Committee of the Whole Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the October 7 Meeting?

October’s Committee of the Whole meeting will not be as busy as September’s, but it will cover a wide variety of topics including new policy, discussion papers, sign variances, and a presentation from Innovation Guelph.

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 October 4.

CLOSED MEETING: IDE-2019-113 Environmental Testing – Victoria Road South Area


1. Master of Economic Development and Innovation Degree for Christine Chapman, Economic Development Officer

2. Certified Engineering Technologist Steve Anderson, Manager, Transportation Engineering

PRESENTATION: Innovation Guelph – Innovation Guelph executive director Anne Toner Fung will highlight the good works of her organization, which includes assistance to over 1,130 local businesses in Guelph.

OMC-2019-02 Funding to Support Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) – Mayor Cam Guthrie is asking that $18,800 be allocated from the Operating Contingency Reserve to help fund activities related to his work as the chair of LUMCO for the next two years. That includes about $5,000 as Guelph’s contribution to help hire a consultant to advise LUMCO on advocacy matters, plus money to cover the cost of hosting LUMCO meetings at Guelph City Hall, and the cost of sending the mayor and members of staff to LUMCO meetings.

IDE-2019-104 Natural Heritage Advisory Committee Terms of Reference – Earlier this year, council voted to abolish the Environmental Advisory Committee and the River Systems Advisory Committee to create a new Natural Heritage Advisory Committee, which will begin work in 2020. According to these terms of reference, the new committee with have nine members with a balance of experts in the natural heritage field and interested citizens, and it will meet between two and six times per year. Its mission: to review and provide feedback on City plans, strategies, and studies concerning natural heritage matters.

IDE-2019-111 Servicing Policy for Properties Located Outside of Guelph Municipal Boundary – To deal with requests from private land owners and other municipalities from just outside the borders of Guelph to use the City’s water and wastewater services, staff has come up with an official draft policy direction for dealing with these requests in the future. Basically, the current inter-municipality servicing agreements will be fulfilled, but in the future requests will be considered on the basis of technical feasibility, and the degree of benefit to both municipalities. Future requests by individual property owners will be referred back to the host municipality.

IDE-2019-106 Sign By-law Variances: 65 Gordon Street – This McDonalds location is asking to install not just one, but two electronic signs, one with the drive-thru menu, and one that you will see before that’s called the “pre-sell menu” that will show customers various products that they might wish to buy. Staff recommends approval of the variance since its in a pre-established drive-thru area, and all the set backs are in place already.

IDE-2019-107 Sign By-law Variances: 243 Woodlawn Road West – This McDonalds location is also upgrading its drive-thru signage in the same manner as the Gordon Street restuarant.

IDE-2019-108 Sign By-law Variances: 395 Southgate Drive – This is for the allowance of an illuminated building sign facing the road just outside the new Green Energy and Technology (GREaT) Centre. Staff is recommending approval of the variance because it will increase visibility, and likely because it would look bad if the City refused a variance for its own hydro utility provider.

IDE-2019-109 Sign By-law Variances: 32 Clair Road East – This will be installed at the new Mobil One station, and staff is allowing it because the shape of the property means that the station can’t follow the usual setback requirements, and it will not have an impact on the surrounding area, which is predominately commercial.

IDE-2019-91 Planning Our Future: Growth Plan Conformity Project Initiation – Back in May, the report A Place to Grow: The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe was released, and the City has until July 1, 2022 to align our Official plan with the new baselines set in the Growth Plan. To get there, the City is initiating a municipal comprehensive review to make adjustments, which includes an additional 2,000 people by 2031 (now 177,000), along with 3,000 more jobs (now 91,000), and an increase in residential intensification by 10 per cent (now 50 per cent). The City will also be looking at a new strategy for housing and employment lands, as well as creating a growth scenario for infrastructure costs, and capital needs. Community and stakeholder engagement will be part of the process.

IDE-2019-92 Comprehensive Zoning By-law Review Discussion Paper and Guelph Parking Standards Review Discussion Paper – Think of this as an update, since the full zoning bylaw will not come before council for another couple of years yet. Part of the purpose of the discussion paper is to reveal what staff have learned so far from public engagement, and the feedback seems in-line with a lot of the conservations, like the need for easier-to-understanding zoning rules, flexibility in residential use, that it be easier to create accessory apartment, and that emerging industrial uses should be permitted.

In terms of some very specific issues, there were some that feel there’s not enough parking, and others that think there’s too much. Also, there was consensus that driveways need to be wider, and that certain structures should be allowed in floodplains (and it should be pretty easy to figure what those things refer to).

So the discussion paper builds on the feedback given so far, and offers directions for staff to take things in as they start to develop the new bylaw. So among the preliminary recommendations is that the new zoning bylaw should allow for more accessory apartments, that rules should be updated for more group and lodging homes, there should be more residential uses defined in residential zones, and that allowances should be made for some commercial or industrial uses in residential areas, like mixed use.

Speaking of commercial zones, another direction in the discussion paper is to find new commercial zoning, especially in the east end of Guelph, to set rules for minimum and maximum floor space in commercial establishments, as well as new rules for drive-thrus and service stations. Clarity is also requested for what uses are allowed within proximity to the City’s natural heritage system, as well as specific zoning for neighbourhood, community, and regional parks.

Next: a series of community workshops will be coming forward in November, and then council will have a workshop of their own in December.

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