Last night was the final meeting of the current council and Mayor Berry Vrbanovic presented Certificates of Service to outgoing councillors Frank Etherington, Yvonne Fernandes and Zyg Janecki for their service to the City of Kitchener as members of council from 2010-2018.
Mayor Vrbanovic reflected on their contributions over the past eight years including Counc. Frank Etherington’s passion and advocacy for heritage conservation, affordable housing, and social issues, Counc. Yvonne Fernandes’ enthusiasm and support for environmental and cycling initiatives and heritage preservation and Counc. Zyg Janecki’s interests and efforts in heritage preservation, fiscal accountability and urban planning.
The new council will be inaugurated at the Dec. 3 council meeting.
Former Sears building
Given the ongoing and cooperative discussions with the property owner, council voted down the Heritage Kitchener recommendation to direct the clerk to issue a notice of intention to designate.
Council instead voted in favour of allowing the 60 day notice period to lapse so the proposed development can continue through the site plan process. As part of the planning process, there is a requirement to ensure that built heritage resources are conserved. Through discussions with the property owner, staff is satisfied that the proposed development will retain enough elements of the external façade and include a commemoration and will continue to work with Cadillac Fairview through the site-plan process to ensure that the heritage attributes are conserved.
Vision approved for redevelopment of 152 Shanley St.
Following an unsuccessful tax sale in 2017, planning staff developed a vision statement in collaboration with the neighbourhood surrounding 152 Shanley St. that clarifies expectation for redevelopment of the site that has been abandoned since 1990. From the engagement, what is envisioned is a building of up to six storeys that respects the site’s heritage and could permit retail/commercial (such as a coffee shop), personal services and community space on the ground floor and residential uses on the upper levels. The proposals should minimize the disruption to the neighbourhood, keeping parking underground or to the back of the building, provide for ample tree cover and contribute to an attractive streetscape.
Last night, Kitchener council supported that vision and directed the release of the Vision Statement as part of the tax sale advertisement to provide guidance and support to the processing of future Planning Act applications. Staff will proceed with advertising the property a second time under the tax sale process in January 2019.