Hall Monitor: A Pound of Regulations

Kingston City Council Meetings, #ygkcLast night was a homecoming of sorts as city council returned to it’s usual seats around the horseshoe, wrapping up a three month road trip – and they did so in true council fashion, running past 11:30 without finishing the agenda. As always, the agenda and addeds are available on the city website.

I was actually almost disappointed that the Mayor opened by reminding everyone that the bulk of the functions of the new gear are off-limits until the procedural by-law changes – I was looking forward to that mess. We did get to see the units in action after a minor hiccup, though, displaying a presentation from one of the delegates on both the little screens and the new overhead ones.

Our first hour and a half or so was filled with delegations, mostly on the controversial pet sale item on the agenda – who had a large group demonstrating in the hall outside of chambers. The bulk of the agenda passed in waves with little or no discussion, including a new traffic light at Perth Road and McAdoo’s Lane, formal adoption of the procedure changes for the new tech, approval to start (with appropriate by-law changes) the secondary suites pilot, starting the procedure to name the aquatic centre at the Memorial Centre, picking the planner for the Block 4 (Former police station block) redevelopment and accepting the 2013-2015 parking plan.

The elephant in the room, of course, was the proposal to ban the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores in Kingston, leaving store only the options to allow adoptions from humane societies and rescue groups. Initially, this rule also allowed stores to acquire animals at no charge to sell, but that clause was amended out. The item, itself also calls for permits for rabbit breeders and develop a report regarding implementation and budget impacts. The item passed on an 8-3 recorded vote (I’ll have names later today). This doesn’t complete the process – we’ll see the report from staff go back to the Arts, Recreation & Community Policies Committee for review before it comes back to council for adoption – but it does solidify council’s intent to complete this ban.

I left my power cable at home, so while I had the stream up (albeit with audio issues from the new setup), it didn’t last long – and I ended up on mobile before the end of the evening. We’ll get there. Our next meeting is in council chambers on February 19th.

