Letter to the Editor – KPS Apartments


Dear Editor,

Re: Proposed Riverside apartments at the old Kemptville Public School site.

There are 22 homes around the perimeter of the old KPS site. These homes, many of them bungalows, are on Reuben Cres, Prescott St, Blossom Ave and Dr. Gordon Drive.  To answer your question, these were the folks who were at the Dec 14 council meeting along with other interested parties, such as those living nearby or across the street from the proposed building site.  

If we are to be labeled “a minority”, let it be said that the impact of the construction will rest on our shoulders, and so why wouldn’t we take the greatest interest. Anything less would be negligence.

All of these homeowners have various concerns, ranging from lack of privacy, reduced future home evaluation, noise from industrial air conditioners, reduced sunlight as indicated in shadow studies, traffic congestion, and so on.  All legitimate to those of us whose homes butt up to the old school property.  

The Dec 14 Council meeting changed the zoning of this site from “institutional” to “R4”, (4 story). Also approved was the increase in density, from 60 to110 units (homes) per hectare.  A hectare = 2.47 acres.  

That results in 168 units on the approx 3.5 acres site. With possible double occupancy or more, and visitor parking, results in over 330 vehicles, all exiting onto Reuben Cres along with the regular daily traffic. Future requirements for another traffic signal will likely to be needed at Prescott and Reuben South.

Most of the affected homeowners feel the 3 buildings with approximately 55 units each, and starting rents stated of $2000 per month, are not the most harmonious fit for the area.  

The “affordable housing” portion of the development is yet to be decided, with developers wanting 15% and Council wanting 25%. Can investors in the project really make the expected return when a quarter of their units are low income housing for the 10 year period? I doubt they are happy either.

The homeowners recognize change is inevitable. They fully acknowledge that higher density housing is needed, and affordable housing too. But I think most were expecting possibly one apartment building, say facing the park, and then a little community like the “Homes for Heroes” project in Kingston. Something that might actually have a chance to fit in with the existing houses of the area and not be a congested rats nest of way too many people trying to live on the same acre.  

After all this is not Toronto!  (my hometown by the way)

For those of us on Reuben or Prescott, which are high traffic roads, we have never had “a quiet existence” (as quoted in an article of Feb 23, 2023), but our backyards do act as the only place where the traffic noise is tampered with an attempt at tranquility. This private oasis will be lost if a 4 story wall of windows is allowed to tower over our yards.

So in retrospect, homeowners were at the council meeting to show disappointment with the clinical look of the proposed buildings which did nothing to complement existing homes or Riverside Park. 

After all, it was the municipality that mailed handouts to each of us and invited the surrounding properties to participate by oral presentations or written submissions.

How were we to know the results were a foregone conclusion, that our participation was really just a meaningless charade, nothing more than a mandatory procedural requirement of the process.

Congratulations, another box is — “ticked.”
Elaine McGreavy


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here