City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the September 9 Meeting?

This first planning meeting of the fall will start off rather light with a couple of statutory hearings, some granting requests, and a decision on a previous planning application.

Note: If you want to register as a delegate for any of these items on the Committee agenda, then you have to get in touch with the City Clerk’s office by 10 am on Friday September 6.

IDE-2019-90 Decision Report 51-53 College Avenue West Zoning By-law Amendment File: OZS19-003 Ward 5 – Back in June, an application came forward to change the zoning for this property from “Residential Single Detached” (R.1B) to a “Specialized Residential Semi-Detached/Duplex” (R.2-?). No new development was planned for the site, it was just meant to recognize the fact that there’s presently a semi-detached house on the site, for which the homeowner wants to add an accessory apartment. City staff has reached the decision that that’s okay.

IDE-2019-97 Brownfield Redevelopment Financial Incentives: 71 Wyndham Street South – Though this subject will come up at this month’s Committee of the Whole, Tricar is looking to get a Tax Increment-Based Grant (TIBG) to offset the cost of seeing if the soil and groundwater at 71 Wyndham South needs remediation, and then remediate it. If allowed, Tricar’s development charges for this site will be offset, and they will be allowed to pay them later to a limit of $1,488,890 so long as redevelopment is done and reassessed at a higher value before March 25, 2024.

Last fall, council heard Tricar’s application and approved a plan that would see a 14-storey apartment building with a ground floor commercial unit built at 71 Wyndham South. A phase II Environmental Site Assessment has been completed on the site, and traces of petroleum hydrocarbon was found in both the soil and the area groundwater. Though unfortunate, the contamination makes sense since the site used to be a service station. Given the shift to residential, and the site’s close proximity to the Speed River, the contamination has to be dealt with before construction can begin, and Tricar has engaged XCG Consulting to come up with a plan to deal with it.

IDE-2019-93 Redevelopment Incentive Reserve Grant Application for 120 Huron Street – The Redevelopment Incentives Reserve is a Tax Increment-Based Grant (TIBG) that allows developers to get financial assistance for a project that will restore or refurbish heritage elements in a property. These funds are not used for the new construction, but are meant only to help with the protection and restoration of the heritage features identified by the City. In this case, the subject is the former Uniroyal factory, which Heritage Guelph says “is a prominent example of early 20th century industrial Guelph and has long been a landmark building at Huron and Alice Streets.” If approved, the developer will be able to offset a limit of $1.7 million to remediate the heritage features.

IDE-2019-86 Statutory Public Meeting Report 167 Alice Street Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment File: OZS19-006 Ward 1 – This is a pretty straightforward application where the landowner is looking to re-classify the land as “Residential Single Detached” (R.1D) instead of “Specialized Industrial” (B.4-1). A single detached home already sits on the site, but a developer wants to build two more, while at the same time keeping the existing structure. The area is mostly residential now, but the south end of the property backs out onto a brownfield.

IDE-2019-94 Statutory Public Meeting: City Initiated Official Plan Amendment for the Commercial Policy Review – Way back in July 2018, staff came back to council with the preferred framework for the Commercial Policy Review, and they were directed to come up with the appropriate Official Plan amendment to implement it. This will be Official Plan Amendment #69 (get it out of your systems now), and it will execute the goals of the Commercial Policy Review including designating sufficient land for commercial use up to 2041, providing clear floor measurements, and setting minimums and maximums for commercial development.

So in OPA #69, there will be some key terminology changes like turning “Community Mixed-use Centre” into “Commercial Mixed-use Centre” and “commercial gross floor area” instead of “retail gross floor area”. Also, the maximum gross floor area for commercial space at three major nodes (Gordon/Clair, Woodlawn/Woolwich and Paisley/Imperial) will be increased, while 6,500 square metres will be the minimum for Commercial Mixed-use Centres and the maximum for Neighbourhood Commercial Centres. Also, the new OPA will provide protections against the loss of commercial space by introducing “floor space index benchmarks”, and there will be a residential density policy for Neighbourhood Commercial Centres.

The report also includes notes from commercial property owners and developers, which are by and large positive, but they do have some very specific requests for modification that will likely be discussed further in delegations and correspondences.

The next step is that staff will receive and consider notes from all parties, and bring a recommendation to council before the end of the year.

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