  • 7:32 PM: All set up and the stream is live at http://t.co/8diLs9B8. I’ll check on audio as soon as I can. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:37 PM: We’re under way. Mayor jokes that the new systems include a trap door button. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:38 PM: Addeds carry with no issues. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:41 PM: We begin with a presentation of a gift from a town in Italy. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:45 PM: The town of Rivergaro, Italy sent books of all sorts as a gift in kind to create a twin city relationship between the two. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:46 PM: Second presentation is from the @MayorOfKingston to the Downtown Kingston BIA. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:49 PM: Getting a few additional delegations added to the agenda. We already had 3; now at 5. Both add’l were about the pet sale item. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:50 PM: Our first delegation is from the owner of the pet store in the Cataraqui Town Centre. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:51 PM: Delegate says that the issue seems to have changed multiple times since it first came up last summer. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:53 PM: Pet Store has a petition in-store only and has received more than 500 signatures already. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:55 PM: Delegate says they don’t have any puppies or kitties right now. Has not been approached by the humane society. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:58 PM: Coun. Osanic asks about how long the pets stay in the store; says that it’s generally no more than a few weeks. #ygkc ^TV
  • 7:59 PM: Coun. Schell confirms the understanding of the motion: Pets that are sold to the store would be banned. Free pets won’t. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:00 PM: Turning off the stream due to battery issues; sorry, team. I left my power cord at home and want to make it through the meeting. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:04 PM: Delegate says that they have contacted the humane society multiple times to house animals for adoption with no reply. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:06 PM: Second delegation is on the same topic; has a power point presentation. It’s on the little screens, but not the overheads. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:06 PM: We skip them for now while they deal with the overhead issue… We move to a delegation on the cash-in-lieu by-law. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:08 PM: Third time a cell phone has gone off in the room; @MayorOfKingston asks everyone to silence their phones. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:09 PM: Developer is converting units and feels that they shouldn’t need to turn over land or cash as the num of beds isn’t changing. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:10 PM: Adds that under the proposed changes to the by-law, they would be exempt. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:11 PM: @JimNeill3 asking about the units; developer says they current have no aff. units, no plans to create aff. units with it. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:14 PM: A thumbs up from the techs on the overheads, and we’re back to the other pet delegation. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:16 PM: Delegation says that #ygk can be the third city to enact this type of ban and that other communities are watching the result. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:18 PM: Delegation says that the clause allowing owner-surrendered pets was removed from Missasauga’s by-law; under review in Toronto. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:20 PM: Question from Coun. Downes about costs; group says that the reduction in overpopulation would reduce pound stays. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:21 PM: Coun. Glover asks about the amount of reduction of population; group used “we believe” in the presentation. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:24 PM: Coun. Paterson says that the staff report says only 10% of pets turned in are from pet stores, wonders about the other 90%. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:24 PM: Delegate says that numbers were a national average as well as appx 600 of 3000 pets turned into KHS. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:25 PM: We move to a delegation from the humane society in support of the ban. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:27 PM: Comparisons are being made to the ban on animal testing movement of years past. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:28 PM: Concerns from residents abt where to bring unwanted litters of animals; KHS says they’ll take them and never turn an animal away. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:30 PM: Delegate adds comments at the end regarding the Responsible Pet Ownership Program on the agenda, too. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:31 PM: Coun. Downes asks about the potential capacity issues. KHS confirms that their spay/neuter program does help to reduce their load. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:32 PM: Coun. Downes asks about if the KHS has heard from the humane societies in Missasauga and Toronto. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:33 PM: Delegate says that adoption rates are up, euthanasia rates are down. Add that it’s tough to track this so early, though. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:34 PM: @JimNeill3 asks about the potential of stores showing KHS animals. Delegate explains how their current operation works. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:35 PM: … adds that they rarely make any money off of animal adoptions and barely breaks even. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:36 PM: Coun. Glover asks if the KHS has heard of legal challenges. Says that supreme court in BC has upheld this type of ban. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:38 PM: Coun. Hutchison asks about the euthanasia policies at the KHS and who covers the costs. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:40 PM: Coun. Schell asks about pet stores who don’t sell pets. Delegate clarifies that they don’t know if those store used to. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:41 PM: @MayorOfKingston asks about the comments on the ownership program; wants add’l comments and ideas. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:42 PM: Delegate says that the costs are only one piece and lists 5 parts of responsible pet ownership. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:43 PM: … adds that KHS and partner associations are willing to work with the city and take on some of the work load. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:44 PM: Our last delegation is Matt Hutchins from the Chamber of Commerce on the same topic. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:45 PM: The chamber agrees with the goals related to pet populations and control, but doesn’t agree with the ban. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:46 PM: Compares the ban to a request to ban specific types of clothing, jewels and other items. Cities shouldn’t dictate what biz can do. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:48 PM: Similar business-restricting bans in Toronto (Shark fins and plastic bags) have undergone costly legal challenges. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:48 PM: … adds that this bans would place #ygk at a disadvantage in comparison to other communities. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:50 PM: @JimNeill3 asks if the delegate is here as a representative of the chamber, @MayorOfKingston stops that question. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:51 PM: @JimNeill3 asks about the legal challenges. Delegate says that this is still an attempt by the city to control business practices #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:52 PM: Coun. Downes asks about a letter sent; letter calls coffee, diamond, cell phone, dog, cat and rabbits are all products. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:53 PM: Delegate says that at some level they are: The sale of an animal is still the sale of a good from a private business. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:54 PM: Coun. Downes asks about that the national chains not selling pets. Delegate is in favour of businesses making ethical decisions… #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:55 PM: … but says that this ban limits a business’ choise and puts them at a disadvantage. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:56 PM: Coun. Schell asks if he feels the chamber would be okay w/ a spay/neuter program. delegate affirms they’re in favour of the goals. #ygkc ^TV
