City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the December 12 Meeting?

The final planning meeting of city council for 2016 will deal with a couple of big issues including a certain blighted site in Ward 1, and one of the most controversial agencies in the province.

CON-2016.64 200 Beverly Street (IMICO) Memorandum of Understanding – This agreement is between the City of Guelph, Habitat for Humanity for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, and ARQi R&D Inc. and will serve the basis for the co-operative redevelopment of 200 Beverly St., AKA: the brownfield better known as the IMACO site. The document is non-binding for all parties, and it does not imply pre-approval on the part of the City for any planning, environmental and/or development applications that will come forward in the future for this site.

‘It is the intention of the “Parties” that the IMICO property will be redeveloped as a holistic urban village, which will be unique, vibrant and invigorating. Building upon smart urban planning and development principles, the village will positively contribute to the social and economic needs of the community, whilst being economically sustainable and financially viable.’

The MOU will be in effect until December 31, 2020, and each party will be responsible for funding their own activities. Guelph’s share right now, as outlined in the 2017 10-year Capital budget forecast is $100,000 for advance site planning, $3.5 million to leverage potential Federal and Provincial funds for remediation of the site, and $1 million for ongoing environmental monitoring. Staff is looking for the mayor to sign the memorandum, and to authorize the General Manager of Business Development and Enterprise to manage the Guelph side of the deal.

CON-2016.65 108 and 110 Nottingham Street Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment – This matter should be simple to dispatch. On this property, there’s a semi-detatched dwelling, but the land is zoned “Residential Single Detached” (R.1B), so a zoning change to “Specialized Residential SemiDetached/Duplex” (R.2-?) is being asked for.

CON-2016.66 389 Speedvale Avenue West Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment – Staff is recommending the approval of a zoning change, “Specialized Service Commercial” (SC.1-17) Zone to “Specialized Highway Service Commercial” (SC.2 – ?), in order for a truck rental business and self-storage facility at the old Home Hardware location on Speedvale.

1 & 15 Stevenson Street North and 8 William Street Proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment and Draft Plan of Vacant Land Condominium – These currently empty properties will soon be a new development with council’s approval. This is the Statutory Public Meeting for the proposal, which will see a rezoning of the three pieces from “Residential Single Detached” (R.1B) Zone to a “Specialized Single Detached” (R.1D-?) and the construction of a new seven unit condominium being built on the property. If approved, there will be follow applications for further new developments, including a lot on Stevenson Street North, and a lot on William Street.

CON-2016.67 City of Guelph Response to the Provincial Review of the Ontario Municipal Board – Several months back, the Province began a review of the OMB, it’s power and effectiveness, and how those things can and/or should be changed going forward. This is the official staff response drafted for the Review of the Ontario Municipal Board Public Consultation Document. (Note: the deadline for comments to Ministry of Municipal Affairs is Monday, December 19, 2016.) Feedback to the review is centred around a few different key areas…

Jurisdiction and Powers: Keep municipal right to appeal (including provincial decisions), limits on what can be appealed and remove the right to appeal municipally initiated comprehensive and area wide official plan amendments; support restrictions on appeals on provincially-funded transit infrastructure in principle; sending new information presented at hearings back to councils for input and decisions; in principle, limiting OMB on matters that are part of a municipal council’s decision; moving away from de novo hearings (basically starting legal proceedings again from scratch); and, greater deference to local decisions.

Citizen Participation and Local Perspective: Remove barriers to citizen participation; strengthen the Citizen Liaison Office (CLO) which provides clarity on process to citizens looking to appeal; and support some form of a Provincial funding program for community groups and individual members of the public.

Clear and Predictable Decision-making: Increasing OMB resources enable timely decisions; multi-member panels across disciplines for more complicated hearings; mediation, land-use planning, and plain language communications skills training for all members; performance reviews for members; and, summary and clarity for next steps offered in all decisions.

Modern Procedures and Faster Decisions: Improve case management, set appropriate number of days for pre-hearing matters, and hold people to timelines; greater scoping (specificity) of the appeal and hearings; written hearings possible for straightforward policy questions; and, videoconferencing for hearing evidence.

Alternative Resolutions and Fewer Hearings: Increased mediation, more resources dedicated to mediation; and, recognition of power imbalance between applicants and citizens.

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