There was standing room only on Monday night at The Spire, also known as Sydenham Street United Church, for a community meeting on proposed high-rise development.
More than a hundred people filled the hall to learn more about the current state of several proposed resendential projects such as the two Homestead towers on lower Queen Street, IN8
Development’s Capitol Condo project and developer Jay Patry’s 20 storey building he wants to put up on the property where the former Marine Museum of the Great Lakes once sat.
“I’m very disturbed… very disturbed…I’m concerned about the effects of any blasting that may have to be done. Any piles that may have to be driven into the ground.”
Blanche Battersby, a Kingston resident who lives next to Patry’s proposed development.
Many fear that allowing developers to build higher than what zoning allows will start a trend of sky high development that could over shadow the Limestone City’s quaint heritage.
“Disgusted. I’ll leave. Why would we want to live in a cluttered neighbourhood with all these cars heading in the same direction everyday and we’re going to create the Don Valley Parking lot,” worried Jeanette Holman-Price, a Kingston resident.
Community members are now banding together to fight back.
“There are numerous proposals in play at present and they’re somewhat of a feeding frenzy. We felt it was important to bring people together to further strategize about how we’re going to stop these proposals,” said Samantha King, one of the organizers of the community meeting.
The meeting included a brainstorming session, where the public could bounce their ideas off each other. Ideas include things like getting Queen’s students involved, lobbying councillors and staff and making height an election issue.
“If the opposition is strong enough… I think city council would think again about approving it because after all the council is dependant on the citizens for their positions,” said Poh-Gek Forkert, a local author and activist.
Some community members have already fought back, by launching appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board for projects like the Capitol Condo building, with a hearing set for March, 2018.