Metro Vancouver is planning to collaborate with municipalities, industrial developers, and other stakeholders to explore and advance opportunities to intensify industrial lands. In the meantime, Maple Ridge council will be receiving a report about its industrial and commercial lands in late November.
“With a severely limited supply of available lands in the region and a growing population and economy, intensification of industrial lands is increasingly important and necessary,” said Metro Vancouver Board Chair Greg Moore. “Industrial lands need to be protected and industrial employment expanded because industry is one of the drivers of the region’s economy.”
In 2011, the Metro Vancouver Board and all local authorities in the regional district approved a Regional Growth Strategy that contains urban development, protects agricultural land for food production, and protects the supply of industrial lands.
At current industrial land demand rates, Metro Vancouver expects the supply of industrial lands in the region will be depleted in the 2020s. Because the industrial land base is so limited, Metro Vancouver wants to encourage higher-density forms of industrial development and facilitate new growth through the re-development and intensification of under-utilized industrial lands.
“Intensifying industrial land uses will extend the lifespan of the industrial land inventory in the region,” said Derek Corrigan, Chair of the Regional Planning and Agriculture Committee. “It will also help reduce development pressures to convert agricultural lands and rural lands to industrial uses.”
On Nov. 16, the Metro Vancouver Board authorized staff to release a discussion paper, titled Best Practices for the Intensive Use of Industrial Land. The discussion paper, based on extensive research including workshops with industrial land stakeholders, explores potential industrial land intensification techniques and practices in Metro Vancouver and around the world. The discussion paper includes two-page profiles of 15 buildings in this region which have notable examples of higher intensity industrial or quasi-industrial development and modern industrial facilities. Examples of industrial land intensification forms which can be further explored for the Metro Vancouver region include: multi-level industrial building, larger industrial buildings with greater floor area ratios and higher ceilings, more industrial equipment and automation, greater operational efficiencies and through-put for industrial uses, roof top parking designs on industrial buildings.
The paper is being released as a basis for discussion with a broad range of public and private sector partners. After that discussion, staff will prepare another report, which will go to the Metro Vancouver Board and be made public, in early 2013.
For a direct link to the discussion paper, click on Best Practices for the Intensive Use of Industrial Land www.metrovancouver.org/planning/development/EconomyIndustrialLands/EconomyIndustrialDocs/BestPracticesfortheIntensiveUseofIndustrialLandDiscussionPaper29Oct2012.pdf.