Our neighbourhood association held four open-to-all study sessions at which we discussed various comments received at the December 12, 2018 Open House. We also continue to review comments at our neighbourhood Heritage and Development Committee. These sessions afford neighbours the opportunity to see other perspectives. Comments on comments were noted. Occasionally, a participant edited his/her own comment. No comment was altered or removed from the record other than at the author’s request. Again, these are individual neighbours’ comments that have been made public at study sessions and other forums, as opposed to the comments of the neighbourhood association.
1. Can we have all the land-use documents (Secondary Plan, Urban Design Manual, Heritage Conservation District Plan, Self-guided tour information, etc.) refer to the neighbourhood as “Olde Berlin Town” as opposed to “Civic Centre” so as to eliminate confusion? One member believes that this could lead to confusion between the Heritage District area and the Secondary Plan area.
2. Can we include a statement in the Secondary Plans that the recommendations in sections 4.0-4.5 and 6.9.0-6.9.4, inclusive, of the Heritage District Conservation Plan are to be read as requirements, with the words “recommended/recommend/recommends” and other such variants to be read as “shall”, etc.? Doing so would eliminate misunderstandings and ensure the value of the public consultations and commissioned reports.
3. Can we include a statement in the Secondary Plans clarifying that RES-3 is the zoning for all lands within the Heritage District, except for
a. 103 Ahrens St W, 94 Ahrens/151&153 Victoria St N, 277 Victoria St N and 33 St Leger,
b. all properties fronting Weber St W, and
d. and that the lands zoned more intensively are exceptions, so zoned to reflect existing buildings pre-dating this Secondary Plan?
4. Can we define maximum height in terms of meters? Can we ensure that meters be used as the units of physical measurement? This might be best applied city-wide.
5. Can we ensure that no property is subjected to more shadowing than its height and setback limits permit it to throw onto its neighbours? This would safeguard existing uses such as the collection of solar energy and gardening. Page 3.10 of the CCHDCP states “Any buildings proposed over 5 storeys in height may be required to undertake shadow studies where they abut existing residential uses, to demonstrate that they will not unreasonably impact on access to sunlight in rear yard amenity areas.” Can we also have a city-wide rule on shadowing, using Mississauga’s plan (www6.mississauga.ca/onlinemaps/planbldg/UrbanDesign/FinalStandards_ShadowStudies_July2014.pdf) as a starting point? One member objected to this proposal on grounds that it would hinder development.
6. Can we designate all properties with frontage on Victoria not planned for MIX-2 zoning as Low Rise Residential Office RES-3?
7. Why does the proposed zoning recommend a maximum of two units in the RES-3 zones instead of the currently permitted maximum of three units as per the Secondary Plan provision 188.8.131.52?
8. Can we allocate required additional green space within a 10-minute walk of the development which generates the requirement?
9. Can we ensure that properties are capable of storing snow on their own land or appropriate sized boulevards?
10. Can we ensure that “as of right” zoning is interpreted to reflect all legislation, including heritage, shadowing, transition, wind tunnels, etc., and not simply the zoned Floor Space Ratio, setback and height limits?
11. Can we ensure that no properties are stranded in intensified zones (i.e. single house surrounded by developed, consolidated lots)? Do we need holding provisions to do so?
12. Can we increase the minimum lot width (frontage on street) to 25 metres for MIXED 2 zones? Do MIXED 3 and 4 zones need even wider widths?
13. Can we institute a 15 metre setback on MIX-2 properties abutting a Low-Rise Residential zone in the CCHDCP?
14. Why are we proposing to prohibit semi-detached dwellings in the RES-3 zones? We already have a few heritage semis.
15. Can we ensure that the churches are zoned to retain a primary use that serves all society – community facility, cultural facility, place of worship, etc.? The request that the churches remain under I-2 zoning was one of the most frequent comments.
16. Can sidewalks be widened on Victoria St N?
17. Can we zone 54 Margaret Ave RES-3 as opposed to RES-6? It is a Class A heritage building like its neighbours across the street.
18. Can we retain the properties along the south-east side of Water Street in the Civic Centre Secondary Plan? Having the neighbourhood boundaries break down a rear property line as opposed to at a major street is confusing.
19. More specifically, can we retain 127 and 130 Water St N in the Civic Centre Secondary Plan? They are in the Heritage District and form part of the gateway to Ahrens from Water/Victoria, as per the CCHCDP.
20. Why is 277 Victoria St N proposed to receive a MIX-2 designation? It is land included in the Heritage District Plan with existing zoning MU-1 162U 401U 562R. It is part of the gateway to St Leger from Victoria, as per the CCHCDP. Can it be designated MIX 1?
21. Why is the portion of 33 St Leger included in the Heritage District being proposed to receive a MIX-2 designation? It currently zoned MU-1 162U 559R. Can it be designated MIX-1?
22. People appreciate the re-zoning of a portion of 64 Margaret to Low-Rise Residential.
23. Why is a MIX-2 designation being applied to a portion of the 64 Margaret lands, which are within the Heritage District with current zoning MU-1 167U 561R? Can that portion of 64 Margaret be zoned MIX-1?
