March 5 announcement to explain changes to zoning by-law

Guelph will explore licensing program for rental housing

GUELPH, ON, March 1, 2012 – During a meeting on March 5, City Council will share information that led to its decision to repeal a zoning by-law amendment on shared rental housing and take steps to repeal an interim control by-law that prevented the development of certain types of shared rental housing in parts of the city.

Because these matters involved legal advice and ongoing litigation, they were discussed in a closed session of Council on January 30. In the open session that followed, Council repealed the zoning by-law amendment, and announced its decision to bring forward a by-law to repeal the interim control by-law.

“On February 27 Council voted to waive solicitor-client privilege and confidentiality on information from its January 30 meeting to ensure interested members of the community understand why Council made these decisions about shared rental housing,” says Susan Smith, Associate Solicitor for the City.

The City remains committed to working with property owners, landlords, tenants and other residents to address the many complex issues surrounding shared rental housing.

The repeal of the zoning by-law allows City staff to focus their resources on implementing other actions arising from the Shared Rental Housing Work Plan approved by Council in May 2010. The plan includes enhancing enforcement, increasing public education and consulting with the community to explore a program to license rental housing.

About the zoning by-law amendment

Council passed zoning bylaw amendment # (2010)-19076 on September 20, 2010. The purpose of the amendment was to address community concerns about shared rental housing, further to the City’s Shared Rental Housing Work Plan approved by Council in May 2010. Council repealed the by-law amendment on January 30.

About the interim control by-law

Council passed interim control bylaw # (2010)-19109 on June 7, 2010. Its purpose was to provide time for the City to study shared rental housing issues and recommend changes to the zoning by-law to better address concerns raised by neighbourhood groups. The interim control by-law prohibited the development of certain types of shared rental housing (i.e., lodging house or unit, accessory apartment or new rooms in such) in Ward 5 and parts of Ward 6. This by-law ceased to be in effect when the OMB formally closed its file on the zoning by-law amendment appeals in a February 24 letter to the City. Council will consider formally repealing the interim control by-law on March 5.

For more information

Todd Salter
Acting General Manager, Planning Services
T 519-822-1260 x 2395