Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 2

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1 Prepared by the Planning Services Department December 2007

2 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 2 GEORGIAN COLLEGE NEIGHBOURHOOD STRATEGY Table of Contents SECTION 1 - INTRODUCTION Purpose Goals Organization of the Report SECTION 2 - CONTEXT Study Area Figure 1 Georgian College Study Area Student Enrollment Student Accommodation Demand for Student Accommodation Figure 2 Walking Distances to Georgian College SECTION 3 RESEARCH SUMMARY Zoning Complaints Property Standards Complaints Ownership and Complaints Figure 3 Zoning Complaints Map Figure 4 Property Standards Complaints Map Figure 5 Rental Property Complaints Map SECTION 4 - IMPLEMENTATION Land Use Figure 6 Potential Student Accommodation Sites Map Figure 7 Individual Site Assessment Maps Financial Incentives Safety and Enforcement Communication and Information Sharing SECTION 5 SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS 43 APPENDICES Appendix 1 Georgian College Neighbourhood Community Improvement Plan Appendix 2 Staff Report PLN004-05

3 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 3 SECTION 1 INTRODUCTION

4 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 4 Introduction Purpose The purposes of the Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy are twofold. First, this strategy implements policy direction in the Official Plan which states that Council shall encourage the provision of student housing facilities particularly in the northeast section of the City or in close proximity to major transit routes. Second, the strategy supports the work of the Town and Gown Committee by raising the level of understanding of all members of the community on the broad range of issues related to student accommodation. Goals The Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy has four goals: to identify opportunities for the development of medium and high density housing for students in areas near Georgian College; to facilitate the provision of student housing facilities throughout the Georgian College Neighbourhood; to ensure the safety of all forms of student housing and increase compliance with City by-laws and regulations; and, to develop methods to improve communication and information sharing among town and gown partners including residents, landlords, students, Georgian College and the City. Organization of the Report This report is organized into five sections. The first section is the introduction which includes details of the purpose and goals of the Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy and an overview of how the report is organized. Section 2 provides a context for the existing student housing situation in Barrie and identifies the study area. The third section of the report summarizes the research findings and conclusions. Section 4 describes the measures that are required to implement the Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy. The final section of the report provides a summary of the action items and recommendations. The appendices include the Georgian College Neighbourhood Community Improvement Plan and Staff Report PLN

5 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 5 SECTION 2 CONTEXT

6 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 6 Context Study Area The Georgian College study area is located in the north-east corner of the City and occupies approximately 5 square kilometers. The limits of the area are identified on Figure 1 and include Penetanguishene Road to the east, St. Vincent Street to the west, Wellington Street East and Steel Street to the south and Cundles Road East, Little Lake Drive, Highway 400 and Georgian Drive to the north. The study area includes all of the Georgian Drive and Grove East Planning Areas and portions of the Alliance, Wellington and Little Lake Planning Areas. The majority of the study area is within a reasonable walking distance of Georgian College. Figure 2 identifies the limits of a 10, 15 and 20 minute walk from the campus. This Plan is founded on the following principles which have drawn upon a review of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing the area, and which constitute the guiding framework for decision making and future development of the area over the next 20 years. Figure 1

7 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 7 Student Enrollment The most recent enrollment information is for the fiscal year at which time the number of full time students was 6,407. An additional 330 international students increased total enrollment to 6,737. In addition to the foregoing, 610 students were enrolled in university partnership programs at Georgian College and 527 individuals participated in various apprenticeship programs. Enrollment forecasts for full time studies anticipate increases of 2% per annum during the next three years. This will result in approximately 7,300 students by the academic year. The College s forecasts for apprenticeship programs call for annual increases of 15% up to and including Georgian College now has 9 affiliations with 9 universities, offering degree programs and courses to some 2,000 students. Enrollment is expected to increase as the Province seeks to improve offerings in what has traditionally been an under-serviced region for university programs. Student Accommodation There are opportunities for students attending Georgian College to live either on campus or off campus. On campus housing is available in a student residence that is owned by the College. The residence accommodates 525 students and generally operates at 100% occupancy during the school year. Most of the students who live in the College residence are enrolled in first year. The building opened in 2002 and is designed so that it can be expanded to double its current size. College staff have advised that there are no immediate plans to enlarge the student residence since they have yet to receive enough applications in a single year to fill an expansion. Off campus housing opportunities are available throughout the City in houses, apartments, town homes and one private student residence. Canada Student Residence Corporation owns Georgian Green Student Residence Apartments located at 140 Bell Farm Road. Georgian Green is a private residence apartment complex that caters exclusively to College students. A total of 257 students are housed in 3 four storey buildings with four suites per floor and five or six bedrooms per suite. Other off campus housing opportunities for students are listed on various websites including and A recent review of the Places4Students website revealed 79 property listings. These included houses, bedroom(s) in houses, basement apartments, bedroom(s) in a basement apartment, bedroom(s) in an apartment or condominium, duplexes, townhouses, and bedroom(s) in a townhouse. Of the 79 listings, 44, or 55%, of them are located within easy walking distance of the College campus.

