Growing Together

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This project is now complete. On March 19, 2024 Kitchener City Council unanimously approved the Growing Together plan, a policy framework that builds on Kitchener’s role as a national leader in addressing the housing crisis. For more information, visit kitchener.ca.


Kitchener is growing, and a lot of that growth is around the ION LRT system.

Intensification around transit is a core fundamental principle of Ontario’s planning framework. It has been since the introduction of the Places to Grow and Greenbelt Acts in 2005. These areas have been identified as Major Transit Station Areas (MTSAs) by the Region of Waterloo. MTSAs have unique policies at both the provincial and regional level. Growing Together will carry out those policies by updating the City’s Official Plan and Zoning by-law.

Growing Together will create a planning framework for Kitchener’s MTSAs. This will enable and encourage responsible growth for many years to come.

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An Award Winning Process

Growing Together has won four awards to date:

  • A Smart50 Award, an international award honouring the 50 most transformative smart projects of the year. Additionally, at the Smart Cities Connect conference in Denver in May 2023, Growing Together was announced as one of the top-3 projects overall.
  • A 2023 Excellence in Municipal Systems award by the Municipal Information Systems Association of Ontario.
  • Honorable mention at the 2023 International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Canada Core Values Awards
  • A finalist for the World Smart City Awards in the Infrastructure and Building project award category. Smart City Expo World Congress is the world’s biggest and most influential event on urban innovation.


Kitchener is growing, and a lot of that growth is around the ION LRT system.

Intensification around transit is a core fundamental principle of Ontario’s planning framework. It has been since the introduction of the Places to Grow and Greenbelt Acts in 2005. These areas have been identified as Major Transit Station Areas (MTSAs) by the Region of Waterloo. MTSAs have unique policies at both the provincial and regional level. Growing Together will carry out those policies by updating the City’s Official Plan and Zoning by-law.

Growing Together will create a planning framework for Kitchener’s MTSAs. This will enable and encourage responsible growth for many years to come.

Stay informed

If you would like to get email updates about this project, add your email to the Stay Informed section and click ‘Subscribe’.

An Award Winning Process

Growing Together has won four awards to date:

  • A Smart50 Award, an international award honouring the 50 most transformative smart projects of the year. Additionally, at the Smart Cities Connect conference in Denver in May 2023, Growing Together was announced as one of the top-3 projects overall.
  • A 2023 Excellence in Municipal Systems award by the Municipal Information Systems Association of Ontario.
  • Honorable mention at the 2023 International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Canada Core Values Awards
  • A finalist for the World Smart City Awards in the Infrastructure and Building project award category. Smart City Expo World Congress is the world’s biggest and most influential event on urban innovation.


Final Draft Framework

Our final proposed planning framework is now ready. We are pleased to present those materials here:

We also have available:

What do you think?

Please leave your comments on the draft materials here by Nov. 30, 2023.

All posts and content must meet our Moderation Policy

This project is now complete. On March 19, 2024 Kitchener City Council unanimously approved the Growing Together plan, a policy framework that builds on Kitchener’s role as a national leader in addressing the housing crisis. For more information, visit kitchener.ca.


CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

First, I'm impressed by the consultation materials and the planning team's thoughtful consideration of issues around urban change. And overall I am supportive of the changes being put forward here for accommodating more people along our core with clearer rules around what can be built.

I particularly appreciate the moves to form based codes and to remove car parking minimum rules. Parking minimums especially near transit are hugely counterproductive and I am excited to see development with fewer parking spaces, so we can accommodate more people without that ensuring more traffic.

My main concern is that limiting changes like this to a pretty narrow section of the city and only around ION is probably not enough to address the needs for urban growth in the city. I recognize that this is a starting point, but the focus on transitions to effectively permanently low rise sections feels like something that will make it hard to extend mid-rise and mixed-use zones beyond this study area.

The materials suggest that "people who would like to live in a low-rise area near transit should have the opportunity to do so", and I have a hard time seeing how these areas don't become increasingly exclusive enclaves. It seems reasonable that we may have low-rise areas of the city, but maintaining that character a short walk from the downtown and ION does not make sense to me.

I don't know how it can fit into these kinds of policies but I would be very interested to see some laneway infill - is there a way that we can add to the street network to better support the growth of these areas?

m_druker 6 months ago

SGA1 is still too restrictive. This is how you should be zoning the suburbs, not MTSAs. SGA1 should be 4 or 6 storeys. And the front setbacks are much too large - it should like 2m. Let people build right up to the street!

