Council passes new parkland dedication bylaw

GUELPH-ERAMOSA – Council here has approved a new parkland dedication bylaw.

Parks and recreation director Robin Milne told council on March 22 there will be three main changes to the bylaw, which sets out rules regarding parkland – or cash-in-lieu of parkland – for new developments.

In 2017 there was a large overhaul on the previous by-law. Being in the fourth year of using it, aspects of the new bylaw need to be amended, as “there are some inequities that have risen through this,” Milne told council.

One change clarifies that cash-in-lieu of parkland  is not required for additions, expansions or extensions to existing institutional, commercial or industrial buildings that do not exceed 50% of the existing floor area.

A second change relates to agricultural severances. Milne explained a scenario arose where a family with a 200-acre property wanted to split the property so the son could live on 100 acres and the parents on the other 100.

The existing bylaw would have had the family paying 2% of the value of the land.  The change lets them pay the fee that council sets every year instead – around $8,100.

“This change is being presented kind of in fairness,” said Milne.

The last change is for road allowances. Going forward,  road allowances that are acquired and changed to residential lots are subject to the cash-in-lieu of parkland fee.

While there were some questions brought up by council, notably on the second change for people wanting to split their property, the changes were seen as fair.

“They make a lot of sense,” said Mayor Chris White.

Later in the meeting council passed a new parkland dedication bylaw with the changes.