A public meeting is being held Thursday August 5th 2021 at 6 PM regarding the Brownfield Community Improvement Plan (CIP) at the former Davis Tannery site, unanimously approved by council last year.
A community group in the area called "Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour" have raised a number of concerns with the proposed development, and plan to make them known at tonight's meeting and next week's council meeting.
Mary Farrar, the group's president, says chief among these concerns is that remediation of the area needs to take place prior to any bylaw or policy changes.
She says to this point, the developer Patry Inc. Developments have requested changes to bylaws pertaining to the remediation, without being clear of just what that will entail.
"It's putting the cart before the horse to try and deal with bylaw and changing of plans that disagree with the official plan of the city before the cleanup," Farrar said.
Farrar added that she's sympathetic to both the need for housing and Patry's willingness to hang in with this project and try to see it through, but there needs to be a concrete plan in place for remediation.
Farrar also pointed to the City of Liverpool losing its' UNESCO world heritage status after hastily developing, and says the city should be contacting UNESCO directly for guidance to avoid that being the case here.
She added that there are some concerns that shortcuts will be taken by the developer after a 2013 fire at a student residence built by the company was alleged to be in part due to poor construction.
Finally, Farrar pointed to a petition to save the area's turtles, stating that the current plan for a boat launch would decimate the basking habitat.
The petition calls instead for the city to require a larger "ribbon of life" in the development, that any pedestrian walkway would not impact the shoreline and be at least 30 metres back and specifically that Patry Inc.-instead of building a boathouse-will donate money to the Kingston Rowing Club to expand their nearby boat launch boardwalk.
In January staff from Cataraqui Conservation penned an 11 page letter with a number of issues with the project to Senior Planner Chris Wicke, largely pertaining to remediation of natural hazards.
The letter concedes that wetland remediation is likely necessary, but the extensiveness in the proposed plan is not.
The letter concludes that the plan for the Davis Tannery is too vague, and to this point a number of the questions asked still remain unanswered.
Patry Inc. was unable to be reached in time for comment on these concerns.
The public meeting takes place tonight at 6 pm.
Story by Owen Fullerton, YGK News, for the Local Journalism Initiative