LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for September 12, 2016

Council is back in session tonight at the special time of 6:30 pm. Planning issues are up for discussion, and as usual you can follow along here. 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 – September 12, 2016

Live blog from the meeting starting at 6:30 pm

  1. Food Truck by-law amendment, plus Vic Park Village extension and Grange Rd demo should fly thru on content agenda…
  2. .@CamGuthrie offers update on First Nations acknowledgement. Staff working with elders on proper wording, coming forward soon.
  3. Cllr Gibson sends regrets tonight, so its an even dozen on the horseshoe.
  4. Staff now showing off new budget tools for 2017.
  5. Allison Springate is talking about best practices for budget comms. Started in January the research.
  6. The tools we’ve developed this year will be a starting point for community members to start budget convo.
  7. “Guelph is a community where you can have it all…” says the video.
  8. Out of every $1: 23% goes to education, 22% goes to service partners like the police, and 50% goes to everything else.
  9. References pages will have common info about the budget. Can be sent to constituents or handed out at meeting.
  10. At the end of the budget process, comm staff will get feedback on tools for improvement next year.
  11. Cllr Piper asking if the material will be available in other languages or AOA compliant.
  12. Other languages is something to be taken into consideration next year.
  13. That’s a wrap on the budget tools presentation. Now on to the consent agenda.
  14. Delegations in the house for HCBP extension for Phase 3 and Downtown Secondary.
  15. Cllr Hofland moves all three, but Guthrie has a Q concerning email councillors received.
  16. Staff: high fees in parks separate matter from the by-law. Fees for food vehicles in parks is the prevue of the parks dept.
  17. Next: Statutory public meeting for Proposed Downtown Zoning By-law Amendment
  18. Senior urban designer David deGroot presents the plan. No decisions will be made tonight.
  19. The secondary plan is about developing a vision for @DowntownGuelph up to 2031.
  20. We’re entering phase #4 of the project. Interviews with stakeholders now taking place.
  21. The draft will be further reviewed and be brought to council for approval sometime in Q1 early next year
  22. @ryangerritsen @DowntownGuelph I don’t know the exact deets on traffic, but I image that’s a consideration. They are still collecting input.
  23. Cllr Hofland asking about further opportunities for public input. Still plenty of time for public to offer 2 cents even tho….
  24. Cllr Piper asks about the special policy areas. Natural features, etc. No changes are being proposed.
  25. Cllr Bell concerned about regulating active frontages. Is there any mechanism we can expand that regulation behind what;s in 2nd plan?
  26. deGroot: Weren’t looking to expand, not part of the project scope at this time.
  27. It would probably months to expand the process to look at active frontages, say staff.
  28. Cllr Salisbury asks if it would be possible to pass the amendment, and then review the active frontages and make it retroactive?
  29. A second zoning amendment would have to be required, “further implantation amendment” would be needed.
  30. Cllr Wettstein reinforces this is a discussion meeting.
  31. Wettstein warns against opening another amendment process, b/c of the appearance of redundancy.
  32. Cllr Billings asks about regs for bike parking, 75 spaces/100 units. Something like this encourages more apps for zone change, she notes.
  33. deGroot says there’s a caveat in the bylaw to treat bike parking like all regular parking. That’s where that comes from.
  34. Cllr. Billings: Have utilities portion been circulated for comment?
  35. deGroot: they have, but no comments have been received thus far.
  36. Cllr Billings: Aren’t utilities exempt from placement by-laws?
  37. The point is to avoid having vents blow directly on pedestrians.
  38. Astrid Clos the first to present She’s a design consultant for Riker holdings.
  39. Affordable housing for seniors being built at 75 Dublin N. Deal just reached recently.
  40. River would like to get approval of the plan in 2016, so sight approvals can get going for the new property in the new year.
  41. Clos says the project has a tight deadline. The start date for the project is April 2017.
  42. Asking council to pass motion to direct staff to bring portion of plan that affects Dublin for approval in Nov. 2016.
