Support for main floor service centre

In line with the strategic goal of great customer service, Council has approved updates to in-person services at Kitchener City Hall by designating one centralized location for all City Hall services. This move is in direct response to citizen feedback provided during the City’s customer service review. Staff will be preparing detailed design concepts and budget considerations for a new consolidated service centre. For the full report visit Main floor service centre at City Hall

16-20 Queen heritage conservation

Council has directed staff to publish a Notice of Intention to provide a heritage designation for the entire front façade and a portion of the sides of the property at 16-20 Queen Street N. This building has been on the city’s municipal heritage register since 2010 and is listed as a non-designated property of cultural heritage value or interest. Staff have received a proposal to construct a 34-storey residential tower on the property. The proposal includes maintaining some of the heritage features, including the front façade and select interior features. Staff will continue to work with the building owner through the planning and development process to explore what interior features are to be conserved or adaptively re-used within the development proposal.

Backyard homes have more flexibility thanks to Zoning bylaw amendment

To offer more flexibility for the development of backyard homes (additional dwelling units) and support transit-oriented development, Council has passed a zoning by-law amendment reducing parking requirement for units with 800 metres of ION light rail transit stations. Read the full report.

Iron Horse Trail crossing and improvements

Council approved trail enhancements and pedestrian crossovers on the Iron Horse Trail at Union Blvd., Glasgow St., Gage Ave, West Ave., Mill St., Madison Ave., and Kent Ave. A project budget of $250,000 allocated from the remaining Ontario Municipal Commuter Cycling grant and improvement budget will be used to cover the cost of these enhancements. Pedestrian crossovers provide pedestrians with the ability to cross streets safely by requiring motorists to yield. This work is expected to be complete by end of 2021. For the full report visit Iron Horse Trail crossings and cycling spot fixes.

TransformWR community climate change mitigation plan

Council approved the TransformWR strategy, a region-wide community climate change mitigation plan. The strategy aligns with Kitchener’s strategic plan and commitment to environmental leadership. In 2018, all eight city, township and regional councils committed to reducing Waterloo Region’s local greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Kitchener Council also endorsed in principle a community GHG emissions reduction target of 50 per cent by 2030 and called on the provincial and federal governments to help municipalities reach this deeper reduction target. The strategy has been developed through the ClimateActionWR collaborative lead by Reep Green Solutions, Sustainable Waterloo Region and funded by the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge as well as the Region of Waterloo. Learn more at https://climateactionwr.ca.

Digital Main Street agreement approved

Council approved a funding agreement for $150,000 with the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA) Small Business Centre to deliver the Digital Service Squad program, part of Digital Main Street. The program, which will run until October 31, 2021, is designed to help small businesses to adopt and implement new technology and digital marketing tools. A team of trained students provide one-on-one support to small business.

Eden Oak Trail zoning changes allow for intensification

Council approved an Official Plan amendment and Zoning By-law amendment for 239 Eden Oak Trail. These amendments will permit this land to be developed with multiple residential buildings with medium-rise heights ranging from four to five storeys. This area of Kitchener is a mixed density residential neighbourhood, with single detached, semi-detached and street townhouses located directly to the north and four storey multiple dwellings and single detached dwellings located directly to the west. The intensification of this land is compatible with the surrounding community and will make use of the existing infrastructure. Members of the community were engaged throughout the process.