Kitchener is growing and evolving as we prepare for the arrival of the Ion, focus more on walkable communities, and make room for new development in and around our downtown.
With these changes, many residents have questions about the development process, such as "How does the approval process work?"; "What is the role of zoning amendments?"; and "How can I find out what changes are expected in my neighbourhood?" In an attempt to respond to some of those questions, the City of Kitchener has created a Citizen's Guide to Neighbourhood Development. It's intended to "explain what regulations are in place, what city processes and permits are required, how developments are approved and when the public has an opportunity to get involved."
Find out more on the city's web page. While there, you can scroll to the bottom and 'subscribe to this page' to receive future page updates.
As the city updates development policies and guidelines such as the Comprehensive Review of the Zoning By-law (CRoZBy) and the Urban Guidelines Manual, this is a welcomed tool to assist residents in navigating these processes. As Councillor, I would support residents through such neighbourhood development tools, and work to engage citizens in more inclusive and accessible processes.
The City of Kitchener wants to hear from you so they are offering a series of workshops. These drop-in sessions are happening this week and next at a variety of community centres and are open to all Kitchener residents. They want your input on topics such as:
Workshop 1: June 19th 4:30-6:30pm at Chandler Mowat Community Centre
Workshop 2: June 20th 5-7pm at Stanley Park Community Centre
Workshop 3: June 26th 5-7pm at Victoria Hills Community Centre
Workshop 4: June 28th 5-7pm at Downtown Community Centre
It’s election day across Ontario today. Perhaps you have had a chance to vote already today or in the advance polls. If not, hopefully you have a plan to do so before polls close at 9pm this evening. However, numbers suggest that many of us won’t exercise our right to vote. Voter turnout in the 2014 provincial election saw a slight increase in turnout with 52% of us voting. However, the previous 5 elections saw a smaller and smaller voter turnout with only 48% of residents voting in 2011. And the turnout for municipal elections is consistently much lower.
I understand that some of us feel discouraged by the state of politics today. Perhaps you don’t feel like your values and interests are represented by those running. However, let that motivate you to become more engaged in politics, not less! I encourage you to look at each party’s platform and choose the candidate who most aligns with your values. After election day, stay involved. Connect with your elected officials and share your interests and concerns. The only way political systems are going to improve is by each of us speaking up and taking action. Please vote today.