Kingston’s Planning Committee to review proposed west end development

A proposed 303-unit residential development at 820-830 Gardiners Road will be reviewed by the City’s Planning Committee during a meeting on Thursday, Jun. 29, 2023. Photo by Kingstonist.

On Thursday, Jun. 29, 2023, the City of Kingston’s Planning Committee will consider a proposal from Jay Patry Enterprises Inc. to construct a major residential development at 820-830 Gardiners Road, which would contain over 300 units. According to a comprehensive report distributed to members of the committee in advance of Thursday’s meeting, the proposed development would include a six-storey, 209-unit apartment building, as well as a number of double-stacked and triple-stacked townhouses that would bring an additional 94 units to the project. 

Before the development can proceed, the Planning Committee would need to grant the applicant a zoning bylaw amendment to rezone the land as Urban Multi-Residential Zone 2 (URM2), in order to permit the type of development Patry has proposed. “The proposal for residential use of the site meets locational criteria for high-density residential development and the applicant has demonstrated compatibility with surrounding uses,” noted the comprehensive report. “The proposed development contains a variety of unit types and transitions height from the 6-storey development along Gardiners Road down to stacked townhouses adjacent to ground-oriented residential uses in the surrounding neighbourhood.” 

While the development would bring much-needed housing to the city’s west end, its approval could mean the end of the line for a popular Kingston business. As it currently stands, Patry’s proposal is strictly for residential development on the land, leaving the fate of the Limestone Lanes bowling alley (formerly known as Prost Bowling) up in the air. 

The current site of Limestone Lanes, located at 830 Gardiners Road. Photo by Kingstonist.

“The applicant has pursued a fulsome residential redevelopment of the subject site which does not include any commercial lands. The site is partially within the arterial commercial designation in the Official Plan which supports the redevelopment of under-utilized commercial lands with high- or medium-density residential development,” read the report. 

In terms of community feedback, the project was the subject of a public meeting held on May 26, 2022, where residents voiced concerns over issues such as the potential loss of the bowling alley, on-site parking, and the possible impact on surrounding neighbourhoods.

“We would like to let Mr. Patry know how important [the bowling alley] is to the community and ask that he consider retaining it. If he builds apartments on the other part of the property, those residents might well enjoy using the bowling alley,” wrote Carol Whyman, a long-time user of the bowling alley, in a letter shared with the committee in advance of last May’s public meeting. 

The owner of Limestone Lanes, Michael Conley, confirmed to Kingstonist that he intends to keep the facility open for at least the next three years and possibly longer. Before becoming Limestone Lanes last August, the building housed Prost Bowling for close to 40 years, and its owners owned the physical building as well as the land it sat on. According to the current owner, when Prost sold the business, the agreement only covered the building/business itself; the land was sold to Patry in a separate deal. The owner said he is exploring options to relocate the bowling alley if it is unable to continue operating at the current site. 

Besides concerns related to the potential loss of the bowling alley, some residents took issue with the applicant’s plan for on-site parking. “What about those tenants with two vehicles, what is the plan for those? Is the plan to have them spill out to the existing streets? Providing one parking space to ‘encourage’ other modes of transportation does not solve the issue and just saying to use other methods of travel does not make it happen,” wrote Joanne Griffin. 

An artist’s rendering of the proposed development, which includes an apartment building and a number of townhouses. Image via City of Kingston.

According to the report, the proposal has been amended since that initial public meeting, with the applicant having addressed some of the residents’ concerns. In terms of on-site parking, due to recent changes to municipal zoning bylaws Patry has worked with staff to ensure an “adequate amount” of on-site parking spaces are available. The relevant bylaws mandate a maximum of one space per dwelling unit. 

The application was also amended to include new bicycle parking spaces throughout the property. “The applicant is now supplying short-term and long-term secure bike parking spaces at a total rate of one bike space per dwelling unit for the site,” the report read. To further support cyclists and other active transportation users, the proposed development will also include a 1.5-metre separated walkway throughout the site, providing residents with direct access to Gardiners Road. 

As for the potential impact the development could have on the surrounding neighbourhoods, staff have recommended the site be designated as a Class Four area under the province’s environmental noise guidelines. While the land is currently designated as Class One, a Class Four designation would allow for a “modest increase in noise.” According to the report, the developer will be expected to identify noise mitigation options “to bring the sound levels as close as possible to a Class [One] noise level.” 

During Thursday’s meeting, members of the Planning Committee will review the application and vote on the proposed bylaw amendments, which have been recommended for approval by City of Kingston Planning Services staff. Should the committee approve the application, it would then be subject to review by Kingston City Council. 

The Planning Committee meeting is set for Thursday, Jun. 29, 2023, at 6 p.m. inside Council Chambers at Kingston City Hall. The meeting will be open to the public and is also available to stream live on the Kingston City Council YouTube channel.

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