Employment Land Strategy Review
The City is completing the Employment Land Strategy Review - a comprehensive review of both City-owned and privately-owned industrial land within the municipality and a recommended long term vision and strategy to ensure the provision of an adequate supply of jobs for the City's growing population.
The study is being managed by the planning division. The City has retained Watson & Associates Economists Ltd, as the lead consultant, in association with Dillon Consulting Limited, to assist in the study.
This work will form part of the background study to the City's five-year review of the Official Plan and the Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw Review. In addition, the Employment Land Strategy Review is intended to fulfil part of the Planning Act requirements for a municipal comprehensive review. The purpose of the Employment Land Strategy Review is to ensure that the employment land policies contained in the Official Plan are appropriate, protect employment uses and deal with current and future economic trends.
Provincial policy requires municipalities to provide for an appropriate mix and range of employment to meet the municipality's long term needs. Municipalities must ensure an adequate supply of land suitable for employment uses by protecting and preserving employment areas for current and future uses.
The current population projection for 2026 in the Official Plan is 133,100 people based on the medium growth scenario forecast. However, the City's goal is to strengthen its economy through robust job creation that is beyond that of the medium growth forecast. Therefore, the Official Plan provides for a (high projection) target level of 700 net new jobs per year in the City for a projected total of approximately 14,000 jobs by 2026. See the Population, Housing and Employment Projection Study for more info.
The City has a long-standing municipal program to ensure that a supply of business/industrial land is available and readily accessible, at a reasonable price, as an economic development tool to increase the development of jobs and/or assessment in the municipality.
The study area includes all lands located within the City of Kingston. Approximately eighty two percent (82%) of the City's land base is found in the rural area and only eighteen percent (18%) is located in the urban area. While scattered industrial lands are located throughout the urban and rural areas of the City, the current supply of industrial land is generally contained in six industrial areas:
- Gardiners Road / Cataraqui North Industrial Area;
- Progress Avenue / Nortel Industrial Area;
- Kingston Airport Industrial Area;
- Clyde / Binnington / Alcan Industrial Area;
- Old Industrial Area; and
- St. Lawrence Business Park.
The main objectives of the Employment Land Strategy Review are listed as follows:
- To provide an overview of City-owned and privately-owned industrial land base and identify any limitations in the industrial land supply as well as an inventory of existing, vacant industrial floor space;
- To consider the best employment land use category of newly acquired City-owned lands;
- To review the existing employment area zones, the intent of the industrial land use designations, and recent practices in other municipalities in order to provide recommendations for consideration by the Comprehensive Zoning By-law Review.
- To review the Employment Areas policies in the Official Plan with respect to ‘complementary uses' and provide any necessary recommendations to strengthen the intent of these uses in the Business Park Industrial, General Industrial and Waste Management Industrial designations;
- To examine the pressure to allow the conversion of employment areas lands to permit a broader range of uses, particularly commercial, and review the existing criteria for consideration of requests for conversion or expansion to the range of permitted uses on employment lands;
- To review the Rural industrial policies in the Official Plan and provide any necessary recommendations on the policy framework designed to limit growth outside the urban boundary and protect the rural area;
- To forecast future demand of industrial land to 2041 based on absorption rates, existing vacant industrial land supply and the most recent employment projections;
- To examine the role of public and private sectors in industrial land development;
- To create a long-term vision and plan for industrial land within the City to ensure employment and residential opportunities are well-balanced;
- To recommend strategies to promote and attract industrial growth; and
- To identify the major trends shaping Kingston's economy and employment.
The final Employment Land Strategy Review will be presented to council on March 24. The recommendations of the report will be forwarded for implementation through the 5 Year Official Plan Update and the new Comprehensive Zoning Bylaw.