The blanket permission for non-residential uses is great. Every residential zone should be this way.

The stepbacks for upper floors are bad. Just let people build nicely-decorated boxes! Shade is good, actually! No angular planes! No ziggurats! Let people build normal buildings! Stop micromanaging this stuff, that is how you created this housing supply crisis in the first place!

mikedoherty 6 months ago

Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback to your study and many thanks to all fellow residents who have taken the time to review and respond to the proposed Zoning By-laws and Official Plan changes.

Looking for more clarity on the following:

- Existing Heritage Conservation District boundaries and Cultural Heritage Landscape boundaries - these are not included in the proposed Draft Zoning mapping – could these layers please be added in in order to highlight their cultural significance and the need for a careful and gradual transition between Downtown Core and adjacent heritage neighbourhoods.

- Existing vs Proposed zoning - more clarity around where we are today in terms of existing zoning would be helpful - i.e. bylaws 85-1 and bylaw 2019-051. Please explain and include existing and as of right conditions as a starting point. None of the existing bylaws names or current zoning maps are even mentioned within your Community Brief or Community Guide documents. We are not starting from scratch, zoning bylaw 2019-051 is quite recent as others have mentioned, so we need to better be informed on where we are now in order to better understand where we want to go.

- In line with the above, please highlight proposed changes more clearly, using comparative diagrams - such as side by side illustrations of what is existing and what is proposed, what a street looks like today, what the current zoning allows, and what the proposed zoning would entail. As residents, we need to be clearly informed on what the impact of the proposed changes will have on our properties, our neighbours’ properties and our community as a whole.

- For instance, what does it mean to go from an existing R-5 zoning to a proposed SGA-1 zoning on a residential street in the Victoria Park Heritage District? These details are captured in your by-law document but they are not highlighted / or explained very clearly in the Community Guide and Brief. These changes are significant and ensuring clarity and transparency about them is critical. For instance, the Draft Zoning By-law Amendment document states over 30 permitted uses under SGA-1 (Table 6-1: Permitted Uses within the Strategic Growth Area Zones, p.78), including 17 potential commercial uses (Fitness centre, light repair operation, payday loan establishment, pawn establishment, restaurant, etc). Currently R-5 permits only 11 uses, all residential. How do you envision accommodating these uses within established residential neighbourhoods? How will the uses be implemented (will there be any percentage minimums / maximums of the different uses?) none of this is clear.

- In general, the existing zoning by-laws 85-1 and 2019-051 have a very fine grain level of detail for different areas within and around the downtown. SGA-1, SGA-2 and SGA-3 seem to oversimplify the downtown core and anything within range of the MTSAs. This approach is erasing a lot of the specificity of the existing fabric and existing zoning, it homogenizes the urban fabric and erases valuable cultural heritage.

- PMTSA vs MTSA's - what are MTSA's protected for - one of your slides indicates that they are protected from appeals. What does this mean more specifically?

- Are there any protected areas for future schools within each of the the PMTSA's? Isn't it as important to be within 400 - 800 m from a school as it is from a transit station? We are seeing portables appear on our school grounds - this should be an early sign of concern for city planners as much as they are for us parents. These are the type of specifics that one would expect to be identified, addressed and protected at the early planning stages you are undertaking.

- Similar concern for lack of planned new open space within your strategy to fit the needs of the proposed population growth - this is not something that gets addressed through POPS or better streetscapes alone. The City's recently released Places and Spaces Strategy identifies Critical Needs Areas within the City. City Commercial Core area is 'well below the city-wide average for local park provision' with zero school grounds.

- Last but not least, the Globe and Mail has recently released it's list of the top 100 most livable cities in Canada - Kitchener has not made the list. Hamilton (39), Guelph (41), and Waterloo (56), among many other Ontario cities have. I am highly concerned that the direction of the Growing Together planning framework will get us even further away from that goal.

Victoria Park Resident 6 months ago

The proposal is unbalanced when considering the need for a VARIETY of new housing and the needs of existing residents to maintain their homes and neighbourhoods. If there is to be a lot of housing around MTSAs, then the variety of housing needs must consider every level of income need. The lowest income earners are not being considered. They have the GREATEST need for a variety of household types.

