LIVE BLOG: Committee of the Whole for December 4, 2017

Get ready for the final Committee-of-the-Whole meeting of 2017! You can click here for the amended agenda from City Hall, and you can click here to read Politico’s preview of today’s meeting. For the complete blow-by-blow of today’s committee meeting, you can follow me on Twitter, or follow along below via Storify.


Committee-of-the-Whole Meeting – December 4, 2017

Live blog from the meeting starting at 2 pm

  1. The last Committee-of-the-Whole meeting of the year will begin in a few minutes. Here’s what we;re dealing with today: 
  2. Mayor Guthrie calling committee to order.
  3. Regrets today from Cllr Salisbury. No Disclosure of Pecuniary Interest and General Nature Thereof
  4. Kicking off with presentations starting with @MercuryTribune Reader’s Choice award for Best Water Supplier 8 years in a row.
  5. 2nd presentation: Recognition that the City’s Official Plan Amendment, OPA 48, has now officially been enacted.
  6. Recognizing @cityofguelph staff for making the Official Plan Amendment 48 a reality.

    Recognizing @cityofguelph staff for making the Official Plan Amendment 48 a reality.
  7. Of the consent agenda items, only CAO Performance Evaluation, Notices of Motions Review, and Update to Tax Billing and Collection Policy pulled. All other items passed 12-0.
  8. Cllr Billings Q on Update to the Tax Billing and Collection Policy: Notification of electronic payment goes out once a year and includes payment plan, amount and schedule for next year, plus estimate for first 6 months next year.
  9. Hofland/Billoings put motion on the table. Passes 12-0.
  10. No corporate services announcements so we’re moving on. Guthrie asks Gordon if he has a brief Q on Notices of Motion Review. Gordon suggests he’s not the only councillor with questions.
  11. So we’re moving on to the Clair-Malty Secondary Plan Conceptual Community Structure.
  12. This is the first deliverable from Phase 2 of the Clair-Malty plan, and will be used as a basis for technical analysis for Phase 2 moving forward. Phase 2 being reduced from original 24 months to 12-13 months, and stiff on-track for timeline.
  13. The plan calls for a higher residential along the Gordon corridor and medium to low as you move you east and west away from Gordon. The plan also balanced mixed-use zoning with open spaces and active transport too.
  14. Building heights haven’t been looked at year in terms of exact measurement, but they will be more likely along the Gordon corridor.
  15. There will be a gateway near the south end the development to distinguish where you enter the City of Guelph. Design and elements of the gateway TBD.
  16. The Visioning and Guiding Principles were approved in July, and largely support a balance of environmental protection and development. Next steps will be completing technical studies. Design Charrett begins in January.
  17. Floor’s open for committee questions. Guthrie begins with road connections and whether this will be a chance o pursue roundabouts since this is a “clean slate”?
  18. Senior Policy Planner Laughlin says that roundabouts are a consideration, and will likely be included when plans are more formalized.
  19. Guthrie asks about road parking, lots of 2 car homes and trouble with street parking, any reprieve? Laughlin says plans have not progressed that far yet.
  20. Cllr Billings asks how flexible changes are to the plan? In terms of specifics, says Laughlin, it will depend on feedback for landowners like in Rolling Hills, if there’s outright refusal for a provision or timeline, the City will listen.
  21. Cllr Hofland asks if Rolling Hills development might end up being a separate process (they don’t agree now). Laughlin says that might be an option, will have to see when they get into the process.
  22. Cllr Wettstein concerned about the high density construction on Gordon, and looks to a way to not letting Gordon st become a corridor of tall buildings.
  23. Cllr Gordon thinks the mixed nodes look tinier than expected. Laughlin says because of the big commercial development at Clair/Gordon, then the focus was on creating smaller, neighbourhood commercial nodes for walkability then big shopping centres.
  24. There are delegations for this item starting with llia Marcolongo, Foundation for the Support of International Medical Training. They own 25 acres of a property south of the Springfield golf course. They’re against some bike trails that go past their site it seems.
  25. Next up is local planning expert Astrid Clos. She’s here for a few different landowners in the Clair-Maltby area, who hope that the plan remains flexible as promised.
