"I would trust all of them before I trust statistics being brought to us by the proponent," says Coun. Neill.
Patry's proposal included a Minister's Zoning Order to allow for development on the wetland.The MZO would have meant amendments to the city’s official plan and zoning-by-laws, allowing for residential development on the land of 2 River Street and 50 Orchard Street.
“My most disturbing point in this development application is asking us to use a Minister's Zoning Order to override the provincial policy statement that prohibits the development and site alternation of significant wetlands....The applicant’s team say that the wetland is going to be cleaned up. It’s just simply not true, what’s really happening is a bulldozer is going to be filling in the wetland with piles of dirt…There’s not going to be any wetland left," says Coun. Lisa Osanic.
President of Jay Patry Enterprises Jay Patry says in a release, "The decision is extremely disappointing, particularly where we are in a housing crisis, and had worked hard to cooperate with staff and the community. With Council’s rejection of staff’s recommendation, we will have no choice but to appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal. This decision of Council will directly increase the cost of these residential units, and has a direct impact on housing affordability in Kingston," says Patry.
Mayor Bryan Paterson asked council to support the project.
“I want to be able to look people in the eye when they say the biggest issue is housing. I want to say I’ve done everything I can do. My vote tonight will be to vote yes to that housing…I am confident that this is a plan that has been signed off by every reviewing agency…Trees can be replanted, people can’t…This is a project that I believe needs to be supported. We can’t say housing is a priority and then say no to a project like this," says Paterson.
Councillor Gary Oosterhof says the development project is an opportunity to clean up the past.
"The area around the tannery is not pristine forest , it’s scrubland and bush…It’s dangerous just to walk there…We have an opportunity to be part of a land and water clean up that should make us proud….Saying no to this opportunity to clean up the past will mean another 100 years of desolate woodlands and grotesque scars of the past…Our housing needs are at a critical moment, this development does meet the present needs of our city," says Coun. Oosterhof.
Patry's proposal included 4 buildings, and 1,670 residential units.
Listen to the CFRC story with audio from the Kingston City Council meeting below: