City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the July 8 Meeting?

The final planning meeting before summer break will feature two returning champions, and the reorganization of a couple of key committees.

IDE-2019-72 Environmental Advisory Committee and River Systems Advisory Committee Review – Staff, in following up on items from the Natural Heritage Action Plan, have a recommendation about the Environmental Advisory Committee and the River Systems Advisory Committee: get rid of them! Staff have found that their mandates are “outdated” and that their services are no longer needed because of the current level of in-house expertise at the City itself. The committees featured technical advisors who commented on development in the environmental and river systems areas, but many of Guelph’s comparitor municipalities have moved away from such models, and have created new committees that focus on environmental education, sustainability, and policy/programming. This will form the basis of the new Natural Heritage Advisory Committee, the specifications for which will be brought to council for review by the end of the year.

IDE-2019-34 Decision Report 19-59 Lowes Road West Draft Plan of Vacant Land Condominium and Zoning By-law Amendment – In November 2016, this application first came to council with a request for 60 clustered townhouses, but area residents were concerned about tree loss, drainage issues, and whether the number and type of townhouses proposed in the application fit the character of the neighbourhood. In July 2017, the application came back with 36 single-detached dwellings in two clusters, but there were still some doubts about whether they would fit the character of the area. Have all concerns been resolved in the last two years? We’ll see, because staff are endorsing the present application for council’s approval.

IDE-2019-63 Statutory Public Meeting Report 7 and 9 Omar Street and 19 Alma Street North Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment File: OZS19-005 Ward 3 – In a conundrum that does come up now and again, we have some pieces of property that seem to be wrongly zoned. Right now, the land is zoned “Industrial” (B.4), as it was once home to Knight Lumber, but there are now  two single-detached dwellings on the property so it’s not “Industrial.” A developer has proposed to build two more single-detached units on the site, which means that they need to officially re-zone the area to a “Specialized Residential Single Detached” (R.1D-?). No final decision will be made on the application at this meeting.

IDE-2019-66 Statutory Public Meeting Report 361 Whitelaw Road Proposed Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments File: OZS18-003, Ward 4 – An original development plan and bylaw amendment application for this site came before council on December 10, where it was controversially received by a vote of 12 to 1 with Ward 2 Councillor Rodrigo Goller voting against. It was a high density development with five apartment buildings at eight-to-ten storeys each, a series of four-storey multi-residential buildings, and a 1.2 hectare park. The apartment buildings were to have a total of 620 units, with another 164 units being offered through a mix of townhouses, stacked townhouses and low-rise apartments. The new concept keeps the three areas of development, but reduces the number of units down from the nearly 800 before, to nearly 700. Now we’re looking at four apartment buildings that are either eight or nine storeys in height with a combined 492 units, plus two six-storey apartment buildings containing 80 residential units total, together with 128 stacked, back-to-back townhouses. No final decision will be made on the application at this meeting.

4 thoughts on “City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the July 8 Meeting?

  1. It is a real shame that they are recommending dropping these two environmental advisory committees and even saying they are out dated. There was a tremendous amount of experience on these committees and the best thing was they were volunteers who gave up their time to review and comment on a wide variety of projects. Certainly at no cost to the taxpayer was an added bonus. (Try reviewing a 695 page consultant report in less than a week and commenting on it for free). As a former member, my feeling is that this protects staffs jobs and allows modelling as opposed to getting out and doing and collecting environmental data. Also high price consultants and even developers now have a free reign on the projects they are asked to investigate, monitor and report to staff. Just my opinion of course.


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