The #ygkchallenge is an ongoing series where we dare you to be different, resolve to be better, and or do something awesome in support of our beloved community. Each week, Kingstonist establishes a new, ambitious or quirky goal, encouraging you to step out of your comfort zone and do something great, and hopefully a little out of the ordinary. By taking part in this community-wide initiative, we hope to make Kingston (and the world) a slightly better place to live, work and play.
This week’s #ygkchallenge encourages you to:
Have your say about the Capitol Condos. Last January, we wrote about Waterloo-based IN8 Developments’ proposal to turn downtown’s Empire Theatre into The Capitol, a 20-storey high-rise. After public objection and a city commissioned peer-review report by E.R.A. Architects, which recommended a height “in the low teens”, the company returned with a revised proposal of 17 stories. While many believe Kingston needs to develop more living space in the downtown core, a large group, including those of you whole voted in our weekly poll on the subject, felt the scale of the building needs to be reduced further. On September 1st 2016, a new proposal for 15 stories will be presented to the City’s Planning Committee. The meeting will also consider a community improvement application, with the developer asking for tax assistance and grants for the project. Samantha King, spokesperson for the Vision for Kingston group commented that
Despite the enormous concern people have about the proposal, the public will not be able to see the new application and the by-law that would amend the city zoning by-laws until late Friday night, and they won’t be allowed to speak up at the Planning Committee meeting, which is not an open public meeting where members of the public may ask questions or offer comments. That’s not fair.
It may also be illegal since Ontario’s Planning Act requires municipalities to give the public “an opportunity to make representations in respect of the proposed by-law.” Christine Sypnowich, chair of the Coalition of Kingston Communities said that
public participation at Thursday’s meeting will be at the discretion of [the] Planning Committee, which leaves people not knowing what to expect and discourages them from getting involved.
Whether you are a in support of a new high-rise in downtown Kingston or not, this week we challenge you to let the City know how you feel. Without a proper public meeting, it is up to us to make our views known through letters to editor and to Kingston City Council. We have one week to make our voices heard, so speak up ygk!
Join us in completing this week’s #ygkchallenge by liking it on Facebook and/or re-Tweeting it on Twitter. By liking and sharing, you’re not only committing to doing something great, but you’re also helping us spread the word and hopefully encouraging others to participate.
Image credit IN8 Developments.