Ward 4 News

Councillor - Christine Billings

Friday May 24th - 2013

Article from Guelph Tribune HERE

From Staff & See Below:

Dear Mayor Farbridge and Councillors:
In October, 2012, staff were directed to create a Driving Instructor Licence category within the City’s Business Licence By-law and that public and industry consultation be undertaken for the purpose of establishing appropriate regulations for the category.
Since October 2012, staff have worked with industry representatives from the Drive Test Centre of Guelph, the Driving School Association of Ontario and the All State Driving Instructors Association of Ontario to create draft regulations.
A media advisory will be released advising options for public to comment on these draft regulations, as well as provide the opportunity for the public to attend an open house meeting on the subject.   All community comments will be considered during the final design process and staff anticipate presenting a proposed amendment to the Operations, Transit and Emergency Services Committee in July.
Here are the media advisory as well as a copy of the draft regulations.
The City’s webpage will be updated to provide the draft regulations.
If you have any questions, please contact me.
Yours truly,
Doug Godfrey | Manager
Operations, Transit & Emergency Services |Bylaw Compliance, Security & Licensing Department
City of Guelph
T 519-822-1260 x 2520 | F 519-822-1751
E doug.godfrey@guelph.ca

 

MEDIA RELEASE:

City seeks community input for proposed driving instructor business licence

GUELPH, ON, May 21, 2013 – Community members are invited to attend an open house to learn more about, ask questions, voice concerns and support, and provide input on the development of a new business licence category for driving instructors operating in Guelph.
The amended by-law, if approved by Council, will allow the City to regulate where and when driver instruction can take place in Guelph.
Licensing driving instructors will help address community safety concerns related to an increase in traffic from driver training on residential streets near Guelph’s Drive Test Centre, and ensure more driving instructors are licensed by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and possess liability insurance.
To inform the City’s Business Licence by-law amendment, the City hopes to hear from a variety of community members.  

WHAT:    Licensing driving instructors open house  
    
WHO:    Doug Godfrey, the City's manager of Bylaw Compliance, Security and Licensing, Jennifer Jacobi, the City’s licensing coordinator, and representatives from the Drive Test Centre of Guelph, Driving School Association of Ontario, and Allstate Driving Instructors’ Association of Ontario
    
WHEN:   Wednesday, May 29, 6:30 to 8 p.m.

WHERE:       City Hall, 1 Carden Street, room 112
Community members unable to attend, can send the City their comments by May 31, by email to licensing@guelph.ca, phone 519-822-1260 x 2551, fax 519-822-1751 or mail to Driving instructor licensing comments, City Hall, 1 Carden Street, Guelph, ON  N1H 3A1.
All feedback will be considered in the development of the proposed amendment to the Business Licence By-law, which is anticipated to be presented to Operations, Transit and Emergency Services Committee in July.

STAFF

 

DRAFT BY-LAW WORDING:

SCHEDULE 14
to City of Guelph By-law Number (2009)-18855 as amended


DRIVING INSTRUCTOR

The provisions of this Schedule shall apply in respect of Driving Instructors.

INTERPRETATION

1.    In addition to the terms defined in Section 1 of this By-law, the following terms shall have the corresponding meanings:
 
(a)    “Driving Instructor” means an individual who accepts remuneration  to provide instruction in the operation of motor vehicles;

(b)    “Driving Instructor Business Licence” means a Business Licence issued to a Driving Instructor by the City pursuant to this By-law;

(c)    “Driving School” means a driving school which holds a driving school licence issued by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation;

(d)    “Ministry of Transportation Driving Instructor’s Licence”  means a licence issued to a Driving Instructor by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation; and

(e)    “Retainer Contract” means a written contract between a Driving Instructor and a Driving School for the employment or services of the Driving Instructor to provide instruction in the operation of motor vehicles.  


CONDITIONS  

2.       No person shall engage in or carry on the business of a Driving Instructor within the City without a Driving Instructor Business Licence to do so.  

3.     No person shall engage in or carry on the business of a Driving Instructor within the City without a valid Retainer Contract, even if the Driving School and the Driving Instructor are the same person.

4.     No person except an individual may hold a Driving Instructor Business Licence.  


5.     No individual’s Driving Instructor Business Licence is valid unless he/she holds a valid Ministry of Transportation Driving Instructor’s Licence.  

6.    An individual’s Driving Instructor Business Licence ceases to be valid at any time that the individual’s Ministry of Transportation Driving Instructor’s Licence ceases to be valid.


APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

7.    Every individual applying for a Driving Instructor Business Licence or renewal thereof shall submit an application signed by the individual himself/herself.  

8.    Every individual applying for a Driving Instructor Business Licence or renewal thereof shall submit the application by appearing in person at the office of the Issuer of Licences.  

9.    Every individual applying for a Driving Instructor Business Licence or renewal thereof shall submit one (1) valid piece of Identification when he/she appears at the office of the Issuer of Licences to submit the application.  
 
