Barrie council to consider lifting restrictions for second suites in communities near Georgian College

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Barrie city council will consider changing the rules for second suites in the neighbourhoods around Georgian College. Changes are needed to improve safety in an area where there unregistered suites are a concern, says the city’s development services director.

Lifting restrictions in the area around the college was first considered by the planning committee and recommendations will be forwarded to general committee and then council for approval.

The area under consideration is known as the Georgian Neighbourhood Study Boundary Area – a section of the municipality bounded by St. Vincent Street, Cundles Road East, Georgian Drive, Penetanguishene Road and Wellington Street East.

“Staff recommend proposed amendments to the city’s Official Plan and zoning bylaw be considered to remove the restriction of second suites,” development services director Michelle Banfield says in a report to councillors.

“Staff is aware of many unregistered second suites in the Georgian boundary area. This may result in unsafe housing because the city has not confirmed Building or Fire Code requirements in these unregistered units.”

Permitting new second suites to be created and registered will increase the housing supply in an area that needs a variety of options for a variety of residents, not just students, she said.

This proposal stems from the province’s Strong Communities through Affordable Housing Act, which was launched in 2011, in response to rising accommodation costs.

Barrie approved an official plan amendment in 2015 to allow second suites throughout most the city, but not in the Georgian boundary area.

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