  43. Tom (sp?) says this opportunity came together 5 weeks ago. “That’s typically how these projects roll out.” Timelines are highly inflexible
  44. Note: this project has the support of the feds, hence Longfield’s presence tonight.
  45. Unfortunately, there’s no extra time coming from the feds for the start of this project.
  46. The grant is for $3M in all, $150K for each of the units.
  47. Billings asks what needs to be done, aside from timeline approval.
  48. Billings is asking if there will be time for input from the neighbourhood & other development concerns b4 deadline in 8 months
  49. Clos says a public info meeting on this specific proposal can be held before November.
  50. Downer is concerned about bypassing a public meeting phase b/c the neighbours are unawares about this right now.
  51. Salisbury asking if there’s going to exceptions to the proposed amendment. Answer, there’s 4.
  52. Cllt Allt says there’s need for discussion with staff at this point, even though he agrees in principle with what’s on the table.
  53. Council needs to deal with the presidents they’re going to set with this issue.
  54. Bell clarifies. If the amendment is approved in Nov. then site plan approval would then take place.
  55. They could present a preliminary site plan before that.
  56. Billings asks about Clos’ other letter about the plan. Follow-up on Billings own Qs earlier
  57. Clos concerned about one standard for all vis-a-vis bike parking. Different building types might have different needs.
  58. As for utilities, they go where they need to be, may not always be possible to dictate where.
  59. Salisbury says he sees the planing for 75 Dublin consistent with where Guelph wants to go. Can we fast track app for 75Dub separately?
  60. Staff has told Riker that site specific plan is most direct root than trying to due both at same time.
  61. Site specific regs do take a bit longer though.
  62. Time lines are tight, but the two can run concurrently. Report could come back in Jan or Feb.
  63. Salisbury says that sounds like a comprehensive answer, but why is Rikers not doing it the staff way (basically)?
  64. Salisbury asks if the stand alone process could allow the project to meet November deadline?
  65. Staff: it’s a matter of staff working together with the applicant. If they can get it together they can get public meet in Nov.
  66. But, they need a decision in November? Can it be done.
  67. Staff seems firm. the decision couldn’t be made till January.
  68. Guthrie points out there’s a report in front of council, and another proposal for consideration.
  69. Derrick Thomson agrees about keeping the matters separate.
  70. Thomson says he’d like to see an “eyes wide open discussion” on 75 Dublin on a separate night.
  71. @spookesque From the sounds of it, this all seemed to come together just last week.
  72. Cllr Bell asks about best process at looking at streetscape and getting feedback on the matter.
  73. Cllr Salisbury has Q about amendment. Is there an opportunity to have softer language to activate street frontage?
  74. Staff: We’re looking at balancing the language, and reflect the intent in policy
  75. Hard to do “shall” and “should” in zoning bylaw, they’re supposed to be more black and white.
  76. Vote to receive report on 2ndary plan amendment passes 12-0.
  77. Cllr Piper says that if we lose opportunity on 75 Dublin, they’ll have a lot of explaining to do. 1/2
  78. Council has let opportunities like this slip through fingers in the past due to political process. 2/2
  79. This is an opportunity that the community has been waiting to see happen, says Piper.
  80. Piper notes that there’s been an expedited process in the past. Why not this time?
  81. Staff: if the application is in order it can happen in Oct with special meeting. Just needs 20 days for notice.
  82. Piper agrees about keeping this separate from DT process, but need to direct the right resources to staff.
  83. Thomson suggests “all gov’t approach.” Offers to attend county council meeting on the 29th
  84. Thomson looking for special meeting in November, and get the homework done in the neighbourhood in advanced.
  85. “Don’t tie our hands to Nov 14, tie them to a special meeting,” says Thomson
  86. Piper motion: to direct staff to w/ applicant, other levels of gov, on site specific application…
  87. Note about funding in the motion to make sure ppl know that receipt of grant funding is the goal.
  88. Guthrie thinking that he would like to see a decision by the end of November. How that happens, up to staff and applicant.
