City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the June 15 Meeting?

This month’s planning meeting will have no planning applications. The rare reprise from those sometimes controversial meetings will allow city council to give its full attention to the results of community engagement about Guelph’s not-too-distant future.

NOTE #1: Delegates will be able to appear at this meeting via telephone, but you do have to register with the clerks office before 1o am on June 12. You can also submit written delegations and correspondences for agenda items.

NOTE #2: The meeting will be closed to the public, though it will be live-streamed on the City of Guelph’s website here.

Shaping Guelph Growth Management Strategy: Community Engagement and Growth Vision and Principles – City staff will present the results from public engagement for the update to the Guelph Growth Management Strategy, which is a document that will help guide how the Royal City continues to grow, and then breaks growth down into areas of impact like housing, transportation, and water. The engagement was done in a couple of phases with telephone surveys in December 2019, in-person engagement (remember that?) in February, and online surveys in February and March.

By 2031, Guelph is expected to grow to 175,000 citizens and 92,000 jobs, but this update to the growth strategy is meant to guide City growth through to 2041. The key findings of the community engagement should not be terribly surprising. People want Guelph to grow up not out, intensify existing areas and build density downtown, and that Guelph should grow within existing boundaries. They also want more affordable housing, better transportation infrastructure, and environmental protects especially for groundwater. In terms of vision, people want to see more complete communities, an increase in the amount and variety of housing options available, and better transportation choices for a healthier natural environment.

The draft principles for Growth to 2041 lay out some specific guidance. People want growth to be both sustainable and fiscally responsible, they want development to be compact and efficient, and they want water resources and natural heritage systems to be protected. They also want a complete multi-modal transportation system, they want an accessible and interconnected system of open spaces and trails, and they want to make sure that we’re planning for a net zero future while also being able to adapt and mitigate to the effects of climate change.

The next phase of this process has already begun with the analysis of residential intensification, and the employment lands strategy. The complete Growth Management Strategy should come back to council in either the first or second quarter of 2021.

Not on the agenda: Notice of Intention to Remove the ‘H’ on the 89 Beechwood Avenue Zoning Bylaw amendment – In a separate notice last week, the City of Guelph announced that council will be be voting on a motion to remove the ‘H’ for Holding symbol from the Zoning Bylaw amendment for 89 Beechwood Ave. Council approved a 22-townhouse development for this land back in January 2019 after the application was revised twice because of tremendous pushback from the neighbourhood. One resident ended up taking the City and the developer to the Land Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), and now that a condition of the decision has been met, the H can be taken off the amendment.

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