8 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 8 Demand for Student Accommodation Each fall semester, Georgian College surveys first year students on a broad range of matters. Included in the 2006 survey was a question regarding where they would be living during the school year. The 2,051 responses that were submitted provide an insight into how the demand for student accommodation amongst the freshman population is being met. The majority of first year students (39%) indicated that they planned to live at home or with relatives. The balance of the accommodation was in a shared house or apartment (17%), in their own home or apartment (16%), in the on-campus student residence (14%), in a boarding or rooming house (6%) and in the off-campus student residence at Georgian Green (7%). The responses to the questionnaire revealed that approximately 21% of freshman students either reside on-campus or in the Georgian Green residence. When this total is combined with the number of students who live at home or with relatives, it indicates that approximately 60% of first year students do not require off-campus rental accommodation. It should also be noted that first year students occupy the majority of rooms in both the on-campus residence (54%) and at Georgian Green (56%). There is no data available regarding where upper year students live while attending Georgian College. However, given the limited availability of on-campus accommodation it is reasonable to assume that the students live in rental units throughout the community, at home or with relatives. If the number of rooms in the on-campus residence (525) and Georgian Green student apartments (257) is expressed as a percentage of the student population (6,737), only 11.6% of the total student body can be housed on-campus or in the nearby student apartment residence at Georgian Green. This means that as many as 88% of the students attending Georgian College will live elsewhere in the City or commute to school.

9 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 9 Figure 2

10 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 10 SECTION 3 RESEARCH SUMMARY

11 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 11 Research Summary The purpose of this section of the report is to summarize the key findings of the research. The research included an examination of the complaints that were filed with the City during 2006 regarding zoning and property standards violations. Zoning Complaints In 2006, the City received 473 new complaints regarding possible zoning violations. Of this total, 162 violations, or 34%, were reported in the Georgian College study area. The majority of complaints related to vehicles parked on front lawns (106 complaints or 65%) and occupancy issues (50 complaints or 30%). Other zoning complaints amounted to 6 or 4% of the annual total. The location of the properties that were the subject of possible zoning violations are identified on Figure 3. Property Standards Complaints Last year, 820 new complaints were filed with the City regarding possible property standards violations. Of this total, 113 violations, or 14%, involved properties located in the Georgian College study area. The complaints can be broken down into three main categories. These include garbage and debris (49 complaints or 43%), unlicensed vehicles (34 complaints or 30%) and long grass and weeds (22 complaints or 20%). Other possible violations (8) accounted for 7% of the annual total. Figure 4 identifies the properties for which property standards complaints were received. Ownership and Complaints In an attempt to determine whether there was any correlation between sites that were the subject of complaints and rental properties, staff researched municipal records. However, since the assessment roll no longer identifies tenants, an assumption had to be made. The underlying assumption of this research was that rental properties were taken to be those where the municipal tax bill was mailed to an address other than that of the dwelling. In the Georgian College study area, there are 682 parcels out of approximately 3600 residential properties, or approximately 20%, that were assumed to be rental properties. Of the 162 complaints filed with the City regarding possible zoning violations, 55 of the complaints, or 34%, involved rental properties. Of the 113 complaints received regarding possible property standards violations, 42 of the complaints, or 37%, involved properties where the municipal tax bill was sent to another address. The location of the parcels that were assumed to be rental properties are identified on Figure 5. On the assumption that rental properties are those where the City tax bill is mailed to an address other than the municipal address, the research reveals that approximately one third of the complaints that the City received during 2006 involved rental properties.

12 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 12 Figure 3

13 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 13 Figure 4

14 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 14 Figure 5

15 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 15 SECTION 4 IMPLEMENTATION

16 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 16 Implementation LAND USE One of the goals of the Georgian College Neighbourhood Plan is to identify opportunities for the development of medium and high density housing in areas near the College. Additional housing would provide accommodation not only for college students but also for the community-at-large. This section of the report outlines three actions that are intended to achieve this goal. Each action includes a recommendation involving specific properties. The three actions that are aimed at creating new housing opportunities in the study area are as follows: allow for residential development on small infill (re)development sites that are currently designated and/or zoned for non-residential uses; allow medium density residential development in areas that are currently zoned for low density residential use; and, allow greater density on lands that are already zoned for medium density residential use. A comprehensive review of the Georgian College Neighbourhood identified ten sites (numbered 1-2 and 4-11, there is no site number 3) that are regarded as potential development opportunities. A detailed description and evaluation of each site is incorporated in the following section of the report. The sites are identified on Figure 6 and details are provided in Figure 7. Two of the sites (Sites 9 and 11) are vacant, designated and zoned for medium density residential use. Accordingly, both are viewed as existing opportunities and assigned an immediate timeframe for development. The remaining properties (Sites 1-2, 4-8 and 10) also present potential opportunities for additional housing that could be available to Georgian College students. These sites, however, require changes to the City s planning documents and/or land assemblies in order for development to proceed. The timing for development of these parcels is therefore given medium or long term time horizons. Action No. 1: Allow for residential development on lands that are currently designated and/or zoned for non-residential uses. The first action which has the potential of expanding the housing supply for both Georgian College students and the community-at-large involves permitting residential development on lands that are currently designated and/or zoned for non-residential uses. In these cases, amendments to the Official Plan and/or Zoning By-law are required and, in some instances, land assemblies are necessary. Sites where rezonings are a prerequisite to development are regarded as short term opportunities while those requiring Official Plan amendments, rezonings and/or land assemblies are assigned a medium term timeframe. A total of five properties in the study area were identified as candidate sites. One property (Site 1) requires a rezoning and a second parcel (Site 5) requires both an Official Plan amendment and a rezoning to permit residential development. Three properties (Sites 6, 7 and 8) require a land assembly, Official Plan amendment and rezoning. The location of the parcels is identified on Figure 6 and details of each site are included in Figure 7.

17 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 17 Site Duckworth Street This multi tenant commercial plaza provides an excellent redevelopment opportunity for a mixed use commercial/ residential project. The property is located at the intersection of an arterial road (Duckworth Street) and a minor collector (Grove Street East) both of which are public transit routes. This site is less than a 10 minute walk from the Georgian College campus and has direct access to Highway 400. Site Penetanguishene Road This site is currently used for retail commercial purposes and offers an excellent opportunity for medium or high density residential development. The property has frontage on an arterial road with easy access to Georgian Drive, Highways 11 and 400. This parcel is within a five minute walk of the transit route on Grove Street East, a 10 minute walk from the Johnson Street transit service and a 20 minute walk from the Georgian College campus. The 1.62 ha property has considerable development potential. However, the extension of Sydenham Wells and the establishment of lots on the west side of the street will reduce the acreage available for development to approximately 1.2 ha. Under an Apartment Dwelling First Density RA1 zoning and at a density of units per hectare, the site could yield in the range of units. A Multiple Family Second Density RM2 zoning and a density of 53 units per hectare could generate approximately 63 units. In order to minimize any potential impact on the dwellings that will be built on the west side of the extension of Sydenham Wells, development densities for Site 5 should be stepped from west to east. In this way, the highest density and building height permitted under a RA1 zoning would be furthest removed from the adjacent low density development on Sydenham Wells. If the western third of the subject property is developed under a RM2 zoning and the easterly two thirds of the parcel developed under a RA1 zoning, the yield would be approximately 21 units and units, respectively, for a total of units. Site Penetanguishene Road The zoning of this vacant property requires a land assembly involving the adjacent parcel to the north (Site 7) before development can proceed. This merger, and a similar merger between Sites 7 and 8, will create a 5800m 2 residential development site.

18 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 18 The lands are located at the intersection of an arterial road (Penetanguishene Road) and a local road (Cheltenham Road) with convenient access to Georgian Drive, Highways 11 and 400. The property is a 10 minute walk from the transit service on Johnson Street and a 20 minute walk from Georgian College. As noted in the assessment of the lands municipally known as 280 Penetanguishene Road (Site 7) and 1 Cheltenham Road (Site 8), this parcel must be merged with the abutting properties before development occurs. The development potential of the holding is outlined below in the description for Site 7. Site Penetanguishene Road This site is currently used for service commercial purposes and presents an opportunity for a land assembly involving the adjoining properties to the north (Site 8) and the south (Site 6). The merger will create a 5800m 2 parcel that has the potential for medium or high density residential development with, or without, a commercial component. The property is located at the intersection of an arterial road (Penetanguishene Road) and a local road (Cheltenham Road) with easy access to Georgian Drive, Highways 11 and 400. The lands are a 10 minute walk from the transit service on Johnson Street and a 20 minute walk from the Georgian College campus. As noted in the analysis of the lands municipally known as 274 Penetanguishene Road (Site 6) and 1 Cheltenham Road (Site 8), this site is to be merged with adjoining parcels before development can proceed. Under an Apartment Dwelling First Density RA1 zoning and at a density of units per hectare, the entire site could yield in the range of units. A Multiple Family Second Density RM2 zoning which permits a maximum density of 53 units per acre could generate approximately 31 units. Site 8 1 Cheltenham Road The zoning of this vacant property requires a land assembly involving the adjacent parcel to the south (Site 7) before development can proceed. This merger, and a similar merger between Sites 6 and 7, will create a 5800m 2 residential development site. The lands are located at the intersection of an arterial road (Penetanguishene Road) and a local road (Cheltenham Road) with convenient access to Georgian Drive, Highways 11 and 400. The property is a 10 minute walk from transit service on Johnson Street and a 20 minute walk from Georgian College.

19 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 19 As noted in the assessment of the lands municipally known as 274 Penetanguishene Road (Site 6) and 280 Penetanguishene Road (Site 7), this parcel must be merged with the abutting properties before development occurs. The development potential of the holding is described in the foregoing description for Site 7. Recommendation: That the properties municipally known as 353 Duckworth Street, 268 Penetanguishene Road, 274 Penetanguishene Road, 280 Penetanguishene Road and 1 Cheltenham Road be considered as potential sites for the development of housing for Georgian College students. Action No. 2: Allow medium density residential development in areas that are currently zoned for low density residential use. A second action which could increase the supply of residential accommodation in the vicinity of Georgian College for students and the community is to allow medium density development on sites that are presently zoned for low density residential uses. This would involve amendments to the Zoning By-law and, in one case that was identified, both a land assembly and a rezoning. The properties that require rezonings are regarded as short term development opportunities while the site that entails a land assembly and rezoning is viewed as a long term proposal. Two properties in the study area offer potential residential development opportunities. The first site (Site 4) is designated for residential use but is presently vacant. The second site (Site 10) consists of ten individual residential lots that have the long term potential to be assembled and redeveloped for high density residential use. The location of each of the properties is identified on Figure 6 and individual site details including the area of each parcel are incorporated in Figure 7. Site Penetanguishene Road This site is vacant and at 2.5 hectares in size, offers a significant opportunity for medium or high density residential development. The acreage was redesignated for residential purposes in October 2005 pursuant to Official Plan Amendment No. 56. The lands front on an arterial road and have convenient access to Georgian Drive, Highways 11 and 400. This property is a five minute walk from transit service on Grove Street East, a 10 minute walk from the Johnson Street transit route and a 20 minute walk from Georgian College. The property has considerable development potential. However, the extension of Sydenham Wells and the establishment of lots on the west side of the street will reduce the acreage available for development to approximately 1.8 ha. Implementing the residential designation in the Official Plan by way of a Multiple Family Second Density RM2 zoning and a density of 53 units per hectare, could result in a maximum of 95 units. An Apartment Dwelling First Density RA1 zoning with a density of units per hectare, could yield between units.

20 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 20 In order to reduce any potential impact on the dwellings that will be built on the west side of Sydenham Wells extension, development densities ideally should be stepped from west to east. In this way, the highest densities and building heights permitted under a RA1 zoning would front on Penetanguishene Road and be furthest removed from the adjacent low density development on Sydenham Wells. Limiting the heights of apartment buildings could further minimize any possible impact on the adjacent ownerships. If the western third of the subject property is developed under a RM2 zoning and the easterly two thirds of the parcel developed under a RA1 zoning, the yield would be approximately 32 units and units, respectively. Site Georgian Drive This site presents a long term opportunity for a land assembly and high density residential development. The holding is significant both in terms of area and road frontage. These lands occupy 4.6 hectares and have 325m frontage on a major collector. The location offers direct access to Georgian College by public transit and is within a 10 minute walk of the campus. This property is a unique location for high density development. Although site constraints related to the shape of the parcels, topography and proximity to Highway 400 exist, an Apartment Dwelling First Density RA1 zoning affords significant potential for additional residential units. Recommendation: That the properties known municipally as 254 Penetanguishene Road and Georgian Drive be considered as potential sites for the development of housing for Georgian College students. Action No. 3: Allow greater density on lands that are already zoned for medium density residential use. The third action which has the potential of increasing the housing supply for both Georgian College students and the community-at-large involves permitting increased densities on lands that are currently zoned for medium density residential development. This would entail amendments to Zoning By-law and such changes are regarded as initiatives that could be completed in the short term. One property in the study area was identified as a potential development opportunity. The site (Site 2) is located on the east side of Duckworth Street north of Grove Street East and is currently occupied by a place of worship (Christ of the Latter Day Saints) and a parking area. The location of the property is identified on Figure 6 and details of the site are included in Figure 7.

