The detailed Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan was going to be one of the biggest issues before city council this year, and it still might be, but in the almost literal centre of the debate is the Marcolongo Farm property. With council returning to some kind of regular order in the next few weeks, look for the planning of Clair-Maltby to pick-up again, and there is almost no one that has as much invested in that plan both personally and professionally than Mike Marcolongo.
This week on the podcast, Marcolongo is going to take us back to the beginning, and then come with us back to where we left off with the Clair-Maltby debate in March with the Committee of the Whole meeting. Before that meeting, staff proposed to establish a community park by using, in part, 35 acres of the Marcolongo property meant for what can be most simply described as affordable housing. It was the latest hoop that the Marcolongo family had to jump through to make their vision for their property a reality.
What was that reality? Marcolongo’s father had a vision to turn a portion of the property, including the over 100 year old farmhouse and barn, into a medical training facility, as well as giving several acres of the property back to the City as new, protected open space. There’s also the aforementioned housing, which will be built by Options for Homes, who offers financial tools to make it easier for people to buy homes even at market value. So what are the odds that the Marcolongos will see that vision realized?
Marcolongo will provide an answer to that question, and others. He’ll talk about the process, the struggles, dealing with other developers and the City staff, and whether he’s felt besieged through the process. He’ll discuss whether he’s been surprised at how political the process has become, whether he thinks all the politicking might be over, and his advice for the next person with a bold plan for a big piece of land in Guelph. And finally, Marcolongo will talk about the memories, and the lessons that he’s taking with him.
So let’s head down to Old Marcolongo’s Farm on this week’s edition of the Guelph Politicast!
The approved plan for the Open Spaces Strategy for the Clair-Maltby Secondary Plan will be ratified by city council at some point now that regular meetings of council are resuming, so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, you can see all the Clair-Maltby documents at the City’s website here.
Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.