Potential limit on aisle widths the hot topic on the board

Parking issues fueled the conversation at Monday’s council meeting, where city staff presented the first comprehensive zoning by-law revisions in 26 years, covering a wide variety of building types, uses and more.

If ultimately approved, the draft regulation would reduce the number of parking spaces required for new apartment buildings and commercial areas, particularly in identified intensification areas, as well as restrict the width of residential driveways to limit side-by-side parking.

“I think there is common ground here,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie of the parking issues. “I want us to balance things out as well as possible. “

The full zoning by-law dictates land uses, such as residential and industrial, as well as limits on things such as building height, parking, setbacks, and open space requirements, among others. .

The most controversial of the potential changes at Monday’s meeting was a recommendation that residential driveway widths be capped at half that of the lot or sizes that depend on the type of dwelling, whichever is less.

For single-family homes, it would be 6.5 meters. In the case of semi-detached houses, it is five meters. And for townhouses, the width of the driveway is capped at 3.5 meters.

Five meters is generally considered to be the width required for two vehicles side by side.

Driveway width and parking ratios were the most common issues raised in previous public consultations, noted Abby Watts, project manager for the review, with people split between wanting more or less.

“Not all comments are created equal,” Coun said. Mark MacKinnon, explaining that some are from multigenerational families who need more parking to stay in accommodation than they can afford, while other comments are from people who want more grass in front of the house. across the street. “I think it’s important to weigh the importance.”

He offered a counter-argument to every argument he said he heard – there will be no space for trees (putting trees in backyards), extra width will create more water runoff (side paving stones are now allowed).

“The only thing that boils down to four words, ‘I don’t like it,'” noted MacKinnon. “Aesthetics don’t trump affordability, doesn’t trump support for our families. “

While several board members expressed support for MacKinnon’s concerns, the question was far from unanimous.

“Everyone has a voice and these voices are all valid,” Coun replied. Leanne Caron, who worries about the problem that divides the community.

Caron pointed to a “demographic shift” on the horizon as young adults choose not to own vehicles, even electric ones. As a result, fewer parking spaces will be needed in the years to come, she suggested.

“We’ve learned a lot about car-centric design and it’s not just about the looks,” Caron said.

The affordability problem can be solved through the use of stacked parking lots – one vehicle in front of another – the Council said. Cathy Downer.

It would be premature to implement parking reductions before the city creates better active transportation and transit systems, Council. Rodrigo Goller intervened.

Since parking would not be allowed on paved driveways under the draft regulation, it could put tens of thousands of residents in violation, the adviser added. Dominique O’Rourke. She is also concerned that the parking reductions could push more people to park on the street, especially around apartment buildings, which would impact neighboring residents.

Com. Mike Salisbury called for “middle ground” in the driveway width discussion, suggesting that council pick the “fruit at hand” to allow people to park on the sidewalks of the driveway so that they can install two vehicles in their driveway.

Council is not expected to consider the draft by-law for approval until next year, following additional public consultations and a statutory public meeting.

In addition, a series of open houses and online workshops addressing aspects of the proposed regulation are available now and until next month at www.haveyoursay.guelph.ca/czbr.

A project postcard was mailed to all landowners in the city to bring the proposed by-law to their attention.

The complete draft zoning by-law can be viewed here.

Council approved the development of a new comprehensive zoning by-law in January 2019. The last one was approved in 1995.

While the project isn’t fully interactive, the end product will, Watts told the board. This includes a series of active links to help people find what they need, as well as map overlays for things like flood plains.

It also includes illustrations to accompany the text, although Watts noted that the illustrations are not officially part of the regulations.

“This is the best document I have ever seen,” commented Guthrie, echoing many of his fellow council members. “If I can figure it out, I’m sure a lot of other people can figure it out.”

Source link