LIVE BLOG: City Council Meeting for June 12, 2017

Get ready to plan at this month’s planing meeting of council. 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 12, 2017

Live blog from the meeting starting at 6:30 pm

  1. #Guelph Council begins in about 8 minutes. Follow the developments live here.

    #Guelph Council begins in about 8 minutes. Follow the developments live here.
  2. Closed meeting items: City of Guelph OPA 48 Appeals – Proposed Partial Settlement; and, Potential Disposition of the Baker Street Properties
  3. On closed meeting items: direction given to stand on OPA 48 Appeals and Baker St Properties Disposition.
  4. First up, presentation of a medal to Aime MacNeil who won silver and bronze at the Ontario Prov. W’s Gymnastics Championship. btw she’s 10.
  5. Aime MacNeil gets her medal from @CamGuthrie. She trains 25 hours a week, and dreams of making the national team.

    Aime MacNeil gets her medal from @CamGuthrie. She trains 25 hours a week, and dreams of making the national team.
  6. Heritage Guelph’s Terms of Reference passes by consent 12-0 (@DanGibsonCllr sends regrets tonight).
  7. Next: Public Meeting – 1159 Victoria Road South Proposed Common Element Condominium. Michael Witmer, Development Planner II presenting.
  8. Common Element Condominium = townhouse cluster development.
  9. This report is for receive, no final decision will be made on this development tonight.
  10. The app calls for a new development of 98 townhouses on land south of the Victoria Park East Guelph Club and north of Arkell Rd
  11. No questions from council for staff. Tracy Tucker from the IBI Group (the developer) will now address council
  12. 1 Question about retaining wall from Cllr Salisbury. Guthrie asks if the roads will be able to accommodate City waste collection. (it Will)
  13. Salisbury wants to be sure that city garbage collection can use so-called stub roads. Is looking for assurances.
  14. Staff: Site plan been submitted to waste management. They will make sure public pick-up will be accommodated.
  15. Cllr Bell asks who will be developing the park in the complex. Answer: the city. Bell concerned about proposed trail thru north of develop.
  16. Staff: that will be discussed with Parks Dept. There are some strict guidelines for the OMB approved ground plan
  17. Salisbury asks why this isn’t coming back for future approval.
  18. Staff: Been to council already on several occasions, mostly previous council, due to so many appeals for the ground plan.
  19. “I stepped out of the room for 4 years,” says Salisbury.
  20. Guthrie asks for clarity about why this report is “for approve”.
    Staff: It’s a statutory public meeting. So approval/disproval
  21. Next: Q from Bell on Paisley/Imperial Node – Proposed Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment.
  22. Bell’s question confuses a previous meeting about the Loew’s site, which is different from this retail block being discussed.
  23. Now Bell is complaining about why there’s more commercial development on west end, and none in the east.
  24. Armel did market analysis to increase floor plan by 4,000 m2. Either way, there was a commercial development going here. already.
  25. City has a very efficient site plan process, says staff. Can be a quick approval if all the paper work’s order.
  26. Last item up is review of City Development Application fees.
  27. Todd MacDonald, a consultant from Performance Concepts Consulting presenting. Says this is the 33rd review of DC fees his firm’s handled.
  28. MacDonald says Guelph’s fee calculations are among the most accurate of any Ontario municipalities.
  29. Simpler, and more transparent is the name of the game to recover develop costs targets, says MacDonald.
  30. No developer is making choices on where to build because of development fees, says MacDonald.
  31. MacDonald also advises that the City not go 12 years again without re-examining DCs. Should be done with every term.
  32. Billings asks if MacDonald has worked with Milton b/c sometimes they’re coming in high with DCs. Take them out, peers average would drop
  33. MacDonald: High values in Hamilton, Milton & Brampton driving average, Guelph in middle compared to Wateroo & Cambridge
  34. Cllr Downer is concerned about developers not going with cost recovery, thus falling on taxpayers to make up difference.
  35. Downer asks if there’s way to get input from the community about cost recovery.
  36. MacDonald says cities are aware of fixed costs, and in 30-some other times, cities have agreed “hands on the file” deserves to be paid for.
  37. MacDonald adds this 3 years of hard work on processes, evidence based.
  38. Cllr Wettstein notes this report is for receive, there will be opportunity for developer feedback.
  39. Wettstein adds that its not developers that pay the cost, it’s the purchasers.
  40. The city does need to cover these fixed costs, and someone must pay, says MacDonald. Council can be assured that due diligence been done
  41. Guthrie asks if fees have ever been phased in.
    MacDonald: Seen it, not recommended it.
  42. Guthrie asks what if the city finds efficiencies and drives fees down versus raising them with rate of inflation?
  43. MacDonald: Such things could be captured by reviewing fees once every term.
  44. Has a municipality never taken MacDonald’s advise? Nope.
  45. What about peer municipalities, do they have fee reviews pending? They’ve all gone through modernization reviews since 2006. Maybe even 2.
  46. Guthrie praises MacDonald for methodology. Thanks staff and asks for a phased in approach. Hopes to hear from public.
  47. Bell notes there are objectives other than cost recovery, like in-fill, which some developers might be dissuaded from b/c of new fees.
  48. DCAO Stewart also praises staff, and the fact they were able to document this information as well as they can.
  49. Announcement from Stewart: July 10 a celebration and thank you event following the meeting.
  50. Meeting adjourned. That’s it for tonight, but, but but….

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