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Essa Rd. developer may have to heighten privacy measures

Councillor says mature trees could be protected; 'that way people can still enjoy their backyard without having to feel that someone’s peering over on top of them'
Rendering of a proposed development at 582 Essa Rd., near Mapleview and Mapleton in south Barrie.

Editor's note: At its Nov. 22 meeting, and without further discussion, council rezoned 582 Essa Rd. to allow 101 residential units and ground-floor commercial space to be developed in an eight-storey building at the site.

Neighbours to a proposed eight-storey development at 582 Essa Rd., in south Barrie, could get a little more privacy from it.

City council will consider final approval Wednesday night of a motion to rezone the property — measuring just under one acre — for 101 residential units and ground-floor commercial space.

The site-plan agreement would include details about the privacy of adjacent residences due to openings, glazing and the rooftop amenity space of the proposed building. If any private trees are removed replacement trees should be located along the north-east property line adjacent to the existing residences.

“There’s been some concerns raised not only at the neighbourhood meeting, but also at the public meeting in regards to privacy,” Coun. Gary Harvey, who represents this part of Barrie, said at the Nov. 15 general committee meeting, “when it came to some windows on that east side of the building, which obviously caused some concerns for the residents and their privacy in the back yards.

“It’s all about protecting as many of the mature trees that are along that side," he added. "That way people can still enjoy their backyard without having to feel that someone’s peering over on top of them.”

Harvey said there have also been instances where trees are damaged in a project’s construction phases and need to be removed.

“This motion will also ensure that there’s good-sized trees being replaced if that happens,” he said.

The 101 residential units would consist of 21 one-bedroom units, 70 two-bedroom units and 10 two-bedroom plus study units.

The rezoning would be from general commercial to mixed corridor with special provisions, which include front- and side-yard setbacks, parking spaces and increasing the building’s height to 27.2 metres from 25.5 metres.

This development is subject to the new provincial Bill 109, the More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022 and Barrie’s new Official Plan, 2023.

The new Official Plan designates the land as neighbourhood residential and Essa Road intensification corridor, which reflects a land-use designation appropriate for the proposed development.

It’s located on the east side of Essa Road, north of Mapleview Drive West and south of Mapleton Avenue. Coughlin Road dead-ends across Essa Road with the potential for an extension of Coughlin through the property.