21 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 21 Site Duckworth Street The lands are underutilized and have the potential for a development which is similar in size and scale to that which exists on the adjoining lands to the north. At a density of units per hectare under an Apartment Dwelling First Density RA1 zoning, the 4937m 2 site could yield in the range of units. Recommendation: This property offers a unique opportunity for residential intensification. The lands are designated and zoned for medium density development but are presently used as a place of worship and associated parking area. The parcel fronts on an arterial road and is located immediately south of an existing six storey, 50 unit apartment building. The property is less than 10 minutes from Georgian College, has regular transit service and is easily accessible from Highway 400. That the property known municipally as 363 Duckworth Street be considered as a potential site for the development of housing for Georgian College students.

22 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 22 Figure 6

23 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 23 Figure 7 Site 1

24 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 24 Site 1 - Rendering

25 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 25 Figure 7 Site 2

26 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 26 Figure 7 Site 4

27 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 27 Figure 7 Site 5

28 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 28 Figure 7 Site 6

29 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 29 Figure 7 Site 7

30 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 30 Figure 7 Site 8

31 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 31 Figure 7 7 Site Site 8 9

32 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 32 Figure 7 Site 10

33 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 33 Figure 7 Site 11

34 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 34 FINANCIAL INCENTIVES A goal of the Georgian College Neighbourhood Plan is to facilitate the development of housing for students in areas near Georgian College. Identifying potential locations for development and initiating the land use changes that are required is one means of achieving this goal. A second is providing financial incentives. Relief from application and permit fees, charges and increased taxes associated with new development and redevelopment may lead to the construction of more medium and high density housing. Action No: 1: Provide financial incentives to encourage multiple unit housing developments suitable for student accommodation in areas near Georgian College. Community Improvement Plans with financial incentives in the form of grants, for application fees and a tax increment based grant are proposed in the study area to stimulate private sector participation in the provision of multiple unit housing close to Georgian College. The Municipal Act, 2001, normally prohibits bonusing of manufacturing business or other industrial or commercial enterprise. However, an exception is made for municipalities exercising powers under Section 28 of the Planning Act, which allows municipalities with provisions in their official plans relating to community improvement to designate by by-law a Community Improvement Project Area. Once this is done, a municipality may prepare a Community Improvement Plan for the community improvement project area. Recent changes to the Planning Act provide municipalities the power to approve financial incentives without requiring approval of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Preconsultation with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and housing is however required. According to the Planning Act, a community improvement project area is defined as an area within a municipality, the community improvement of which in the opinion of the council is desirable because of age, dilapidation, overcrowding, faulty arrangement, unsuitability of buildings or for any other environmental, social or community economic development reason. The primary objective of the Financial Incentives is to stimulate investment in intensified forms of residential accommodation suitable for a growing student population through the development or redevelopment of appropriate sites in proximity to the College area. In order to ensure that new accommodation is geared to students, a majority of the units in any project must be designed with individual bedrooms sharing a common living room and kitchen area. Refer to the Concept Plan Figure 1, below. Figure 1 Concept Plan

35 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 35 The two grants proposed are: tax increment based grant; and, application fees, permit fees and special fees grant. Recommendation: That the Community Improvement Plan prepared for the study area which includes financial incentives in the form of a Tax Increment Based Grant and Application Fees, Permit Fees and Special Fees Grant be approved. The details of the proposed grants are outlined in Appendix 1, Georgian College Neighbourhood Community Improvement Plan.

