The keepers of Cataraqui Cemetery in Kingston, Ont. are raising concerns about an expanded subdivision next door.
Homestead Land Holdings has unveiled plans to construct a large mixed-use neighbourhood along the historic cemetery’s eastern border — with three high-rise apartments.
At 842 units, the proposed Homestead project, next to the cemetery on Purdy’s Mill Road, would be one of the largest development proposals in Kingston’s history.
The major issue raised by the Cataraqui Cemetery Company are sight lines and that the towers would overshadow the cemetery.
Homestead is proposing to build three apartment buildings 19 storeys high.
“The visual sight line towards those towers is basically scaring people away,” says Gus Panageotopoulos, president of the Cataraqui Cemetery Company.
“We are finding our property, plots that are available, are being devalued because of what is happening.”
A city planning committee meeting on this proposal took place on Thursday evening, via Zoom.
The Cataraqui Cemetery Company is asking that the matter be delayed and that a second meeting be held when the opportunity arises following the COVID-19 crisis.
“It’s a much more engaged process,” says Panageotopoulos.
“For example, if I wanted to do a PowerPoint or show images on a large scale, so members of council who are on the Planning Committee can look at them and digest them.
“That format is great, in a live venue. But this process, working through Zoom, basically limits the capacity for a person to make an objection to the application — to have the impact it would otherwise have.”
According to the Cataraqui Cemetery Company in a statement, “Simply put, three very tall modern towers do not belong in this neighbourhood.”