The following is a recap of Monday night’s meeting at Barrie City Hall, as summarized by Access Barrie’s Executive Director, Rebecca James-Reid:
Contribution for Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster partnership
A partnership with Next Generation Manufacturing Canada for the federally funded Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster was given initial approval by Barrie Councillors. The partnership’s purpose is to connect local manufacturers to national and international opportunities for research and commercialization activities of the supercluster. The Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster is designed to help Canadian manufacturers become global leaders in the application of advanced technologies, and help technology firms build the next-generation tools to support advanced technology in this country. Last November, Barrie was invited to become a partner in the supercluster proposal focused on advanced manufacturing, led by a consortium of businesses, academia and industry. The City would provide an in-kind contribution of staff time equivalent of approximately $60,000 annually in the partnership agreement, which would run from 2018 until 2023. Last year the Canadian government announced a $950-million investment to ensure companies are globally competitive.
Application for Zoning By-Law Amendment, Encore Development Group, 521 and 525 Essa Rd. (Ward 7)
Barrie Councillors gave initial approval to rezone 521 and 525 Essa Rd. to permit the development of 36 back-to-back townhouses in three buildings, along with 12 standard townhouses in one building. Encore Development Group has applied to rezone this 1.12-acre parcel of land from single-detached residential use to residential multiple dwelling, with 13 special provisions. They include reductions in front-yard setbacks, in rear-yard setbacks and driveway length, as well as increases in maximum lot coverages, gross floor area, building height and density allowed. The proposed development would consist of 3-storey townhomes, have an outdoor amenity area and also have tandem parking in garages and driveways. The majority of parking would be located within the buildings and in the property’s interior, away from the street. This property is located on the west side of Essa Road, north of Mapleton Avenue and east of Leslie Avenue.
Georgian College Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass) agreement
An agreement with Georgian College for the Universal Transit Pass (U-Pass) was given initial approval by Barrie Councillors. It would cost $86 per semester and be available only to full-time credit students. Like many Canadian colleges and universities, Georgian College has increasing enrolment and greater car ownership among its students – putting pressure on campus roads, parking lots and transit services. A universal transit pass is an increasingly popular solution, providing unlimited access to public transit for every eligible full-time student each semester. The U-Pass would be expected to increase Barrie Transit ridership, reduce illegal parking and decrease student housing rental near Georgian College, by allowing more students to find housing outside of the college’s immediate area. Barrie Transit to and from the Georgian College campus could be increased by as many as 1,000 service hours for the fall semester to handle additional bus rides resulting from the U-Pass. It’s estimated that nearly 16,500 students are eligible for the fall, winter and summer semesters at Georgian College. A pilot program at the downtown Georgian College campus provided approximately 250 students with a U-Pass for the fall 2017 and winter 2018 semesters. During these semesters ridership was estimated at 6,600. A recent survey of Georgian College students showed they support a mandatory, $86-per-semester fee for the U-Pass for all full-time Barrie campus students. The U-Pass agreement between the City and Georgian College would have a 3-year term, with an option for a 2-year renewal. Any annual rate increase would be based on the Consumer Price Index, as calculated through the City’s third-partner transit service provider contract. The plan is to launch the U-Pass program beginning in the fall 2018 semester.
Item for Discussion – Investigation of an all-way stop at the intersection of Consort Drive and Sandringham Drive (Ward 10)
Councillor Mike McCann’s request that Roads, Parks and Fleet Department staff investigate the feasibility of installing an all-way stop at the intersection of Consort Drive and Sandringham Drive, and report back to Barrie City Council’s General Committee, was given initial approval by Councillors.
Final approval of these motions will be considered by Barrie City Council at its April 30, 2018 meeting.