Watering Down Waterfront Protection

[This letter appeared in the Whig on September 2, 2015.]

Dear Editor,

The City invited comments on its updated Master Plan. And, despite the sheer size of the document, input has been excellent. But, lurking within the hundreds of pages, charts and maps is a dangerous one-word addition – easy to miss.

In several places, the earlier version proposed a 30 metre “ribbon of life” along the water where any new development near any shoreline is planned.

But now, for example, in 3.9.2 this now reads “New development must generally be set back a minimum of 30 metres from all waterbodies, and this “ribbon of life” area must be maintained with non-disturbance of soils and vegetation.”

“Generally” poses a threat to every piece of Kingston shoreline.

To make the point, last Sunday saw a neighbourhood Bring and Exchange in Doug Fluhrer Park.  It went so well that more are planned. But, application of the word “generally” would make such an event impossible by allowing the proposed Wellington Street Extension to be built.

Impossible to walk to – impossible to use that particular shady spot – impossible to let children run freely – impossible to hear oneself speak over traffic close by – impossible to maintain the spirit of neighbourhood that is building steadily around this threatened park.

“Generally” should be removed forthwith.

Sincerely,

Mike Cole-Hamilton

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