City review aims to boost business investment practices

GUELPH, ON, February 16, 2012 – The first report of a review of the City’s business investment practices identifies several issues the City will explore to make it easier for business investors to deal with the City on planning and development matters. These include:

  • Making it easier to understand the complex range of City and provincial policies and requirements
  • Streamlining internal processes and enhancing interdepartmental co-ordination
  • Improving the timeliness of staff reviews
  • Strengthening partnerships between staff and business stakeholders
  • Providing a level-playing field for all business investors

Enhancements already underway include streamlining the process for registering subdivisions and condominiums, formalizing the planning and development application processes, simplifying the approval process for minor revisions to site plans and implementing a triaging process for economic development.

“We welcome the findings in the first report as they will lead us to delivering public services better and attracting more businesses to Guelph” said Peter Cartwright, General Manager, Economic Development. “Council and staff must always consider business investment proposals alongside other important considerations, such as the impact on our community and the environment.”

Business and community stakeholders will be invited to participate in the second phase of this review that will explore solutions to improve the City’s approach to business investment while supporting continuing community participation in planning and development matters.

About the Joint Operational Review

In 2011, the City’s economic development, planning, building services and engineering departments initiated a two-part review to address a recommendation in Prosperity 2020 – the City’s economic development and tourism strategy – to assess its business investment practices.

This review follows a similar one – the Development Application Review Process – completed in 2005.

An oversight committee for today’s joint operational review includes representatives from the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, Guelph Wellington Developers’ Association and the local development consulting and real estate sectors.

The first phase, conducted in 2011, involved interviews with 59 stakeholders to identify issues related to the City’s business investment practices. The results are published in the report, Operational Review Issues Scoping Report.

The second phase, expected to start in March, will explore solutions to address issues raised in Phase 1.

The Phase 2 report is expected to be presented to Council in late June.


“The Guelph Wellington Developers’ Association is pleased to be a partner in the operational review of the City’s planning, building, engineering and economic development functions. The Phase 1 report has identified several issues that will be addressed as part of the second phase of the review process. The GWDA is confident the process will be successful in addressing many of these issues and looks forward to our continued involvement in this initiative.”

— Alfred Artinger, President, Guelph Wellington Developers’ Association

“The operational review process being undertaken, including external stakeholders, is progressing well. It is in all our interest to identify areas for improvement and work on them together. The process we are involved with has already been beneficial in providing a framework for discussion. Phase 2 will have some specific project targets and goals, which we look forward to working on together.”

— Lloyd Longfield, President & CAO, Guelph Chamber of Commerce


For more information

Peter Cartwright
General Manager
Economic Development
T 519-822-1260 x 2820

Janet Laird
Executive Director
Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment
T 519-822-1260 x 2237