In August, Kingston City Council directed the City to develop an open door air-conditioning bylaw, and now the City is offering ways for local business owners to learn more and provide input.
At their regular meeting held Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, City Council had a lively debate about the concept of an Open Door Air-Conditioning Bylaw, which was brought before Council as a motion in keeping with one of Council’s strategic priorities: Demonstrating leadership on climate action. The item carried with a vote of 8-5, and City Staff are now in the process of developing that bylaw, which would prohibit businesses from having their doors open while running air conditioning. According to the City, the bylaw may include exemptions that “take into consideration certain items, such as the comfort and wellness of kitchen staff working in restaurants and for the delivery or shipping of goods.”
As part of this process, the City is seeking input from business owners. City Staff shared information about the Open Door Air-Conditioning Bylaw at the Downtown Kingston! Business Improvement Area (BIA)’s general meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Now, the City will host three drop-in “Coffee and Chat” sessions for local businesses.
“Kingston is in a climate emergency and it’s time to conserve energy as best as we can. This proposed bylaw is aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions caused by keeping our doors and windows open when the air conditioning is in use,” said Julie Salter-Keane, Community Projects Manager for the City of Kingston.
The three drop-in information sessions, where local businesses can learn more about the bylaw and provide input, will be held from 8:30 to 11 a.m. with the following dates and locations:
- Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019 at Sustainable Kingston (303 Bagot Street, Unit 6)
- Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019 at Sustainable Kingston (303 Bagot Street, Unit 6)
- Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019 at the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce (204-299 Concession Street)
Those who are unable to attend an in-person session can visit the City’s webpage on the bylaw, where the City is providing some information, the proposed timeline, and hosting a short survey for businesses to provide feedback.
Input gathered from businesses online and through the in-person drop-in sessions will be compiled into a report that will accompany the draft bylaw, which is expected to be presented to Council some time from April to June 2020. The online survey will close on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019 at 4 p.m.