This proposal is too complicated for most residents to understand. What does the label Strategic Growth Area actually mean? Yes, the MTSAs are a strategic growth area since there is no point in putting transit stations where people are not living. But, should these areas be single bedroom apartments (almost 80% are about 500 sf in size). Developments need to vary by size and putting unlimited growth near MTSAs with little transition to existing low rise residential housing will negatively impact these neighbourhoods. And that is certainly the case and these neighbourhoods are historic, heritage housing . Yes they are protected within them to a limited extent. But what about the edges?
These heritage conservation districts contribute to the history and culture of Kitchener. To devalue that heritage by having buildings of UNLIMITED HEIGHT ACROSS THE STREET is damaging to the City of Kitchener and its residents.

This "award winning" initiative should be radically changed if not discarded.

GRP 6 months ago

I live in the Victoria Park Heritage District. I do not see enough in the plan about preserving the heritage district. The small residential streets around Victoria Park are part of Kitchener’s history and should be preserved. Furthermore, people enjoy walking along these streets as well as walking in the park. These neighbourhoods add value to all residents of the city, not just those who live there.

- I see this statement in the plan:
“We want to create the best possible transition between zones. . . . the principle is that we have tried to place the SGA2 zone next to the SGA1 zone, the SGA3 zone next to the SGA2 zone, and the SGA4 zone next to the SGA3 zone.”
The diagrams of what kinds of buildings might be in each zone show a nice transition from SGA1 to SGA2 to SGA3 to SGA4. Yet along Joseph St. between Gaukel and Francis the plan has SGA4 on one side of the street and the Victoria Park Heritage District on the other side. That makes no sense! A neighbourhood of small historic houses cannot exist beside unlimited height glass skyscrapers.

- There is not enough in the plan about park space. I see in the “Concerns” section that “Public Space” is mentioned. There is a difference between public space and parkland. Gaukel St. may be public space but it is not park space and it is ugly. We need grass and trees. Victoria Park is becoming VERY heavily used and with the projected population growth we need far more parkland. There also needs to be a transition zone between the tall apartment buildings and the park.

- At the corner of Joseph St. and David St. there is currently a piece missing from Victoria Park. Right now, it has a parking lot and two houses. It is proposed for SGA2, so it could become an 8 storey apartment building. It should instead become part of the park.

- Also at the corner of Joseph St. and David St. is the Victoria Park School building, a heritage building. It is on a block designated as SGA3. That is not compatible with a low-rise heritage building.

- I see concerns of shadows and wind for tall buildings, but there is also the noise made by large exhaust fans of large buildings, which destroys the peace and quiet of old neighbourhoods.

AnnaL 6 months ago

I have concerns with the proposed Zoning Map, in particular, the area around Cedar and Duke street is short sighted. The recommendation is to re zone this area to SG1 and SG2 which limits height. Given that there are several existing properties and current planning applications that exceed the proposed heigh limits is seems short sighted. With several live and approved applications (as well as recent developments) that exceed the proposed height limits in this area what is the rational to limiting the height in this area.

Andrew Head

Andrew Head 6 months ago

Thank you for the work your team put forward. I am satisfied with the proposed frameworks. In particular I think the move towards more permitted uses in residential areas is a great idea.

EP 6 months ago

I live on Mary Street, a lovely family friendly neighbourhood with lots of kids. I was shocked to see the proposal to completely change the character of the block by allowing non-residential uses.

Relative to other areas near LRT stations, Mary & Herbert streets are unique. They provide the perfect combination of a true residential street but within easy walking distance to loads of amenities. Given their proximity to King St, Union St & uptown Waterloo, these sides streets do not need shops & cafes.

The Mary-Allen neighbourhood has always been residential and has worked hard to make it a family friendly place to live. Mary & Herbert Sts between Union & Pine are half in Kitchener & half in Waterloo. My Waterloo neighbours have not been advised of this change. The whole block & neighbourhood should be treated as one. Why change the character of half a block?

I recommend removing the two partial blocks of Mary & Herbert from the zoning change and keep them in sync the rest of their Kitchener/Waterloo neighbourhood.

