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September 6, 2022 Update from Councillor Rodrigo Goller
Good morning Neighbour,

This is a brief update on what Guelph City Council will be working on this month, and a few opportunities to get involved. For information on my re-election campaign, please visit goller4ward2.ca


You are welcome to share these updates with your friends and neighbours, and please don't hesitate to contact me regarding these or any other municipal issue. 

In this update:
  1. Board of Health Meeting on Wednesday September 7
  2. Council Planning meeting on Monday September 12
  3. Council meeting on Wednesday September 14
  4. Apply to join a City advisory committee by September 22
  5. Advance Voting Dates and Locations, At-Home-Voting Pilot & Vote By Mail Registration
1) Board of Health Meeting on Wednesday September 7 @ 2pm

I wanted to highlight one report being presented at this week's Public Health board meeting. You can find the meeting agenda here: https://wdgpublichealth.ca/board-health/board-health-meetings/board-health-agenda-september-7-2022 

Item #8 in the agenda is a presentation on the Well-Being and Youth Health Survey. This survey collects self-reported health and wellbeing data from students, parents, and school board staff in Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, and reports for the period between November 2019 and February 2022. 

This report identifies that "most indicators of flourishing mental health, such as having a positive view of the future or high self-esteem, decreased by between 5% to 12%. Conversely, indicators related to mental health challenges, such as psychological distress and thoughts of suicide, tended to increase between 15% to 35%." I'm bringing this trend of declining mental health among youth  to your attention, as it's something we, as a community need to keep in mind. As well as this concerning decline in mental health, the report also highlights an increase in the amount of bullying happening in our schools. 

You can read the rest of this report here: 
http://ward2guelph.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/7991511.pdf 

What does this mean for the City of Guelph and Guelph City Council? Well, for one, I will keep this in mind as we consider funding for youth recreation and parks programming, and the development of new parks and recreation facilities, as well as supports for community organizations like the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition, which actively support families and youth in our communities. I would love to hear your thoughts on this concerning decline in youth mental health, and in particular, what the City of Guelph can do to support our youth. 
2) Council Planning meeting on Monday September 12 @ 6:30 pm

There are four development applications coming to Council for approval on September 12. In each of these applications, Council will vote to either approve or refuse the development. There is also one development application being presented for receipt. In this case, the proposed development is being presented to Council and the community for the first time, and once Council and the public provides comments at this meeting, City staff will begin to review the application. Once City staff have reviewed the application - this process generally takes three to six months, staff will bring a report back to Council with a recommendation to either approve or refuse the application.

Below is a brief description of each application for your reference. I've also indicated how I feel about each application after reading the staff reports. However, I will wait to decide how to vote in each of these applications until I have read all the correspondence from residents, listened to any feedback you may want to provide and heard from all delegates who speak at the Planning Meeting.

You can access this meeting's agenda by clicking here.

a) 785 Gordon Street - This application asks for a 10-storey mixed use building containing 389 residential units and 600 square metres of commercial space at the corner of Harvard Road and Gordon Street. City staff are recommending that City Council refuse this application because the proposed height and density is inappropriate and incompatible with the character of the surrounding area.
Image of a 10 story building at the corner of Gordon and Harvard Road, showing balconies overlooking the surrounding neighbourhood.
Rendering of proposed building for 785 Gordon Street at Harvard Road.
Although I liked a lot of things in this application, including the much needed student housing this close to the University, I am supportive of staff's recommendation to refuse this application because of the lack of transition to the surrounding neighbourhood, the absence of outdoor amenity space and in particular, the loss of trees on site.

I had hoped that after the initial public meeting, the developer would have been open to addressing the concerns identified by Council and the community - however, it is concerning that the developer chose to not make changes to their application based on that feedback.  

b) 111-193 Silvercreek Parkway North - This application proposes a six (6) storey, mixed use building with 160 apartment units and 620 square metres of commercial floor area on the South corner of the Willow West Mall parking lot, facing Silvercreek Parkway and Willow Road.  City staff are recommending that Guelph City Council approve this application, as the proposed development will fit in with the surrounding area, and it improves the use of a largely vacant parking lot. 
Aerial view of Willow West Mall, showing an L shaped building that faces both Willow Road and Silvercreek Parkway.
Aerial view of the proposed development on the south corner of Willow West Mall. Proposed building is marked with a yellow bubble. 
I support this recommendation to approve the application, as it will provide necessary housing for Guelph, it fits well in the neighbourhood, and it also improves the experience for people walking in this area. 

