Williamsville Town Hall Meeting: April 20, 2015

Sue Bazely, co-chair of the Williamsville Community Association, welcomed those present and provided an introduction. She referred to our Mission Statement on view and called attention to the logo designed by local artist, Nancy Douglas.

WCA INTRO AND REVIEW OF YEAR’S ACTIVITIES

Sue Bazely reviewed activities during the past year that included:

  • A reference to the BIG FIRE at Princess and Victoria Sts. noting that there continue to be concerns re the damage caused by the fire and consequent costs. She noted that the Fire Marshal’s Report is long overdue.
  • Involvement with Queen’s University included input from Catherine Wright, Queen’s AMS Municipal Affairs Commissioner, who attended our Planning Group meetings and provided information re the naming of the University District, observance of by-laws, garbage collection, recycling and housing. Ariel Gonzalez took over from Catherine Wright as the new Municipal Affairs Commissioner and was a valuable liaison with Queen’s as he provided much to our meetings. John Grenville and Joan Bowie of the Williamsville Association Planning Group attended meetings and provided in put re the Queen’s Master Plan. They also interact with Queen’s through the Near Campus Neighbourhoods Advisory Committee.
  • Involvement with Williamsville Business Owners continues to be a priority. Meetings were arranged with KEDCO and with DOWNTOWN KINGSTON BIA to discuss ways and means of involving business owners who suffered through a long summer of street disruptions due to sewer and water supply improvements.
  • Association Membership with a fee of $10 was presented and endorsed at the Town Hall Meeting in April 2014. Recruitment of members is ongoing and we are looking for someone to serve as membership secretary.
  • Planning for Fall, Fun, Fit’n Food Event on September 13 this year with Joan Bowie looking for sponsors and participants. Last year’s event took place in a heavy downpour but the activities took place and we thank Joan Bowie for her hard work as she got quite wet but continued to sell tickets for prizes.
  • Development Watch Activities with leadership from John Grenville resulted in a lobbying effort directed to our City Councillors with regard to a high density purpose-built development proposed for 495-513 Frontenac St. The Councillors turned the development down but there is a May Ontario Municipal Board hearing filed by developer Jay Patry.
  • Involvement with Other Community Groups is a priority with our Association and we welcomed members of SAVE OUR SCHOOLS and THE AGRICULATURAL ASSOCIATION to a June Meeting. A joint meeting in December was held with the SYDENHAM DISTRICT ASSOCIATION and we are also in contact with THE KINGSCOURT COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION. A future meeting with all community associations is planned to co-ordinate our activities.
  • Jane Jacob’s Walks will take place on May 2 and 3 with walks happening in McBurney Park on Bagot St., Barriefield Village, the Inner Harbour and the Memorial Centre. John Grenville was thanked for taking the lead in co-ordinating the walks. The website for Jane’s Walks can be found here.
  • Memorial Centre Farmers’Market continues to thrive and attract more Kingstonians wanting to buy locally grown food. The new season begins on May 13, Mother’s Day. Joan Bowie is now on the Farmers’ Market Board of Directors taking over from Sue Bazely.

MEMBERSHIP

Pat Hodge, co-chair of the Association, spoke to the merits of paid memberships in the Association citing the need for the financial ability to pay rental costs for our Town Hall meetings, the need for money to put on more and enhanced community activities such as the Fall, Fun, Fit’n Food Event, and the need to fund possible involvements in Ontario Municipal Board hearings in order to maintain our stable neighbourhoods.

Some funding is also needed to help Williamsville Princess St. business owners to come together to form a united body in order to strengthen and market these businesses.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Kid’s Triathlon: Jason Trueman spoke about the Kid’s Triathlon, June 20th, Memorial Centre, 303 York St. for kids, 4-13 yrs. He mentioned the closing of Nelson St. except for local traffic in order to keep kids safe. Police will be in attendance as well as many volunteers. It is hoped this will be an annual event. Registration is on now.
  • Farmers’ Market: Joan Bowie spoke of the Market’s Opening on May 10 from 9 am to 2 pm. There is an increase in the number and variety of vendors as well as an increase in those buying locally grown foods.

She is soliciting for sponsors for increased market events. Cycle Kingston will be at the Market on May 31

QUEEN’S AMS/ARIEL GONZALEZ, MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS COMMISSIONER

Ariel Gonzalez provided a PowerPoint display display that included the following headings;

  • The naming of the near campus neighbourhoods as the University District. Phase 1 has been in place for a year and has resulted in the dropping of the former designation as the Student Ghetto. Phase 2 extending the University District area will take place during the coming year and includes part of the Williamsville District.
  • The Neighbourhood Improvement Plan involves Marketing and Communications, Town Gown Relations, Sustainability, Student Housing and Community Safety.

Town Gown Relations included a successful Fall Queen’s Reunion that featured a street festival on Union St. This was largely judged to be a big improvement over previous Fall Reunions.

