City of Barrie approves new official plan


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Ontario Construction News staff writer

After four years of consultation, the City of Barrie’s new official plan was adopted in February and sent to the Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for approval.

The document sets out how Barrie, as per provincial direction, will grow to accommodate 298,000 residents and 150,000 jobs by 2051.

It also states objectives and policies for protecting the environment, natural spaces like the waterfront, areas for employment and jobs, and historic neighbourhoods; while also building up the downtown and other growth areas to create more homes and more walkable, cycle-friendly and transit-oriented communities.

“The new official plan is a guide for smart growth and for building a complete community. It provides a level of policy direction that ensures residents, businesses, investors and the citys hare an aligned vision for Barrie’s future,” says Mayor Jeff Lehman. “This Plan will ensure we remain a vibrant, connected, diverse, green and resilient community as Barrie grows at a measured and reasonable pace.”

The next step will be to develop the draft new Comprehensive Zoning By-law and the City-Wide Urban Design Guidelines, which will both align closely with the new Official Plan.

Officials say the new Official Plan will improve our city by embracing leading practices, forward-thinking approaches and community priorities. This will help us effectively take advantage of the current opportunities we have while adopting new methods to enhance the great quality of life that we all enjoy.

The New Official Plan will provide clarity of the urban structure needed for better planning of a complete community, provide certainty for investment, and introduce a level of policy direction that ensures residents, businesses, and the City share an aligned vision for Barrie’s future.

The City of Barrie is undergoing a significant transformation as it matures into a vibrant medium-sized city, and high quality design of streets, public spaces, and buildings will help reinforce the modern, energetic, and prosperous image that the community and Council wish to portray for Barrie. The City of Barrie’s City-Wide Urban Design Guidelines consolidate and build on existing urban design standards and policies, and are intended to set a high standard for urban design applicable throughout Barrie.

The Official Plan and City-Wide Urban Design Guidelines work together to address matters of compatibility as the city intensifies and sets a high standard for urban design of new development and re-development.

To learn more about the Official Plan, check out the FAQ section.