City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the October 20 Meeting?

Money matters will pre-occupy in the third week of October, and in the second of two city council meetings that week, members of the public will be asked for their point of view about updates to the Development Changes Bylaw. If you’re unaware, DCs are the money collected from developers that go on to fund a large portion of our infrastructure, and they do sometimes need an update. What are those updates? Read on!

NOTE #1: Delegates will be able to appear at this meeting via telephone or video, but you do have to register with the clerks office before 10 am on October 15. 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.

2021 Development Charges By-law Amendment -The last time the City of Guelph reviewed Development Charges was 2018. You know what else happened in 2018? The Progressive Conservative government under Doug Ford has elected, and in the time before the pandemic, they spent a lot of time making a lot of changes to various acts that determine when, why, and how much that municipalities can take in DCs, including the introduction of a whole new fee called the Community Benefit Charge (CBC).

With so many legislative changes over the last few years, City of Guelph staff decided to do a kind of patchwork update before going into the full review sometime next year. Staff have already talked amongst themselves, released the background study, and met with various stakeholders. This is the public meeting, which means that members of the public will be able to give council their two cents about the proposed changes to DCs.

The changes to the DCs are not overwhelming, the biggest alteration being the removal of the mandatory 10 per cent deduction applied to so-called “soft services”, which includes things like libraries, parks, and recreation (as opposed to “hard services” like roads and water). There are also changes to the amount of DCs that can be used for various service areas including public works facility and fleets, parking, parks and rec, libraries, public health, and waste diversion.

The inventories and assets in the affected service areas have also been updated, and so have the capital costs of big projects that will begin construction in the next couple of years including the new main library and the South End Community Centre.

The final version of the DC Bylaw update will come back to city council for approval on December 13, while the fullw DC study will start sometime next spring to be complete by the first quarter of 2024. The CBC and Parkland Dedication reviews will by completed sometime in the third quarter of next year.

The new DCs will go into effect immediately after city council passes them.

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