Jane - Mary St. 6 months ago

Thank you for the work you have done in this massive rezoning process. I appreciated the section in the Community Guide in which you responded to the many questions you heard throughout the process. I wish there had been more time for residents to work through all the information provided - I know many who were interested but overwhelmed with the amount of documentation and short response time - less than a month - and just didn't even try to provide input. I would like to see more transition between residential areas and SGA 4 areas, for example, along Joseph Street. SGA4 against SGA1 provides NO transition at all. Having unlimited height directly across from 2-3 storey residential homes is unthinkable. I also am concerned that there is still no additional park space being identified and acquired at this advanced stage of planning for downtown intensification. Even though I know this is not your area, as planners I don't see how you can plan for additional intensification and population without meeting the extremely limited amount of park space in DTK. MJN

Peggy 6 months ago

Regarding SGA4 zone abutting SGA1 zone (Victoria Park Heritage Conservation District) across the width of Joseph Street, the proposed regulations are wholly inadequate. It is impossible to retain the atmosphere of the VPHCD when buildings of unlimited height are permitted separated only by the width of an adjoining street. Despite all protestations to the contrary, it appears to me that the City is intent on ignoring "The policies in our Heritage Conservation District Plans and Cultural Heritage Landscapes." (Growing Together Community Guide).

Sheldon 6 months ago

Zoning enabling 24-story buildings is unacceptable. I thought the actions involving Belmont resolved this for the area. This approach favours developers and is not supported by evidence.

sjm3 6 months ago

I think your proposals are mostly great! Good work team, brining Kitchener in line with many other places. A bit of feedback:
1) Priority Street Network is good! I suggest the following modifications A) it would be good to extend Queen and Benton through to Courtland and the cross streets in between. That section of downtown could become a very unique destination as it is up on a hill, and could eventually be a nice extension of the commercial area of downtown. B) Extend Charles street through to Ottawa - no need to stop at Benton as a mix of uses surely would make that street more enjoyable. C) Park street would be a nice complement to Victoria Park. D) Duke street E) Extend Queen and Fredrick to the edge of the boundary.
2) For your Priority Street network, please make sure you limit the amount of entrances and ramps and things like that. You have identified Cedar street between King and Charles as a priority street, but there is currently parking, and two new ramps on the south side of the street. That's hardly an active space. It's difficult, but try to ensure that the implementation meets with the intent and limit these dead spaces.
3) Thank you for proposing the removal of parking. The city/region is growing and if drivers enjoy relatively little congestion now, we can't encourage more driving because we'll eventually meet the physical limits of the region. Would you consider lowering the maximum rates though?

Change is scary, but I think you're doing a good bit of forward thinking here. You are trying to protect the City's assets and enable new people and businesses to settle here. I like it. Though unrelated to zoning, I agree with the sentiment that many of the Civic District buildings should remain public and not be sold, though in the remaining spaces, would love to see intensification. In particular all the parking lots!!

AverageJoe 6 months ago

I strongly disagree with altering the existing low-rise residential zoning to the proposed SGA1, and would like to start by asking if the Province has specifically directed that Municipalities designate low-rise residential to be zoned SGA1 (or something similar) in Major Transit Station Areas, or if this is the City interpreting Provincial policy to intensify these MTSAs by zoning the existing low-rise residential neighbourhoods as SGA1? If it is the latter, why has the City moved forward with this specific zoning change within these existing neighbourhoods, including some that have cultural heritage value, when these is ample space for infill development along the major corridors of the MTSAs including King St., Victoria St., Ottawa St., Frederick St., and Weber St. There are already thousands of units for multiple projects in various stages of design and development for the King St. and Ottawa St. intersection alone. As such, I would ask that if this specific zoning change is not a Provincial requirement, that the City remove the SGA1 zoning entirely from these existing residential neighbourhoods, and only allow multi-unit residential infill developments along the larger roadways within the MTSA areas.

Having said that, I have five (5) comments related the SGA1 zoning with the assumption that these zoning changes are imminent and will not be altered based on community concerns.

1. There are currently no mechanisms within the City to direct that these units be designated as rentals or condos, that any units be made to a certain standard or size (family vs. studio), nor that they be made affordable/attainable. There are also currently no mechanisms for the City to control the design or aesthetics of these proposed infill developments as the City’s urban design requirements can not be applied to developments of the size allowable within the SGA1 zoning. As such, I would like to see the City develop architectural templates for developments within these areas to ensure that the infill buildings are compatible with the neighbourhood scale, form, and general aesthetics; as well as designing floor plans that can provide the type of housing needed most for their respective neighbourhood.

