Some great news! The city has provided some great expectations and incentives for property owners along the corridor. Looking forward to seeing what changes are made.City plans to create seven areas that are vibrant, pedestrian friendly and transit supported
October 21, 2009
By Terry Pender, Record staff
KITCHENER — In an effort to create a vibrant urban neighbourhood city officials have redrawn the land use map for an important stretch of King Street West.
The area from the railway tracks to Union Street is among seven chosen for a new attempt at city building. In the parlance of City Hall planners this stretch of King Street West is a Mixed Use Corridor.
“It’s really like an evolution of these urban areas that we see as important,” Alain Pinard, the city’s interim director of planning, says.
King Street West is the first of those seven areas to have the properties in the corridor rezoned to support development that is pedestrian oriented and transit friendly.
“Mixed Use Corridors are areas that are typically more urban,” Pinard says.
“Buildings are set closer to the front of the lots, parking is either reduced or behind the buildings,” Pinard says of the corridors.
Certain land uses will not be allowed, including—car washes, commercial parking lots or anything to do with vehicle sales, storage, rental and repair. Gas stations are out, health clinics, restaurants and live-work spaces are in.
The region’s proposed light rail transit line will run through here. There is a large hospital, two schools, a grocery store and large office building in this corridor.
There are old residential neighbourhoods off King Street with back lanes, big trees and brick homes. The Iron Horse Trail is nearby.
Currently there is a strip mall, two drive-thru fast food outlets and several parking lots abutting this part of King Street West. These land uses will not be allowed in the future. The ones that currently exist are designated by planners as legal nonconforming.
That means over time it is expected those land uses will eventually be changed to comply with the new zoning laws.
By allowing more intense land use the owners have an economic incentive to use their land differently, Pinard says.
“We have no illusions, it is going to take time,” Pinard says. “We figure some will have a quick turn around and some will take a long time, a couple of decades would not surprise me for some of these properties.”
The whole idea is to create a more compact urban form, promote intensification of land uses, keep buildings close to the street and four to eight floors high, and achieve a sense of place and identity with high quality buildings and landscapes.
“This zoning is good for making everything fit together,” Pinard says.
“These areas would have a broad mix of uses, uses that provide services and amenities to the adjacent areas,” Pinard says.
Preferred land uses include mixed use buildings, particularly specialized retail and convenience retail, live-work units, compact housing, offices, restaurants and other personal services.
“Over time it is envisioned that the Mixed Use Corridors will intensify with transit supported uses which are well integrated with surrounding neighbourhoods and provide a high quality public realm designed for people,” says a city document on designing buildings for the corridors.
One of the biggest challenges to creating a vibrant, urban streetscape in this area is the large parking lot bounded by King, Union, Park and John streets.
The city will continue to allow surface parking there. Any future parking garage must have an attractive design and support mixed, active uses on other parts of the block.
“This allows for a transition of the site,” Pinard says, “which protects their interests, but also from our point of view provides motivation for intensification on the site.”
Next year the city hopes to redraw the land-use maps for four other Mixed Use Corridors—King Street East, Victoria Street North and South and Queen Street South.
The new zoning maps for the Mixed Use Corridors in Belmont Village and Lancaster Street West will be done in 2011 or later.
City of Kitchener is asking that citizens review and provide feedback about the the proposed Official Plan amendment for the Queen Street South and Victoria Street South Mixed Use Corridors
Here's the Queen St document: http://kitchener.ca/en/businessinkit...-April2010.pdf
Here's the Victoria St Doc: http://kitchener.ca/en/businessinkit...t-June2010.pdf
Last edited by Spokes; 08-30-2010 at 10:53 AM.
I took a look at the proposal and I'm pretty happy with it.
My only concern is with Queen st between Charles and Courtland. There only seems to be two spots marked as mixed use. My first thought was that maybe the land between Charles and Joseph is already mixed use and therefore isn't in this study. On the East side of Queen st there are a number of single family homes, will these be allowed to stay? Based on the document it doesn't look like they are earmarked as being mixed use. The other side of the street on the other hand, the whole block from Joseph to Courtland is mixed use.