10.    Every individual applying for a Driving Instructor Business Licence or renewal thereof shall submit as part of the application:  

(a)    Without restricting the generality of the provisions in this By-law related to insurance, proof, satisfactory to the City, that the individual has the following automobile liability insurance coverage, taken out with an insurer licensed to transact insurance business in Ontario and satisfactory to the City’s Procurement and Risk Manager:  

i.    In respect of licensed vehicles used in the Business in respect of which the Business Licence is applied for;  
ii.    Endorsed to include Ontario Policy Change Form (OPCF) 6D for “Driver Training” operations;  
iii.    To a limit of not less than two million dollars ($2,000,000) inclusive per occurrence;
iv.    Including bodily injury, death, damage to property and accident benefits; and  
v.    In the following forms:  standard owner’s form automobile policy providing third party liability and accident benefits insurance and covering licensed vehicles owned or operated by the Driving Instructor, and standard non-owned automobile form policy including standard contractual liability endorsement; and

(b)    Proof that the individual has a valid Ministry of Transportation Driving Instructor’s Licence.


OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

11.    While in a motor vehicle and engaged in providing instruction in the operation of a motor vehicle, no holder of a Driving Instructor Business Licence shall:

(a)    Provide such instruction on any Highway listed in Appendix “A” to this Schedule, unless authorized in writing by the Issuer of Licences;

(b)    Fail to carry his/her valid Ministry of Transportation Driving Instructor’s Licence;  

(c)    Fail to carry his/her valid Driving Instructor Business Licence;  

(d)    Fail to carry his/her valid Retainer Contract;

(e)    Fail to produce his/her valid Ministry of Transportation Driving Instructor’s Licence upon request of an Officer;

(f)    Fail to produce his/her valid Driving Instructor Business Licence upon request of an Officer;

(g)    Fail to produce his/her valid Retainer Contract upon request of an Officer;
 
(h)    Make use of a motor vehicle that does not display signs, clearly visible to other motorists from all angles, identifying the motor vehicle as a driver training vehicle;

(i)    Make use of a motor vehicle that does not display signs, clearly visible to other motorists from all angles, identifying the name and telephone number of the holder of the Driving Instructor Business  Licence and/or the Driving School which is a party to the Retainer Contract under which the instruction is provided;  

(j)    Make use of a motor vehicle that displays any sign identifying any holder of a Driving Instructor Business Licence other than the holder of the Driving Instructor Business Licence himself/herself; or

(k)    Make use of a motor vehicle that displays any sign identifying any Driving School other than the Driving School which is a party to the Retainer Contact under which the instruction is provided.


 
APPENDIX “A”
to Schedule 14 – Driving Instructor,
of City of Guelph By-law Number (2009)-18855, as amended


Applewood Crescent
Brentwood Drive
Chad Place
Drew Street
Edgehill Drive
Elmhurst Crescent
Glenda Court
Grandridge Crescent
Greengate Road
Highview Place
Julia Drive
June Avenue
Lonsdale Drive
Matthew Drive
Meadow Crescent
Nicklin Crescent
Pauline Place
Sanderson Drive
Stephen Drive
Strathmere Place
Sunset Road
Thistle Road

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Friday May 24th - 2013


GUELPH, ON, May 24, 2013

Starting Monday, Oraclepoll Research Ltd., on the City’s behalf, will administer a telephone survey to measure municipal election voter awareness, voting method preferences and barriers to participation among the Guelph electorate.
“Voter participation has more or less declined since the 2000 election, and there is very limited municipal data available to shed light on this trend to support our planning efforts,” says Blair Labelle, the city clerk. “This is the first time the City will undertake formal public opinion research to better understand and benchmark the attitudes, awareness and preferences related to municipal election planning in Guelph.”
Over approximately seven days, 600 interviews will be administered among a randomly selected, representative sample of the Guelph electorate. The results will be weighted by ward, age and gender to be representative of the population of Guelph, and considered accurate within plus or minus four per cent, nineteen times out of twenty. The margin of error will be larger for subgroups of the data.
The survey findings and any necessary City staff recommendations for the upcoming 2014 municipal election will be presented to the Governance Committee on July 16, 2013. This information will also be available electronically on guelph.ca and by request from the City Clerk’s Office and the ServiceGuelph counter at City Hall.
The costs for the survey and analysis, about $10,000, and will be drawn from the 2014 election reserve.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Blair Labelle
City Clerk
City Clerk’s Office
Corporate and Human Resources
City of Guelph
T 519-822-1260 x 2232
E blair.labelle@guelph.ca

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Wednesday May 15th - 2013

Last week, a local musician wrote an opinion piece HERE in the Guelph Mercury about Guelph's noise by-law and how he beleives the bylaw will destroy the ability of kids to learn how to play instruments across this city.

