People are trying to keep cool on a sweltering day like Friday.
But a controversial draft bylaw in Kingston has some business owners hot under the collar.
The proposed bylaw would prevent restaurants and other businesses from having doors or windows open while their air conditioning is on.
The Caesar Company on Princess Street boasts a large open front window that looks out onto its patio.
The building is outfitted with central air, and as temperatures rise with the approach of summer, they’re keeping an eye on the draft bylaw coming to council for consideration.
“We use that garage door as an inviting, welcoming, sort of like a draw for people to come in, like guests and customers, and I think a lot of other local businesses do as well,” Caesar Co. manager Madison Roy said.
The bylaw, if passed, would prohibit the use of air conditioning while doors or windows are open between May and October.
Mayor Bryan Paterson tells Global News that, as of now, council is still split on the delivery of the prohibition, but not the message.
“I don’t think we’re divided on the overall goal, which is obviously reduce greenhouse gas emissions, encourage more energy efficiency, obviously, try to limit, obviously, open doors and windows as much as possible,” Paterson said.
Business owners were consulted, then a public survey was done in April to provide additional feedback.
Now the bylaw is ready for council to take another look.
According to a staff report, many of the respondents were against a fine for violation of the bylaw.
The bylaw does say garage-style doors and windows would have an exemption and the Caesar Company’s manager is hoping that, if it is adopted, their window would be included.
“Just because we have the garage door open doesn’t mean always have our AC running. We do try to limit running the AC as much as possible, like if there’s a nice breeze or whatever, we don’t,” Roy said.
At the next council meeting, staff will present two options to proceed, one being more educational and encouraging, and the other more punitive, involving a fine.
Council will decide which route to take next Tuesday.