It’s been a busy spring and summer for the MHBPNA Development Committee. The City of Kitchener has been holding an almost unprecedented number of public consultations this year in preparation for significant changes to the City’s official Plan due to be presented to City Council this fall.
Members of the Development Committee have attended all of the public consultations on CRoZBy, Tall Building Guidelines, and Urban Design Guidelines, have given input to the City’s working group whose mandate is to improve the way the City communicates planning initiatives, and is an active member of the Downtown development committee – a committee similar to the MPBPNA committee but with representatives from other “downtown” neighbourhoods.
Your committee – Levi Oakey, Emily Slofstra, Ted Parkinson, Nik Schmidt, Kathy Mortimer, Rachel Tucker, Gordon Hatt and Catherine Owens – meet monthly. Sarah Marsh also joins us at the monthly meeting. Typically, the agenda includes updates on both commercial and residential development occurring in the Mount Hope/Midtown areas.
Sacred Heart School, the Electrohome Building, Breithaupt Block III, the Regional Transit Hub and the new Station Park development are all being tracked by the Committee.
More recently, the Committee has also been focusing on the increasing residential infill happening in the neighbourhood. As more and more residents see the value of living near the core you can expect that we will continue to see the trend where some of the original single-family homes are being demolished and replaced with semi’s, duplexes, or two homes on what was previously a single-family lot. Mount Hope/Midtown is not unique in seeing this trend but it is somewhat unique in that it is one of a handful of neighbourhoods in the entire City where RIENS guidelines apply.
RIENS (Residential Intensification in Existing Neighbourhoods) was passed by Council last year. These guidelines outline:
- Building Setbacks – how close a building can be to your property lines
- Lot Coverage – how much of the property can be covered by buildings
- Building Height – how tall a building can be
- Garage Projection – how far the garage extends from the home
- Driveway width – how wide a driveway can be
How can you find out about changes happening in the neighbourhood?
- If there is a renovation/development that meets city bylaws, the building code and the project has been approved – there is a building permit posted on the building
- If the project needs zoning changes to create a new lot, a sign is posted on the property.
Where can you get more information on a proposed build in your neighbourhood, on your street or on the lot next door?
- If you want additional information on a specific project – contact the Planning Division at 519-741-2426
- If you want to know more about RIENS and how these guidelines apply to a build in your neighbourhood visit: www.kitchener.ca/developmentguide
Members of the Development Committee are also available to answer your questions. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have a discussion group where anyone in the neighbourhood can send comments or questions on development. Members of the Development Committee use this group to post summaries of planning changes or if any development in the neighbourhood will be reviewed at the Committee of Adjustment.
If you are not already a member of this discussion group (Mt Hope Discussion group – email@example.com) send Catherine Owens a note and she can arrange to have you added to the group. Catherine’s email is – firstname.lastname@example.org