LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for November 14, 2016

It’s time for the monthly planning meeting at city council, and with much of the focus this time of year on budget matters, this might be a short one. 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 – November 14, 2016

Live blog from the meeting starting at 5:30 pm

  1. Starting a bit early with city council tonight with committee and board appointments.
  2. .@ward6mark will be the new chair of the Corporate Services committee till 2018, Cllr Billings will be Vice-chair.
  3. These committee appointments are through Nov 2018 btw.
  4. Thank you to my fellow #Guelph councillors for electing me to the position of Chair of Corporate Services until the end of this term.
  5. New Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Chair is @DanGibsonCllr
  6. .@ward5guelph will will vice-chair of Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Chair and Vice-Chair.
  7. Your new #Guelph council chairs: Billings (Audit); MacKinnon (Corporate Service); Gibson (IDE); Public Service (Downer). #HappyToServe
  8. Now the appointment of a councillor to the Art Gallery of Guelph Board.
  9. .@DanGibsonCllr and @ward5guelph will serve on the Downtown Guelph Business Association Board of Management.
  10. Cllr Wettstein and Cllr Bell are appointed to Guelph Junction Railway board.
  11. .@CamGuthrie and Cllr Billings will serve on Guelph Police Services Board.
  12. Appointees made to Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health Board of Directors (didn’t hear who sadly)
  13. Council will take a break until 6:30 when the planning meeting begins.
  14. Council will be talking about “What’s Next Ontario?” by the @AMOPolicy tonight. Here’s what it involves… 
  15. First topic up: 19-59 Lowes Road West – Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment
  16. @adamadonaldson MacKinnon, Hofland, Billings. Same 3 councillors currently serving with Public Health will continue for term remainder.
  17. What’s the deal with Loews Rd development: 6 houses that owner wants to turn into 60 townhouses.
  18. This could be controversial b/c there are five delegations and four correspondents on the matter.
  19. Cllr MacKinnon asks about designation of surrounding property in the plan.
  20. Currently the designation is general residential.
  21. MacKinnon notes that this is changing the area to a higher density. Is there other recent examples in the City where similar move been made?
  22. Staff: 60 Arkyll Rd in July 2015. Cluster townhouses similar to this on a private rd.
  23. Cllr Van Hellemond asks about tree preservation plan. is there a forest there?
  24. Some trees along the back of the plot, but they will be moved to accommodate stormwater. The trees will be replaced 3-to-1
  25. 1st delegate, Astrid J. Clos planning consultant is presenting.
  26. 60 parking spaces, plus 12 visitor and 2 accessible spaces planned for the site.
  27. The townhouses will be a condominium ownership.
  28. Peter Fitzgerald of Stan Tech speaks on the engineers matters at the site.
  29. Loews Rd apparently looks like an urban road, but it operates like a rural one.
  30. Rain water run off will be stored and released.
  31. Honoured this evening to be elected chair of the Infrastructure, Development & Enterprise Committee for the remainder of this term. #Guelph
  32. Mayor Guthrie asking about permeable driveways. Fitzgerald says it could be used here, but they should be able to keep water balance w/o it
  33. Congratulations to you all in your new roles…and a good bye and thank you to Chair Bell for your leadership of the IDE committee.
  34. Now public delegations will be heard from regarding the development. Joan and Jim Ferguson are first up.
  35. Joan Ferguson shows pictures of cars lined up on Vaughan St were a similar development was built. A preview of things to come?
  36. Jim Ferguson: Adding 60 more residents to Loews Rd is not going to help traffic flow.
  37. Also, water is a problem. “When it rains it runs down the road like a river,” says Jim.
  38. “There are salamanders all over the place,” adds Joan.
  39. No Qs from council on the Fergusons presentation.
  40. Monica Frauts is up next, has many of the same issues as the Fergusons.
  41. Perhaps if “executive towns” – high end with 2 car garages – this development could be doable, says Monica.
  42. “Nobody parks in their garages anymore,” Monica observes.
  43. “I don’t understand how they can say there won’t be street parking, where we live there’s street parking everywhere,” Monica says
  44. Monica also worried about the value of her home with a townhouse complex “looming” over her backyard.
  45. Monica also worried about more noise: more traffic + loss of mature trees = more noise.
  46. Next up, Ted Moyse who will be the last delegation.
  47. Ted says they’re not opposed to development, but opposed to going from 6 to 60.
  48. If you don’t integrate the same type of homes in a neighbourhood, property values go down, says Ted.
  49. Ted says it opens the floodgates for older neighbourhoods to have lots torn down and clusters be built instead.
  50. Ted also notes the high chance of flooding in the area.
  51. One more speaker, he’s asking about trees cut down by the previous development that were not replaced.
  52. He would like those original trees to be taken into account in any more plan.
  53. Salisbury concerned that permeable services be considered for the site given everything they’ve heard about the water in the area.
  54. Allt asks if they can be absolutely certain that there are no endangered species in the area, is this infringing on the water shed too?
  55. Guthrie says he’s concerned about enviro impacts, esp. stormwater.
  56. Guthrie on parking: There’s problem of paper vs reality. Traffic studies say no problem, but driving it there’s problems.
  57. “it doesn’t feel right to me.” Guthrie on parking applications.
  58. Now on to Proposed Technical Revisions to Guelph’s Comprehensive Zoning By-law.
  59. Minor revision proposed to the zoning by-law ever 2-3 years. There are 17 minor changes proposed tonight.
  60. MacKinnon and Salisbury move the report. It’s pretty straightforward.
  61. Last item comes from @CathyDowner. A council resolution about the Municipal Fiscal Gap from AMO.
  62. Downer says this is about sending a strong message to the province about the need for more funding on infrastructure.
  63. Guthrie joins Allt in thanking Downer for bringing the resolution forward.
  64. Guthrie: There’s other issues that AMO is fighting to help municipalities lower costs as well.
  65. Challenges fed and prov. to reduce their budgets thru service reviews, just like Guelph is doing.
  66. Reminder: @CamGuthrie‘s town hall is tomorrow at 7 pm in room #112 at City Hall. It’s on #GuelphBudget matters.
  67. Ward 6 town hall is this Thus at 7 pm at the south end emergency centre. #GuelphBudget.
  68. Gordon acknowledges the raise of Metis flag and commemoration of Louis Riel’s birthday today.
  69. Meeting adjourned. And that’s a wrap till Wed. budget meeting. Bradley will be back for that one.


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