Sustainability included a Recycling Bin Giveaway, the AMS Busit Program, the Scramble Crossing at Union and University Avenue, a Greenovations Committee and a Bikes and Boards Shop.

Marketing and Communications included 112 new Street signs re the University District designation, the University District Facebook Page, Residence Posters, Orientation Week Address and Print Media

Student Housing included Housing Talks, University District Housing Website, a Housing Grievance Centre, Student Maintenance and Resource Team and University District Urban Design Study.

Community Safety included the University District Brite Program, Walkhome, Blue Light Messaging, SeQure App, and Holiday House Check.

There was interest in the SmartTeam doing neighbourhood clean-ups and some of those present indicated that they might like to sign up for this service.

Matt (didn’t get his last name), the new AMS Municipal Affairs Commissioner, was present at the Town Hall and was invited to attend our monthly Planning Group meetings.

KEDCO’S NEW PLAN/DONNA GILLESPIE

Donna Gillespie, Marketing Manager, provided and spoke to a PowerPoint presentation of KEDCO’s Strategic Plan 2015-2020 KINGSTON 20/20 with the goal of 5,000 jobs and $500 Million new investment.

  • now there is growth of about 600-700 jobs per year and $60M GDP growth
  • high growth potential: Agri-Business/Food Processing, Information Communication Technology, Defence and Security, R & D, Small Business, Green Chemistry, Healthcare, Tourism, and Innovation
  • existing sector strengths are: Food and Beverage, Government Services, Healthcare, Education, Logistics and Distribution, Chemicals, Small Business, Tourism and R & D.
  • KEDCO’s MISSION: Provide dynamic and collaborative leadership by leveraging Kingston’s unique assets to create jobs and investment in order to sustain, grow and transform Kingston’s economy to meet the needs of the 21st century. We aim to be one of Canada’s leading economies. (KEDCO Presentation Slides)

KEDCO’s Core Area of Focus are Business Marketing and Tourism Marketing and Development with Business Support Services provided.

KEDCO measures its performance with jobs created/retained, amount of new investment in Kingston, consultations and business assists, sales calls/company visits, economic impact of events and opportunities created.

In reply to questions re KEDCO’s role in striving to keep graduating Queen’s and St. Lawrence College students in Kingston, Ms. Gillespie replied that there is active liaison with both and that the ability to keep students here depends on jobs available.

There is interest in revitalization what is called the “old industrial area” and recognition of its potential.

CITY’S OFFICIAL PLAN REVIEW/RACHEL QUITKAT/PLANNING DEPARTMENT

Rachel Quitcat of the City’s Planning Department provided a PowerPoint presentation:

  • the Planning Act requires a 5-year update of the City’s Official Plan and that involves:
  • the incorporation of past studies recommendations
  • engage stakeholders on issues and opportunities
  • enhance the Official Plan: orderly growth, good development, responsible conservation, continued prosperity and high quality of life to 2036.

Work completed and underway is taken into account and a Background Report will be presented to the Planning Committee on May 21.

Provincial Planning issues include: setting minimum density targets to promote compact development, new environmental mapping, climate change and natural hazards, promoting on-farm economic development and protecting cultural heritage and archaeological resources.

Local Planning issues include: continue revitalization and intensification, enhance urban design and innovative building design, protection for stable neighbourhoods, strengthen cultural heritage policies, strong guidance for converting employment land, planning for affordable housing, strong guidance for estate residential development, re-examine woodland mapping and policies and strive to be Canada’s most sustainable city.

There is a need for 24 more hectares of employment (industrial) land.

The Official Plan Review Process invites response from the community with the OP webpage update.

Ms. Quitcat responded to a question re the Williamsville Main St. Study to say that the Study is already implemented into the Official Plan. The by-laws are to be incorporated by next year.

PODIUM DEVELOPMENTS UPCOMING WORK/BERNARD LUTTMER AND OSKAR JOHANSSON

Architects’ drawings were on view showing the buildings to be erected at University and Princess St.

Bernard Luttmer said that they were pleased that City Council has given the development unanimous approval and construction is to begin in the summer of gateway landmark buildings. A new team of architects, Sweeny & Co. has been engaged as they specialize in integrating buildings into the community. Park space was shown with 343’ of frontage and an area of 8,000 sq. ft. Hope was expressed that the City might add to the park space.

Those present gathered to view the drawings and to ask questions. Reaction seemed to be favourable.

COUNCILLLOR JIM NEILL/QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Councilor Jim Neill praised Podium Development for their provision of significant park space. He said that too often money in lieu of park space ended up developing park space at sites other than that being developed.

In answer to a question re the decision concerning closure of KCVI and QECVI, he spoke of a plan B that would see QECVI developed as an education centre. (Since then, the Limestone Board of Education decided to build both an elementary school and a new high school on the QECVI site.)

He spoke favourably of the Council’s priorities and said that he expected more progress in comparison with the previous Council’s term that seemed to focus on projects with a lot of time spent on the casino issue and the district boundaries.

The Town Hall adjourned at approximately 9:30 pm.