2. It has been less than a year since the implementation of a proposal to allow up to four residential units on any low-rise residential property provided lot size is sufficient – allowing basement apartments, as well as backyard homes or units. And now the City is jumping ahead to allow up to 10 units on these same single-family residential lots if the frontage and square footage are sufficient. I would request that the City delay the implementation of the SGA1 zoning until it can be determined if the previous proposal for gentle intensification has an impact on the “missing middle” housing in the selected neighbourhoods.

3. The City is powerless to prevent developers from taking rejected claims for minor variance to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) – which is (in)famously pro-developer – where proposed infill developments could be expanded beyond what the SGA1 zoning allows. The City has previously rejected minor variances for select developments, and yet has abandoned local residents to appeal these unacceptable developments at the OLT. With a lack of resources, knowledge of the process, and overall expert opinions to counter developer claims of minor variance, these challenges almost exclusively are decided in favour of the developer. I would like to see a binding policy implemented by the City to the effect that if City staff and the Committee of Adjustment unanimously reject claims for minor variance and/or zoning bylaw amendments that the City would automatically initiate an appeal were the developer to appeal the decision at the OLT. Having the full weight of the City’s resources in any appeal would certainly be a deterrent for most developers looking to take advantage of a developer-friendly environment to increase heights, reduce minimum offsets, increase building footprint, and generally decrease the compatibility of the proposed development within the existing neighbourhood.

4. Another concern with this strategy is with the lack of thought towards the provision of additional greenspace within these neighbourhoods. Please refer to the internal document “Places and Spaces” strategy to give a better idea of the parkland deficit in many of the neighbourhoods shown – specifically the King East neighbourhood. This is one of the most underserved areas of the City with no public green space within its boundaries, and with each successive development application – see 926 King St. E., 321-325 Courtland Ave. E. (the former Schneider property on Courtland), 1001 King St. E., 169 Borden Ave. N., etc. there is less and less green space provided, and fewer opportunities for the City to establish any substantive network of greenspace. Adding additional residential units within the fabric of these neighbourhoods only exacerbates the lack of green space for local residents and their families.

5. There are numerous instances in the City’s Official Plan that reference the City’s responsibility to evaluate appropriateness of development, as well as provide the public with opportunities to become involved in the processes and implementation of the Official Plan – Section 1.A.1., Section 1.A.4, Section 17.E.3., etc. To date, the City of Kitchener has initiated some public consultation; however, as stated previously, two of the Ward councilors impacted by these changes are not present or available to their constituents to answer questions and provide guidance. As these changes to the zoning are significant and have far reaching impacts now and into the future, I would also echo the request of an extension for the public consultation process until such time as these two Ward councilors are available, have familiarized themselves with the proposed changes and are able to respond to their constituents’ concerns.

JDL 6 months ago

Dear Kitchener,

In 2014, you had the wisdom and foresight to undertake a Cultural Heritage Landscapes Study. The study’s purpose was to create an inventory of your precious cultural heritage landscapes to serve as a planning tool in the management of the identified assets as the community evolves. Another of your goals with the study was to potentially, “redirect the development of the city in such a manner that preserves and protects identified resources that might otherwise go unnoticed or be at risk.” Putting that framework in place whilst at the cusp of intensification was smart and self-aware, especially considering your poor track record of valuing and preserving heritage assets that give a city its character.

The Onward Avenue Neighbourhood (my 'hood—including Borden and Onward Avenues between King and Weber Streets, plus Crescent and Dane Streets) is identified in the study (L-NBR-3) as one of the 12 residential neighbourhoods with considerable heritage value and significance. You expressed a desire to ensure that, “the value of the heritage resources in these wonderful neighbourhoods is not ignored or misinterpreted in future planning initiatives.” Good on you, I thought at the time.

Fast forward to today. Kitchener, what happened?

NOW you’re proposing to apply SGA-1 zoning to the Onward Avenue Neighbourhood?! Are you really choosing to ignore your own recommendations outlined in the Cultural Heritage Landscapes Study? Doing so would be a grave mistake, and it couldn’t be undone. My biggest concern is about the size of infill developments SGA-1 (as proposed) would permit. It’s too aggressive for the Onward Neighbourhood. Given the lot sizes, the SGA-1 zoning will permit buildings that have no parking, contain 10 units, are 11m tall, and 24m (!) long. They will seem monstrous, taking up every possible inch of real estate, hulking over and crowding out their neighbours. A less intense form of development could maintain the character and charm of this neighbourhood, while still meeting the intensification goals.

