West-Barrie development proposed
Hedbern Development has applied for an Official Plan amendment and a rezoning for 20, 30 and 40 Miller Dr., needed to allow 185 residential units to be built. ISM Architects of Barrie image
Buffering a proposed residential development from its west-Barrie neighbours was their main concern at Monday's public meeting.
Hedbern Development has applied for an Official Plan amendment and a rezoning for 20, 30 and 40 Miller Dr., needed to allow 185 residential units to be built.
“This is a huge development, and I understand this is going to be happening in any land that's developed in Barrie,” said Harry Frielink, who lives on Miller Drive and would be right next to the project.
“Now we're going to have 10, three-and-a half-storey townhouses peering down into our pool,” he said.
Proposed are 59 block or cluster townhouses, 15 stacked townhouses totalling 30 units and two, five-storey apartment buildings with a total of 96 units on 7.4 acres of land, on the western side of Miller Drive, north of Dunlop Street West.
Frielink suggested a buffer or a berm, mentioning 10, 400-centimetre white pines along his pool.
“I think privacy is an issue here,” he said. “That buffer is a huge concern for us.”
Andrea Champoux, another Miller Drive resident, has similar concerns.
“I can't imagine anybody in this room at all being very happy having their next-door neighbour having a five-storey building and looking down in their back yard,” he said.
“When you've got somebody five-storeys up looking down at everything you do in your front and back yard, that's just to me, unacceptable.”
Champoux also said Hedbern should pay for the sidewalk in front of this development, not taxpayers, and the park should be relocated further away from Dunlop Street.
Kim Roundtree, also a Miller Drive resident, said this community has been left unfinished from previous developments. She noted Sproule Drive was meant to go from Miller to Ferndale Drive North, but doesn't connect, making transportation difficult.
“I don't think our community was finished enough before we go adding . . .way more (residential units) than I think our community can sustain,” Roundtree said of Hedbern's plans.
There would also be a commercial component to the project, along with a large central amenity space.
The commercial use was questioned by Champoux, as well as Mayor Jeff Lehman.
“You've got a sort of odd exception to me that is being requested, which is the stand-alone commercial use,” Lehman said. “Could your explain why that's being proposed, as part of this development, why you're keeping a portion of commercial and why it's stand-alone?”
Darren Vella of Innovative Planning Solutions, speaking for Hedbern, answered.
“It's not something we would really like to do, but based on what's available in the area ... this was thought to be an idea that would be appropriate for the node,” he said. “We are not opposed to eliminating it completely.”
The city has also received a letter from nearby Coco Paving (formerly Lafarge) with its concerns about homes being built so near to its 701 Dunlop St. W. facility, and that Hedbern should be responsible for appropriate berming or landscaping to deal with noise and dust problems.
The developer has done an odour, dust and nuisance study, along with a noise and vibration study.
This land is designated and zoned commercial and residential. Hedbern's application is for a residential zoning and OP designation.
It is within the city's intensification node, which allows 50-120 residential units per hectare. This project is for 62 units per hectare (2.47 acres).
Barrie's intensification policy establishes four principle areas where intensification is encouraged, including: the Urban Growth Centre, or downtown Barrie and Allandale; primary and secondary corridors consisting of arterial roads such as Bayfield and Dunlop streets, Essa Road, Duckworth and Yonge streets; primary and secondary nodes at significant intersections along the primary and secondary corridors; and South Barrie GO Station near Yonge Street and Mapleview Drive East.
A series of guidelines have also been created to help direct new development within these intensification areas, and are viewed to be complimentary to the existing city urban design guidelines.
They are to create attractive and safe pedestrian areas, support transportation of all types and result in attractive designs.
A public meeting is one of the first stages of Barrie's planning process. These applications now go to planning staff for a report to city councillors, who make the decision.