The Lower Mainland is experiencing a crisis of Industrial land supply. A recent comprehensive inventory undertaken by the Metro Vancouver indicated that through a combination of absorption by industry and, more critically, conversion of industrial lands for other urban uses, the region is at risk of exhausting its supply of lands for large-scale users (e.g. warehousing, distribution and logistics) within 10 years.
It is within this regional context that the City of Abbotsford, located just east of the Metro Vancouver region but strategically located vis-à-vis highway and rail infrastructure, sought a first-ever comprehensive inventory of its industrial land base, a review of the implications of this land base for years of capacity, and a strategy for moving forward with regards to setting the stage for bringing new industrial land supply to market.
The Industrial Inventory Analysis involved compilation and analysis of multiple semi-correlated data sets, along with stakeholder interviews and on-the-ground due diligence. The approach ultimately resulted in a comprehensive inventory of industrial lands (at the parcel level), classified according to land designation & zoning, actual uses (24 unique categories), extent of utilization and extent of ‘industrially-usable’ land area (based on slopes and riparian setbacks analysis). This inventory was then weighed against land demand scenarios that looked at trends, employment forecasts, regional unserved ‘latent demand’, and actual land needs of various industrial end-user groups, to determine true useable inventory and a realistic years-of-capacity estimate.
City of Abbotsford