Applying SGA-1 zoning (as proposed) to Onward Ave. Neighbourhood would destroy it—one of the few remaining cultural heritage landscapes of considerable value and significance in our City--one of the rare little gems that gives our city a soul. It should be preserved and protected! Not sacrificed. Kitchener, do the right thing. Amend the proposed SGA-1 zoning in this neighbourhood to address the recommendations you wisely set out in your 2014 Cultural Heritage Landscapes Study.

Baseborden 6 months ago

Thank you very much to the Growing Together Team for putting together the Draft Framework for the MTSAs which is very important for the growth of our City. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication to come up with such a detailed plan. I have a few requests for some of the proposed zoning provisions. I will greatly appreciate if you could please consider these requests given below:

1. “Restrictive 12m Transition Requirement for SGA2”: The Transition requirement of 12m for multiple dwellings in SGA2 adjoining SGA1 (Section 6.4.3, Table 6-4) is very restrictive. This requirement is more restrictive than the current mid-rise R-7 zoning under Zoning By-law 85-1 as well as the mid-rise RES-6 zoning under Zoning By-law 2019-051.

1a. Under R-7 zoning (by-law 85-1, Section 41.2.6) for multiple dwellings the Minimum Side Yard requirement for buildings taller than 10.5m is only 6m vs. 12m proposed for SGA2.

1b. Under RES-6 zoning (by-law 2019-051, Section 7.3, Table 7-6) for multiple dwellings the Minimum Side Yard requirement is only 4.5m vs. 12m proposed for SGA2. Furthermore, in RES-6 there is no transition requirement adjacent to lower rise areas. Are we trying to make MTSAs more restrictive vs. all other (non-MTSA) areas in the City? That should not be the case as MTSAs are supposed to be more intensification friendly.

The proposed transition requirement for SGA2 makes assembling and developing two adjacent SGA1 lots with zoning change to SGA2, very difficult. For example, let’s say the new assembled lot width is 30m, excluding the transition areas on left and right sides (adjacent to SGA1) the resulting building width allowed is only 6m (30-12-12=6m). That means one can only build a very narrow 6m wide strip for 4th to 8th stories which visually will look very odd and may not make much economic sense for the developer. This feels like a missed opportunity for an area in such a close vicinity to the LRT stations.

Please consider removing this Transition requirement for SGA2. If that is not possible please consider reducing this Transition requirement to at least match RES-6 (i.e. 4.5m) or current R-7 (i.e. 6m) and limit its application only to the lots that are very wide/long e.g. lots wider/longer than 75m or 100m. You may want to consider the same for SGA3/4 as well.

2. “Restrictive Maximum Building Length for SGA1”: The Maximum Building Length requirement for SGA1 in Section 6.3.2 Table 6-3 for multiple dwellings does not take lot depth into consideration. For example, deeper lots will be forced to disproportionately limit the building length and have a lot of empty space in the back of the building. There are many deep lots in the proposed SGA1 areas. If someone wants to build 11+ units the building length is restricted to only 36m while the depth of many deep lots may be 65M+ (and even 85m+). For at least 11+ dwelling units please consider increasing the Max. Building Length requirement for deep lots to something like 60m.

3. “Restrictive Maximum Building Height for SGA1”: The proposed maximum building height of 3 stories (11m) for SGA1 is quite disappointing. Given that this area is so close to transit we would have liked to see at least 4 stories allowed without the need for any zoning amendments or minor variances etc. Please consider changing it to 4 stories.

To meet the growing demand for affordable housing and increased pressure on green / agricultural lands we need to make sure this Official plan and Zoning amendment makes full use of the huge investment of our tax dollars in building the LRT and put the City of Kitchener on a growth path that will set us up for meeting the housing needs for the upcoming few decades. 10 or 20 years down the road we cannot move the LRT to a new location and start fresh with intensification as it will be impractical. Let’s make the best use of existing residential lands such that our future generations can be proud of ourselves and don’t blame us for eliminating the green lands.

