Homestead launches OMB appeal against city and unveils revised plans for hi-rise project

Kingston, ON, Canada / CKWS TV

KINGSTON – These parking lots in Kingston’s Downtown Core could be getting a major facelift if Homestead Landholdings gets its way.

The company has released new designs for two proposed high-rise apartment buildings along Queen Street.
17 and 19 Storeys, each with an above ground parking structure.

Marnie Venditti/Manager of Development Approvals: “The parking garage that was previously proposed on the one building — It’s still parking garage but there’s also ground floor commercial which is something that there was a lot of concern about the lack of commercial on street level.”

But the road towards construction has taken a twist.

“Homestead is within their right to appeal to the OMB…”

Homestead has filed an appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board as the city took more than the allotted 180 days to make a decision on its application.
Mayor Bryan Paterson calls it a unique situation, as the developer still wants to continue with the process locally.

Bryan Paterson/Kingston Mayor: “It’s more a matter of can we work on the file locally while it’s been appealed to the OMB? That’s a really good question and I think we need some legal minds to help us understand and guide that process going forward.”

City staff remain optimistic a resolution can be reached before the two sides meet in front of the Ontario Municipal Board.
Meantime, Councillor Rob Hutchison says he’s looking forward to development on that property.

Rob Hutchison/City Councillor: “It’s better than empty parking lots as long as enough parking lots is available to allow for the viability of the downtown. It’s a bit of a balancing game and these different aspects have to be mediated along with heritage and historical interests.”

Heather Senoran/Videographer: “City staff say a second public meeting is scheduled on August 3rd to present the new designs.
That’s where the community will be able to offer their feedback on the latest plans as they did for the first submission.”

Staff are still in the process of reviewing the revised application. Which is contingent on the approval of zoning bylaw and Official Plan amendments before any shovels are in the ground.

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