Ontario Construction News staff writer
The former Barrie raceway and fairgrounds will be transformed into a “gateway” community if plans presented at a public meeting last week are approved.
David Riley, principal at SGL Planning & Design presented the plan on behalf of 2106580 Ontario Inc.
A video presented at the public meeting showed the old fairgrounds transformed as a gateway to the city with opportunities for office space, active uses, mixed use development and a multi-use trail system.
An official plan amendment, zoning bylaw amendment and draft plan of subdivision has been submitted for the 11.7-hectare site on the north side of Essa Road, east of Highway 400.
Riley presented a plan that includes the potential for a variety of residential and commercial uses including townhouses, apartments, long-term care facilities, ground floor commercial and an office tower.
He called the stormwater management and re-naturalizing of Hotchkiss Creek “an important component” of the plan that would benefit the community and the city.
“It’s really to create a system of open spaces associated with storm water management facilities that are required, but really bringing back the environment to this portion of the site by the daylighting of Hotchkiss Creek that is currently buried underground.
Also, the location of the stormwater management area creates a buffer between existing and proposed residential uses to the industrial area to the north.
Overall, the plan is an intensive development that includes an office tower and retirement home facing Essa Road. The residential community includes high, medium and low-density housing.
The developer is proposing to add a Defined Policy Area to add site-specific arrangements for parking and “flex space”. One section of the land currently zoned highway industrial would be rezoned to allow residential and open space uses.
If approved, the zoning change would amend designation on the subject lands from general Commercial (C4) to mixed use corridor with special provisions and open space to allow:
- Back-to-back and street townhouses
- Maximum building height of 32 metres for residential and office buildings provided a minimum 50 per cent of the ground floor frontage is dedicated to commercial or institutional uses
- Minimum ground floor frontage of 4.5 metres is only required for those buildings with frontage on Essa Road
- Removal of the front yard setback and paving requirements for block/cluster/stacked, back to back or street townhouse uses
- A retirement home, an assisted living facility, including a long-term care facility
- A maximum building height of 47 metres (or 15 storeys)
The planning committee expects a staff report on the development by the end of the year.