What Kingston challenges, goals or values do you most want to see reflected in the City’s new approach to the design of mid-rise and tall buildings?

about 1 year ago
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  • Michael Capon about 1 year ago
    Challenge: Housing shortage. Goal: Provide more accommodation while preserving the downtown character. Values: Authenticity, Beauty. Kingston enjoys one of the most beautiful, unspoiled, authentic city centres of any city in Canada. Partly because of its appeal, we're also facing a housing shortage. Our challenge is to create more accommodation (intensify) while preserving the appealing character of our downtown. Developers proposing tall downtown buildings go to great lengths to try and hide their height, and make them look mid-rise. Even they recognize that excessive height will detract from the cityscape. Our precious jewel of a downtown must not be spoiled by buildings pretending to be something they're not. Our downtown should be authentic. That means intensifying with real (not fake) mid-rise development that works with (not against) our existing cityscape. We can have it all: a beautiful human-scale downtown with more accommodation. We don't have to sacrifice one for the other.
  • an825246 about 1 year ago
    While I concur that housing availability/affordability is an issue requiring urgent attention and that developments should be respectful of heritage, we need to get away as a community from the assumption that height detracts from heritage attributes -- there are many examples of tall buildings that accentuate/respect heritage attributes without limiting height or the number of units of housing stock that we desperately need to alleviate our festering housing crisis.

    Guelph Ontario is a relatively recent example of a community that has struck a great balance between the development of tall buildings in and around its heritage-rich downtown by allowing tall developments in areas in and abutting downtown that were previously underutilized or unseemly that were going to waste (sound familiar, Kingston?). There is no doubt that:

    1. by allowing taller buildings in and around Kingston's downtown that
    2. there will be more people, which
    3. brings more economic/social/cultural benefits to our downtown and will add to our downtown's vibrancy.

    The assumption that height, by virtue of that fact alone, will detract from heritage attributes and the vibrancy of our downtown core is plainly wrong. It sends the wrong message to developers and hinders our economic, social and cultural growth as a community.
  • Gisele Pharand about 1 year ago
    Although housing availability and affordability needs more attention in Kingston, I am mainly concerned with new developments being respectful of preserving our beautiful downtown. I believe that the OP and its by-laws ought to remain clear and firm in rejecting all new developments that don't conform to the present height limits in the heritage-rich and pedestrian-friendly downtown core and its waterfront.
  • Fccharles about 1 year ago
    I believe we also need to look at low-rise intensification, so that we scale intensification to fit neighbourhoods and heritage cityscapes. Beyond that, one of the most important priorities has to be affordable housing for Kingston families--NOT only for students. Too many new developments are aimed at housing students, and not just in Williamsville. Even the Capital project was initially advertised as ideal for students.
  • aairov about 1 year ago
    In my opinion, since build-worthy land around Kingston is at a premium, we need to address the pressing need for affordable housing. We need to build taller apartment buildings to acommodate the increasing number of individuals and families living below the poverty line. Minimum wage is now close to twice the hourly dollar figure people on asistance recieve. How is someone who makes approximately $1,000 per month supposed to pay $800+ for one of the basic necessities for survival?