City unveils draft ‘Density by Design’ planning document
Following from their announcement on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, the City of Kingston planning department has released their proposed ‘Density By Design‘ issues and options report ahead of a municipal planning meeting next week.
The 48-page report, shaped around council’s declaration of a climate emergency, looks at planning and urban design through linking transportation to land-use planning, affordability and market choice, neighbourhood character, and easing development in key places.
In addition to including comments from public feedback on topics such as podium design, above-grade parking, building setback and orientation, building access, and how many floors buildings should be, the City is also proposing a collection of six policy areas to reflect differences between urban and suburban areas, as well as recognized heritage areas around the downtown.
The planning proposal outlines “large site urbanizing” areas near the Cataraqui Centre, the Kingston Centre and the field north of it along Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard, the property where the Providence Care Hospital site sits, the Kingston Penitentiary and Prison for Women sites, and the former Davis Tannery site, which already has a proposed 1500-unit development in progress. The larger sites were defined as likely needing individualized plans for development.
The city has also outlined “street oriented urbanizing” areas along Bath Road, King Street West (east of the Invista site), Midland Avenue, Princess Street, Division Street, Montreal Street, and Highway 15. In addition, all of Sydenham district and most of both King’s Town and Williamsville are mapped for this type of urbanization.
As part of this proposal, the city plans to define a ‘mid-rise’ building as four-to-six storeys, and a ‘tall’ building as having 10 stories or more. The proposal leaves room in the seven-to-nine storeys range to be identified as either, “depending on where in the urban pattern they are and the resulting design implications.” The report notes that this is in contrast to most urban municipalities who treat all four-to-nine storey buildings as mid-rise.
The proposal stopped short of recommending a maximum height for the city as a whole, but does suggest that the downtown areas — including potential sub-areas of the downtown — be established separate from the rest of the city.
This report will be discussed by the planning department at their meeting on Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019. The city is actively seeking feedback from residents on this document — you can learn more about how to get involved with our guide.
Kingstonist will continue to dissect the proposed plan over the coming days and will continue to follow this policy change and update to the official plan over the weeks and months ahead.