City mulls lim­it­ing fes­ti­vals, events at City Park

Kingston Whig-Standard - - NEWS - EL­LIOT FER­GU­SON

KINGSTON — High de­mand for City Park as a venue for com­mu­nity events has the city con­sid­er­ing ways to bet­ter reg­u­late how and when groups use it and other parks.

City coun­cil passed a mo­tion Tues­day evening di­rect­ing staff to look at ways “to iden­tify spe­cific cri­te­ria and parks that can prop­erly ac­com­mo­date events with larger crowds and sig­nif­i­cant lo­gis­ti­cal needs.”

The au­thor of the mo­tion, Sy­den­ham District Coun. Peter Stroud, said the is­sue of traf­fic con­ges­tion on streets around City Park dur­ing the sum­mer has be­come an is­sue.

Stroud said that in many cases, events may have out­grown the lo­ca­tion, es­pe­cially when mul­ti­ple events are tak­ing place at the same time.

“It’s a good prob­lem to have, to have too many suc­cess­ful events in one place,” Stroud said.

Stroud said the use of city parks could be han­dled by the city in a sim­i­lar way that are­nas are rented by groups or­ga­niz­ing hockey tour­na­ments.

He said bet­ter co-or­di­na­tion of events at City Park could bet­ter dis­trib­ute events to parks in other parts of the city.

“I’m hop­ing with this pol­icy that more dif­fer­ent neigh­bour­hoods, and dif­fer­ent neigh­bour­hood parks, get th­ese spe­cial events rather than al­ways the same events. This would hope­fully in­volve the whole city,” he said.

“I am the district coun­cil­lor for City Park, and for me the prob­lem is too much con­ges­tion for City Park, but for other coun­cil­lors and other dis­tricts, it might be a prob­lem of not enough.”

Portsmouth District Coun. Liz Schell said lim­it­ing the num­ber of events al­lowed at City Park may not be a pop­u­lar move.

“City Park is very pop­u­lar and I can al­ready hear some of the groups that rent it get­ting very fright­ened at this,” Schell said. “It is the cen­tral park for the city of Kingston.”

Schell asked that Tourism Kingston be con­sulted about the planned pol­icy changes.

City staff are to re­turn to coun­cil with a re­port in the new year.

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