Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘City of Guelph’

Community activist Laura Murr joined us on Royal City Rag on October 16 to discuss the real cost of growth.

Growth is an  issue that is barely getting a mention in a municipal campaign clogged by discussions of fiscal accountability and candidates trying to out do each other with rash promises of zero tax increases and tax moratoriums.

Few people seem to understand that growth, especially residential growth costs the city money because of infrastructure costs, and few seem to realize that the cost of that growth will be born by the current taxpayer base. The city will grow, and the current city residents will pay for it through higher taxes.

Guelph is scheduled for a development boom under the provincial growth plan, Places To Grow, with a population increase from 115,000 to a staggering 165,000 by 2031. All these people will need somewhere to live, never mind work. Say hello to some large scale residential development and extensive infill.

Places to Grow mandates intensification within current limits which is is a good thing to curb sprawl but it is important to realize that infill development costs FOUR times as much as green field development. The taxpayers of Guelph will have to pay for this smart growth even if city services are drastically curtailed to make tax increases palatable.

Some interesting facts about Guelph:

Population growth

Population growth

  • From 2001 to 2008, Guelph population went from 106,170 to 119,909
  • From 2001 to 2006, Guelph’s population growth was 8.3% – the average Ontario growth was 5.7 %
  • From 2006 to 2008 , Guelph’s population grew by 4.3% – the Ontario Average was 2.3%
  • In total Guelph grew  by 12.9% from 2001 to 2008  –  the Ontario Average was 9.3%

Numbers are taken from the BMA Management Consultants Municipal Study 2008

Land Area

  • Guelph Land area is 87 square KM.
  • Guelph population density per square km = 1,355 persons. In the BMA report this is considered to be high density.
  • Guelph has a higher population density than Hamilton, Whitby, Oshawa, Burlington, Oakville, Markham

Consultant CN Watson has indicated that growth will cost between a 4.5 to 5.0% increase in property taxes each year in order to pay for the so called soft services in the Capital Budget required by new residents and businesses. This amount is not recoverable through development charges.

“While I do not have the specific statistics you are looking for readily available, the Council has taken the position to recover the costs of growth from development charges, to the extent permitted by the Development Charges Act. There were some losses of revenue through phase-in strategies before recovering full rates, to help developers transition, and through a few exemptions to promote certain types of growth. There are also certain costs like waste management that are impacted by growth, but are not recoverable through the Development Charges Act.”
– Margaret Neubauer, CFO/City Treasurer (by e-mail)

It was a great discussion. You really need to check it out if you missed it.

Listen to the show:

Music:
Pretenders, My City Was Gone from Learning To Crawl
Andy White, If You Want It? from Songwriter
Sunnyland Slim, Be Careful How You Vote from Be Careful How You Vote

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 8-10 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Royal City Rag live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Councillor Laidlaw

We continued our end of term reports from Guelph’s current city council with a return visit from passionate Ward 3 Councillor Maggie Laidlaw to CFRU 93.3fm’s Royal City Rag on August 7 during our second hour, 9-10 a.m.

As part of our pre-election coverage, we have invited all of the current city council, including the mayor, to join us on the show. An opportunity for council to discuss the main issues they see facing the city, it also gives us a chance to ask some important questions of them.

Check out what Councillor Laidlaw has to say about truly sustainable growth, infill development, creating a bike friendly city and encouraging the use of public transit.

Also, check out our previous interviews with Councillor Lise Burcher, Councillor Leanne Piper and Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge.

Listen to the show:

Download (Right click and save)

Music:
Frazey Ford, Firecracker from Obidiah
The Weakerthans, One Great City from Reconstruction Site
Peter Gabriel, Solsbury Hill from Peter Gabriel

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 8-10 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Royal City Rag live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

Read Full Post »

Councillor Laidlaw

We are pleased to welcome passionate Ward 3 councillor Maggie Laidlaw to CFRU93.3fm‘s Royal City Rag this coming Saturday, August 7. Councillor Laidlaw will be joining us during our second hour, 9-10 a.m.

As part of our pre-election coverage, we have invited all of the current city council, including the mayor, to join us on the show for an end of term report. An opportunity for council to discuss the main issues they see facing the city, it also gives us a chance to ask some important questions of them. Check out our previous interviews with Councillor Lise Burcher, Councillor Leanne Piper and Mayor Karen Farbridge.

It should be a fascinating conversation. You won’t want to miss it.

In the first hour, we’ll be on the music festival beat, wrapping up Hillside 2010 and focusing on two other local music festivals, the Fresh Water Jamboree on August 7 and the Sunlight Music Festival on August 14.

The Fresh Water Jamboree is a free music festival at the Riverside Park Bandshell that run from noon till 11.00 p.m. on August 7. The festival, now in its third year, was established to help raise awareness about  the importance of  “fresh water”  not just in Wellington County, but also across Canada and throughout the world. The day-long event will feature musical performances by Sam Turton, Peter Slack, Carmela, Mike Sharp and many more. A presentation about  the importance of fresh water by Wellington Waterwatchers, with support from The City of Guelph, will take place at 7.00 p.m. Food and refreshments will also be available.

