofkingston.ca.

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    Will you be adapting a rule that says all property owners who rent rooms or apartments must provide off street parking for ALL occupants who own a car or drive any type of vehicle designed for the street or highway? Will you be enforcing with follow up all parking bylaws and controlling businesses operating out of a residence in a residential area with respect to the vehicles and commercial trailers etc that are being parked on city streets in residential areas?

    Jim Rayner asked about 1 month ago

    Zoning by-laws do not regulate on-street parking or regulate how enforcement is done on-street, they only apply to privately owned properties. For information about on-street parking, please visit: https://www.cityofkingston.ca/residents/parking/on-street-parking

    Parking standards in zoning by-laws typically apply to land uses such as residential units, not renters/occupants of those units (since zoning by-laws do not regulate people). A public meeting at Planning Committee has been scheduled for June 23rd at 6 pm to receive public feedback on a discussion paper that was recently released about parking and the new zoning by-law - view the discussion paper here: https://www.cityofkingston.ca/documents/10180/18914138/Projects_Bylaw_ParkingDiscussionPaper.pdf/53ccdf4f-4b32-cd80-395b-90f3fb69258d?t=1622570454241

    The Planning Committee meeting will be held virtually on the Zoom platform and registration for the meeting is now available on the City's website here: https://www.cityofkingston.ca/residents/city-calendar-events/-/calendar/QUmzuR567ExT/event/38861929

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    Why so often City rezone residential areas from residential to Apartment buildings and never informs the home byers of that possibility?

    palonen27% asked about 2 months ago

    Property owners have established rights under provincial legislation (the Planning Act) to apply for site specific rezoning applications. Notices are provided as signage on properties and mailouts to surrounding property owners when rezoning applications are submitted to the City - these notice requirements are also dictated by provincial legislation. The City's Official Plan provides the policies that govern how rezoning applications are reviewed and processed, and applications for a site specific zoning by-law amendments are required to conform with the policies of the Official Plan.

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    Parking downtown is difficult. I think Kingston should have a parking lot in each the east, west and north end, where people can park and take a shuttle into town. Most people come downtown to WALK but need to get there. This would be great for teens, and those coming from out of town for events etc.

    Jamie Galbraith asked about 2 months ago

    Thank you for your comments.  The City does provide Park & Ride lots for customers who wish to park their vehicles and ride Kingston Transit the rest of the way to their destination. Free parking at these locations is available on a first-come, first-serve basis at:

    Most of these locations are along the City’s express transit network and are served by the highest frequency transit service in the community.  We will pass your suggestion along to Transportation and Kingston Transit so that it can be considered in future service reviews and expansions.

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    Are their incentives to visibly include sustainable design practices, such as net-zero or carbon-zero, in future development ?

    Robert Cuthbertson asked 3 months ago

    The new zoning by-law project includes a discussion paper identifying a potential rethink of parking standards, with a focus on the climate emergency and housing affordability. A public meeting will be held on June 23rd to discuss this potential paradigm shift in approaching parking requirements.

    If you are interested in participating in the public meeting, Planning Committee meetings are held virtually on the Zoom platform. If you are unable to participate on Zoom, a call-in option is also available. The meetings are also live streamed on the City's Youtube channel if you simply wish to watch, but not participate. The meeting agenda and Zoom registration information will be published to the City's website the Friday before the public meeting.

    Zoning by-laws are used to restrict the use of land and the size/location of buildings throughout the City, along with specific standards related to parking, amenity areas, landscaping, etc. Zoning by-laws cannot be used to specify the construction standards of buildings.

    For more information about sustainable design practices, please visit the Green Standard Community Improvement Plan and the Climate Leadership Plan.

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    How will the new zoning bylaw address the complications, endless delays, and enormous costs faced by small builders who own vacant lots that are well suited and large enough for multi-residential buildings in central Kingston but are currently zoned as 'one-family dwelling'? Does the new Zoning Bylaw consider that central properties can potentially accommodate 2 or 3 units and that this measure would no doubt encourage effective infill? Further, does the planning department / city have any plans to support small builders who face astronomical costs and lengthy delays associated with mandated multi-stage archeological assessments in central Kingston that result in zero historical significance?

    LMF asked 3 months ago

    The City is currently in the process of completing the Central Kingston Growth Strategy study to guide infill and intensification in the central area of the City. Zoning recommendations from the CKGS will be implemented in the New Zoning By-law. Please visit https://getinvolved.cityofkingston.ca/central-kingston-growth for more information and to participate in the creation of policies for the Central area of the City.

    Zoning by-laws do not dictate archaeological assessment requirements, as such, there are no changes to archaeological requirements contemplated in the new zoning by-law project.

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    What is being done to protect farmland A1 and A2 zones, and what is being done to enable farmers to have multiple uses that complement their farming activity that includes 4 season farm stands, short term camping/picnicking to learn about farm activities, etc.

    Dah asked 3 months ago

    The first draft of the new zoning by-law, which was published in October of 2016, included a prime agricultural zone aligning with the Prime Agricultural policies of the Official Plan. The second draft will continue to protect prime agricultural land in accordance with the Official Plan and will explore ways to appropriately recognize on-farm diversified uses and agricultural related uses. The second draft is expected to be released this summer. The first draft can be accessed here: https://www.cityofkingston.ca/city-hall/projects-construction/zoning-bylaw-update/phases.

    If you are interested in signing up for the project email list, where emails are sent when documents are published or events are scheduled, please click on "Subscribe for project updates" on this Get Involved page.

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    What are you going to do in order to address the lack of affordable housing?

    Timbojones81 asked 3 months ago

    While the City of Kingston is not eligible to use Inclusionary Zoning in the new zoning by-law, the third phase of the project has identified a number of ways that the draft zoning by-law can be revised to assist with housing affordability. There are two important public meetings scheduled for Wednesday, June 23rd, where two different discussion papers will be considered:

    1. Parking Standards (the number of parking spaces on private property and the size/configuration of those spaces) - the discussion paper will focus on a paradigm shift related to the way parking is regulated in the zoning by-law. Two of the key considerations of the paper are impact of parking standards on housing affordability and the climate emergency.

    2. Additional Residential Units, Tiny Houses and Shipping Containers - the existing zoning by-laws allow for the construction of second residential units on most low density residential properties across the City. This discussion paper will focus on enabling the construction of up to three residential units on these same properties, and will include considerations for the construction of tiny homes.

    If you are interested in participating in the public meetings, Planning Committee meetings are held virtually on the Zoom platform. If you are unable to participate on the Zoom platform, a call-in option is also available. The meetings are also live streamed on the City's Youtube Channel if you simply wish to watch, but not participate. The meeting agendas and Zoom registration information will be published to the City's website the Friday before the public meeting.

    Beyond these two topics, the second draft of the new zoning by-law, which is expected to be released this summer, will include a description of the revisions and ways that the language has been amended to address housing affordability and a number of other key policies and strategic priorities. Among these revisions are amendments to the language of the second draft to be more inclusive and less restrictive as it relates to the definitions of different types of residential uses with new considerations for shared living arrangements.

    To sign up for the project email list, please click on "Subscribe for project updates" on this Get Involved Kingston webpage. Updates are sent to the project email list when events are scheduled and when documents are published.