A proposed plan for a new downtown in Barrhaven will go to planning committee Thursday.

Posted up next to a large field near Longfields Drive there is a City of Ottawa sign letting residents know of a proposal for new activity on the Barrhaven Town Centre lands, which is bound by Standherd Drive to the north, Longfields Drive to the east, the Jock River to the south and the Kennedy-Burnett Stormwater Management facility to the west for a total of 165 hectares of land.

“I couldn’t be more pleased,” said councillor Jan Harder. “I am excited to kick start Barrhaven’s Downtown.

With Barrhaven reaching 100,000 in population Harder says it is ready for “this next big step.”

Staff is recommending that the city’s planning committee approve the proposed Official Plan Amendment to amend the policies of the South Nepean Town Centre Secondary Plan in order to create a new Secondary Plan titled the Barrhaven Downtown Secondary Plan, which focuses on densities, parkland types, distribution and mixed use.

“Way back in 2006 City Council approved the South Nepean Town Centre Community Design Plan - I liked parts of it but some of the concepts were so out there I saw little hope of the plan ever coming to fruition,” Harder said.

The new plan references minimum density around rapid transit stations, while maximizing parkland opportunities to support a dense urban environment and a flexible range of uses fostering a mixed-use environment, according to the report to planning committee by Minto Communities and Richcraft Homes.

“A couple of years ago I spoke with two of the landowners, Minto and Richcraft, and asked them to commence an Official Plan Amendment so that our “downtown” would have a chance of success,” Harder added.  

The report includes plans to turn Chapman Mills Drive into a mixed-use corridor on both sides that will feature “developments that activate the street and provide visual interest.”

Under the new plan building heights would also be altered to a minimum of two storeys and a maximum of 30 storeys.

As for a formerly proposed Civic Complex that would include a community centre with ice pads, swimming pools, etc., the new plan would revise the existing policies to move ahead with this.

“At the very heart of this Downtown, at the confluence of 2 Rapid Transit corridors, will be a Civic Space where Barrhaven will celebrate our seasons, our cultures, our community and more,” Harder said.

The Town Centre is not fully developed leaving room for new opportunity.

The report says the mixed-use development could create over 10,000 jobs.