A week later, on August 14, the 2nd Annual Sunlight Music Festival takes place, also at the Riverside Park Bandshell, and again, from Noon till 11.00 p.m., rain or shine. A free festival, the Sunlight Music Festival is also solar powered. As it is also a fundraiser for Guelph Wellington Women in Crisis, donations are encouraged. The festival headlined by Danny Michel, also features Lynzie Kent, Rusty Waters and The Broken Troubadours, Ian Reid, Jesse Parent, Christen Zuch, Lime Parade, Doug Clayfield, Richard Laviolette and the Oilspills, Stereola and closing act, Sapphire City.

As always, rest assured, we’ll wrap it all up with some great music.

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 8-10 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Royal City Rag live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

Read Full Post »

The third Fresh Water Jamboree takes place this Saturday, August 7, from noon to 11 p.m. at the Riverside Park Bandshell.

The Fresh Water Jamboree is a free, annual one-day music festival established to help raise awareness about “fresh water” in Wellington County, the province of Ontario and across Canada. Be The Artist, a Guelph-based organization that promotes musicians and environmental initiatives, launched Guelph’s first “green” music festival in 2008.

“We’re expecting to see 600 or 700 people at the event this year,” says festival organizer Chris Williams. “We’ve had so many local musicians and artistic communities become involved in this event, it’s quite exciting.  The Fresh Water Jamboree was created to help bring focus and awareness to our depleting fresh water supply, and also to help promote local musicians and artists.”

The day-long event will feature musical performances by Sam Turton, Peter Slack, Carmela, Mike Sharp and many more. A presentation about  the importance of fresh water by Wellington Waterwatchers, with support from The City of Guelph, will take place at 7.00 p.m. Food and refreshments will also be available.

The water in Canada is at risk. We need to act now before it is too late. Our water resources are being depleted so fast that the possibility of no water resources here in Canada could become a reality. There are many countries that have been getting water from our resources and there are many more companies and countries who are in need because they don’t have fresh water in their own country. We need to act locally and think globally.
www.wellingtonwaterwatchers.ca

Read Full Post »

Councillor Leanne Piper

On July 17 we were pleased to welcome Ward 5 Councillor Leanne Piper to CFRU93.3fm’s Royal City Rag.

As part of our pre-election coverage, Royal City Rag has invited all of the current city council, including Mayor Karen Farbridge, to join us on the show for an end of term report. An opportunity for council to discuss the main issues they see facing the city, their successes (as they see them) as well as hopes for the future.

Our wide ranging conversation covered a lot of different areas; Councillor Piper’s experience, sustainable development and the controversial WC Woods condo development, accountability and transparency for city council members, encouraging all election candidates to make campaign donations public during the election, the Community Energy Initiative, waste management,  the recession, municipal taxes and managing the city budget as well as the protection of Guelph’s urban trees.

It was a fascinating discussion. Definitely well worth checking out.

Listen:

Download (Right click and save)

Music:
Warped 45s, Radio Sky from 10 Day Poem For Saskatchewan
Flashlight Radio, Every Road from Flashlight Radio EP
Tannis Slimmon, Ernest, Charlie and Allan from Lucky Blue

Read Full Post »

We are pleased to welcome our culture vulture Marie Zimmerman back to Royal City Rag for our monthly chat on Saturday July 17 between 8-9 a.m.

Marie is currently executive director of the Hillside Festival. As the festival is just a week away and the schedule has just been announced we’ll be  talking about some of the artists you can expect to enjoy.

If you are still trying to track down a ticket, Friday and Sunday passes are still available at Hillside ticket outlets Ground Floor Music in Guelph, Encore Records in Kitchener and Soundscapes in Toronto as well as online via TicketPro. The first 500 seniors can get weekend passes for just $49.50!

Although weekend passes are long gone you may be able to track one down via Kijiji or Craigslist.

We’ll also find time to plug one or two of the other arts related events including Art on the Street taking place in downtown Guelph on Saturday (July 17) from 10 a.m. till 6.00 pm. A free street fest that provides fun for all the family!

Art on the street turns the spotlight on some of the fabulous talent within the local visual arts community. Over 70 artists will showcase their works in temporary, open-air studios which will line both sides of Quebec Street.

Changes for 2010 include a new partnership between the Downtown Guelph Business Association and Guelph Arts Council to host this year’s event, and the generous presence of Guelph School of Art in the children’s area.

To see a list of this year’s artists, visit downtownguelph.com.

In the second hour of the show  (9-10 a.m.) we are pleased to welcome Ward 5 Councillor Leanne Piper to Royal City Rag.

As part of our pre-election coverage, Royal City Rag has invited all of the current city council, including Mayor Karen Farbridge, to join us on the show for an end of term report. This is an opportunity for council to discuss the main issues they see facing the city, talk about the successes of the current term as well as their hopes for the future. It will also give us a chance to ask some questions of them.

