Metro Vancouver has a new strategy to save the region’s shrinking supply of industrial land.
Chaired by Delta Mayor George Harvie, Metro’s Industrial Lands Strategy Task Force this summer completed a plan which was endorsed by the region’s board of directors.
Metro is currently seeking endorsement from other municipal councils.
In a recent letter to Delta council, Metro board chair Sav Dhaliwal said the strategy identifies 34 recommendations with 10 priority actions for early implementation.
“Taken together, these actions will help ensure that Metro Vancouver's industrial lands continue to provide attractive and viable locations for industrial businesses to locate, grow, and prosper,” he wrote.
"Successfully achieving the vision of the Regional Industrial lands Strategy will require a collaborative approach and sustained effort on the part of various governing bodies and stakeholders with overlapping, yet distinct areas of business and jurisdictions in the region," Dhaliwal said of the strategy.
The strategy notes the region is facing a critical shortage of industrial land.
Years of steady population and economic growth in the region, ongoing conversion and non-industrial uses of industrial lands, and the constrained geography of the region, have precipitated the challenges facing Metro Vancouver's industrial land supply.
The document goes on to note that, based on feedback from stakeholders, there is a desire when looking for solutions to address conversion of industrial lands to other uses to first consider local government and regional policy options, rather than a provincial industrial land reserve.
The city earlier this year conveyed concerns about Metro’s draft strategy, which included a proposal for a new industrial land reserve for strategically located trade-enabling lands in the Lower Mainland.
“A substantial portion of Delta is located within the Agricultural Land Reserve that is under provincial regulation, and Delta contains a large port facility and associated lands that are under federal regulation. Delta has a large agricultural and industrial land base, and is committed to the protection of both types of lands,” a staff report noted.
“Staff are aware of the inherent pressures and challenges facing both types of land uses but feel that an Industrial Land Reserve would create another level of regulation that would hamper local government planning efforts.”
Civic staff will bring council another report on the final version of Metro’s strategy in the coming months.