  26. Cllr Bell asks for more info on why a landowner doesn’t want “steep” land zoned for employment. Klos there’s some land in the city that can’t be developed for employment land, b/c no truck access and large footprint.
  27. Final delegate on this matter, Stan Kozak. Wants to provide insight for the wetland complex on the land.
  28. Kodak says the area has suffered some environmental degradation over the years, and the City has got to take responsibility for some of the missteps over the years.
  29. Kozak says that this is the only area left in southern Wellington where bullfrogs still live. That should be reason enough to protect it.
  30. Cllr Allt asks Kozak how we balance employment lands and natural heritage. Kozak says we can still have employment, but it my depend on a different vision, but at least we no longer bull doze over to build on the site.
  31. Cllr Downer asks staff about Klos feedback and whether her ideas offer too much flexibility, might as well through it out the window. Staff thinks the referral offers enough flexibility already, this is a starting point for the next stage, further evaluations will be done.
  32. Cllr Downer satisfied with the wording and puts the motion on the table.
  33. Allt asks about employment types on the lands designated for the employment lands. Staff says they eye was towards something industry, but there’s no particular preference at the moment.
  34. We seem to be having a grammatical debate on the wording of the recommendation. The back and forth seems to be between how flexible it too flexible when talking about the structures. Staff need *some* direction for further study so can’t be too loose.
  35. Downer says committee should look out for the professionalism of staff rather than endorse something that was brought to them last minute. Billings points out that the three contingency plans could see employment lands in different place, staff says maybe not.
  36. DCAO Stewart says it’s important to note staff already modified this, came back with the change one day after staff presentation, so that’s pretty flexible. Council is doing this on the fly with limited info and they’re 95% pf the way there.
  37. Stewart also adds that council asked staff to cut the planning time for Phase 2 in half, and this is why the process usually takes 24 months.
  38. Wettstein says the concern is over the absoluteness. He’s not happy with the level of discomfort with 2 out of 3 of the groups present, but says even Natural Heritage wing should be concerned.
  39. Stewart says there will be a good discussion in 2018 with the development community in terms of what they need, and there’s enough flexibility in the recommendation right now. Let’s wait to hear from many different voices and not just two.
  40. Now onto Holland’s question about CAO Performance Evaluation Process. Says that she’s pleased with revisions, and notes that this is the only position council hires directly. Asks David Godwaldt to go over highlights.
  41. CAO Performance Evaluation Process passes 11-0 (Cllr MacKinnon has left the meeting.)
  42. Finally, the Notice of Motion review process. Cllr Gordon wonders about the recourse if approval on the part of the chair and the DCAO is denied.
  43. Gordon says he’s more comfortable is the words “for approval” is removed. He pressures the councillor in question is not looking for approval.
  44. Clerk O’Brien says it’s straightforward for staff if it’s a definitive yes or no. They don’t like working in the grey area, so it helps with clarity.
  45. Gordon says he’s concerned that a future council could misconstrue the intent. Guthrie suggests that the approval be removed “for consideration”, which Gordon approves of (even if he’s being too “word nerdy”)
  46. Gordon makes the motion for approval/consideration switch.
  47. Wettstein disagrees saying that if DCAO and Chair say no, the answer is still no.
  48. Pandemonium as we debate what motion is on the floor. Allt amends the Gordon amendment to go back to the original wording.
  49. Gibson says this is not adversarial. The chair might have the matter on the agenda already for a future meeting, so approval is not inappropriate.
  50. Gordon makes the point that approval is perfunctory since if it’s not approved, it can still be brought up via Notice of Motion. DCAO Clack says Chair could just put the matter on the next agenda regardless thus negating notice.
  51. The amended motion, which is ironically the original motion, passes 11-0.
  52. No further announcements from Corporate Services. Mayor adds that he looks forward to seeing everyone tomorrow for #GuelphBudget meeting.
  53. Committee adjourned. Budget decision day begins Tuesday at 2 pm!

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