36 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 36 SAFETY AND ENFORCEMENT One of the goals of the Student Accommodation Review is to ensure the safety of all forms of student housing and increase compliance with by-laws and regulations. This section of the report describes three actions that are designed to achieve this goal. Action No. 1: Amend the City s Zoning By-law and Licensing By-law regarding boarding, lodging and rooming houses. On March 7, 2005, Council approved the recommendation included in Staff Report PLN regarding proposed amendments to the Zoning By-law for boarding, lodging and rooming houses. The report also included recommendations with respect to licensing, enforcement, inspection and communication initiatives. The recommendation with respect to proposed zoning amendments for boarding, lodging and rooming houses is reproduced below and the entire staff report is attached as Appendix 2. The recommendation in Staff Report PLN regarding proposed amendments to Zoning Bylaw is as follows: That the proposed Zoning By-law amendments as recommended in Staff Report PLN004-05, and as summarized in Appendix A, be approved in principle, and be included in the Residential section of the Comprehensive Zoning By-law review and presented at the statutory Public Meeting related to that section. There is an acknowledgement in the staff report that boarding, lodging, rooming houses have been created throughout the City, that current laws in Ontario permit this use and recent court decisions have made the law clear on this issue. Such accommodation serves the needs of various groups of people who may choose to live communally or provide individuals with a room to rent. Boarding, lodging and rooming houses appear to be common in the Georgian College area since it is a desired living arrangement for students. The staff report recognizes that despite concerns, the community at large believes that the provision of safe and adequate living accommodation should be provided for all individuals regardless of income levels. Boarding, lodging and rooming houses are a needed component within the community s building inventory. At the same time, the community wants property values protected through good land use planning and firm By-law enforcement. The City wants to foster and maintain a sense of community and to protect quality of life. As Georgian College continues to expand, the provision of housing for students within the vicinity of the college will increase in demand and will continue to heighten neighbourhood concerns and complaints. The proposed amendments to Zoning By-law are aimed at clarifying and strengthening various definitions associated with boarding, lodging and rooming house uses. In doing so, the revisions are intended to ensure consistency between the terminology included in the Zoning Bylaw and that contained in the Building and Fire Codes. These changes and others that are planned will assist in more efficient and effective enforcement. The original intent of the recommendation in Staff Report PLN was that the proposed zoning be approved in principle, included in the Residential section of the Comprehensive Zoning By-law review and presented at the statutory public meeting to that section. However, given recent Provincial policy directives and legislative changes that may have implications for the update of

37 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 37 Zoning By-law 85-95, Council directed that consideration of amendments for boarding, lodging and rooming houses proceed in advance of the comprehensive review of the Zoning By-law. A public meeting was held on April 2, Recommendation: That Planning Services staff report to General Committee regarding proposed Zoning Amendments for boarding, lodging and rooming houses. Action No. 2: Allocate available resources during the months of April, August, September and October to monitor and enforce parking and exterior yard maintenance violations in residential areas near Georgian College that have been problematic in the past. Planning Staff Report PLN included recommendations with respect to licensing, enforcement, inspection and communication initiatives. These recommendations are reproduced below: That upon final approval of the Residential section of the City s Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw including the referenced Boarding, Lodging and Rooming House amendments, the following action be undertaken: a) That By-law , the City s Licensing By-law, be amended to include definitions pertaining to Boarding/Lodging Houses and Rooming Houses to be consistent with the Zoning By-law and to require that all large boarding/lodging houses and all rooming houses (small and large) be licensed with annual reinspections. (b) (c) (d) (e) (f) That increased by-law enforcement and inspections be undertaken around the Georgian College and other historically problematic areas, for parking violations and exterior yard maintenance violations, during the months of August, September, October and April. That the City Council Policy Manual be amended to reflect 2 b) above. That the Barrie Police Service be similarly requested to exercise a zero tolerance for noise and behaviour violations involving activities within residential zones located around the Georgian College area, subject to available resources. That staff undertake an appropriate public information program including preparation of an information story for the City Page in the Barrie Examiner to inform and educate the public on the City s implementation as it relates to Boarding/Lodging Houses and Rooming Houses. That the implementation, increased enforcement measures and licensing of boarding/lodging and rooming houses be monitored for one year and that staff in the Building Services and City Clerk s Office report back to General Committee with recommendations as required (including recommendations regarding increased staffing and the costs associated with the level of service provided by all affected departments). Recommendation (b) above regarding increased enforcement and inspections is the final phase of a multi-phase implementation program that Council has approved. Initial phases include amend-

38 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 38 ments to Zoning By-law and Licensing By-law , a public information program regarding the regulatory changes and a one year monitoring program. The rationale for a phased approach was outlined in Staff Report PLN and is reproduced below: Although it is estimated that there are in the order to 300 existing boarding/lodging and rooming houses currently operating in the City, this is only an estimate. None of these are currently licensed. It is not possible to estimate what percentage of these could comply with the proposed zoning and regulation amendments, nor how many will be licensed, how long it will take to get all of them licensed and what the increase in demand will be for them in the future. Although the affected departments have provided estimated staff resource requirements to handle the proposed amendments, there is no guarantee that the hiring of new staff will be offset or partially recovered by licensing fees, annual renewals, or stiffer court penalties or enforcement ticketing for infractions. Therefore, rather than expending additional money for increased staff resources based solely on estimates, with the approval of the staff recommendations its implementation could be monitored for a one year time period. Success, failure or requirements for refinements, additional staff resources, etc. could be identified and detailed based on one year of experience, in a report back to General Committee. Those departments directly affected could jointly produce such a report within a year time and include requirements in order to maintain or exceed the current level of service to appropriately implement Boarding/Lodging and Rooming House regulations. Therefore, it is recommended that the implementation, enforcement and licensing of Boarding/Lodging and Rooming Houses be monitored for one year and that staff in the Building Services and City Clerk s Office report back to General Committee with recommendations as required (including recommendations regarding increased staffing and the costs associated with the level of service provided by all affected departments). In the interim, it is recommended that where possible, City staff allocate available resources during the months of April, August, September and October to monitor and enforce parking and exterior yard maintenance violations in residential areas near Georgian College that have been problematic in the past. The research that has been completed as part of the Student Accommodation Review will assist in identifying areas where staff resources are best directed. Recommendation: That City staff allocate available resources during the months of April, August, September and October to monitor and enforce parking and exterior yard maintenance violations in residential areas near Georgian College that have been problematic in the past. Action No. 3: Barrie Police Services continue with the recommendations regarding zero tolerance as per Council Resolution 05-G-109. Planning Staff Report PLN included recommendations with respect to licensing, enforcement, inspection and communication initiatives. These recommendations are reproduced below: That upon final approval of the Residential section of the City s Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw including the referenced Boarding, Lodging and Rooming House amendments, the following action be undertaken:

39 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 39 (g) (h) (i) (j) (k) (l) That By-law , the City s Licensing By-law, be amended to include definitions pertaining to Boarding/Lodging Houses and Rooming Houses to be consistent with the Zoning By-law and to require that all large boarding/lodging houses and all rooming houses (small and large) be licensed with annual reinspections. That increased by-law enforcement and inspections be undertaken around the Georgian College and other historically problematic areas, for parking violations and exterior yard maintenance violations, during the months of August, September, October and April. That the City Council Policy Manual be amended to reflect 2 b) above. That the Barrie Police Service be similarly requested to exercise a zero tolerance for noise and behaviour violations involving activities within residential zones located around the Georgian College area, subject to available resources. That staff undertake an appropriate public information program including preparation of an information story for the City Page in the Barrie Examiner to inform and educate the public on the City s implementation as it relates to Boarding/Lodging Houses and Rooming Houses. That the implementation, increased enforcement measures and licensing of boarding/lodging and rooming houses be monitored for one year and that staff in the Building Services and City Clerk s Office report back to General Committee with recommendations as required (including recommendations regarding increased staffing and the costs associated with the level of service provided by all affected departments). Recommendation (j) above regarding a zero tolerance policy for noise and behaviour violations involving activities within residential zones located around Georgian College is part of a multi-phase implementation program that Council has approved. Initial phases include amendments to Zoning By-law and Licensing By-law and a public information program regarding the regulatory changes. Following a one year monitoring program, staff will be reporting to Council with recommendations as required. In the interim Barrie Police Services continue with the recommendations regarding zero tolerance as per Council Resolution 05-G-109. Recommendation: That Barrie Police Services continue with the zero tolerance policy per Council Resolution 05-G-109 (Staff Report PLN004-05).

40 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 40 COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION SHARING One of the goals of the Georgian College Neighbourhood Plan is to develop methods to improve communication and information sharing among town and gown partners. Partners include residents, students, landlords, Georgian College and the City. This section of the report describes four actions/initiatives that are designed to achieve this goal. Action No. 1: Increase community awareness of City by-laws and enforcement activities. There are numerous laws that affect student housing in the City. These include laws related to criminal offences such as disturbing the peace, public mischief, alcohol or drug related matters, profanity, vandalism, theft and noise that are enforced by the police. In addition, there are Provincial and municipal laws which the City is responsible for enforcing. These include by-laws and regulations related to noise, parking, land use, property standards and fire prevention. Better communication would improve the community s understanding of the rules and regulations regarding all aspects of student housing. The information could be communicated to town and gown partners in a variety of ways but should also incorporate details of how the rules are enforced. Communication options include newsletters, website postings and good neighbour guides. Recommendation: That the City develop a communication program that provides town and gown partners Georgian College students, community residents and landlords with information about neighbourhood relations and community resources for students, landlords and residents. Action No. 2: Maintain a forum for formal communication amongst all stakeholders. In an effort to better organize and formalize efforts that were underway with respect to town and gown issues, Council established the Town and Gown Committee in June The Committee s mandate is to develop and enhance relationships, communications and policies between Georgian College, students, the City and the community. The primary objectives of the Town and Gown Committee are as follows: to facilitate communication among constituent groups; to identify issues and concerns related to campus/community interaction; to review policies and initiatives of other municipalities for possible application in the City of Barrie; to increase accountability of both students and landlords to the neighbouring community; to investigate various alternatives/policies to address quality of life concerns for residents surrounding Georgian College; and, to develop recommendations for General Committee consideration (through Corporate Services Committee) regarding enhancing town and gown relationships. The Town and Gown Committee is made up of one member of City Council, two representatives from Georgian College, one of which may be a student, and one representative from each of the following City departments: the Police Service; the City Clerk s Office Municipal Law Enforcement Section; the Building Services Department Zoning Branch; the Building Services Department Property Standards Branch; and, the Fire and Emergency Service. In January 2007, Council appointed one citizen member to the Committee.

