This is a letter I have provided in response to concerns about the Hanlon Creek Business Park development:
Hanlon Creek Business Park
Guelph City Council and the Grand River Conservation Authority have given final approval for the Hanlon Creek Business Park to proceed based on the following key considerations:
- Protection of the old growth forest grove, including all heritage trees except two that couldn’t be saved
- Protection of the Provincially Significant Wetlands, its fisheries and terrestrial habitat
- Restoration of 10 hectares of meadowland
- 20 hectares of tree plantings to increase the existing tree canopy coverage from approximately 26% to 35%
- Protection of ground water quantity and quality
- Recognizing the potential of these lands to serve as a location for future municipal water supply.
Now that the development plans have received approval, grading and servicing work will proceed in compliance with several conditions imposed by the approval agencies.
Through the implementation of new planning principles, the Hanlon Creek Business Park will be home to 10,000 to 12,000 new jobs, helping Guelph accommodate 32,400 new jobs by 2031 under Provincial Places to Grow legislation without sprawling beyond our city boundaries. In addition, the City will be working with the private owners of brownfields elsewhere in the City to encourage redevelopment, but it is not feasible to expect that these sites alone can accommodate all our job needs over the next 25 years.
The Hanlon Creek Business Park project strikes a balance between meeting our community’s economic needs, the need to protect our natural heritage and ground water, and delivers on the SmartGuelph principles adopted in 2003.
Additionally, through partnerships with business and the community, the development of the Hanlon Creek Business Park will visibly contribute to achieving Guelph’s water reduction targets established by the Water Conservation and Efficiency Strategy, a 40% tree canopy coverage, increased pollinator habitat, and energy and green house gas reductions established by the Community Energy Plan.
A marketing strategy will be developed to identify the “preferred business profile” for the Hanlon Creek Business Park so the project can play a strategic role in Guelph’s transition to a green economy, building on Guelph’s reputation as a green city, our leadership in energy, waste and water management, and our commitment to triple bottom line thinking as competitive advantages in attracting knowledge-based and green jobs.
Here is an aerial photograph of the Hanlon Creek lands as they are today:
Here is a map showing the business park, with protected areas marked in green: