This Month at Council: Parks, Solid Waste, and Community Benefit Charges

It was a very consequential month at Guelph City Council, especially if you’re a fan of parkland and infrastructure. Bookended by intense debates around the demand for more park space, new bans on a variety of single-use plastics, and the delegation of authority to staff when planned capital go way over budget, the month also dealt with a heritage appeal, a new big density development and the new Community Benefit Charges. Here’s the recap for April. Continue reading “This Month at Council: Parks, Solid Waste, and Community Benefit Charges”

This Month at Council: Pay Cheques, a New Tower, and an Official Plan Amendment

March closes like a lamb after a very busy month around the horseshoe. The real horseshoe. From the neverending debate over council compensation, to a very controversial new development project, to the latest iteration of the Official Plan, there’s a lot of ground to cover from last month’s four meetings. The recap of March at city council is below. Continue reading “This Month at Council: Pay Cheques, a New Tower, and an Official Plan Amendment”

This Month at Council: MAT and PACE, Plus Short-term and Long-term Rentals

February is the shortest month of the year, but there were some very long meetings indeed as council tackled a number of very complex issues. From a new tax designed to help bolster tourism, to new licensing for AirBnB and other short-term rentals, to a new program to let the community help lead Guelph to net zero, there was a lot to cover policy-wise, and there were also a few planning decisions too. This was February at city council. Continue reading “This Month at Council: MAT and PACE, Plus Short-term and Long-term Rentals”

This Month at Council: Economic Plan, Growth Plan and Transportation Plan.

Guelph city council began the year 2022 by approving a lot of new long-term plans. Council set up and knocked down plans for economic development over the next four years, plans to manage growth for the next 30 years, and plans for moving people around town for that same time horizon. Here are all the developments from a surprisingly busy January around the virtual horseshoe. Continue reading “This Month at Council: Economic Plan, Growth Plan and Transportation Plan.”

This Month at Council: Race to Zero, Hotel Redo, and Downtown Drama

The year at city council ended with what actually might be some of their most intense debates. In December, there was a pretty fiery discussion about accelerating the City’s response to climate change, a new debate about whether a governance review is needed for the downtown business improvement area, and there was even some time for a public meeting on a rezoning and a brand new heritage designation. Let’s recap this last month of 2021 at council. Continue reading “This Month at Council: Race to Zero, Hotel Redo, and Downtown Drama”

BUDGET MEETING RECAP: How The First Multiyear Budget Was Made

Eight-and-a-half hours comes out to a 4.21 per cent increase in 2022 and then a 5.17 per cent levy increase for 2023. Those are top level results from this year’s budget deliberations, the first time that council tackled a multiyear budget. The City of Guelph seems satisfied with the results, but reading between the lines, there were some deep divides on council as some members feel that the City lost the fight for affordability. Continue reading “BUDGET MEETING RECAP: How The First Multiyear Budget Was Made”

This Month at Council – THE BUDGET: The Presentation and the Delegations.

November was always the month we handle the next year’s budget, except this time it’s the budget for the next two years. Once again, council sat down for a day-long budget presentation, and a few nights later, they heard from members of community about their own ideas about what should, or should not, go into the budget. So how did all that work out? Let’s recap this month’s action around the budget. Continue reading “This Month at Council – THE BUDGET: The Presentation and the Delegations.”

This Month at Council: Voting Methods, Route Review, and Zoning Bylaw Changes

November was a busy month around the virtual horseshoe, and that’s even before you factor in the business of the 2022-2023 Guelph budgets. We’ll deal with that in another recap post, but for now, you can re-live the debates around having a more accessible vote for next year’s election, some of the proposed changes to the comprehensive zoning bylaw, and some planned changes for Guelph Transit over the next 10 years. Continue reading “This Month at Council: Voting Methods, Route Review, and Zoning Bylaw Changes”

This Month at Council PART 2: Workshops, Development Charges, and More Drama

For a time, the second half of the month at council was more dry and wonkish with special meetings and workshops about dry subject matter like Development Charges and the multi-year budget. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your point of view), council made up for some of the lost drama at the month’s regular council meeting, where they revisited the internal misunderstandings that stared the month. Here’s the second part of the recap. Continue reading “This Month at Council PART 2: Workshops, Development Charges, and More Drama”

This Month at Council PART 1: Emergency Meetings, and Demolition Fallout

This October recap of the events of city council actually started in September. Unexpectedly, an emergency meeting was called on September 30 to talk about events that occurred at the September 27 regular council meeting. Maybe you heard about it. The events of those meetings cast a shadow over a lot of council business for the rest of the month, and that includes the Committee of the Whole and planning meetings covered here. Continue reading “This Month at Council PART 1: Emergency Meetings, and Demolition Fallout”