| May 21, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - May 21, 2009 City staff recommend funding county housing project.By Jeff Green

Under a provincially funded program called DOORS (Developing Opportunities for Ontario Renters) the City of Kingston has received over $5 million for the construction of new low-income housing.

The city, which has responsibility for not-for-profit housing within Frontenac County, is on the verge of allocating $750,000 of that money towards the construction of a five-unit townhouse on Clement Road near Sharbot Lake.

A staff report recommending supporting four projects in the city, along with the Sharbot Lake project, was presented to Kingston City Council for approval on Tuesday night (May 19). It is the culmination of two years of administrative work by city staff to develop the protocol for the program.

The Sharbot Lake project comes from the North Frontenac Not-For-Profit Housing Corporation and will be built on land owned by the corporation.

Among the features of the project are the high environmental standards in design and construction that it proposes to use. A Canadian standard, called LEED (Leadership in Environmental Design) has been developed for building, and the North Frontenac Housing Corporation proposal aims to reach the LEED Gold standard, which would make it the first project in Frontenac County to reach that level.

It includes a design to take advantage of prevailing sun and wind conditions, in-floor heating, and innovative building materials.

The units will be 800 square feet in size, will be available to seniors, and will be rented at the social housing rate.

Among the features of the project that fit with the DOORS program were its location in Frontenac County, its proximity to the services in Sharbot Lake, and the LEED design.

If city approval of the project is secured, it will require three zoning processes to be completed through the Township of Central Frontenac. The DOORS program requires that the land for the project be severed from the larger parcel that the housing corporation owns, and it will require a re-zoning process to comply with township requirements.

A further complication has arisen. The required zoning for the project, rural multi-residential, is not a zoning category within the township’s Official Plan, so an Official Plan amendment will be required. Official Plan amendments need to go to the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for approval.

At a meeting of Central Frontenac Council last month, Council committed to moving forward on the zoning issues as quickly as possible once the DOORS funding is approved, but the ministry’s timetable is another matter.

According to the City of Kingston staff report, the project is “anticipated” to start construction in January of 2010 and be ready for occupancy in July of 2010.

The time frame for zoning approvals and the Canadian winter may have an effect on those dates, one way or another. 

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