A meeting about the Queen St. South Mixed use corridor will be held on January 27th. Here's the info from the city:
Conestoga Room, Kitchener City Hall
200 King Street West
January 27, 2010
A brief presentation will be given at 6:30 pm
Last edited by Spokes; 08-30-2010 at 10:53 AM.
Just some clarification. If something's zoned MU-3 does that mean maximum 3 floors? And then additional floors if they're set back or what?
MU2 max height is 8 stories
MU3 there is no max height
Last edited by Spokes; 08-30-2010 at 10:57 AM.
Last edited by Spokes; 12-11-2010 at 08:45 AM.
None the less, nice to see very little MU1. I'm ok with 6-8 floor buildings somewhere like Queen South. There seems to be a lot more MU3 on the King West corridor
Last edited by Spokes; 12-11-2010 at 08:46 AM.
Interesting that the maximum floor space ratio for MU-3 is the same 4.0 as for MU-2.
Can you explain what floor space ratio is. That's something I've always wondered
I emailed the city to ask about the Victoria St. South corridor because according to this document, it's being taken care of at the same time as Queen South. I also asked if they'd be talking about Victoria as well, or just Queen on the meeting on the 27th. Here's what they said:
Thanks for your inquiry about the Victoria St S Mixed Use Corridor. We are working on the zoning implementation for the Victoria St S Mixed Use Corridor. At this point in time we do not have preliminary zoning available for Victoria St S, only Queen St S. As such, the open house scheduled for January 27th will be focused entirely on Queen St South.
We will be having a similar open house in late February to present and get feedback on the assignments in the Victoria St S Mixed Use Corridor. I'd be happy to add you to the notification list for the Victoria St S Mixed Use Corridor to ensure you receive the draft zoning as soon as it comes available.
City staff are recommending the accepting of the Queen Street Mixed Use Corridor - http://kitchener.ca/en/businessinkit...ningreport.pdf
Very good read detailing what is allowed and whats not, etc.
Last edited by Spokes; 12-11-2010 at 08:47 AM.
I wrote a post for the TriTAG blog about pedestrian issues on midtown King Street:
I hope that the street becomes a vital pedestrian corridor, but it has a long way to go yet.
MONTHLY REPORT OF DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY FOR MARCH 2010
REGION OF WATERLOO PLANNING, HOUSING AND COMMUNITY SERVICES - Community Planning
TO: Chair Jim Wideman and Members of the Planning and Works Committee
DATE: April 27, 2010
City of Kitchener
2. Official Plan Amendment No. 83
Applicant: City of Kitchener
Location: Queen Street South Mixed Use Corridor
Proposal: To modify the boundaries of the Queen Street South Mixed Use Corridor land use designation and to delete obsolete and redundant Special Policy Areas to the Cedar Hill, Mill Courtland Woodside Park and Victoria Park Secondary Plan.
Processing Fee: February 17, 2010
Commissioner’s Approval: March 2, 2010
Came Into Effect: March 23, 2010
Im glad they're implimenting the Queen St. South stuff, but they need to get back on track. Victoria South was supposed to happen Jan/Feb '10, King East was supposed to happen Feb/Mar '10, and Victoria North supposed to happen May/June '10.
At this rate I'd be happy if all three got done by the end of the year.
Belmont and Lancaster will be done separately since they are "villages" but the city still wanted all of them completed by year end:
http://www.kitchener.ca/Files/Item/i...dts-09-148.pdfIt is staff’s intent to bring forward recommendations regarding implementing zoning for all Mixed Use Corridors by year-end 2010.
KIT: Downtown Advisory Committee
Thursday May 13, 2010 | 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Conestoga Room, Ground Floor
2. New Business
2.1 King Street East Mixed Use Corridor Zone Change (15 min)