May 16, 2019 6:02 am

City of Kingston proposes changes to zoning bylaw for trade shows

WATCH: On Thursday, the City of Kingston's planning committee will consider changes to a zoning bylaw, weeks after privately-owned Kingston 1000 Islands Sportsplex was denied a permit for an art show.

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Trades shows looking to come to Kingston Ont., may soon have to abide by a new set of rules.

On Thursday, The City of Kingston’s planning committee will consider changes to a zoning bylaw to make it easier for them to host non-sporting events, such as home and garden shows, boat shows and others.

READ MORE: Legal battle brews between the City of Kingston and Sportsplex owner

“We felt that in order to host certain types of events that the community wanted, we had to update our existing bylaws,” said Lanie Hurdle, the acting Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Kingston.

WATCH: City says Kingston Thousand Islands Sportsplex not zoned for trade shows

The amendment to the bylaw would allow trade shows and specific day retail sales at the following municipally owned facilities:

  • Invista Centre
  • Centre 70 Arena
  • Cataraqui Community Centre
  • Memorial Centre
  • Portsmouth Olympic

The bylaw comes weeks after the Limestone Arts Show was cancelled just days before it was to be held at the Kingston 1000 Islands Sportsplex in the neighbourhood of Westbrook.

WATCH: Business license refused by City days before Art show begins


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The domed facility hosted similar events in the past without problem, which sparked an aggressive response to the city’s decision to cancel the Arts Show through a letter sent to Global News.

“When [HarbourEdge] took over management of the sportsplex, it examined the city’s zoning by-laws and confirmed that trade shows are permitted,” said Kingston 1000 Islands Sportsplex in the letter.

“[A] dispute erupted when the city decided that it did not want the sportsplex to host further trade shows, driven by the city’s obvious desire to create a trade show monopoly in city owned facilities.”

READ MORE: Business licence refused by Kingston days before art show begins

The City of Kingston says they tried to work with the owner of the dome for a few years, even providing conditional licences, but in the case of the art show, the facility submitted an incomplete application.

“We had agreed that we were going to be looking at complete applications and compliance and we had to go in a different direction,” said Hurdle.

According to the dome, HarbourEdge is suing the City of Kingston and intends to vigorously pursue the City for the damages to the full extent permitted by law.

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