Majority of Kingston Planning Committee votes against condo development project

Four of the six councilors on the City of Kingston's Planning Committee voted against Patry's Davis Tannery project. They also voted against a Minister's Zoning Order, which would have lead to amendments to the City's official plan and zoning by-laws to allow development on the land.  

No Clearcuts Kingston held a rally outside City Hall just before the Thursday meeting. One of the No Clearcuts Kingston founders Kathleen O' Hara says, Patry wants to build all four blocks of his apartments, the last one being on a wetland, which is why he and the city wanted the zoning order. 

"We have shown the riverfront properties are the least contaminated and most likely could be naturally remediated, you don't have to cut down the 220 year old grandmother oak and you don't have to cut down the beautiful willows...We think he should build over near Rideau Street, but based on his inflexibility if he can't build over the whole 37 acres, he's uncompromising...I think the vote was pretty surprising for Jay Patry because he's used to getting his way with the city," says O'Hara.

Going into the meeting, O'Hara says they were horrified because the city is on side with the project.

Environmental Specialist with the Patry development team Tatyana Zaremba says, "This is a provincial and federal concern to clean this site up...a ​​lot of studies on remediation is being done...Patry's going with the greenest outlook he can possibly take to developing this...We've been trying and the city for a long time to clean this up and the supreme contamination that's on it."

O'Hara says, "We say leave the trees...let the trees do their work..sucking up toxins, and you plant other toxin absorbing vegetation. We'd like to see a phyto park..Kingston could be put on the map by saying 'No let's not do the old-fashioned way of cutting down and digging out'...They want to pave over it, that's not green. ..Those animals would not be surviving as well as they are if the toxins were that bad."

The proposal still needs to go through council.  This agenda item was originally set for Tuesday August 9th, but it has been postponed until the September 6th meeting. 

According to O'Hara, in order to defeat the Davis Tannery project, seven of the 12 councilors would need to oppose it. 

 

Listen to the full CFRC interview with Kathleen O'Hara below:

 

Story by Karim Mosna, CFRC 101.9 FM, for the Local Journalism Initiative