Planning and Building Services
Brownfield Redevelopment Community Improvement Plan (CIP)
- Brownfield sites are properties that may be contaminated due to previous industrial or commercial uses such as a manufacturing facility or gas station.
- City Council approved a Brownfield Redevelopment CIP at its April 19, 2010 meeting for the purpose of encouraging the study, clean-up, and redevelopment of contaminated properties.
- The approval of the CIP was the result of nearly five years of study and consultation, which began in October 2005.
Importance of Brownfield Redevelopment
- In 2009 the City’s Planning Department identified 137 brownfield properties (i.e. 226 hectares or 559 acres) that are candidates for redevelopment. While the inventory is not exhaustive, it illustrates the significance of Windsor’s brownfield stock and the need to work with land owners to put these properties back into productive use.
- Based on approvals to date under the Brownfield CIP approximately 50 hectares (123 acres) or 22% of the inventory has been or is planned to be redeveloped.
- Historically, there has been little interest in redeveloping brownfield sites due to the uncertainty surrounding the extent of contamination and the potential cost of clean-up.
- The Brownfield Redevelopment CIP provides financial incentives to undertake the necessary studies and remedial work necessary to redevelop brownfield sites and reduce the potential negative impacts to the City’s environment and neighbourhoods.
- The benefits associated with brownfield redevelopment go far beyond the boundaries of the property. For example, they are often strategically located within existing built up areas of the City where services and other infrastructure, such as roads, schools, community facilities and public transit are already available, therefore additional infrastructure costs are not incurred to service these areas.
- The redevelopment of these sites also remove the negative stigma often associated with brownfield properties, which increases the value of the subject property and adjacent properties.
- Brownfield sites also represent a significant underutilization of the land base. According to the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (2003), every hectare redeveloped through a brownfield project saves up to an estimated 4.5 hectares of greenfield land from being developed (i.e. agricultural land on the edge of the City); and for every dollar invested in a brownfield redevelopment, it is estimated that $3.80 is invested in the economy.
Climate Change Mitigation:
- The proposed redevelopment implements Environmental Master Plan Objective C1: Encourage in-fill and higher density in existing built areas.
- In particular, the redevelopment would implement the action that supports the existing Brownfields Redevelopment Strategy and achieve its work plan.
Climate Change Adaptation:
- The proposed redevelopment may be affected by climate change, in particular with respect to extreme precipitation and an increase in days above 30 degrees.
- While not the subject of this report, any new construction would be required to meet the current provisions of the Building Code, which would be implemented through the building permit process.
- The site would also be required to incorporate storm water management best practices.