Development plans for former fairway grounds to be presented at public meeting

Planning committee will get a closer look at a development proposal for the former Barrie raceway and fairgrounds site, tonight in a ‘virtual’ meeting and presentation

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Redevelopment plans for the old Barrie raceway and fairway grounds will be the subject of a public meeting at planning committee today (Monday).
The site is about 11.73 hectares in size, on the northeast corner of Essa Road and Highway 400, and the vision for the property includes a range of residential and commercial uses, including townhouses, apartments, long-term care facilities, ground floor commercial and an office tower.
Originally scheduled for June 22 but postponed due to COVID-19 measures, committee is scheduled to get a closer look at the proposal for 175 and 199 Essa Road, and 50 Wood Street. The project had its first neighbourhood public consultation Aug. 13, 2019.
The application is being made by SGL Planning & Design Inc. on behalf of 2106580 Ontario Inc.
Committee members will see a presentation video, existing and proposed Official Plan designation details, existing and proposed zoning details, a draft plan of subdivision, and key community features of the project.
The developer is proposing to add a Defined Policy Area to Schedule ‘C’ for the subject lands, with descriptive text in Section 4.8 of the Official Plan, to include: 
• Parking shall be permitted in the front yard driveways leading to a ground-related dwelling unit. 
• Surface parking shall be permitted on any lot containing the Barrie Curling Club, as well as the opportunity to use the parking area for flex space for the purposes of accommodating temporary private or public gatherings or events. 
A zoning change is also being requested, amending the designation on the subject lands from ‘General Commercial’ (C4) to ‘Mixed Use Corridor with Special Provisions’ and ‘Open Space’ (OS). Zoning changes would allow:
• Back-to-back and street townhouses.
• A 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.
• A 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 application is required to create blocks on a plan of subdivision in order to facilitate future division of land such as creating part-lots or registration of condominium agreements,” says the meeting notice, adding that with COVID-19 measures, the meeting will be held in a virtual forum with electronic participation. It will be televised on Rogers TV and will be live-streamed on the City’s YouTube Channel

What the northeast corner of Highway 400 and Essa Road might look like based on development proposal
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