Barrie city council tackled a busy agenda at the planning committee meeting on Tuesday evening.
The committee tentatively approved the next steps for what is being called a legacy project, which Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman said would be good for the city's downtown. "Between these three buildings, we are talking about many of hundreds of new people living on the edge of our downtown."
The rezoning of 34 to 50 Bradford Street and a portion of 125 Dunlop Street West would make way for the construction of 600 residential units in multiple buildings and a new YMCA facility on the former Barrie Central Collegiate site.
There was only one councillor in opposition to the plan.
Councillor Sergio Morales said he was hung up on the design of the residential component.
"I'm cautiously optimistic," he said. "It's gone through now that we can work with the applicant to make it look inspiring."
The motion will still need to be ratified by council on March 23.
The committee also had its first look at three other proposed developments.
The first project, located at 180 to 198 Ardagh Road, would see four semi-detached residential units built.
The second plan focused on the construction of a series of townhomes was met with public opposition.
"It's going to be crazy," said Barrie resident Sandy Coyle. "Where there was woods and forests and whatever, there's going to be a three-storey townhouse, people looking in my backyard."
The project at 158, 162, 166 and 170 Ardagh Road would see 27 townhouses built on the Bishop Drive extension and 31 townhouse units with a condo block along Ardagh Road.
The third proposed development consists of a 17-storey condo and townhouse to be built at the corner of Jacobs Terrace and Innisfil Street.
"It looks more like downtown Toronto, so maybe if they can design parts of it - the brickwork or the colour - to reflect the area around it, I think that would make it fit in much better," said Barrie resident Craig Froese.
City staff will conduct a technical review on the three proposals and draft a report that will eventually be presented to council.