By Bob Bruton, Barrie Examiner
Barrie councillors gave initial approval to rezone 140, 142, 144, 148 and 152 Cumberland St. for a 12-unit, three storey and a 28-unit, five storey residential buildings.
Coun. Arif Khan, who represents this part of Barrie, also convinced councillors to include facade setbacks on the fourth and fifth storeys of the larger building.
“Height is an issue,” he said. “Set-backs reduce it and over-shadowing from the building.”
Khan said the developer, a numbered Ontario company, was willing to work with city planners on the setbacks or tiered building of the larger apartments.
Mayor Jeff Lehman agreed it’s an effective manner to control mass.
“I think the setbacks are certainly something we have seen in other parts of the city,” he said. “It is a way to minimize the impact of the height, especially when something is different than what’s in the neighbourhood.”
The developer’s plans for these properties are two-fold.
First is for an addition to the existing three-storey, six-unit walkup apartment – turning it into a 12-unit building with no increase in height at 148/152 Cumberland.
Khan said the existing structure could either be refurbished or the building could be constructed from scratch.
Second would be a new five storey, 28-unit apartment building at 140/142/144 Cumberland, although it would require a break from zoning bylaw standards. This includes a reduced landscaping buffer and fewer parking spaces.
Currently on the properties are three single-family homes and the six-plex.
“Two of the houses are in a dilapidated state,” Khan said. “They are not salvageable.”
A public meeting last September resulted in concerns about increased traffic and parking caused by the project, that five storeys are out for character with the neighbourhood and could set a precedent, and that existing infrastructure would need to be upgraded if it is built.
There were also concerns it doesn’t comply with the Historic Neighbourhood Strategy.
But Khan said many of these issues were addressed at a recent town hall meeting
“This is in a sensitive area,” Khan said, mentioning Allandale. “A lot of people have concerns about their homes and the quality of development.”
City planning staff say the development is consistent with city and provincial intensification policies, would compliment the surrounding residential uses and fits with the neighbourhood’s character.
The two buildings would also result in more than $660,000 in development charges for city coffers.
This nearly one acre property has 100 metres of frontage along Cumberland, and is located south of Lakeshore Drive and east of Bayview Drive.
Council will consider final approval of the rezoning at its April 15 meeting.