Official Plan update to include details for intensification corridors

The image illustrates the type of intensification envisioned along Essa Road and Bradford Street.

A renewal of Barrie’s Official Plan is anticipated to begin this fall, and as part of that process the 2009 Intensification Strategy will be updated.
The review will include an update to the targeted intensification of the Bradford Street/Essa Road corridor, council was informed in a memo prepared by Edward Terry, planner, and Jordan Lambie, senior urban designer.
The OP update, they write, will:
• Allow the City to confirm appropriate locations for nodes along Essa Road as well as additional updates to nodes and corridors
• Consider employment conversions along the corridor
• Explore the potential to designate Allandale GO Station and the New Barrie Transit Terminal as a mobility hub
• Pre-zone sites for mixed-use development along the reminder of the intensification corridors.
The intensification effort dates back to the province’s 2005 Places to Grow Act which “established long-term regional plans for growth, development and land-use policies across the province,” the memo explains.  The 2006 Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe determined population density targets and settlement patterns for Barrie, named in the provincial strategy as a ‘place to grow.’
“While the 2017 Growth Plan identified new targets, the mandate for intensification remains unchanged.”
To meet these directions, the City completed an Intensification Study in 2009 to identify key corridors that should accommodate higher density development.
Those corridors are Essa Road, Yonge Street, Bayfield Street, Dunlop Street West and Duckworth Street. The study assessed Barrie’s “capacity for meeting growth targets” in the province’s growth plan and “provided a vision and established priorities for achieving prescribed growth targets, while also recommending new Official Plan policies and performance standards” for the zoning bylaw “that would facilitate the type of development envisioned for the intensification areas,” continues the memo.
Guidelines set out in 2012 include intensification development that would:
• respectfully blend into the existing built fabric
• create an attractive and safe pedestrian realm
• support transportation of all types
• result in a thoughtful and attractive design that contributes to the local neighbourhoods and the City as a whole.
Policies included in the City’s OP would establish a framework for the design and development of mixed-use buildings in the intensification nodes and corridors, supporting “the creation of a vibrant complete community featuring a mix of uses and activities, with pedestrian oriented development designed to frame abutting sidewalks with active commercial uses located at the street level of new buildings.”
Intensification targets will be met through “short-term design that supports long-term development opportunities” and the “City will generally not support rezoning applications that result in a decrease of density or a reduction in the variety of uses on a property” in mixed-use areas, states the memo.
The scope of the study reaches from Bradford Street and Dunlop Street to Essa Road and Mapleview Drive.
“The Essa Road & Bradford Street Corridor Study will act as the template for the approach to encouraging density and mixed-use development for the remainder of the intensification corridors,” the authors write.
Read the memo here.

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