Two controversial apartment towers in downtown Kingston may not be dead just yet.
Global News has learned that Homestead Land Holdings is asking a planning tribunal to review the decision of one of its own members, who rejected the apartment buildings earlier this year.
Even though city councillors supported the residential project, they won’t be joining Homestead’s appeal.
In August, the tribunal known as the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, or LPAT, denied Homestead’s application to build 19- and 23-storey buildings on lower Queen Street, saying the highrises were not compatible with Kingston’s downtown heritage character.
While the City of Kingston supported the project, Mayor Bryan Paterson says council will not be joining Homestead’s review.
“As a city we discussed it,” says Paterson, “and we decided to take no position on the appeal itself.”
“We are still supportive of the design that came forward in the LPAT,” Paterson added, “but ultimately the review of that discussion is something we are taking no position on.”
It’s a decision welcomed by David Donnelly, lawyer for the Frontenac Heritage Foundation, which intends to file its own response later this month.
In a letter to a council meeting, the heritage group claimed the city was being asked to “wade into a process that has little chance of success.”
Donnelly calls it extraordinary for LPAT to review its own ruling.
“There is not a good basis for this request and it would have been a huge waste of taxpayers’ time and money to get involved,” Donnelly said.
Donnelly also says that if an error of law is found, the LPAT review could result in a new hearing or an amended ruling concerning the Homestead highrises — but he doubts that will happen.
Homestead spokesperson Alf Hendry could not be reached for comment.