It should be a fascinating conversation. You won’t want to miss it.

As always we’ll wrap it all up with some great music.

Royal City Rag, Saturdays 8-10 a.m. on CFRU93.3fm in Guelph. Remember if you don’t catch Royal City Rag live, you can always pick it up later that day via the CFRU archive or here, on the blog, a day or so later.

Read Full Post »

The following article was on the BBC News website last week. It’s definitely worth repeating. Its clear that Guelph is not the only city dealing with a drastic decrease in its urban mature tree canopy.

Calls To Green The ‘Concrete Jungle’
Mark Kinver, Science and Environment Reporter, BBC News
June 30, 2010

Trees can play an essential role in improving the quality of life in UK towns and cities, a report has said.

The Woodland Trust says planting more trees has been shown to improve air quality, reduce ambient temperatures and benefit people’s health.The trend of declining tree cover in many areas needs to be reversed in order to improve access to green spaces in urban areas, the study adds. The trust is also launching a campaign to plant 20 million native trees each year.

“Towns and cities tend to put into sharp relief some of the key problems we are facing as a society,” said lead author Mike Townsend. “So they are a good place to start when try to illustrate just where green spaces can deliver significant improvements for relatively little cost.”

The issues outlined in the report included physical and mental health problems, childhood obesity, air pollution, soaring summer temperatures, flash flooding and diminishing wildlife.

The trust estimated that 80% of the UK population live in urban areas, yet less than 10% of people have access to local woodlands within 500m of their homes.

“If you look back over history, Victorian times saw a real move towards parks and street trees; some of the big street trees that you find in our cities today go back to these times,” explained Woodland Trust conservation policy expert Sian Atkinson.

“What we have seen more recently is that there has been reduction in the number of trees being planted, and there has also been a loss of the lovely Victorian trees with big canopies,” she told BBC News.

“We are starting to miss these from our towns and cities, and not enough thought has been given to replacements and to ensuring that there is going to be enough tree cover in the future.”

‘Slow the flow’
The report also highlighted the role urban trees could play in preventing flash floods.

Ms Atkinson said: “Hard surfaces in towns and cities have increased in recent years, and we are seeing more flooding. One of the problems is surface water drainage. It has been shown that trees and woods are key to help control this sort of flooding. As well as absorbing groundwater, tree canopies help reduce the volume of rainfall hitting the ground and relieve pressure on urban drainage systems.”

She called on civic planners to address the issues highlighted by the report.

“There is quite a lot of talk about green infrastructure,” she observed, “and our message is that we hope that trees and woods are a really big part of that.”

In its Programme for Government report, the coalition government announced that it would initiate a national tree planting campaign.

During a speech in May, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: “If any organism has demonstrated an ability to multi-task, it’s trees. They capture carbon and hold soils together, prevent flooding and help control our climate. They also add immeasurably to the quality of life of our towns and cities.”

She added that in some parts of inner London, it was calculated that each tree was deemed to be worth as much as £78,000 in terms of its benefits.

Ms Atkinson welcomed the government’s announcement: “The UK has very low woodland cover compared with the rest of Europe. We are actually looking for a doubling in native woodland cover. There are some areas that have more cover than others, but – overall – there is quite a big job to do in order to increase tree cover to a level that provides all the benefits outlined in the report.”

To coincide with the publication of the report, the Woodland Trust is also launching a More Trees More Good campaign, which will look to plant 20 million native trees across the UK for the next 50 years.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Guelph’s urban forest canopy sits at 25%, while the desired level  is 40%. Guelph citizens have now been waiting for a new stronger protective tree by-law for over 19 years. In the meantime we continue to lose canopy.

Guelph Urban Forest Friends have been advocating for our urban trees, including a strong protective tree bylaw and a separate urban forestry department with a certified forester to more effectively manage tree maintenance and coordinate public education on the value of our mature trees.

For more information, visit www.guffguelph.ca

Please contact Mayor and Council about this issue. Tell them that our mature urban trees need their help and support. Tell them to get the Strategic Urban Forestry Management Plan completed and a strong and comprehensive protective bylaw passed.

Contacting Guelph City Council

Mayor Farbridge: mayor@guelph.ca

Ward 1: Bob Bell bob.bell@guelph.ca, Kathleen Farrelly kathleen.farrelly@guelph.ca
Ward 2: Vicki Beard vicki.beard@guelph.ca, Ian Findlay ian.findlay@guelph.ca
Ward 3: Maggie Laidlaw maggie.laidlaw@guelph.ca, June Hofland june.hofland@guelph.ca
Ward 4: Gloria Kovach gloria.kovach@guelph.ca, Mike Salisbury mike.salisbury@guelph.ca
Ward 5: Lise Burcher lise.burcher@guelph.ca, Leanne Piper leanne.piper@guelph.ca
Ward 6: Christine Billings christine.billings@guelph.ca, Karl Wettstein karl.wettstein@guelph.ca

Don’t know your ward? Click here to see the map

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »