Condo proposal exceeding Guelph's height limits comes before councillors

Jul 13, 2017

A proposed condominium complex that would exceed the city’s height limitations has had its first hearing in front of councillors.

The proposed structure at 71 Wyndham St. S., put forward by the Tricar Group, would stand 14 storeys tall, containing 140 units. However, the downtown secondary plan, originally approved in 2012, designates that property as having a limit of 10 storeys.

The land the proposed development sits on is currently zoned for mixed commercial-residential. Tricar is looking to have the land rezoned under the Central Business District, which would permit a building of the size the developer would like to build there.

It was this height that brought questions from councillors.

“We need a compelling reason to make those kinds of zoning bylaw amendments,” Coun. Dan Gibson said of the proposed 14 storeys.

Coun. Mike Salisbury, meanwhile, brought up concerns about how the building would look from street level.

“I’m concerned about the quality of street frontage,” he said.

“When we look at the renderings, what we see presented is … how this building looks from the river. But from the street, I’m concerned it’s not as functional.”

According to plans for the development submitted to the city, Tricar is looking to have the front yard setback reduced to 0.3 metres.

Feedback, included with the report presented to councillors, was mixed, with some residents citing their concern that the zoning for the property would have to be changed in order to accommodate such a project.

“I am wondering what the point is in having bylaws if we don’t enforce them,” writes Joe McDonald in his letter to councillors Dan Gibson and Bob Bell, along with Mayor Cam Guthrie.

“The bylaw was put in place for a reason and not to amend every time a big company with lots of money behind it speaks. Perhaps they should have done more homework before starting the project or did they think that this would be a push over.”

There were several letters of support from nearby property owners, with one writer, 67 Wyndham St. S. owner Jeff Neumann, stating he believes the proposed 14-storey building isn’t tall enough.

“If we are to meet our population targets, sites like this ought to be maximized,” he writes.

Councillors voted unanimously to receive the proposal.


Graeme McNaughton, Guelph Mercury