Committee of the Whole Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the March 6 Meeting?

March comes in like a lion for Committee-of-the-Whole as there are a lot of reports coming forward on the agenda for the meeting this coming Monday. Corporate Services and Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Serves are the areas being covered.
COW-CS-2017.1 Non Application of the Line Fences Act – So the Line Fences Act doesn’t apply much in the Guelph city limits anymore, it was put in place to resolve land disputes between farm owners. There aren’t many farms within the boundaries of the City of Guelph, so staff is proposing that future land disputes between Guelph farmers be resolved between them, and not involve the use of City resources.

COW-IDE-2017.8 Sidewalk Needs Assessment Update – This is an update to a 2001 inventory of roads with missing sidewalks. Eight criteria were identified in order to prioritize the streets that need the help the most, and that’s $1.18 million worth of help over a 10-year period as outlined in the 2017 Tax Supported Capital Budget, and 2018 to 2026 Tax Supported Capital Forecast. Some of the criteria included road type (i.e. arterial, collector, local or cul-de-sac), the presence of existing sidewalks, proximity to schools, transit routes, or the active transportation network, proximity to “pedestrian generators” like a library or community centre, and the existence of “desired lines” like well beaten paths were all considerations.

COW-IDE-2017.9 Natural Heritage Action Plan (NHAP) Project Initiation – Staff is hoping that council might approve a project charter and initiate this action plan to implement a framework for official policies regarding natural heritage and watershed planning. The plan will include the identification and development of recommendations, strategies and guidelines that would assist staff to maintain, enhance and restore natural heritage, surface water and ground water features within the City. One-fifth of the City is comprised of natural spaces, so this is no small thing, and that includes woodlands, wetlands, valley lands, natural habitats, habits for threatened and endangered species, restoration areas, and wildlife crossings. The scope of the action plan will identify and develop guidelines and tools to maintain, enhance and restore natural heritage systems, and create manuals to support continuous improvement, and promote public awareness and consultation.

COW-IDE-2017.10 Sign By-law Variances – 158 Clair Road East – The new Tim Hortons in town is looking for a variance for a pair of new menu boards for the drive thru at its Gordon/Clair location. The new menu signs are standard issue at Tim Horton’s stores across Canada.

COW-IDE-2017.11 Sign By-law Variances – 84-202 Clair Road East – The new plaza at the corner of Clair and Gordon needs a new five-metre sign to advertise itself.

COW-IDE-2017.12 Annual and Summary Water Services Report 2016 – Good news! The City is filling its mandate to deliver adequate and safe drinking water. Water Services has no significant issues under the Municipal Drinking Water Licensing Program, and they made every reasonable effort to comply with all provincial regulations. There was one incident of non-compliance though, when Water Services didn’t supply collected data for annual reporting requirements for two Permits-to-Take-Water, but the lateness reportedly caused no issue with the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change. There were also six “adverse water quality incidents”, five out of six of them had to do with “Total Coliforms”, which are described as “bacteria that are found in the soil, in water that has been influenced by surface water, and in human or animal waste,” but follow up samples came back clear. Fun fact: The system provided approximately 16.9 million cubic meters of treated water (16.9 billion litres) for 2016.

COW-IDE-2017.13 2017 Corporate Asset Management Plan and Policy – The goal here is to ensure the best possible decisions regarding the maintenance of city assets, and that includes making evidenced-based business cases, driving long-term thinking, and supporting financial sustainability. This is no small thing because Guelph has a total of $4 billion in assets, that’s $30,000 per person, the biggest chunk being nearly $1.55 billion in transportation. (Water is the next biggest with $615 million.) Here’s the tricky part, $1.2 billion of those assets are considered in poor and very poor condition, and $491 million in assets are beyond their service life; parking, information technology and culture and recreation are the areas that need the most servicing. The point of all this discovery was to identify the immediate and basic needs for infrastructure money in order to start addressing the backlog. The findings will help inform future budgets and provide input to the 2017-2026 capital and operating budget.

COW-IDE-2017.15 Transportation Master Plan – Framework – The review of the master plan will look at whether the current targets have been met or are even still valid, it will review existing and emerging travel patterns including demographics and it will look at the impact of economic development and growth. The key themes of the update will be trying to make efficient use of existing infrastructure, embracing new technology, and making improvements to ensure a convenient transit service. The objectives will be to support and improve quality of life, meet emissions targets, maintain service levels, maintain assets and plan for the future of transportation.

COW-IDE-2017.16 Pedestrian Crossing Treatments – Update to the Ontario Traffic Manual – Since the mid-2000s, municipalities have been requesting updates to the Highway Traffic Act to enhance pedestrian mobility. A new Pedestrian Crossover is “any portion of a roadway…distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by signs on the highway and lines or other markings on the surface of the roadway,” and the new crossovers will allow pedestrians to cross roads under a greater number of conditions. The pedestrian crossing can be used on low speed roads (60 km/hour or less), and on low volume roads up to four lanes wide including roundabouts and intersections. As for style, the new crossings can be as simple as lines on the road, or come with flashing lights and overhead signs. The rest is up to the City…

COW-IDE-2017.17 Delegation of Authority for Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Services – In an effort to streamline city approvals, not to mention council meetings, staff is proposing that council download some authorities to the Deputy CAOs and other senior staff. Those decisions would include authorization of the procurement process of projects in excess of $1.5 million with approved funding with multiple sources (staff already has authority for projects under $1.5 million). Appointment of Risk Management Officials, approval of sign bylaw variances and approval of demolition of residential properties might be other powers that council might like to delegate to senior staff.

COW-IDE-2017.18 Outstanding Motions of Committee of the Whole (IDE) – Like last month’s audit of outstanding motions from the Audit Committee, it’s Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise’s turn this month. Most of the motions are still ongoing, but others are in the final phases of completion and will be brought to council or committee in the near future.

Striking Committee Policy Review – Councillor Wettstein’s Motion for Which Notice was Given December 5, 2016 – Ward 6 Councillor Karl Wettstein is bringing forward a motion to direct staff to review, analyze, and create recommendations for updating Striking Committee policies, processes and remuneration, and bring that report back to committee by the end of June.

Exploring Opportunities to Accelerate Large Neighbourhood Commercial Growth in East Guelph – Councillor Gibson’s Motion for Which Notice was Given February 13th – In a motion by Ward 1 Councillor Dan Gibson, council looks to help spur on new commercial development in the area of Guelph east of Victoria Rd, which needs some immediate attention because of “over 1,000 additional residential units currently approved for construction.” The motion asks for staff to consider other opportunities to attract and commercial investment and development in the York Road Intensification Corridor in conjunction with the ongoing comprehensive commercial policy review. Staff will bring reports back to council as opportunities become available.

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