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Kingston considering changes to encourage new residential units, deal with on-street parking

Click to play video: 'Kingston looks at relaxing driveway rules to increase apartment numbers' Kingston looks at relaxing driveway rules to increase apartment numbers
WATCH: Wider driveways could help encourage secondary suites in Kingston homes – Jun 18, 2019

Kingston’s available stock of rental units is one of the lowest in the country.

According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the city’s vacancy rate comes in at 0.6 per cent — the lowest in the province.

READ MORE: Rental vacancy in Kingston 0.6%, lowest in Ontario, says survey

City staff are working on a number of changes to the municipality’s Official Plan to encourage homeowners to build second residential units.

Those changes would apply to single detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings, linked and row houses.

A potential increase in secondary units now has city staff examining another set of by-laws for change.

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Sukriti Agarwal is the acting project manager in charge of changing the municipal rules for driveways in the centre of the city.

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“We anticipate that as soon as those permissions go forward for second residential units, we will see more on street parking,” Agarwal said.

Currently, though, that is problematic because there are limits on how long a vehicle can remain parked on a city street, and there is no overnight street parking in the winter.

Agarwal says a staff report is recommending allowing homeowners with secondary units the ability to widen their driveways.

“We are proposing 40 per cent of the width of the lot or six metres,” Agarwal said. “Whichever is lesser.”

READ MORE: Kingston house prices set to plateau: report

It’s anticipated that the change will allow two vehicles to park side by side on a residential property.

Those by-laws already exist in the east and west ends of the city.

The difference in the by-laws is a hangover from pre-amalgamation, when the current city of Kingston was made up of the city of Kingston, Kingston Township to the west and Pittsburgh township to the east.

The next step for the report is to get approval from the city’s planning committee.

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That could happen when the committee next meets on July 4.

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