c) 388 Arkell Road - This application by the Upper Grand District School Board for a new secondary school was presented to City Council in 2017. After a lengthy review process and changes to the original site design, City staff are recommending that City Council approve this application.
Layout shows from left to right fronting Victoria Road, a full size sports field with a running track, a smaller multi-purpose field, and a secondary school. The school is located at the corner of Victoria and Arkell. Below the high school, facing Arkell road, there is a large parking lot.
Proposed layout for the new Secondary School at Victoria Road and Arkell Road.
I am supportive of this application, as the South end of Guelph is growing and high school students currently have to travel a fair bit to Centennial and College Heights. Furthermore, the Environmental Impact Study for this site concluded that the proposed development of the school and related amenities, with mitigation, restoration and management, will not result in negative impacts to the Significant Woodland, ecological linkage, adjacent lands or the broader Natural Heritage System. 

d) 1354 Gordon Street -This application is for an eight (8) storey, mixed use building with 110 apartment units and 524 square metres of commercial floor area at the corner of Gordon Street and Arkell Road. City staff are recommending that Guelph City Council approve this application
Aerial view of the proposed building at 1354 Gordon Street.
The original development application included a gas station and convenience store, which have since been removed. I had significant concerns with (a) adding another gas station to the City and (b) placing it immediately next to a residential building.

I am still concerned that this development is asking for two additional storeys over the maximum allowed in this area, and the traffic impacts that this over-development would have on this intersection. I will need to hear the delegates before deciding how to vote - however, given that staff is supportive and that we desperately need more housing in Guelph, I am leaning towards supporting this application. 

e) 639 Eramosa Road - This application asks to redevelop the former Jehovah's Witnesses Church on Eramosa Road between Victoria and Speedvale, to build a chiropractic clinic. This site has an "Educational, Spiritual and Other Services" zoning designation, and the application asks for a change to a “Specialized Office Residential” zone, as well as a reduction to 22 parking spaces, where 25 parking spaces would be required for the proposed medical clinic.

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I would love to hear any feedback or questions you have about these development applications.

You can register as a delegate or submit comments by emailing clerks@guelph.ca before this Friday September 9 at 10am. 


You can find more information on delegating at Council meetings here: https://guelph.ca/city-hall/mayor-and-council/city-council/agendas-and-minutes/delegations-and-comments/
3) Council meeting on Wednesday September 14 @ 5:30pm

This will be the final Council meeting for this term of Council. This meeting will start with a closed session to discuss the CAO's performance evaluation.

The public portion of the meeting has two items for Council approval. Click here to open the full agenda.

a) An update to the Single Use Items Bylaw, which was approved by Council on April 2022. 

On June 22, 2022, the Federal Government released a new Regulation prohibiting single use plastics across Canada.  As the federal regulation trumps our municipal bylaw, staff have amended the bylaw approved by Guelph City Council earlier this year, so it complies with the new federal regulation. This updated bylaw is now being presented for Council approval. 

The federal regulation bans six categories of harmful single-use plastics including checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware made from or containing problematic plastics, ring carriers, stir sticks and straws. Previously City Council had banned some of these items and left some exemptions, such as allowing restaurants to carry disposable plastic straws for customers who needed them. 

The changes to the approved municipal bylaw removes the ban and exemptions for plastic straws, compostable plastic  shopping bags, polystyrene foam containers and cups. 

b) The transition from the Blue Box recycling program to full producer responsibility. 

In June 2021 The Minster of the Environment, Conservation & Parks announced the transfer of the financial and operational responsibility of Ontario’s Blue Box program to producers of plastic and other packaging.

The new Blue Box Regulation that came in effect in April 2022, confirmed that the Producers that originate packaging, paper, and similar products are now responsible for funding and operating the Blue Box system across Ontario. 

A Producer-controlled non-profit organization called Circular Materials Ontario (CMO) has assumed responsibility for operating the collection and receiving of Blue Box materials across the province, on behalf of all Producers, as well as post-collection management for most of the material in the province.

Guelph’s scheduled transition date starts in January 1, 2025, and the Circular Materials Ontario will assume full responsibility on January 1, 2026.

Circular Materials Ontario has presented a standard offer to all municipalities in Ontario, requesting that we provide interim residence and facility collection service during the one year transition period. 

City staff have flagged that the timelines proposed by Circular Materials Ontario are not adequate for a fulsome transition. City staff are recommending that Council give direction to begin negotiations with the Producer Responsibility Organizations, to ensure continuity of services to Guelph residents within existing budgets.

I would love to hear from you if you have any concerns or suggestions on how the City of Guelph should proceed on this issue. 

You can register as a delegate or submit comments by emailing clerks@guelph.ca before this Friday September 9 at 10am. 
4) Apply to join a City Advisory Committee and Board by September 22 

The City of Guelph is looking for volunteers to serve on our advisory committees and boards. The deadline to apply is Thursday September 22.

As a part of the City's Diversity and Inclusion Plan, the City is working to make these positions welcoming to everyone including Black, Indigenous and racialized individuals, members of LGBTQ2+ community, people living with disabilities and other  underrepresented groups.

For this reason, qualified applicants who self-identify as being a part of an equity-seeking group will be given priority during the application process.