Here's my response:

As a musician (drummer) I can beyond assure you that there is nothing going on here to seek out and destroy musicians in this city. And if there was, I'd be making an issue out of this, you can be assured of that.

Over the last 22 years, I’ve played in 4 bands. Recorded music with my bands and others on over 13 albums. I’ve produced, arranged and personally financed several albums for local Guelph bands. Some of those even ended up playing at Guelph’s Hillside Festival. Even while on city council presently I still continue to play in my band "Fitness Club Fiasco". I’ve also taught drums for music schools and privately for a dozen students in their homes. When it comes to promoting the arts in this community I pride myself on doing everything I can to help out. I even brought music & culture change to city hall by promoting local musicians and artists to start our council meetings by playing our national anthem.

Bottom line is this: I love music.

I tell you this because I would never subject my fellow musicians, let alone myself, to any bylaw that could stifle our collective creative juices or ability to practice our art in this city.
 
In over 22 years as a drummer, I’ve never had the surprise knock on my door from city by-law officers to tell me to stop being creative and that the big mean by-law officers are out to “silence the artistic community in Guelph”.
 
Never. Not once.
 
In over 22 years, playing with other Guelph bands and artists all over this city, at all times, both outside and inside,  have I ever heard from them that they too were given a fine for breaking the noise by-law.
 
Never. Not once.
 
To this day without any sound-proofing or expensive music reducing sound barriers, I still practice very loudly in my garage or basement. I’ve never been interrupted by a bang on the garage door to tell me “keep it down”.
 
Never. Not once.
 
Since being elected 2 and half years ago, I have never heard, read or felt my "spidey-senses" going off to any deep dark plot to attack musicians through the noise by-law from city staff or fellow councillors.
 
Never. Not once.
 
So here are the facts about Guelph’s noise-bylaw and the art community:
 
1. The wording regarding musicians or instruments was not recently changed at all.
2. Out of the 2733 complaints by-law recieves, less than 5 a year has to do with loud stereos or instruments. (These are grouped together in the same category)
3. Out of those 5, actual ticketing or charges only comes after numerous attempts of education or efforts of finding reasonable solutions to work with effected neighbours & those effected etc...
4. By-law officers have never once, kicked down a door and immediately handed out a ticket to a kid learning to play Aerosmith in his bedroom. As I said, when they're called out to investigate a potential noise violation, their first step is to try to work with you and your affected neighbours through education or other solutions to resolve the issue BEFORE enforcement takes place.
5. The officer uses his/her discretion when addressing these situations. Just as a police officer uses their discretion when handing out a speeding ticket or instead giving you a warning.

I respect anyone's opinion on this but wanted you to know some of the facts and to reassure you that I would be the first to step up, and loudly bang my drums if this bylaw was being abused. But it's not.

Feel free to call me anytime at 519-830-7625

Take care,
Cam Guthrie

P.S While I got your attention, my band has a show June 22nd at Van Gogh's. Hope you can make it!

 

Update from STAFF as of May 15th - 1:15pm


In regards to your letter to the Mayor’s office, please note that the City of Guelph does support the music industry and those wishing to pursue music.

Before I clarify the information printed in the Guelph Mercury, it is important to note, as indicated in the City of Guelph’s Noise Bylaw, noise is defined as sound that is of such a volume or nature that it is likely to disturb the inhabitants of the City of Guelph.  Therefore, if any activity, including the playing of music is not likely to disturb others, no violation is occurring.  

This being said, there was a recent amendment on February 2013 to the noise Bylaw addressing the following:

•    Regulation of air conditioner noise by decibel level.
•    Regulation of motorcycle noise by decibel level.
•    Amend the prohibition for unnecessary yelling from 11pm to 7am (9am) to 24 hours a day.
•    Create a mixed use category within the Bylaw to recognize the diversity within the City’s downtown.  Specifically to recognize both residential and business properties and to align the existing residential regulations to the mixed use category.  
•    Recommend an increase to the set fines of the City’s Noise Bylaw.

The wording in the City’s Noise Bylaw regulating musical instruments has been in effect since 1998 and was not changed in the recent amendment.  In addition, the wording and regulation is not unique to the City of Guelph, numerous municipalities across North America use similar if not identical wording when regulating music that may disturb others.

To provide some context, Bylaw staff do respond to calls, in which the use of musical instruments is affecting others. Bylaw staff seek compliance through education with all parties involved.  In the majority of cases, the disputes between neighbours are often addressed without charges being issued.  Unfortunately, there are a small number of incidents where education is not enough to curb the inappropriate behaviour and circumstances warrant the issuance of charges.  

In 2012, of the 2,733 calls attended by Bylaw staff, less than 5 charges were issued for noise caused by musical instruments, most of these charges were with respect to amplified instruments being played late at night, in which previous warnings failed to resolve the issue.

I trust this is of assistance.

Yours truly,
STAFF

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christine.billings@guelph.ca | 519-826-0567

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