In response to a number of inquiries from members of Council, here is a quick snapshot of responses to questions about Parkland inventory.
Is there a city-wide shortfall in parkland?
No, there is not a City-wide shortfall in parkland. Our overall target of 3.3 hectares of total parkland per 1,000 residents is being met. However, we are slightly shy on our targets for neighbourhood and community level parks, and so this will be a focus for Parks Planning staff as we bring future neighbourhoods and parks online.
What does the Official Plan say about parkland?
The Official Plan, required by the Planning Act, describes what the City’s Open Space System is and provides guidance on parkland targets for the entire city based on the population of Guelph. The following parkland targets were incorporated into the City’s Official Plan:
Neighbourhood Parks – 0.7 hectares per thousand people
Community Parks – 1.3 hectares per thousand people
Regional Parks – 1.3 hectares per thousand people (encouraged rather than required)
Is Parkland Dedication the only way the City can acquire new parkland?
Parkland Dedication is just one method the City uses to get new parkland. Relying only on parkland dedication through the approval of development applications is not enough to achieve the parkland targets outlined in the City’s Official Plan because of the maximum limit for dedication set by the Planning Act. In the Official Plan, there are three sections that outline ways of acquiring parkland – Section 7.3.4 Parkland Deficiencies, Section 7.3.5 Parkland Dedication and Section 7.3.6 Other Agencies
Why does the 10 year capital budget not show any new purchase of lands for parks?
The capital budget only shows an allocation of funds for those parks that the City is planning to develop and for which we already own the land. Any future land acquisitions being proposed or considered are not included in the capital budget – this is standard for all land acquisitions as it weakens the City’s negotiating position for purchasing of land if it is disclosed publically. Any future land acquisitions would be brought forward to City Council for consideration in a closed session, and not through the public Capital budget document.