  • 8:59 PM: Coun. Glover asking about the cost savings. Delegate says that they are concerned about the precedent this will set. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:01 PM: Coun. Hutchison asks the delegate about the potential for legal challenge. Delegate confirms that product bans have faced them. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:04 PM: We finally get out of delegations and get a petition in support of a ban with 800+ local signatures on the table. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:06 PM: @MayorOfKingston receives and presents the earlier petition from the Pet Store at the mall. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:07 PM: One motion of congratulations to McKenna Modleron on receiving the 2012 Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year Award. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:09 PM: We’re into report 32, CAO Consent. Dealing with items b, c, f, g. All pass. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:11 PM: Item a; it’s to look at traffic lights at Perth Rd and McAdoo’s Lane. Coun. Scott is concerned about traffic diversion. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:11 PM: Coun. Scott asks about a temp. set of lights at Battersea Rd. Keech says that it’s doable if need be. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:12 PM: Item passes; we move to item d, which are the by-law changes to allow the technology changes. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:13 PM: Council is getting trained on the tech starting tomorrow. Coun. Glover asks about any advantage about declaring quorum. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:14 PM: The clerk says that there is no specific advantage. person-by-person attendance is now tracked. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:16 PM: @MayorOfKingston and the clerk answering questions about the way the new system’s timers and voting procedures work. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:16 PM: Clerk confirms that ALL votes will now be a recorded vote. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:17 PM: The minutes won’t list all votes without a request, but all votes will be stored and available in archives. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:19 PM: Coun. Schell confirms, too, that system failures revert to the current system. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:20 PM: By-law changes pass. New systems will be up and running at the next meeting. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:22 PM: Coun. Hutchison asking about the naming rights of the outdoor aquatic centre; speaking against the motion. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:23 PM: Getting ready to go mobile. Battery just about done. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:25 PM: C. Neill says that there should be a way to compromise between a corporate sponsor and an individual. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:26 PM: C. Berg asks if the commissioner’s office has gotten any feedback. They have not. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:28 PM: Mayor turns over the chair to comment. Cities the naming policy already in place. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:29 PM: Mayor adds comments about the tough economy. Says that this type of naming creativity can keep tax increases low. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:31 PM: Naming policy goes to a recorded vote. Carries, by my count, at 7-4. We move to the north block item next. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:33 PM: C. Glover comments about the importance of the site as an entry point. Asks about who CIMA and NORR are. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:34 PM: Commissioner Beach responds with examples of work that they both have done, both local and outside of #ygk. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:36 PM: Item passes, we move to Report 33, CAO recommend. We open with a quick briefing on the Parking Working Plan. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:37 PM: C. Downes asks about bike parking and replacing some car spots with bike spots. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:38 PM: Bike parking is in the plan, but isn’t a priority. Work to determine large scale bike parking was not completed for this plan. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:40 PM: C. Downes re-phrases the question specific to Queens campus. Staff re-affirms, not yet. This plan is for 2013-2015. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:41 PM: C. Hutchinson asks about parking planning for transit, staff says that report will come in May at latest. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:42 PM: @ToddLamo Yes, passed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:44 PM: Parking Work Plan vote is received and endorsed. We move to the parkland item. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:45 PM: C. Neill says that the delegate’s comments on a future bylaw are out of place. Need to look at current law. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:46 PM: … adds that the development will be on the higher end of rent, and that fees like this help to keep tax increases down. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:48 PM: C. Patterson asks about why this would be exempt in the draft by-law. Staff says it is based on number of people in the building. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:49 PM: C. Patterson says that the item is common sense and won’t vote against common sense. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:50 PM: C. Hutchinson asks if nearby parks are already sufficient. Staff says that cash in lieu is generally used to buy, not maintain. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:53 PM: C. Hutchinson voices concerns about the repeated one-off decisions. This doesn’t work to provide parkland city-wide. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:54 PM: C. Hutchinson says that this fee is simply the price of doing business. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:55 PM: City park goal is 4 hectares per thousand people. Currently, slightly above that ratio. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:56 PM: C. Downes says that some areas are under served and don’t meet that ratio. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:58 PM: C. Downes says that they should be following current by-law. #ygkc ^TV
