City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the September 21 Meeting?

This Monday was supposed to be an off-night for city council, but at almost literally the eleventh hour, Mayor Cam Guthrie will bring council together to decide if there will be an immediate future for the Downtown Dining District after Monday night.

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 September 21. 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.

Proposed Motion Regarding the Extension of Dining Districts – The emergency meeting called by Mayor Cam Guthrie on Thursday evening will ask council to consider an extension of the procedures and regulations that allow the Downtown Dining District and other patio expansions to continue until January 1, 2021. The original motion passed by council in June made those exceptions valid until October 31, but as it stands right now, the last day for the Dining District will be September 21 without direct action from city council.

In a second part of the recommendation, council will be asked to consider allocating $2,500 from the budget for the Mayor’s Office to the Guelph Tourism office in order to create, program and market a pedestrian “Christmas Market” at a date to be named later. Staff will be directed to work with the Downtown Guelph Business Association, and to leverage any and all opportunities with potential sponsorship from the private sector.

Here is the exact wording of the two recommendations:

1. That in an effort to keep people employed, to encourage physical distancing in-line with Public Health guidelines to fight COVID-19 and to provide additional supports for local restaurants and shops within the City of Guelph, Council directs staff to extend any and all applicable zoning or bylaws that allow sidewalk or on street patios and applicable dining districts within the city’s right-of-way spaces until January 1st, 2021.

2. That $2,500 from The Office of The Mayor budget be allocated to staff within Guelph Tourism to work collaboratively with the Downtown Guelph Business Association for the creation and programming of a pedestrian only “Christmas Market” at an agreed upon date(s) within the upcoming holiday season to encourage local retail spending and hospitality support. And that staff look to leverage this opportunity by seeking private sector sponsorship for further programming or to offset additional costs.

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