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City staff recommends approval of development on Guelph Curling Club lands

Proposal heading to council planning meeting on Nov. 9 for a decision includes 248 residential units and a commercial building

Now in its third incarnation, city staff is recommending council approved a mixed-use development on lands surrounding Guelph Curling Club on Woolwich Street.

The plan, which includes 200 stacked townhouse units, a five-storey apartment building with 48 units and a 6,685-square-foot commercial building, heads to council’s Nov. 9 planning meeting for potential approval.

City officials first received a development proposal from Chief Holdings for 3.9 hectares of land at 816 Woolwich Street, north of Woodlawn Road, in 2014. At the time, it included 31 three-strorey townhouses in three blocks, and four commercial buildings. 

A revised plan was submitted in November 2018 featuring 195 stacked townhouses, a five-storey building with a mix of residential and retail space, and an office building.

The latest version ups the number of stacked townhouses to 200, with a five-storey residential building and a commercial building.

All three plans included keeping the Guelph Curling Club building.

Numerous concerns were raised during a public meeting to deal with the plan as it was in 2018.

Among them was Lisa Calzonetti, director of operations at the nearby Ignatius Jesuit Centre, who worried the number of people this project would bring could impact the “spirit” of the centre and lead to the land being “abused.”

Several councillors expressed concerns about the current lack of sidewalks and lack of them in the plans. 

Additional questions were raised about the amount of green space, parking, and the impact on recreational fields.

The city has, in the past, leased land from the curling club for two ball diamonds and soccer space on the property. The last time that happened was the 2017 season.

Rather than convey parkland to the city, the developer is proposing to provide cash-in-lieu.

Part of the curling club property is identified as “open space and park” use in the city’s official plan, though the staff report indicates that the result of a “technical error” that occurred during migration of an old mapping system to the current one.

"It has been verified through mapping records that … the subject lands are designated as ‘mixed use node’ in the 2001 official plan in their entirety and ‘commercial mixed-use centre’ in the current official plan,” the report states.

During the Nov. 9 council planning meeting, elected officials are being asked to approve the proposal and change the zoning from specialized highway service commercial to specialized community shopping centre.

The meeting is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be streamed live guelph.ca/live.

Anyone interested in being a delegate during the meeting must register by 10 a.m. on Nov. 6 at guelph.ca/delegation. Written submissions must be sent to the clerk’s office at clerks@guelph.ca by the same deadline.



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