LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for June 13, 2016

City council gathers this evening for the monthly planning meeting. You can click here for the amended agenda from City Hall, and you can click here to read Politico’s preview of tonight’s meeting. For the complete blow-by-blow of tonight’s council meeting, you can follow me on Twitter, or follow along below via Storify.

Guelph City Council Meeting – June 13, 2016

Live blog from the meeting starting at 6 pm

  1. Council closed session. Appointments to committees/boards. Direction given to some of those appointments.
  2. There will be a candlelight vigil this Thursday in Market Square at 8 pm for the victims of #OrlandoShooting.
  3. 2 bylaws being moved up to the front of the agenda concerning new CAO, including appointment of new CAO @CogDerrick
  4. “I am truly honoured to be given the duty to lead this organization… I think we’re going to do great things” says Thomson.
  5. Vote passes 12-0. Thomson gets standing O from council.
  6. Agenda getting underway. Guthrie asking council if they want to pull anything from consent agenda.
  7. District Energy materials being deferred to a July meeting.
  8. Consent agenda passes 12-0. Only the matter of Niska Rd demolition been pulled.
  9. Katie Nasswetter, Senior Development Planner, going over the proposed plan for 1131 Gordon St.
  10. 1876698 Ontario Inc. is looking to develop a 16-unit townhouse complex on the site, where currently sits a single detached home.
  11. Astrid Clos, consultant on the project now addressing council.
  12. Astrid Clos is talking about why Gordon is attractive to intensification. Along both Guelph Transit and GO routes.
  13. Cllr Piper asks about a staircase on one drawing. It’s access to the end unit.
  14. Cllr Piper now asking about waste collection and snow storage.
  15. “Thanks for democracy.” Schmidt says to council, but he has deep concerns about his part of town.
  16. Schmidt understands the Places to Grow, major corridor of Gordon, and the University but….
  17. Schmidt recounting all the complexes already built down Gordon, already a lot of high density housing.
  18. “The Volvo dealership is now sold, will it be another Solstice?” asks Schmidt.
  19. “100s of students crossing the road. Some at lights, many not.” adds Schmidt.
  20. Schmidt wonders if emergency services will be gridlocked in 5 years.
  21. “Why isn’t there a centre turning lane now?” he asks.
  22. Schmidt says there’s a lot of bungalows along Gordon that seem empty, is someone looking at them? he asks.
  23. No questions for Schmidt. But there are about 6 people that wrote their names on the sign-up sheet.
  24. Cllr Downer concerned about cumulative impact of all these zoning changes.
  25. Cllr Piper notes that she doesn’t see any where on the plan for snow storage.
  26. Piper also wonders if the traffic studies have taken into account that many of the developments along Gordon are landlocked (1 way out)
  27. Cllr Gibson asks about how the garbage trucks will be able to access the site. Staff is looking at that thru site process.
  28. Cllr Wettstein would like staff to look at future amendment requests for traffic impact on the area.
  29. Cllr Piper wants staff to double heck overflow parking.
  30. As always Mayor Guthrie wants to check on lighting, and makes sure planning staff is sending this thru to Transit too.
  31. “How is that transit vision going to intersect with this type of development and others around it?” Guthrie asks.
  32. “Want to make sure that we’re not doing something one year and changing it the next.” Guthrie.
  33. Presentation for the demolition of 305 Niska Rd. by Hugh Whiteley.
  34. This is an excellent year” to reclaim Ambassador Landscape, says Whitely.
  35. Recounting the development of the Hanlon Creek Conservancy.
  36. Whiteley wants to appeal to council to recover the vision, and complete the Hanlon Creek as part of #Canada150
  37. Cllr Salisbury asks of there’s anything in presentation connected to demo.
  38. Whiteley says it shouldn’t be GRCA that should be asking for the demo, this should be a City of Guelph project.
  39. The City is not the planning agent is the problem says Whiteley.
  40. Cllr Gordon says he appreciates Whiteley’s community memory. Asks if the partnership btwn City and GRCA ever “officially” broken.
  41. GRCA was used b/c they had access to provincial grants that the City could not get on its own.
  42. I think it will be important to city council to find out what the sequence was, says Whiteley.
  43. The GRCA, if asked, is still willing to be an active participant in find a new funding source, says Whiteley. Brantford’s done it.
  44. Guthrie follows up on Salisbury Q, what is the impact of building’s demo, or do we keep it?
  45. City has had strong interest in land, no city report that says what the city is/is not intending for site, says Whiteley.
  46. Since 1982, that vision of a nature reserve was lost, says Murr.
  47. It’s demolition by neglect, says Murr. Wants city to make a commitment to decide on the future of the property.
  48. Now is the time for Guelph to stop forward and take a leadership role in protecting this natural asset, says Murr.
  49. Murr reminds of council’s unanimous vote to apply to designate the Hanlon Creek a heritage area
  50. Cllr Piper asks for clarification: is it all 7 buildings or just the one?
  51. Cllr Salisbury agrees that the structures on the site are “definitely” demolition by neglect.
  52. Cllr Allt compliments delegates for presentation. Demolition permits are virtually impossible to deny he says, so he appreciates context.
  53. Thomson says GRCA is working on a master plan now, and that incl how people can enjoy the park. There will be consultations with city staff
  54. Scott Stewart asks for time to reach out to GRCA to get the lowdown on the partnership.
  55. Salisbury says council needs to remember that the purpose of the landowner (GRCA) is conservation of the land.
  56. Cllr Bell says we’re seeing the end of neglect on the property.


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