24. Can we include 64 Margaret and 33 St Leger among the list of properties subject to Special Policies 13.1.3.? As the properties are already consolidated with frontage on Victoria St N, can we note that the provisions are to be effected through the Site Plan process? In general, how can we ensure that re-developed properties do not direct their servicing and traffic into the interior of the Civic Centre neighbourhood?
25. Can the CR-1 properties along Queen between Weber and Ahrens be zoned MIX-1? MIX-2 would impose on Queen St.
26. Can a height limit matching the existing building height be applied to 108 Queen St N (Sonneck House) given that it is a Part IV designated property inside the CCHDCP, so as not to mislead owners as to it potential use?
27. Within FANZ, why do we want the front yard setbacks at 236 and 264 Victoria St N to be as large as 33.89m and to have parking in the front yard? Do we not want to animate the street? Do we not want parking at the rear of the buildings?
28. Can we have, within the flanking UGC zones, height limits and/or stepback requirements, so that undue shadowing and inappropriate transitions are not created?
29. Along Queen St N and Ellen St E, in the UGC, can we have a minimum 6m front and exterior sideyard setback, as opposed to the proposed 3m?
30. What is the definition of an “appropriate transition”? How will planning documents ensure an appropriate transition, as required by the Official Plan, from the low-rise residential interior of Civic Centre across Queen, Victoria, Water and Weber into more intensified zones?
Do we take the example of Special Regulation 565 (which applies to a property at 111 Water St, with a rear yard neighbour inside the Heritage District):
Notwithstanding Section 54.2 of this By-law, within the lands zoned MU-2 and shown as affected by this subsection on Schedules 83, 84 and 122 of Appendix “A” the following special regulations shall apply:
a) the minimum rear yard setback shall be 15.0 metres; and
b) the maximum building height shall be 16.5 metres; however, the building height may be increased to a maximum of 24.0 metres provided that for each additional metre of building height beyond 16.5 metres a minimum of 1.5 metres of additional setback from the rear lot line is provided for those portions of the building with a height in excess of 16.5 metres.
(By-law 2011-058, S.41) (Victoria Street North Mixed Use Corridor)
*Note: Under the Further Application of New Zoning (FANZ) proposal, the stepback requirements are eliminated.
Do we take the recommendations of the CCHDCP? The CCHDCP recommends more than 7.5m setbacks as buffers between existing heritage areas and new developments.
Take the much contemplated 30-40 Margaret case as the example on transitions:
A. 16.5m maximum height (as an immediate neighbour to 10.5m max. height neighbour).
B. 45 degree stepback above third floor.
C. rear yard setback of 10-15m.
31. Can we have a height limit on the block encircled by Weber-Water-Victoria that affords the properties on the south-eastern side of Water St N an appropriate transition? One resident believes the FSR limit will ensure a reasonable transition.
32. Should we permit a greater density of legal, regulated lodging houses throughout Kitchener? How many legal and illegal lodging houses are there presently in Olde Berlin? This question was met with substantial concern within our study group.
33. Do we want to encourage more lane houses/coach houses? What criteria could be required for coach houses? Is any change necessary to the proposed regulations? This issue was controversial in the neighbourhood.
34. Why is Lancaster/Mansion RES-5 property not listed as RES-3?
35. Quote: “I don’t live in the Civic Centre but I take a lot of pleasure from walking through it which I do frequently. It gives me a sense of the history of the city and is a peaceful zone in the core.”
36. Quote: “I like the lanes for walking and biking. I wish they were better groomed.”
37. Can we continue the bike lane along Margaret/Otto from Victoria to Frederick?
38. Many neighbours did not receive notice of the planning review because not notified via mail.
39. The December 12th consultation date was too close to the holidays and competing obligations to permit adequate participation.
40. How can we include cultural heritage landscape policies?
41. How can we ensure that the heritage value of the green spaces and trees are protected?
42. How can we add more storey-telling signage?
43. Can we improve placemaking in the neighbourhood?
44. Can we bring in heritage style street lighting in keeping with the CCHDCP’s recommendations?
45. How can we add more street furniture?
46. What are the next steps in the neighbourhood planning review process?
47. How can we ensure more green space?
48. How do we add more green canopy, on both city land and private property, to prevent heat capture?
49. How do we ensure that the neighbourhood does not get split into two communities on either side of a more intensified Margaret? Would neighbourhood cohesion be harmed?
50. What regulations do we have/need to allow for new porches where an old porch was removed long ago?
51. Can we add requirements for laneway lighting?
52. Can we improve lighting on streets where current lights are obliterated by trees?
53. How can we ensure the availability of affordable housing options?
54. How can we ensure that new developments include more 3 bedroom and larger units to ensure that families can remain in the neighbourhood?
55. How does Central Frederick Neighbourhood feel about having properties along Lancaster transferred out of their plan? Are they being consulted?
56. How can we ensure that the Committee of Adjustment and Zone Change applications processes do not undermine these communally-achieved Secondary Plans?