update

The Parks Operations and Forestry team continue to work on the Crane Park Revitalization Project.

During phase one, crews have completed buckthorn removals, graded the parking lot and are now ready for trail widening.

The next phase will be completed in two areas:

·        Between College Avenue and Stone Road West to the Speed River

·        Between Dovercliffe Road and the main trail

Starting July 15 to August 6, crews will begin widening sections of the trail between College Avenue and Stone Road West to the Speed River. These trail improvements will help improve safety and accessibility, reduce maintenance and protect the Speed River.               

Work between Dovercliffe Road and the main trail will happen later this summer and into 2020.

Crane Park will remain open during construction, however, we’re asking residents to stay out of the marked areas until the work is complete. We will restore the natural area by planting native trees, shrubs and wildflowers in 2020, after the trail improvements are complete.

Happy trails!

You can read this on the LUMCO website found here:

http://www.ontariobigcitymayors.ca/news/details.php?id=638

Thank you,

Cam

From Staff:

PARKLAND INVENTORY

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.

 

You’ll need some Kleenex. Not that I needed it, i think there was just a lot of dust that got in my eye at the very same time that i happened to watch this video.

This video is about Karl, who is from Guelph.

All of the Make a Wish Kids are also from Guelph! I Just thought it was important, with so much negativity and crazy politics that’s out there, that’d it’d be nice to share some happy Guelph news! So enjoy and let’s share this video to spread happiness to others! Click HERE:
https://youtu.be/xSZD2dt3gEs

While you’re at it, consider donating to our local Guelph Make a Wish Foundation and make a big difference in the lives of these children and families!

Take care,

Cam

I have been receiving questions and concerns about recent increases to fees for downtown parking permits. Here is some context:

The City has an approved Parking Master Plan. This was put together over many years to tackle the construction of new parking and to have enough funds to pay for any repairs.

The revenue to pay for the Master Plan was to come from three sources:

  1. The general tax base across every home and business in the city
  2. Increased parking permit fees
  3. Reinstating paid on-street parking.

Last year when this was proposed, the Downtown Guelph Business Association and several downtown businesses asked Council not to implement paid on-street parking, because they said it would threaten businesses’ financial viability and ability to attract customers. Council agreed, and decided not to implement paid on-street parking at this time. This decision created a $1.2 million shortfall in funding, of which $600,000 was identified to come from increased permit fees. Here is a link to more information about the Master Plan and its financing model: Downtown Parking Master Plan.

Fast forward to the City budget approved a couple of weeks ago. Before the vote, I heard from some permit holders about these potential increases, and I made it clear that I would be willing to consider a phased in approach over two years for these fees so as to not have such a huge impact in one year. Yet Council as a whole passed it as-is. This means that both parking permit fees and the overall tax base are both increasing to make up the shortfall.

This cannot be reversed unless a councillor moves to reconsider the matter, but that is a very difficult process to have happen. I can tell you this, though: as soon as I cut the ribbon on the new Wilson parkade, and we welcome an extra 400 parking spots to our downtown core, I plan to bring forward a renewed conversation with Council about revenue models for the Parking Master Plan. This includes a conversation about fees for parking permits, and on-street paid parking.

I understand that the fee increases are significant, and I truly empathize. But Council has decided that this is the path we are taking at this time in order to implement the downtown parking master plan.

Thank you,

Cam