  89. Shovels have to be in the ground in April, Thomson also notes the need for flexibility.
  90. Need time to build in the public commentary, says Thomson.
  91. Thomson says he’s looking to the applicant to do advanced work in the neighbourhood beforehand.
  92. Motion is on the floor to bring an application by November 30.
  93. Hofland looking to combine delegation night with decision night. Just a suggestion if we get down to the crunch.
  94. Allt has point of order. Wonders if it’s appropriate to hear from delegate to make sure what council is doing what’s need by them
  95. “Yes it is nice to see the term ‘Guelph Factor’ redefined this term” says Guthrie.
  96. Longfield say affordable housing is very important. The agreement btw feds/prov wasn’t signed till a few weeks ago…
  97. The funds have to be from this budget cycle hence April deadline to get shovel in the ground.
  98. Collaboration between feds and council another Guelph Factor, says Longfield.
  99. Longfield says the November timeline is “very real”.
  100. Basically, this would be the planning meeting for 75 Dublin if this process is attached to the DT 2ndary plan.
  101. Allt ays on the one hand the city could pass and violate its own rules, or it could fail and Guelph could lose the money.
  102. Staff: there’s information that needs to be prepared, They have until April to get a sight plan.
  103. Piper withdraws the motion on the basis that Lammer said if it passes, the development can’t go forward.
  104. MacKinnon asks about appeals to OMB. It’s possible b/c anything is up for appeal once passed by council.
  105. Could take from 3 to 6 months to get hearing date.
  106. Cllr Billings moves the motion, but believes there should be a public engagement proviso as well.
  107. Wettstein warns “the OMB thing” is a reality. Have to do this well enough o avoid that b/c otherwise this project goes away.
  108. Downer doesn’t understand the difference between the two motions.
  109. Downer adds that the motion lacks transparency. “This isn’t how you build a building […] It’s a bypass of a process.”
  110. Just a reminder, there’s still 2 more items on tonight’s agenda.
  111. Allt says he’ll support the motion despite the points Downer made. A “slippery slope” motion and must be careful, he adds.
  112. Notes that it’s a political decision, and the especially tight deadline. Imperative to accept responsibility in order 2 build social housing
  113. Gordon asks about procedural risks. Staff says there’s none, it’s all on the planning act.
  114. Gordon says we can’t be intimidated by that process. We have to proceed anyway.
  115. Van Hellemond wonders if this is going to happen everywhere in Ontario. The gov has got to get the money out earlier.
  116. Bell notes the developer are well-known to council, and they’re choosing to take on the risk.
  117. Bell also points out that no money is being asked for from Guelph. He’s “jumping on the caboose” even if he “skins his knees on the track.”
  118. Billings hope everyone can support b/c to lose this money would be a travesty, and losing the funds deplorable.
  119. Guthrie wants to make sure that motion is no reflection on staff’s professional advise. This is political.
  120. “We must be willing to help these projects move along. We have to keep up momentum.” says Guthrie about “keeping cranes in the sky.”
  121. Staff told Guthrie that they have to be directed a site-specific official plan amendment.
  122. @selaw13 I think Downer had concerns about establishing precedent.
  123. Vote to direct staff passes 11-0. Van Hellemond not in the room.
  124. No presentation for extension of Phase #3 HCBP. Delegation not here. It passes 11-0
  125. Mayor’s announcements: there are openings on citizen advisory committees. Look them up on
  126. Notice of motion from Gordon RE: Nestle water. Gordon has revise
  127. September 30 deadline is no longer a relevant date. Changed to read that letter be sent to province during registry process
  128. Wettstein asks about procedure on notice of motion.
  129. It will come forward on 26, delegations are welcome but about whether there’s merit in sending to CotW if council votes in favour.
  130. Then it would come up for Oct 1 CotW where delegations could come forward and speak to the motion.
  131. Delgations on 26 should speak to the merits of the motion going to committee.
  132. Motion to adjourn passes, and that’s a wrap for council tonight. See everyone in two weeks.


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