Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Metro Vancouver releases updated industrial land use mapping. Job-providing industrial land needs protection.

One of the Metro Vancouver Regional District's key priorities is to preserve the supply of industrial land in our region. Industrial land is home to over a quarter of the jobs in Metro Vancouver. Unfortunately, there is a limited supply of industrial land in Metro Vancouver, and it is under threat.

While many politicians and municipalities talk about the importance of preserving industrial land, they still allow non-industrial uses within industrially-zoned areas. Some are also rezoning industrial land to other uses such as retails, offices, and residential.

Metro Vancouver staff completed a detailed map of industrial uses in 2015. They recently completed a detailed map of industrial uses in 2020.

Based on the detailed mapping, Metro Vancouver staff found that:

  • The amount of industrial lands used for non-industrial purposes is increasing
  • There is limited availability of large industrial sites for logistics uses
  • There was an increase in the total size of the industrial land base, but the goods movement transportation network does not serve the added land well
  • Municipal governments removed land from the industrial land base with excellent access to the goods movement transportation network
  • Overall, most industrial land remaining is located in the South of Fraser and Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows.

The following map shows the overall developed industrial land base.

Maps of detailed industrial land use in Metro Vancouver. Select map to enlarge.

This next map shows the remaining industrial land.

Map of remaining industrial land in Metro Vancouver. Select map to enlarge.

The final map shows non-industrial uses such as retail within industrially-zoned land.

Map showing non-industrial uses within industrially-zoned land. Select map to enlarge.

Regional district staff have been advocating for the following measures to preserve and enhance our region's industrial land base:

  • Create a provincial Industrial Land Reserve
  • Strengthening regional industrial land policies
  • Create trade-enabling zoning districts
  • Work with municipalities to have region-wide zoning consistency for industrial lands
  • Preform a regional land use assessment
  • Encourage intensification of industrial lands
  • Allow mixed-use industrial land with residential/office above industrial uses

You can read more about these specific measures in a previous post.

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