From: Floyd Patterson [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: October 3, 2010 12:36 PM
Subject: Floyd Patterson's response to questions
Kingston Home Builders Association Survey:
1 New residential growth increases property tax revenue; also it
offers an ever increasing new housing stock with a variety of styles to respond to many different
preferences for the buying public; it primes the resale market when owners sell their older home
in order to buy a newer model; new residential growth also stokes the service-and-trades sector
such as roofers, plumbers, electricians, mortgage lenders, interior decorators, furniture suppliers
and so on.
Jobs are being created and consumer dollars are flowing into the economy.
2 Yes, I would prompt a review, for example, of neighbourhood design
standards that push the housing price above the price-range intended for the buyer-market that
the housing developer had targeted in his building plans; more elaborate curbing, fancier street
light and street signs, parkettes and so on entail higher costs that will be added to the house
price; amenities are desirable alright, but how many, and how costly, must be thought out in the
early meetings with the planning department; last minute ad-ons undermine affordability for the
client group that is the builder’s objective.
3 I think homebuilders are positive about building environmentally
friendly buildings. Whether it happens depends on the price buyers are willing to pay. Different
plumbing for heat-transfer from grey water, for example, may increase costs. For years now
builders have built homes with better insulation to reduce heating costs, and windows that
reduce heat-escape, which also reduces emissions from chimneys which reduces air pollution.
4 Yes, eco incentives, provided by the local, provincial or federal
governments to help clients opt for housing with ways to lower fuel-use, installation of roof panels
for solar heating and electricity and so on would make sense. Whether reducing development
charges is the right move needs study. Development charges increase housing costs, but also
are the ready cash for installing the services needed by upcoming development, so, in that way,
they assist homebuilders to move forward on schedule.
5 It is very important to attract new business to Kingston. KEDCO
seems to do its best to attract new business investment, but Council sometimes puts a hex on the
process. Arguing over changing industrial land to commercial zoning, in a mainly commercial
area, that caused Lowe’s to threaten legal action was not the way to welcome new investment.
It is good to see services finally being installed in employment lands. But better mapping of the
city’s available land for business and industry needs doing. Every potential development site
should have its zoning options pre-planned and pre-listed so a prospective client quickly sees
the road to success, and agreement on proceeding can be obtained quickly. Official Plans
and Zoning by-laws, under the Planning Act, are amendable and negotiable, and I feel some
municipal authorities do not understand this, and cite the planning laws as if they were “our way
or the highway.”
6 Growing jobs in Kingston requires establishing employment lands that
are ready to occupy, for attracting business investors who need well trained/educated people
and pay them good incomes. When hiring teams visit Queen’s and St. Lawrence College, the
hiring teams are from all over the country. They are looking for top talent in business
administration, engineering, technical innovation and research, manufacturing and marketing.
Therefore, we must have serviced lands to attract the high-end investors and manufacturers
who become the job-opportunity for graduates and interns in Kingston, rather than in some