City Council Preview – What’s on the Agenda for the April 18 Meeting?

This month’s planning meeting, again delayed a week because of a special occasion, will be a pretty big one. It’s not because of the heritage designation or the request for a sign bylaw variance, but because after four years of work the Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw is finally ready for approval. It’s been nearly 30 years since this piece of regulation has been formally updated, and this month, we have arrived at the end.

NOTE #1: Delegates will be able to appear at this meeting in-person or via tele-presense but you do have to register with the clerks office before 10 am on Friday April 14. You can also submit written delegations and correspondences for agenda items.

NOTE #2: In addition to meeting in-person, this meeting will also be live-streamed on the City of Guelph’s website here.

NOTE #3: This meeting starts at the special time of 10 am.

65 Delhi Street: Notice of Intention to Designate – Right now it’s the old isolation hospital, but in the years to come, it will be the newest supportive housing project in the city owned by Wellington County. For now, staff is recommending to designate 65 Delhi as a heritage property, one of four priority designations that staff would like to see approved before Bill 23 deletes all properties listed on heritage registry at the end of next year. (Stay tuned for the other three in the months to come.)

Sign Variance Report for 245 Hanlon Creek Boulevard – The SmithValeriote Law Firm would like to install two illuminated fascia signs at the top of the third storey; one those signs will face Hanlon Creek Boulevard and the other will face the Hanlon Expressway. Staff are recommending that council refuse the variance though on the basic grounds that the current sign bylaw only allows one fascia sign, and they don’t want to set a new precedent.

Sustainable Development Checklist – The Ontario government (yes, *that* Ontario government) is working on the development of province-wide standards for green building in the Ontario Building Code. Until then, municipalities are being asked to come up with their own way of incorporating standards into the site plan process, and for Guelph that means the Sustainable Development Checklist.

This checklist will cover five categories: air quality; building energy, emissions and resilience; water quality and quantity; ecology and biodiversity; and wast and circular economy. Applicants will have to show through plans or drawings how they will approach each of those areas in the design, and this will go into effect on May 1 in order to be applied to all new site plan approval development applications. It also tees up the next conversation nicely because the checklist works in tandem with…

Decision Report Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw and Companion Official Plan Amendment – This document represents the final form of the Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw (assuming, of course, that no additional changes are made at this meeting). Since the last update, staff have looked at council notes on driveways, parking, housing and shipping containers, plus, Bill 23 threw a couple of wrenches into the works as well.

As a result of further consultation, staff are recommending that driveway zoning remain at 50 per cent of the landscaped area, but they are also saying that the enforcement exemption will continue until a recommended review of on-street winter parking is complete as part of the actions taken in the Transportation Master Plan. Staff also decided against following council suggestions on changes to the proposed parking rates for the Gordon intensification corridor, or visitor parking rates for apartment and mixed-use buildings.

On shipping container regulations, staff have removed the maximum number of four containers per lot and have developed regulations to treat them as outdoor storage including definitions and placements. Supportive housing, meanwhile, will be defined and permitted in zones already regulated for residential use and where access to community facilities are provided. Other changes? There’s now a minimum density requirement for residential zones, the width of attached garages now align with max. driveway widths, and there are minor revisions to definitions for triplexes, vehicle, accessible, and rooftop mechanicals.

In terms of those Bill 23 impacts, there are things you may already be aware of like site plan exemption for residential developments under 10 units and less development approvals through council on pre-zoned lands. One of the biggest Bill 23 changes though is that there’s no longer a two-year moratorium on applications to amend for the first two years after the new zoning bylaw goes into effect.

See the complete agenda on the City of Guelph website here

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