These are the Advisory Committees and Boards with vacancies:
  • Accessibility Advisory Committee
  • Committee of Adjustment
  • Community Grant Allocation Panel
  • Guelph Cemetery Commission
  • Guelph Economic Development Advisory Committee
  • Guelph Museums Advisory Committee
  • Heritage Guelph
  • Planning Advisory Committee
  • Property Standards Committee
  • Public Art Advisory Committee 
  • Tourism Advisory Committee
  • Transit Advisory Committee
  • Waste Resource Innovation Centre Public Liaison Advisory Committee
  • Water Conservation and Efficiency Public Advisory Committee

To apply to join an Advisory Committee of Council, follow this link (https://guelph.ca/city-hall/boards-and-committees/) and scroll down to the section titled "Local Boards and Advisory Committees" and click on 'Vacancies'.  From there you can click on 'Apply' and fill out the application form.

If you are considering applying for an advisory committee, I would encourage you to apply. As a Councillor, I always listen to the feedback and and respect the work that these volunteer committees do. 

If you have any questions about the application process or time commitment, please contact Dylan McMahon, Manager of Legislative Services at the City Clerk’s Office. His phone number is 519-822-1260 extension 2811 and his email address is dylan.mcmahon@guelph.ca
5) Advance Voting Dates and Locations, as well as At-Home-Voting Pilot & Vote By Mail Registration

Starting next Monday September 12, you'll be able to register to vote-by-mail, or to participate in the vote-at-home pilot. 

The purpose of the vote-at-home pilot is to support community members who are not able to go to a voting location, and who are not able to vote by mail. To register to either vote by mail or for the vote-at-home pilot, go to https://vote.guelph.ca/ after September 12.

Voting Locations 

You can vote in person at advanced voting locations on October 8, 9, 10, 2022 and October 14, 15, and 16, 2022. During advanced voting, you can vote at any of the locations listed below regardless of what ward you live in. On election day you must vote at a location in your ward (click here for a map of the new wards).

October 8, 9 and 10, 2022

Guelph City Hall (1 Carden Street) will be open for advanced voting during the following times:
  • October 8 and 9, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • October 10, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

October 14, 15, and 16, 2022

The following locations will be open for advanced voting during the following times:
October 14, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
October 15, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
October 16, 2022 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Victoria Road Recreation Centre: 151 Victoria Road North
  • Evergreen Seniors Community Centre: 683 Woolwich Street
  • Shelldale Centre: 20 Shelldale Crescent
  • West End Community Centre: 21 Imperial Road South
  • University of Guelph, University Centre: Reynolds Walk
  • Arkell Road Bible Chapel: 39 Arkell Road

Election day voting locations

On election day, Monday, October 24, 2022 voters can cast their ballot at any location in your ward between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Ward 1
  • École Guelph Lake Public School: 595 Watson Parkway North
  • Brant Avenue Public School: 64 Brant Avenue
  • Victoria Road Recreation Centre: 151 Victoria Road North
  • Ken Danby Public School: 525 Grange Road
  • St. Patrick Catholic School: 391 Victoria Road North
  • William C. Winegard Public School: 25 Lee Street
  • Royal Canadian Legion: 57 Watson Parkway South

Ward 2
  • New Life Christian Reformed Church: 400 Victoria Road North
  • Italian Canadian Club: 135 Ferguson Street
  • Upper Grand District School Board: 500 Victoria Road North
  • Evergreen Seniors Community Centre: 683 Woolwich Street
  • First Baptist Church: 255 Woolwich Street
  • Trinity United Church: 400 Stevenson Street North
  • King George Public School: 72 Lemon Street
  • Guelph City Hall: 1 Carden Street
For a full list of voting locations visit:
https://vote.guelph.ca/ufaqs/where-and-when-can-i-vote/ 

I would also encourage you to check out the candidates running in your Ward. There are six candidates running in Ward 1 and eight Candidates running in Ward 2. You can find the list of names and contacts here:
https://vote.guelph.ca/candidates/registered-candidates/ 

A local independent reporter, Adam Donaldson has compiled questionnaires from candidates, so you can get a better sense of each candidate's values and priorities:  https://guelphpolitico.ca/2022-candidate-questionnaires/  

You can follow Adam's live coverage of Council meetings on his Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/adamadonaldson
That's it for this update. I look forward to hearing from you, and encourage you to share this update with your friends and colleagues in Guelph. 

Do let me know if you have questions, thoughts or feedback about any of the items in this update, or any other municipal issue. 


I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Labour Day Long weekend, and that you are heading into this week feeling well rested! 


Sincerely,

Rodrigo
Rodrigo Goller 
City Councillor, Ward 2
City of Guelph
226-821-1146
Rodrigo.Goller@Guelph.ca
 
ward2guelph.ca
twitter.com/ward2rodrigo
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 2022 Guelph Ward 2 Councillor.


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Guelph Ward 2 Councillor · 1 Carden Street · Guelph, Ontario N1H3A1 · Canada

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