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Storage could be coming to Tiffin Street

'The site will be used primarily in the spring, summer and fall during pool construction season,' says planner

A Barrie company is taking a deep dive to store its goods.

Warehousing and indoor/outdoor storage of construction materials associated with Pioneer Family Pools and Spas is being proposed on the north side of Tiffin Street, south of Dunlop Street West and east of Miller Drive in Barrie.

“We’re proposing a use that’s complimentary to this current industrial area,” said Brandi Clement of Jones Consulting Group, representing Pioneer. “(It’s) in the business of installing above- and below-ground pools as well as spas. The storage on the property will be for the materials that are utilized.”

A public meeting was held Tuesday on applications to change the Official Plan (OP) designation of these 1.24 acres from environmental protection (EP) area to general industrial, and to rezone the land from EP to general industrial with special provisions.

Pioneer is proposing to develop this land to support its existing primary business, Pioneer Family Pools and Spas, located at 42 Anne St. This property would facilitate the outdoor/indoor storage and warehousing needs associated with the existing pool business, while 42 Anne St. will house the retail store and main offices. Pioneer also wants the outdoor storage of sand, gravel, stone or soil to be included in the permitted uses for industrial zones.

Variances requested include minimum rear- and side-yard setbacks, minimum landscape buffering, allowing outdoor storage in the front yard and on fencing to screen outdoor storage.

Cecilia Lee, who lives on Dunlop Street West, was the only resident to speak at Tuesday’s public meeting.

She has concerns about minimum setbacks for both the side and rear yards, required at seven and three metres, requested at zero.

“There is a reason for the setbacks, I imagine,” Lee said. “Zero metres means there is no setback at all. (Does it) make sense or is it normal practice?”

She was told her questions would be answered in the city planning staff report on these applications.

Clement also addressed the EP designation and zoning of this land.

“There was a very extensive environmental impact study that was completed to support these applications. Generally, the conclusions are that there’s no natural heritage resources present on the land.

“Site investigations that were conducted over the last couple of years also have found no evidence of any species at risk on the land or any significant wildlife habitat,” Clement said.

“The new OP (awaiting provincial approval) does designate these lands as employment area industrial, which would permit this (proposed) use.”

Currently, a one-storey building is on the northeast corner of the land and a lightly forested area is toward the west side that funnels into a densely forested area to the north.

This land — 518, 520, 522, and 524 Tiffin St. — is surrounded by existing industrial and commercial uses, with two single-detached homes located immediately west.

“Part of the land is vacant, part is developed and previously used for outdoor storage and warehousing,” Clement said. “They (Pioneer) have quickly outgrown their existing site on Anne Street, so they have been looking for another location. The existing building in the northeast corner will be used for the indoor storage of various equipment and high-value items.

“The site will be used primarily in the spring, summer and fall during pool construction season.”

There will be two access points into the property from Tiffin Street, with electronic gates for security purposes. There will be no public access and the property will be fully fenced.

Public meetings are one of the first stages of Barrie’s planning policy.

A report from city planning staff providing a recommendation to city councillors, sitting as planning committee, on the OP and rezoning applications is expected in the fourth quarter of 2022 for consideration.

If approved by city council, an application for site plan control would also be required.