Barrie invites architects, engineers and contractors to new Official Plan stakeholder focus groups

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GTA Construction Report staff writer

The City of Barrie has issued an invitation to participate in stakeholder focus groups “as part of our Phase 2 engagement” to create the city’s new Official Plan.
“These immersive and participation-based focus groups are designed to collect feedback from community stakeholders on issues related to planning the city’s community and employment area lands,” writes Access Barrie community engagement advisor Ryan Lay.

Input gathered from two consultation events will help staff develop policy options which will be presented to council at a later date and may be incorporated into the new Official Plan, he writes.
Stakeholders are invited to participate in one or both events.

Planning our Community Area Lands
Event description:
As a complete community – a place where people can find a place to work, live, and spend their free time – Barrie is already a great place to live. However, the city is growing and urbanizing quickly.           With this comes issues around livability, attractiveness, and economic competitiveness. This focus group is intended to solicit stakeholder input on how to improve the city’s livability and how to operationalize land-use policy to address barriers which prevent Barrie from becoming a more complete and livable city.
Topics to be discussed include (but are not limited to): strategic intensification areas, nodes, and corridors; planning for population-related employment (e.g. retail); attainable & affordable housing; parks/community spaces/natural areas; and, community services (e.g. schools/rec centres).           Stakeholders are encouraged to prepare for the event by thinking of issues the city must address. Ideas to address these issues are welcome. Items for discussion are to be applicable city-wide and not site-specific (e.g. need for more non-motorized transportation infrastructure). For more context please refer to the set of seven discussion papers  posted on buildingbarrie.ca/OP2 that explore some of the challenges facing the city in the next 20 years.
When:  May 8 – 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Where: Huronia Rooms A+B, City Hall
Planning our Employment Area Lands
Event Description:
As the regional employment node and the only identified urban growth centre in the county by the province, the City of Barrie has a unique economic function and is well placed to tap into the economic growth of the Greater Golden Horseshoe. To help grow and diversify the city’s economic base we protect our employment lands and prepare for economic change and transition. As prescribed by the Province’s Growth Plan for the Golden Horseshoe the majority of non-population related employment (e.g. manufacturing, warehousing) is to be accommodated within designated employment areas.
This focus group event will seek input from stakeholders on land-use policy which will help improve the economic competitiveness of and demand for employment land in the city. Further, stakeholders will be asked to provide input on matters such as: affordability/availability of employment lands, traffic congestion, servicing (e.g. water/sewer), convenience/employment supportive retail, how to accommodate/prepare for economic change, and the potential establishment of employment districts/nodes to attract new industry. Stakeholders are encouraged to come prepared to discuss issues and solutions which are not site specific and can be applied city-wide.

To further prepare, participants are also encouraged to review the set of discussion papers now posted on buildingbarrie.ca/OP2 that explore some of the challenges facing the city in the next 20 years.
When: May 10th – 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Where: Huronia Rooms A+B, City Hall
Please RSVP with your selected event(s) to newbarrie.op@barrie.ca. If you have any questions about the events, please contact Tomasz Wierzba at tomasz.wierzba@barrie.ca or by phoning (705) 739-4220 Ext: 4403.

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