Thank you

Sam1 6 months ago

First of all, Congratulations! This is incredible work to pull together and clearly show results of genuine consultation with the public. Love the increased permissions, priority streets, eliminated parking minimums, and I think the SGA 1 zone could be applied throughout most of the city. I have a few suggestions for some of the zoning provisions:
1. The priority streets are great and I would like to see it applied to Queen street south of King to the edge of the PMTSA, and applied to Frederick to the end of the PMTSA. These are equally important main streets as Victoria, they both follow the existing OP designation for Urban Growth Centre, and they are already far more pedestrian friendly than victoria. Priority Streets could also be applied to Charles along more of its length, and maybe courtland/park. I also think there is an opportunity to apply priority streets to one side of a street where it may be abutting lower intensity areas, like Joseph.

2. "Private Amenity Space" is a newly defined term and is only applied to SGA 2, 3 and 4. I think this needs a bit of review. It's an assumption that low-rise buildings will, by default, have private amenity space provided by the minimum yards - it might occur that a 10 unit building will have a yard used by one dwelling unit, but not accessible to anyone else. I also think it might be wise to separate private amenity space from common amenity space and require more common amenity space from the larger buildings (ie. Every dwelling unit should have at least X sq. m. of either private or common or a mix, but large buildings must have at least X sq. m. of common amenity space.). I get larger developments have more financial means to accommodate more, but the way this is written gives the impression that only dwellings in large buildings need private amenity, when the intent would be to require more common amenity. Why limit common amenity to just the residents of the building.

3. "Physical Separation" is a newly defined term. I don't think it's quite there. How is the first sentence different from a setback for the 9th storey and above from the interior side lot line and the rear lot line? The second sentence is indecipherable: "When two or more towers are on the same lot, the total distance between each pair of towers in any direction is to be calculated as the sum of both individual physical separations." I think it's trying to define two terms: the setback to the yard, and the separation distance between towers?

William T 6 months ago

Overall I'm happy with the direction the plan is taking! A lack of residential supply due to zoning regulations is why rents are so high and why it costs so much to buy property so this plan relaxing those zoning regulations is how we get to lower rents and reduced prices for property. I'm disappointed SGA1's cap buildings at 3 storeys. A cap of 4 storeys is less burdensome and will increase residential supply. Also get rid of the setbacks please. If enough people want to buy properties with setbacks, the free market will make those available without it needing to be in zoning policy.

J1234 7 months ago

The proposed changes are much too big to be answered in such a short time. Residents have been send a card with less than a month to digest a huge amount and in the absence of two councillors who are not able to guide us on what the proposal means. How is that Growing Together?

What is the rush when you want to engage with the community? How can that possibly happen when many of us have jobs, family and other obligations to occupy our days.

Please, extend the deadline until January 31.

GRP 7 months ago

What an absolute nightmare of a "vision" for downtown Kitchener and 'abutting' neighbourhoods. You're going to throw out what little built and natual heritage there is what I presume will be the district formerly known as the heritage district to so greedy developers can build properties for predatory landlords. And then you get to call yourself 'problem solvers' 'cause you're 'building more housing' -- what a sham!

Kitchener has a long history of destroying everything that made the city unique, everything that lent itself to any semblance of a personality. No mature trees, no architectural history or diversity. Cheaply made, pre-fab buildings that all look the same and will be falling apart in 10+ years, if you're lucky - tiny street trees that never grow more than 15-20 feet tall, nothing of substance or meaning.

I realize you'll dismiss my comments as perhaps 'fringe' or 'overwraught', perhaps 'emotional'. Even though I have lived in the neighbourhood for 20+ years. I am emotional. I used to love this place. I used to care, a lot. But for some reason, CoK is hellbent on creating a city where lifelong Waterloo Region and Kitchener residents no longer belong here.

There is NOTHING in your plans that address your own report on the Urban Forest from 2015 that made it clear how dire the situation is with trees in this city, specially in the core. As far as I can see, your new plans will only exacerbate this issue. It's ok, we don't need any greenspace, right?! All those condo and apartment dwellers can just use neighbourhood lawns as toilets for their pets!

I honestly am unsure why I took the time to make this comment. You won't change your plans. It's a full-time job to participate fully in all your consultations. Municipal elections don't change anything.

I just want you to know how your work directly contributes to the disenfranchisement and malaise of long-time residents like myself. Thank you for helping to make Kitchener a place where I feel like a stranger in my own home. Thank you for creating additional stress as I desperately try to make plans to get out of this hellscape of a city.

TiredKitchener 7 months ago

Overall I love the new SGAs and the draft zoning map.
But I think the minimum seatbacks for SGA-1 should be reduced.

Aldo Culquicondor 7 months ago