City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the March 30 Meeting?

If one planning meeting this month isn’t enough for you, get ready for number two. At a special Wednesday meeting of city council, the horseshoe will look at the completed update to the Official Plan. The culmination of months and months of staff work, research and public engagement will lay out the growth and development strategy for the city for the next five years. So what does it look like?

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 March 25. 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.

Statutory Public Meeting Official Plan Review/Shaping Guelph Official Plan Amendment – The City of Guelph’s Official Plan has to be updated every five years, and this time the drivers of the update are the City’s new growth management strategy, the York/Elizabeth land use study, and recent changes to the Planning Act and A Place to Grow. There are also the usual housekeeping changes, the renaming of ministries, updates to addresses, and improved clarity in language.

The major changes to the Official Plan with this amendment are as follows:

Chapter 2 – An update to the strategic goals, and a new section on Indigenous history for the area and the City’s commitment to better engage with the Indigenous community.

Chapter 3 – Updated urban structure elements, and new population and employment numbers planned out to 2051.

Chapter 4 – Much of this portion has to do with protecting natural heritage and water resources, and there are new portions about “hazardous forest types” and long-term protections of water and the watershed. This portion has also been updated to reflect net zero and 100 per cent renewable by 2050 targets, and other actions to fight climate change.

The new recommended height and density numbers are incorporated into the Land Use section, along with the results of the City’s Growth Management Strategy work. This section also includes the thew land use study for the York/Elizabeth area in the east end, and lays the ground work for incorporating a secondary plan to cover the newly annexed Dolime property plus updates to current secondary plans for downtown and the Guelph Innovation District lands.

Reminder: This is only the statutory planning meeting for the amendment. No final decisions will be made at this meeting, and council will only vote to receive the report. The final version of the OPA will come back to council for approval in July, and then be submitted to the Government of Ontario. It will also at that point be eligible for appeal to the Ontario Land Tribunal.

See the complete agenda on the City of Guelph website here

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