Summary of October 17th, 2011 Williamsville General Meeting

Welcome by chair Sue Bazely

Welcome by Williamsville Councilor Jim Neill: great turn-out, hopes for more meetings, and encouraged those present to invite a neighbour.

Main Street Study Recommendation – Shirley Bailey, Sr. Planner, City of Kingston

Ms Bailey gave a brief summary of the study highlights and noted that emphasis on culture and heritage has been noted and will be incorporated, and invited input into Study. The streets will have wide sidewalks for pedestrians and parking on both sides.

Comments from attendees: cyclist noted “sharrows’ don’t work; Councilor Neill noted sharrows are a work in progress; Ms Bailey indicated Williamsville Study Recommendations will take time to happen. The area needs developers, but with brownfields in area, is it reasonable to expect to attract developers? Ms Bailey noted that Yes, enquiries have come from afar, there is interest and developers’ applications will be dealt with as they come in. Councilor Neill commented on tax advantages for brownfield development (some brownfields could be abandoned by owners who do not have mean to clean up properties).

Podium Developments Presentation – Bernard Luttmer

Mr Luttmer outlined the Salvation Army site development and Albert Street development, and apologized for the noise. Mr Luttmer went on to show designs for Mack Street, fronting on Victoria Park and requested comments and suggestions.

Comments from attendees: what type of buildings and how large? Mr. Luttmer indicated the intent for campus residents, but cannot be restricted to students; 2 bedrooms, 3 bedrooms + den, 2 buildings, 15 units each. Query on size of den, and does it have a closet?  Mr Luttmer commented that it is usual to have a den with a 3 bedroom unit. There was general praise for the Podium developments.

Property Standards – Terry Willing, Director of Building and Licensing, City of Kingston

Property standards enforcement is mainly complaint driven, with some blitzes, and intent to focus particular attention to the gateways to Kingston. Mr Willing gave a summary of the process.

Comments from attendees: complaints fall into black hole, what could be done? Mr Willing noted that communication is not so good, staff are very busy, and requested that people call back to check. It was suggested that people to take photos of situation and Mr Willing agreed this was a great idea, and to send photos by e-mail. There are chronic offenders, what process could work here?  Mr Willing noted there should be bigger fines for repeat offenders. An example from Waterloo was given where students get a fine right away, but it usually takes 3 weeks for students to pay attention to property standards by-laws. Snow removal, are there any guidelines? What about homeowners shoveling snow out to the street? Snow banks on Princess Street are a problem. Mr Willing noted property owners need to pay for snow removal or call for by-law enforcement if needed.

Near Campus Neighbourhoods Advisory Committee – John Grenville, Williamsville rep

A powerpoint presentation with background was provided along with examples of issues and concerns. Mr Grenville would like feedback to take to the Committee. Summary information and contact information will be posted on the website.

Business Improvement Area (BIA) – Fawn Bradfield, KEDCO

A powerpoint presentation on the advantages and benefits of a BIA was presented by Ms Bradfield, a representative of the Kingston Economic Development Corporation. This provided a better understanding to business owners and residents.

Services and Lifestyle Guide – Sue Bazely

The first draft of the Guide which lists services in Williamsville was presented. The objective is to promote local services. Ms Bazely encouraged input and additional listings.

Other Business

Farmers’ Market at Memorial Centre – is a proposed pilot project that needs support from the community. Attendees were asked to email councilors. This proposed Market is in keeping with the community garden proposed for the Memorial Centre and is an element of Kingston as a Sustainable Community.  Help is needed in working on this.

Potential school closures – there is information that some schools in the area could close. It is necessary to attend meetings and watch for the review now being conducted. Schools are an essential part of a neighbourhood.

Messages – Bryon Springer sends congratulations on improvements to the Memorial Centre, encourages incentives for developers, and is reviewing their proposal for the property at old Keg site. Bruce Stewart (Toyota property) noted that the area needs revitalization and that there is probably a brownfield issue. City leadership is needed.

In addition, there were messages from Ronda Candy (Martha’s Table) and John McTavish (HIV Aids) expressing interest in the Williamsville Community Association.

Thanks to all who attended, our presenters, and everyone who assisted in the planning and presentation of this meeting.