Here are responses from our four candidates to the Blog’s two questions of the week. We would like to thank all candidates for responding to these questions and we hope to post a couple more before the election. The answers are posted in the order received by the Blog.
First the questions, then the answers:
#1: It has been reported that Kitchener’s population is expected to grow by 100,000 in the next 20 years. What is your position on increased residential density in Ward 10 and how larger, multi-story, buildings will affect our neighbourhood? How would you address this issue if elected?
#2: What ONE word would you use to describe Kitchener’s relationship with Waterloo?
#1 Population Growth
Thanks for the very relevant question that goes to the very fabric of our neighbourhoods.
We need increased density in the core of our city to make it vibrant to live in and for our businesses to thrive, but we should not have buildings in areas surrounding the downtown that are 20 storeys, but more modest 4-8 storeys, stepped back from the street where they are in a neighbourhood around homes.
I support the idea of a mix of housing types, from brownstones to townhomes to low rises.
I am the only candidate running that was part of the city’s Growth Management Committee and the concept of complete communities was very powerful to me, being able to reduce reliance on cars by having stores and services and entertainment within walking distance.
I would want to involve neighbourhoods in the decision making process before there is a development, so that people have a say in the density that will be around them and the type of housing.
# 2 Relationship with Waterloo: “friendly”
#1 Population Growth:
I agree with intensification and increased density however the homeowner should come first. While multi storey buildings makes sense it should have an adverse impact on existing residential neighbourhoods.
# 2 Relationship with Waterloo: Cooperative.
#1 Population Growth:
Ontario’s Places to Grow policy and the Region’s new Official Plan means that Kitchener must meet specific intensification targets for new development. I agree with the plans as we can not continue to destroy farmland. However, I think the plans will greatly effect Ward 10 and that the development coming to 30-40 Margaret Avenue is an example of what we will see more of in the future.
I feel very strongly that any new development should fit into the character of the existing neighbourhood and that intensification must be wisely planned and managed so it has a positive impact on the existing neighbourhood, not a negative impact.
I believe it is essential that the plans for any new intensification projects be presented to the surrounding neighbourhood at the beginning of the project so if there are concerns they can be addressed then. I believe if developers, city staff and neighbourhoods work together from the beginning it is more likely that concerns can be addressed co-operatively.
#2: Relationship with Waterloo: Cordial
#1: Population Growth:
I believe that the projected growth is more in line with an additional 200,000 to 250,000 people which some developers have told me that this may in fact be a conservative number. Densification which is a directive from the various levels of government is seen as being focused mainly in the corridor areas of the cities of the Region. We have many prime locations in the Kitchener core available for development that will handle this growth. One example is the redevelopment of the properties at King and Louisa. Here the COA have approved minor variance changes to permit a multi storey build with underground parking. This is where I see the development of tall buildings happen. I see very little impact to our area as it will be build-centric to main arterial areas and not in the residential areas. Being assured that we permit development of this type in areas that will have minimal impact on our residential areas is my goal. The option of not welcoming growth and development is regressive in nature.
#2: Relationship with Waterloo: Effervescent