Key decisions of Council is a summary of major discussion items presented at Kitchener City Council meetings. It is circulated immediately following each meeting. Please refer to the minutes for an official record of the meeting.

Council approves zoning by-law changes to allow backyard homes

In response to strong community demand, Kitchener City Council has approved a new zoning by-law amendment that will allow for detached additional dwelling units – often called tiny homes or backyard homes – on some properties. Properties include low-rise residential properties and semi-detached duplex dwellings. This new zoning by-law change will allow a full range of dwellings including backyard homes, coach homes, laneway suits, tiny homes and more for those that meet the necessary requirements. For more information, visit Backyard homes and duplexes - City of Kitchener.

Slow Streets and food trucks reinstated for 2021

City Council approved reinstating the slow streets program for 2021 on Cameron Street (King to East), Samuel Street (Stirling to Frederick); Montcalm Drive (Lorraine to Ottawa); Brybeck Crescent (Westmount to Karn), Greenfield Avenue (Fifth to Traynor), Duke Street West (Victoria to Waterloo), Duke Street East (Pandora to Cedar) and a portion of Waterloo Street.  Slow Streets are closed to cut-through traffic and only to be used by people who live on the street, emergency vehicles, maintenance vehicles, and for delivery vehicles. Lowering the traffic volumes and speeds on these roadways creates safer cycling conditions and allows sidewalk users a safer space if they need to use the roadway to maintain 2 metres distance from others. City signage is posted at the entrances to each slow street. Staff will be collecting traffic, pedestrian, and cyclist data to help measure the effectiveness of the initiative on reducing vehicle speeds and volumes. To learn more, visit slow streets.

In addition, Food Trucks will once again be allowed to operate in more locations in Kitchener, including parks and residential zones, as the City continues to support small businesses during COVID-19. One additional food truck spot will be permitted at Victoria Park and staff will be choosing the location in the coming weeks. The Food Truck pilot program was well-received by the community and businesses in 2020 and will operate once again in 2021. City staff are reviewing this program to determine if it should be made permanent.

Kitchener approves $141,659 in community grants

In line with the City’s strategic focus on community wellbeing, Kitchener Council approved $141,659 in ‘tier 2’ community grants. These grants help new and emerging not-for-profit organizations and groups deliver events, programs and initiatives in areas of arts and culture, special events, sports and recreation and community support and development. These grants are in addition to the $1,477,797 in ‘Tier 1’ community grants for longstanding organizations and affiliated groups that Council approved as part of final budget day on January 18, 2021.
 For more information including the full list of ‘tier 2’ grant recipients visit 2021 community grants.

Mill Street development proposal approved

Council approved an Official Plan amendment and a Zoning By-law amendment related to a development at 19-41 Mill Street, Kitchener. The designation of the property will be changed from low density commercial residential to medium density multiple residential. This will permit four-storey multiple dwellings on the property including back-to-back townhouses and stacked townhouses, totaling 75 – 85 units. This decision was based on discussions between the developer, neighbourhood representatives and City staff. The approved development was revised from the original proposal of a 12-storey multiple dwelling building with 176 units.

In case you missed it…

Kitchener Council approves economic recovery plan to ‘lift businesses up’

Last week, Kitchener Council approved additional pandemic recovery supports for local businesses. As part of the City’s economic recovery framework, additional business relief and support will include a minimum of $2 million to support the local service industry, including a partnership with the Waterloo Region Tourism & Marketing Corporation to provide $125,000 in grant funding for the Tourism Adaptation & Recovery Program. To ensure our community continues to create new jobs to replace those that have been lost, the City has committed $1.5 million to a partnership with Communitech to deliver business recovery supports over three years. 

The City’s economic recovery approach focuses on two main opportunities: 

  1. Unleash our community spirit and spending power. 
    1. This will include launching a “Love my Business” program, accelerating food, retail, and service businesses, making business re-openings easy, and bringing the city to life through music and events when it’s safe to do so. 
  2. Accelerate a new wave of entrepreneurship and innovation.
    1. This will include supporting start-ups and scale-ups, launching an entrepreneurial network, and working to attract new businesses.

Last fall, City Council approved Make It Kitchener 2.0, which included a $5 million commitment to support an agile and flexible economic recovery framework. Read the Kitchener Economic Recovery Framework. 

For more information, contact:

Bethany Rowland
Director, Corporate Communications & Marketing