Parkland Dedication Bylaw Update

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We’re making updates to the Parkland Dedication Bylaw and we want your feedback.

This bylaw helps us grow our parks and open spaces to match our community’s growing needs in two ways:

  1. Developers may transfer land for parks and public recreation, or
  2. Developers may provide money for future parks, park equipment or recreational buildings.

About the bylaw update

We’re required to update the Parkland Dedication Bylaw based on provincial legislative changes before September 2022. As part of this update, we want to hear from residents and the development community about improving:

  • bylaw clarity
  • how we apply the bylaw
  • how we communicate about the bylaw

The Parkland Dedication Bylaw contains rates and limits, known as “caps”, on how high the parkland dedication fees can go. The rates are based on provincial legislation and the caps were set based on community engagement in 2018 and approved by City Council in 2019. Since the rates and limits were recently adopted, we’re not seeking input on that portion of the bylaw at this time.

This consultation is now closed and under review



Here is what we were asking for

  1. Learn about the Parkland Dedication Bylaw, including how it helps improve parks in Guelph and how it is used,
  2. Check out the proposed bylaw updates
  3. Then take a moment to ask a question, submit a comment or share your thoughts below.

Attend a public virtual open house on February 8

We’re hosting a facilitated virtual open house to share information about the Parkland Dedication Bylaw and give you an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. Join us Tuesday, February 8 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. To participate, join the session using this link and password ParkLandDBL. You can also watch the live session on Facebook and guelph.ca/live.

A separate information session is being held for the development community on Tuesday, February 15 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

More than a bylaw

We’re looking at Guelph’s park needs holistically. The Parkland Dedication Bylaw is one part of a bigger project to consider future park needs for our growing city. Part of this work is a Park Plan that will:

  • Define our existing park system
  • Outline future challenges and opportunities facing our parks
  • Plan for an optimal parks and recreation spaces as our community grows and changes

The Park Plan is being completed as a part of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan to address mandatory legislative changes to the Parkland Dedication Bylaw before September 2022.

You can also share your thoughts on the Park Plan before February 17 on the Park Plan engagement page.

We’re making updates to the Parkland Dedication Bylaw and we want your feedback.

This bylaw helps us grow our parks and open spaces to match our community’s growing needs in two ways:

  1. Developers may transfer land for parks and public recreation, or
  2. Developers may provide money for future parks, park equipment or recreational buildings.

About the bylaw update

We’re required to update the Parkland Dedication Bylaw based on provincial legislative changes before September 2022. As part of this update, we want to hear from residents and the development community about improving:

  • bylaw clarity
  • how we apply the bylaw
  • how we communicate about the bylaw

The Parkland Dedication Bylaw contains rates and limits, known as “caps”, on how high the parkland dedication fees can go. The rates are based on provincial legislation and the caps were set based on community engagement in 2018 and approved by City Council in 2019. Since the rates and limits were recently adopted, we’re not seeking input on that portion of the bylaw at this time.

This consultation is now closed and under review



Here is what we were asking for

  1. Learn about the Parkland Dedication Bylaw, including how it helps improve parks in Guelph and how it is used,
  2. Check out the proposed bylaw updates
  3. Then take a moment to ask a question, submit a comment or share your thoughts below.

Attend a public virtual open house on February 8

We’re hosting a facilitated virtual open house to share information about the Parkland Dedication Bylaw and give you an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. Join us Tuesday, February 8 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. To participate, join the session using this link and password ParkLandDBL. You can also watch the live session on Facebook and guelph.ca/live.

A separate information session is being held for the development community on Tuesday, February 15 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

More than a bylaw

We’re looking at Guelph’s park needs holistically. The Parkland Dedication Bylaw is one part of a bigger project to consider future park needs for our growing city. Part of this work is a Park Plan that will:

  • Define our existing park system
  • Outline future challenges and opportunities facing our parks
  • Plan for an optimal parks and recreation spaces as our community grows and changes

The Park Plan is being completed as a part of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan to address mandatory legislative changes to the Parkland Dedication Bylaw before September 2022.

You can also share your thoughts on the Park Plan before February 17 on the Park Plan engagement page.

Feedback on the proposed by-law update

Do you have feedback about the proposed content of the Parkland Dedication by-law update?  We're glad you do!

Share your thoughts with us here.  We’ll use community feedback along with research and best practices to update the Parkland Dedication Bylaw before we present it to Council for approval.

