Recap: Kingston City Council’s final meeting of 2023

In addition to approving a new Public Market operations bylaw, the Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, meeting of Kingston City Council saw members debate a number of other key items as well. In the final Council meeting of 2023, members approved a new Post Secondary working group, while also voting to support new regulations for electric vehicle recharging spaces.

With staff looking to strengthen relationships between local post-secondary institutions, and the City and other stakeholders, councillors were presented with plans for a Town and Gown Relations Working Group, which is to be made up of representatives from the City and local post-secondary institutions, student groups, and area landlords and property managers. 

According to a staff report, the working group was first proposed by Sydenham District City Councillor Conny Glenn, and Portsmouth District’s Don Amos, as a way to strengthen relationships between the various parties, while addressing some of the “challenges within certain neighbourhoods,” that have been reported in recent years.

While staff had initially referred to the proposed committee as a “Town and Gown Relations Working Group,” Councillor Glenn brought forward a motion during Tuesday’s meeting to rename it the “Post Secondary Working Group.” Glenn explained, “The intent… was to get a bit of a fresh start. We’ve talked ‘town and gown’ relationships for a long time, so this, I think, gives it a bit of a different flavour.”

The Councillor for Sydenham District added, “‘Town and gown’ is often associated just with the university. We’re including both of the colleges here in the city, so I want this to definitely be inclusive.”

After approving Glenn’s motion to amend, councillors then proceeded to debate the staff report, with Councillor Amos asking whether staff had considered adding certain neighbourhood associations to the list of working group members. In response, Holly Wilson, Manager of Intergovernmental Relations for the City, confirmed, “We wanted to keep the membership fairly small and concise, to encourage more dialogue and participation.”

Despite not being directly included in the working group’s membership, Wilson noted, “This doesn’t prevent associations from being involved in the work, by any means.” She added that she would be reaching out to the respective neighbourhood associations to inform them of the decision.

Councillors eventually voted unanimously to approve the terms of reference for the working group, while also appointing Councillors Glenn and Cinanni to each serve one-year terms on the working group, ending November 30, 2024. The two Councillors will serve alongside the following working group members:

  • City administration
  • City by-law enforcement staff
  • An administrative representative (non-student) from each of Queen’s University, St. Lawrence College, and the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC)
  • A representative from the Queen’s University Alma Mater Society
  • A representative from the Society of Graduate and Professional Students of Queen’s University
  • A representative from the student government at St. Lawrence College
  • A representative from the student government at the Royal Military College of Canada
  • One landlord or property manager

Parking bylaw amendments also on the agenda

Tuesday’s meeting of Council also saw members approve several amendments to the municipal parking bylaw. In an effort to prevent drivers of non-electric vehicles from parking in electric vehicle recharging spaces, Councillors approved a staff report which sought to add the following provision to the bylaw: “No person will park a vehicle or part of a vehicle in an electric vehicle charging station space that is identified by signage unless the vehicle is an electric vehicle, and the electric vehicle is attached to the station’s charging equipment and is charging.”

Councillors also supported a recommendation from staff to ban electric vehicles from remaining in recharging spaces once they are fully charged. “Where electric vehicle charging station spaces are located in metered parking zones, a charging session must not exceed the maximum stay in effect in those zones,” the report added. 

Under the new regulations, those who violate the bylaw will be subject to a fine of up to $125. An early fine amount of $90 will also be available if the ticket is paid within seven days of the violation.

On top of the electric vehicle recharging space regulations, Councillors also approved a plan to establish a “no parking before 9 a.m. zone” on weekdays on Clarence Street, between King Street East and Wellington Street. The zone was recommended in order to, “facilitate the emptying of large recycling bins” at the rear of the City-owned British Whig Building.

The staff report also included a new accessible parking space on William Street, outside Sydenham Street United Church (also known as The Spire). All of the report’s recommendations received unanimous support from councillors, who approved them without debate.

Members of the public can view the full agenda from the meeting on the City of Kingston’s City Council meetings webpage, and the meeting can be viewed in full on the Kingston City Council YouTube channel.

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