How Guelph's proposed zoning bylaws could impact new double-car garages
City staff in Guelph have drafted a new set of zoning bylaws for the community.
"It's very important to keep this document updated, because it tells people how tall their fences can be and what uses they can have if they have a home business or how wide their driveway can be," said Ward 6 Coun. Dominique O'Rourke.
The bylaws were drafted in 1995 and officials said they needed an update.
"Our zoning bylaw is very old and out of date," project manager Abby Watts said.
The 400-page document takes into account the things that have changed over the last 25 years, from conservation and transit trends to population growth.
"Newer builds will have to comply with new regulations," Watts said.
Parking is also under scrutiny.
"What really concerns me is a proposed reduction in parking spaces throughout apartment buildings through the city and also in the intensification corridor," O'Rourke said.
Watts added that under the proposed bylaw, new apartment buildings within the city's intensification areas have a maximum of 1.25 parking spaced per unit plus 0.25 visitor parking spaces per unit. Other areas of the city are proposed to have a minimum of one space per unit plus 0.25 visitor parking spaces per unit for the first 20 units, and one space per unit plus 0.15 visitor parking spaces per unit above the 20 units. No maximum parking ratios are proposed for apartment buildings outside of the city's intensification areas. New home garages cannot be larger than 50 per cent of the width of the dwelling.
O'Rourke said that means only larger homes will be able to have two-car garages, adding under the current cost of living, that's unrealistic.
"You'll have more than one income earner, not all of whom are going to work in town or be able to take transit," she said.
O'Rourke said 77 per cent of Guelph residents commute to work by car.
Watts said the proposed parking reductions are aimed at achieving climate change goals and ensuring "pedestrian-oriented" streets.
The proposal is still preliminary and city staff are asking for public input. Final approval from council won't happen until later in 2022.