City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the October 16 Meeting?

It’s a special Wednesday meeting for an otherwise ordinary Planning Meeting. There’s a final decision report on a big apartment development, an extension request for a big subdivision, a request to endorse the construction of a new house in a heritage area, and the City’s response to changes in Provincial policy.

IDE-2019-89 Decision Report 1533-1557 Gordon Street and 34 Lowes Road West Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment File: ZC1710 Ward 6 -The original plan for this site came to council in March 2018, and at the time it was a proposed six-storey building with 102 units inside. After months of wrangling, the development will now be 86 units, and while it will still be a six-storey building, the massing has been changed to drop two storeys off the north and south end of the building and reduce the building length by 17 metres.

IDE-2019-98 Request for an Extension of Draft Plan Approval Victoria Park Village Subdivision 1159 Victoria Road South File: 23T-07506 Ward 6 – The old Victoria West Golf Course property has been on the books for a conversion into a subdivision with nearly 500 units for almost 10 years now. The draft plan and zoning bylaw amendment was originally  passed in February 2011, but an update just over a year later went all the way to the Ontario Municipal Board for mediation. In 2016, the developer requested a three-year extension, which lapses next month, so the developer is asking for another thee-year extension, which staff is recommending that council accept.

IDE-2019-112 12 Forbes Avenue, Heritage Permit Application (HP19-0014) – The property owner is looking to build a new house on the land, the problem though is that this property is within the Brooklyn and College Hill Heritage Conservation District, which means there’s an extra layer of heritage protection on the whole area. Basically, the owner and the developer need to meet certain assurances that the new building will fit to the character of the neighbourhood as outlined in the HCD Plan and Guidelines. After some consultation and revision, staff is satisfied that the plan for new two-storey house meets “proper heritage conservation practice and satisfies guideline section 4.4 of the Brooklyn and College Hill HCD Plan.”

IDE-2019-105 Proposed Provincial Policy Statement Changes, City of Guelph Response -In July, the Province of Ontario asked for feedback from municipalities on the Provincial Policy Statement, which was last updated in 2014. The PPS is the consolidated statement of government policies on land use planning, and the expectation is that cities will “be consistent” with the PPS in their own planning decisions.

Of concern to City of Guelph staff is the distinction that the Province is making between “a changing climate” and “climate change,” a policy amendment to “fast-track priority applications,” and a departure from the current PPS which requires planning authorities to encourage a range and mix of housing as opposed to the new policy that says let the market decide. Staff does endorse though the idea to enhance municipal engagement with Indigenous people.

The City must submit their feedback to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing by October 21.

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