Making it Faster and Easier to Build Housing in Kingston
With the continued shortage of housing options available in Kingston, there’s never been a more important time to get housing built in the city. We need more of all types of housing – starter homes, townhouses, tiny homes, condos, rental apartments, supportive and transitional housing units, and more. This month, City Council is taking an important step to making it faster and easier to build housing with a new zoning bylaw. This will replace the 5 current and outdated zoning bylaws – a legacy of the former Pittsburg Township, Kingston Township, and old city that were amalgamated into the new City of Kingston that we know today. This will replace thousands of pages of regulations that are hard to interpret with one simple, shorter, modern, harmonized document that’s easier for staff, developers, and residents to interpret. A new zoning bylaw means cutting red tape and creating a faster pipeline to get new housing approved.
The new zoning bylaw also incorporates modern and innovative approaches that are more reflective of a forward thinking city like ours. For example, zoning rules will allow for higher density developments in certain areas. In other areas, pre-zoning will help construction get going that much faster. The new zoning rules also allow for more types of affordable housing, tiny homes, co-living units, and modular housing. Since parking is a big part of the cost of residential development, the zoning rules can reduce the number of parking spaces required and even provide an option to fund a local car share program instead of providing parking spaces. The new zoning bylaw will be considered by planning committee this Thursday and if it passes, it will come to a special meeting of council on April 26th to put in place a better, faster, and simpler system to build housing in Kingston.
***The zoning bylaw passed at the council meeting on April 26th. You can watch the meeting at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-U1AbFPU3o