  • 9:59 PM: C. George references the staff report and re-affirms that this development isn’t changing the density. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:01 PM: A recorded vote request from C. Downes. Mayor asks staff about the past exemption requests. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:03 PM: Mayor asks about timeline of the new bylaw. Staff confirms that the developer could wait until new by-law is voted on. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:04 PM: Staff confirms that the development will be going from 2 units to 6. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:05 PM: C. Downes calls a point of personal privilege. Acting dep mayor takes it in consideration. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:06 PM: Mayor comments that council seems to want more people and schools downtown, but denying this goes against this. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:08 PM: Mayor moves deferral until after revised bylaw passes. C. Glover asks about impact of a deferral on the project. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:10 PM: Deferral is pulled so that staff may answer about delay. Commissioner says it won’t make it through council until May. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:12 PM: Deferral returns to the floor with only the mayor voting in favour. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:13 PM: Item for exemption passes 7-4, hall of fame space at the KRC passes, too. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:14 PM: @bacciogelato It’ll be revisited for the 2015 plan revision. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:15 PM: Items 2 and 5 from planning pass. Mayor declared a conflict on 1, stepped out and it passed. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:16 PM: Gaming facility study is received and sent to Planning. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:17 PM: Last item passes with a recorded opposed from C. Glover. We move to Report 35. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:19 PM: The bulk of Report 35 passes. Pet ownership, pet sales and a hockey hall of fame item were separated. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:20 PM: C. Osanic adds a clause to the pet ownership motion to bring a status report back in June 2014. The item passes as amended. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:22 PM: @harmanfreelance @MayorOfKingston Item on the floor tonight directs staff to create a report on the item. Wouldn’t yet create ban. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:26 PM: Mayor comments that he is concerned about not having buy in from KHS on new tag program. Seeks to defer to a working group. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:27 PM: My apologies, the previous vote was simply the amendment, not the item itself. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:28 PM: Mayor puts a timeline on it, wants the working group back by end of August. C. Hutchinson asks staff for an estimate. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:30 PM: Staff had previously suggested June; feels that end of August is reasonable. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:31 PM: C. Patterson asks about RFP for pound services timeline. Staff says that the plan was for September. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:33 PM: C. Downes suggests a deferral of whole thing to next meeting for info on a working group. Mover and seconder agree. Passes. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:34 PM: We’re into the the item on pet sales. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:35 PM: @harmanfreelance @MayorOfKingston My mistake, a pass tonight would create a ban in addition to direction to staff for a report. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:37 PM: C. Neill makes comments in favour; says that bylaws aren’t created for the exemplary businesses. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:38 PM: … adds that pets aren’t commodities, need to be seen as family members. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:39 PM: C. Osanic proposes an amended removing the no fee surrender clause. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:41 PM: Osanic says that the line created a loop hole in Toronto and sees no reason for Kingston to go down that road. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:42 PM: C. Patterson says that the removal would treat good and bad pet stores the same. Is not in support. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:45 PM: C. Glover speaking on the amendment says that there were discrepancies discovered at committee level. Supports this for clarity. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:46 PM: C. Neill supporting the amendment based on the best practice shown in other cities. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:47 PM: C. Schell speaks in favour of the amendment. Directing surrenders to a humane society helps control population. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:49 PM: Mayor comments with concern on the amendment. Wants clarification on why a person couldn’t give an animal to a pet store. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:52 PM: C. Osanic explains the loop hole and practice of spaying and neutering from the humane society, which clarifies it for the mayor. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:53 PM: We’ve passed 1045. C. Hutchinson asks to extend to this item and time sensitive. Mayor supports. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:56 PM: Debate on time sensitivity of items is ongoing. Patterson is asking that two of his items be placed on the time sensitive list. #ygkc ^TV
  • 10:57 PM: And the clock keeps going. We’re here through the pet item, all time sensitive (including two from C Scott) and bylaws. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:00 PM: Amendment to remove the surrender to pet stores for no fee phrasing is approved. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:01 PM: C. Downes praises the people and groups moving this item forward for the hard work. Says this is a sustainability issue. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:02 PM: … adds that this is an evidence based decision based on the success in other communities and lack of legal challenges. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:09 PM: C. Berg echoes the concerns from the chamber of commerce. Isn’t in favour of this proposed ban. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:11 PM: C. Scott adds to C. Berg’s comments and would have rather seen one of the other staff options presented. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:12 PM: C. George is in favour of the ban. Says he pays dues to the chamber as a business owner and disagrees with their position. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:13 PM: … adds that the same kind of arguments came up in the smoking ban and never came to be. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:15 PM: C. Patterson comments that this proposal is well intended. Is concerned that this isn’t the best way to handle this. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:16 PM: … says this would be the best policy if it forces buyers to buy rescues, but this doesn’t cover online sellers. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:17 PM: C. Patterson says that this proposal people penalizes transparency. Would prefer regulation. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:18 PM: The Mayor confirms that the city has the right to impose this ban through the city solicitor. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:19 PM: The solicitor confirms, too, that the city regulates and controls smoking, which would be a similar type of ban. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:23 PM: The mayor comments that he is content that they are moving in the same direction of other cities. #ygkc
  • 11:27 PM: Council passes the pet sale bylaw. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:30 PM: We’re now dealing with a motion from Councillor Scott regarding the Rideau Canal fees. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:32 PM: Rideau Canal item passes. Second time sensitive item is about tree pruning on the 401. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:32 PM: We move straight to bylaws now due to the time. #ygkc ^TV
  • 11:34 PM: Adjourned. 11:33pm. Thanks for following along. Watch for the recap tomorrow! #ygkc ^TV

Thanks to reneilet for today’s original photo.

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