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

It might be February, but this is the first planning meeting of the year as council will be asked to consider reports about he coming year of housing construction, the next several years of brownfield remediation, and the immediate future of one brownfield in particular.

IDE-2018-14 2018 Development Priorities Plan Summary – Every year, staff brings back this report, which sets out the dwelling targets for the various subdivisions registered. The recommendations are based on project readiness, available services, and related capital projects being accounted for in the budget, like supporting infrastructure. Since 2007, the DPP has always been higher that what’s actually achieved due to a variety of factors, but this is helpful in determining the immediate housing supply in Guelph. The tricky part for this year is that in 2017, no new draft plan of subdivision applications were received, so staff is asking to include numbers that are from plans that were supposed to get approval in 2017, and are expected to be approved in 2018. With all that considered, the staff recommendation for 2018 is 1,014 potential dwelling units in eight draft plans.

IDE-2018-09 120-122 Huron Street – Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment File # ZC1709 – A lot of eyes will be on this one as the application concerning the redevelopment of the site that was once home to the old Uniroyal plant finally comes before city council after first being heard about last fall. Indeed, trees have already been removed from the site in preparation for remediation and the beginning of construction, which, if approved, will include turning the existing four-storey industrial building into a condo with 86 units, plus the construction of 96 stacked and clustered townhouses for a total of 182 new units. This is the Statutory Public Meeting for this proposal.

IDE-2018-01 Downtown, Brownfield and Heritage Grant Performance Monitoring: 2012-2017 and Potential CIP Review Directions – This report has three purposes: to give background on the Tax Increment Based Grant (TIBG) and the reserve, a five-year performance review of Downtown and Brownfield Redevelopment Community Improvement Plans (CIP), and draft directions for update to those CIPs and the financial approach. Starting back in 2012, started taking significant steps to reclaim so-called brownfield lands, building on the establishment of the Heritage Redevelopment Reserve in 2007. Ten years later, all three of the relevant TIBG reserve funds were combined into a single fund with a total commitment of $33 million.

According to the City, the money invested into the TIBGs has been leveraged ten times over in private investments on strategic projects like the Petrie Building and the old Red Lion Inn among others. This will also translate into $3.4 million more in tax revenue annually for the City of Guelph. In other good news, the projects approved so far have created 827 housing units and over 16,000 square metres in commercial and office space, while four cultural heritage sites have been rehabilitated, and 29 hectares of contaminated land have been remediated. Having said that, no new major project has accessed the fund in the last four years, and revisions have to be done to the downtown CIP to contend with changes in the real estate market since 2012. Staff believes that continuing to add $3.5 million to the fun annually will keep the City competitive in attracting developers to these kinds of reclamation projects, and are hopeful that the reinvestment in these programs will spurn immediate interest in potential projects. Council is being asked to approve the report as options for implementation will come forward at the March meeting.

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