Feedback we don't use for this update will be saved to inform our full Parkland Dedication Bylaw review in 2023 when the entire bylaw will be opened up for changes.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

It would be really helpful to have a copy of the new by-law with tracked changes. How are we supposed to comment on changes if we can't see what they are?
I have a concern about the definition of "Parkland" in the by-law: "Includes land for parks and other public recreational purposes." "Parkland" should only refer to open spaces, not building footprints. I raised the same concern in the last update and an FOI revealed staff's response as the following: "City's park hierarchy, outlined under the policy 7.3.2. includes urban squares, neighbourhood, Community and Regional parks. The community and regional parks may include recreation and/or community centres."

While recreation and community centres may be situated within parks, the land on which they sit should not be counted as parkland. This distorts the community's understanding of how much greenspace we actually have. The City needs to have a definition of parkland which is consistent across all departments.

The by-law needs an accompanying policy which prioritizes the acquisition of land instead of cash-in-lieu. A study by the consultant hired for the last update revealed that staff are pressured by developers to take cash-in-lieu instead of land. That cash sits in an account and loses value while land values soar. Citizens lose out. Or the cash gets diverted from parkland acquisition to projects like the Victoria Road Recreation Centre renovation. At the end of the day, we lose out on the parkland we need.
We also need a policy that allows developers to convey an appropriate piece of land that may be in another location from the site they are developing.

The consultant on the last update put forward a formula to be used when there is a dispute around the assessed value of land for the determination of cash-in-lieu. There needs to be policies in place to make sure citizens are getting full value from developers.

Our by-law should enable us to get the maximum allowed under provincial legislation. Developers are raking in record profits. Parkland needs to grow along with the population,

I am pleased to see that the Parkland Dedication By-law will be reviewed every 4 years, once per term of Council. Before the last update, no meaningful changes had been made for almost 30 years and Guelphites were seriously shortchanged as a result.

Susan Watson 4 months ago

I suggest the City of Guelph and other Ontario municipalities seek an Amendment to the Planning Act that would enable municipalities to make use of park dedication funds to execute new capital works within parks and open spaces for the benefit of new residents for which the park land dedication is assessed.

The Act’s current restrictions were implemented in the context of and during an era of primarily greenfield development projects. Acquiring suitable, developable park land parcels (ie suitable size, not contaminated or otherwise hazard lands) within walking distance of redevelopment site projects is unlikely today, meaning that existing levels of park and recreation services in a community are reduced and shared by more residents with each new redevelopment project.

An Amendment would enable a municipality to expend park land dedication monies directly upon capital works in existing parks, renewing older park facilities with new, and creating real capacity gains for higher density, more active use by community residents. New works funded by park dedications can be implemented even before new residents move into their new living spaces, and the municipality will have much greater opportunity to create the park capacity and new facilities within the immediate vicinity (walking distance) of a redevelopment project’s new residents for whom the park dedication was paid.

TemoTimo 4 months ago

We are respectfully questioning the ban of "lands for trails or active transportation purposes" (14.g.) as acceptable parkland dedication -- it seems with specific parameters in terms of the area around the trail, that lands for trails/active transportation should be allowed under or considered for parkland dedication.
For example our current Trans Canada Trail adjacent to the the GJR railway from Speedvale Ave to Marcon could be considered a linear Park .It has park benches and shade trees planted along the trail. I t also has a pollinator garden and connects to the Speed River via the Guelph Hiking Trail Club trails.
Future Residential development proposed for this area and along the Proposed TCT extension South to Victoria road would benefit from developers contributing land or monies to improve or pay for future trails near or adjacent to these developments. Examples are the future Woods or Imico sitesadjacent to the GJR rail way.
Mike Darmon
President GCAT
gcat.ca

Mike Darmon 4 months ago

I participated in a virtual focus group in January. In that small group, at least 2 participants had shared that they had been removed from city parks by school groups. Both individuals were certain that they were on city property, not school board property. I hear this is not uncommon. What is being done to ensure the public has access to city property without fear of been told "You need to leave now! You can't be here". I have raised this with some city staff in the past.

ralf.mesenbrink 4 months ago

Requesting a fenced dog run at Exhibition Park. Would also love to see a bicycle pump track added to one of Guelph's parks for mountain bike and skills practice, for all ages.

AlexArgy 5 months ago

We fully support any and all efforts by The City of Guelph to obtain and develop more parkland and green spaces in Guelph. This particular by-law is just the tool the city can use to purchase the heritage designated Yorklands Green Hub lands so that future generations can enjoy this unique and amazing green acreage the like of which we can never have again if built over.

tanteqathome 5 months ago

Developers are not interested in the well being of the city or people of Guelph. They are interested if their bank account will get fatter. So please do not insut me with propaganda abour developers doing something without a legislated obligation. Besides, all they have to do is go to an appeal process, get what they want and move on.

MeMe 5 months ago
Page last updated: 18 Feb 2022, 06:59 AM