City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the May 13 Meeting?

For the month of May, the planning meeting brings three major pieces for discussion before city council.

IDE.2019.02 Procedure to Request Temporary Suspension of Enforcement of Driveway Regulations: Draft Framework Presentation – Back in September, Council asked staff to come up with a criteria to allow neighbourhoods to apply for an exception to the bylaws affecting driveway width at semi-detached and townhouse complexes in Guelph, and here it is. Staff has come up with a draft proposal that will create a “designed to implement a traceable, consistent process to allow affected neighbourhoods to request and potentially receive a temporary suspension of enforcement.” The temporary suspension, as outlined here by staff, will apply to properties with a semi-detached dwelling or on-street townhouse that can meet the performance standards; and that are *not* currently in legal action.

So how will this work? A request will be sent to staff, who will ensure that the eligible criteria are met, and that a review had not been previously conducted. After that, a survey will be sent to the property owners in the area to get their feedback, and while the survey will be mailed out, an online version will available too, and it will be open for responses for 15 business days (one response per household, please). The ward councillors of the area in question will also be notified of the survey presuming that they don’t live in the affected area. The temporary suspension of enforcement will occur if more than 50 per cent of the surveyed area responds in favour, and it will remain in place until the new Zoning Bylaw goes into effect. Plus, there will be no appeals process. If all goes according to plan, the final policy will come back for council’s approval sometime in the third quarter of this year.

Council Support of Bill 71, the Paris Galt Moraine Conservation Act, 2019 – Earlier this year, Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner announced his private member’s bill, the Paris Galt Moraine Conservation Act. The act, as reported by Guelph Politico, would protect the land and water located within the ecologically sensitive area of the Paris Galt Moraine by amending the Planning Act and Development Charges Act to regulate development that threatens the integrity of the Paris Galt Moraine system. It would also instruct the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in consultation with the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, to establish a Paris Galt Moraine Conservation Plan. The bill has already passed second reading in the legislature, and the City of Guelph will now endorse the act.

IDE.2019.51 Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan: Phase 3 Project Update – Since last we talked about the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan at council there have been a number of developments. The Comprehensive Environmental Impact Study was complete outlining the data collected on area wildlife and water monitoring. The water and wastewater models have been updated, and the preferred serving solutions have been outlined in the Master Environmental Servicing Plan (MESP). The Mobility Study has been complete based on the Preferred Community Structure, which has also been updated to include the framework for carbon neutral and supportive energy efficiency polices.

One the big pieces being developed for the Clair-Maltby plan is the Open Space System Strategy, which is meant to be supportive and complementary to the grander Natural Heritage Strategy using a combination of elements including parkland and stormwater management. The major piece of this strategy is the “Moraine Ribbon”, which the report promises to be a “connected linear open space system” that will include a trail, resting and gathering areas, and places that preserve the natural features of the Paris Galt Moraine. It’s something of a hybrid proposal to the Open Space System used in the rest of the City, and is meant to be geared to the unique environment of the Clair-Maltby area.

In other areas of interest, the community park will be moved so that its “nestled” beside the southern edge of Halls Pond near a large area that’s proposed to be for stormwater management. Apparently, it was the request of some members of the community and stakeholders that the park be moved, and it will now be placed in such a way that it can be easily accessed by car, transit, and active transportation. There have also been some changes in the demand for low to medium density housing as the low density land use will now accommodate a range of 20 to 60 per hectare in the interest of creating more flexibility. Plus, the area south of Poppy Drive has been changed to low density because of the potential impact on wetlands in the area.

On top of that, the available land for housing may increase under the new plan. The Interim Employment Lands Update says that Guelph may have a surplus of employment land in 2041, and it’s suggested that 40 hectares of employment lands in Clair-Maltby be redesignated for non-employment purposes.

The work on the Clair-Matlby Secondary Plan will still go on after this meeting. The first draft will be released in September along with a new public engagement process and an open house. The statutory meeting will be in October, and the plan is still on track to be passed sometime in the first quarter of 2020.

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