Pine Ridge Skating Rink Update
As covered in the Guelph Mercury, the city recently informed local Pine Ridge Ward 6 residents in the Summerfield/Grey Oak area that they were no longer permitted to use a community-built skating rink that encroached on city-owned land. Naturally, many of the kids and parents were upset by this seeming heavy-handed bylaw enforcement.
Council received a clarification of the city’s position from the Deputy CAO of Corporate Services, Mark Amorosi. The email is included below, with permission:
The City is obliged to enforce the encroachment bylaw. That process is complaint driven, and after having received a complaint, the City was obliged to act.
That said, we’ve now heard from residents in the Pine Ridge neighbourhood and we’re more than happy to work with them to see if there is an outcome we can reach together that works for everyone.
We understand residents in that neighbourhood will be filing an encroachment exemption application and we’ll work collaboratively with them to see if an exemption is a possibility.
There are several considerations in determining whether an encroachment exemption is possible. The City is required to consider environmental implications, impacts on wildlife habitat, stormwater management issues, liability, and public health and safety and others. There are a slew of considerations the City must take under advisement.
The City is very willing to work with residents to find a solution that – hopefully – can work for everyone.