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The City is preparing a new City-wide Zoning Bylaw to consolidate, update and replace the five separate, outdated zoning bylaws currently in effect across the City.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The City is preparing a new City-wide Zoning Bylaw to consolidate, update and replace the five separate, outdated zoning bylaws currently in effect across the City.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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    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 10 days 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 about 1 month 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 about 1 month 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 about 1 month 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 about 2 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.

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    I feel Kingston township is left out of alot of upgrades and improvements. We need a voice to represent taxpayers in the town ship.

    donnapellis asked about 2 months ago

    The new zoning by-law will affect all lands in the City of Kingston, which will ensure that all areas of the City are treated and reviewed consistently.

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    will the zoning review consider setting building height limits across the city?

    rossniles asked about 2 months ago

    The new zoning by-law will be setting height limits across the City in a manner that is consistent with the height limits in the existing zoning by-laws.

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    Will residents and homeowners be compensated for having their homes and gardens cast into solid or deep shade because of the new big box high rises all over the downtown? Will they be compensated for the loss of privacy from now having apartment windows looking directly into their second floor rooms and fenced-in back yards? Many of those homes were newly built so will the city have to help those people re-locate? Without sunlight and privacy, I imagine those homes will have experienced a drop in value. The blocked homes and apartments are also now useless for passive solar and solar panels. The developers should be footing the bill for compensating those home owners, not city taxpayers. Does our new planning include the Right to Light similar to the European and British laws? The OMB has already dealt with this at least once with regards to big box buildings so if our planning doesn't include that, it needs to be amended. If we already have laws etc in place regarding Right to Light, I couldn't find them and the big box apartments going up all over the downtown don't seem to be angled for light access so I'm guessing that we don't. If we do have those laws in place and I simply couldn't find the right page, could you please post it here so homeowners can see it? Thanks so much!

    Katana asked about 2 months ago

    The new zoning by-law will not be increasing height permissions from those that exist today in the existing zoning by-laws. Site specific applications for zoning by-law amendments are reviewed against the policies of the Official Plan, which can be found here: https://www.cityofkingston.ca/business/planning-and-development/official-plan.

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    How will the new zoning bylaw use inclusionary zoning to increase affordable housing units, especially in the downtown core?

    drd asked about 2 months ago

    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 policies 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 it cannot be used in the new zoning by-law. For more information, please review Information Report Number 20-229: https://www.cityofkingston.ca/documents/10180/38757010/City-Council_Meeting-29-2020_Report-20-229_New-Zoning-By-law-Project-Status-Update.pdf.  

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    Will the new zoning bylaw help to make Kingston a city that is walkable, livable, and dense by default? This would be in line with Council's stated priorities (Demonstrate leadership on climate action; Increase housing affordability; Improve walkability, roads and transportation; Strengthen economic development opportunities; and Foster healthy citizens and vibrant spaces) and might be achieved by eliminating the low density residential land uses within the urban boundary or by ensuring that land adjacent to arterial roads is zoned to permit and encourage both residential and commercial uses.

    rmoulton asked about 2 months ago

    The new zoning by-law project was originally scoped to be a consolidation exercise of the existing five main zoning by-laws. The current third phase of the project has expanded to include a number of items that are outside of the original consolidation exercise. This phase will include a rethink of the parking standards to demonstrate leadership on climate action, increase housing affordability, improve walkability and foster vibrant spaces. This phase will also enable up to 2 additional residential units to be constructed on residential properties to assist with housing affordability. Discussion papers about these two topics will be considered at a public meeting on June 23rd. New economic development and housing opportunities will be explored within places of worship, which is the topic of a discussion paper at a public meeting on April 29th. Otherwise, the new zoning by-law will modernize a number of other standards and will implement recommendations of other ongoing policy projects such as the Central Kingston Growth Strategy (https://getinvolved.cityofkingston.ca/central-kingston-growth).