City improving development planning processes

Guelph’s IOR Annual Report illustrates significant cultural shift

Guelph, ON, June 29, 2015 – The City of Guelph has released the Integrated Operational Review (IOR) Annual Report, which will be shared with the Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise Committee at its July 7 meeting.

The report highlights progress made to date on making Guelph a more welcoming place for business and investment and includes 23 recommendations that aim to strengthen the City’s development approval processes.

“By working collaboratively across City departments, examining existing processes and identifying opportunities for improvement, with involvement from the development industry and business community, Guelph can continue to bring about the changes needed to build a welcoming city for business and investment,” says Todd Salter, general manager of Planning, Urban Design and Building Services. “The IOR implementation plan is more than just a roadmap with deadlines and deliverables; it requires the City to undergo a significant cultural shift from within. As part of the IOR, staff are examining the City’s internal processes and refining them and their related roles to better serve our stakeholders.”

“I want to thank the many members of the development and business community who have given significant time and expertise to this renewed process. We have made strides in the past several months and are on our way to making Guelph a better place to invest,” says Mayor Cam Guthrie.

IOR implementation will make it easier for the City, the development industry, business community, and public at large to work together. The City is working to be more efficient, accessible and responsive by:

  • Mapping all of the City’s current Development Approval Processes (DAPs) to identify and begin implementing improvements.
  • Implementing a mandatory pre-consultation process and Development Review Committee.
  • Developing and implementing an Interim Rapid Response Protocol for high impact Industrial, Commercial and Institutional development and investment opportunities.
  • Piloting performance measurement systems and targets in the development approval process to monitor and track progress. 
  • Improving the City’s webpages to ensure they are user-friendly and intuitive for those looking to develop, invest or do business in Guelph.

“I genuinely appreciate the time and effort that staff have taken to listen carefully to the thoughts and ideas of the industry and consultants and collaboratively work with us to create ‘made in Guelph’ solutions that will help streamline the process while at the same time ensuring a high quality built environment,” says Scott Arbuckle, associate with IBI Group.

“We commend the City of Guelph on the internal review of its planning processes in an effort to gain efficiencies and improve performance while keeping accountability at the forefront. We are hopeful that the implementation of the IOR will be of benefit to many including the City, the development industry and, in particular, home buyers,” says Larry Kotseff, Senior Executive of Land Development, Fusion Homes.

IOR activities proposed for the remainder of 2015 through 2016 will build on the work completed to date and include implementing enhanced DAPs, developing DAP manuals, formalizing the mandatory pre-consultation process and Development Review Committee, piloting the Rapid Response Protocol, using performance measurement systems and targets in DAPs, developing a Customer Service Strategy for the IOR and going live with updated webpages on guelph.ca.

For more information

Todd Salter
General Manager of Planning, Urban Design and Building Services
Infrastructure, Development and Enterprise
519-822-1260 extension 2395
todd.salter@guelph.ca