41 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 41 The inaugural meeting of the Town and Gown Committee was held on August 17, 2006 and subsequent meetings took place on September 21, 2006, October 12, 2006, October 26, 2006 and January 18, The terms of reference for the Committee call for meetings scheduled monthly or at the call of the Chair. The Town and Gown Committee is a municipal forum that brings town and gown partners together. This includes City staff, Georgian College representatives, residents and students. Since the City is a central point of contact for those involved in community issues, the Town and Gown Committee is well-suited to facilitating communication and information sharing amongst stakeholders. It is recommended that the Committee s role be maintained. Recommendation: That the Town and Gown Committee be used as the forum for formal communication amongst stakeholders involved in town and gown matters. Action No. 3: Share information and data amongst all stakeholders. Many of the town and gown partners maintain data bases associated with their activities and much of this information was used in the preparation of the Neighbourhood Strategy. The data includes statistics on the total number, nature and status of a wide range of complaints and violations. Staff acknowledge that certain privacy issues exist but propose that data be shared amongst stakeholders to the extent permitted by the legislation. Access to information regarding issues that involve numerous departments is important from a monitoring perspective. It is therefore recommended that a comprehensive municipal data base incorporating zoning, property standards, police, fire and MLEO statistics be established. Where possible, this information should also be made available to staff at Georgian College. The College s off-campus housing lists are an excellent source of data for monitoring student housing and this information can be correlated with the proposed licensing program for boarding/lodging and rooming houses. Recommendation: That the City create a database of information, statistics and resources regarding town and gown issues that is available to all partners. Action No. 4: Keep abreast of town and gown issues. The Town and Gown Association of Ontario (TGAO) was formed in 2005 and held its first Annual General Meeting with elections on May 12, 2006 in Brantford, Ontario. The TGAO is dedicated to improving the quality of life in those municipalities that host post secondary institutions by promoting and supporting activities that ensure cohesive communities that are safe, healthy and enjoyable. The Association has four mandates. They include the following: to collect and disseminate information such as education, research and best practices; to identify issues and develop solutions to problems of common interest; to work with all levels of government to effect change; and,

42 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 42 to provide a template for organizational structure in town and gown communities which facilitates communication and action on local issues. The TGAO membership is comprised of more than 60 organizations. Members include universities and colleges, their host cities and towns, as well as student, neighbourhood, police and business organizations within and beyond Ontario. Both the City of Barrie and Georgian College are members of the TGAO. The benefits of membership in the TGAO are varied and include information sharing, access to resources such as best practices and networking with officials in other communities that have post secondary institutions. The Association provides the City with a voice for legislative change that will improve the ability of municipalities, universities and colleges to resolve town and gown issues. It is recommended that the City retain its membership in the Association. Recommendation: That the City maintain an annual membership in the Town and Gown Association of Ontario.

43 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 43 SECTION 5 SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS

44 Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy Page 44 Summary of Recommendations The Georgian College Neighbourhood Strategy includes a total of 11 action items and recommendations designed to implement the strategy. The action items and recommendations are grouped under the four general categories of land use, financial incentives, safety and enforcement and communication and information sharing. Land Use Action No. 1: Allow for residential development on lands that are currently designated and/or zoned for nonresidential uses. Recommendations: That the properties municipally known as 353 Duckworth Street, 268 Penetanguishene Road, 274 Penetanguishene Road, 280 Penetanguishene Road and 1 Cheltenham Road be considered as potential sites for the development of housing for Georgian College students. Action No. 2: Allow medium density residential development in areas that are currently zoned for low density residential use. Recommendations: That the properties municipally known as 254 Penetanguishene Road and Georgian Drive be considered as potential sites for the development of housing for Georgian College students. Action No. 3: Allow greater density on lands that are already zoned for medium density residential use. Recommendation: That the property municipally known as 363 Duckworth Street be considered as a potential site for the development of housing for Georgian College students. Financial Incentives Action No: 1 Provide financial incentives to encourage multiple units apartment developments suitable for student housing in areas near Georgian College. Recommendation: That a Community Improvement Plan be prepared for the study area which includes financial incentives in the form of a Tax Increment Based Grant and Application Fees, Permit Fees and Special Fees Grant.

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