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Friday, December 30, 2016

Small Industy into Commercial Zones

Zoning study: Small-scale Industrial Uses in Commercial Zones

This is a study to consider new zoning provisions for small-scale manufacturing, small-scale food processing, micro-distilleries and micro-breweries in commercial areas.

The zoning by-law restricts industrial uses to industrial zones that are geographically distinct and apart from the fabric of the city, and located in segregated industrial or business parks. The rationale behind the geographic isolation of manufacturing activity stems from the City's industrial past, which featured highly impactful manufacturing operations that comprised noise and pollution-generating facilities, high volumes of freight, odours and smoke. 

As a result, the framework of defined land use terms in the Zoning By-law does not contemplate the possibility that small-scale manufacturing activity, if it is of a nature that does not generate such challenging land use impacts, may be a compatible fit in certain urban contexts such as mainstreets; nor does it provide much flexibility for such activities to also incorporate a retail function where the products of the facility are made available to the purchasing public on-site. As a result, uses that might be desirable forms of development in, and compatible with, certain commercial areas are not permitted.

At the same time, the maker economy in Ottawa has been on the rise. The 2015 edition of the annual Maker Fair at Lansdowne Park featured booths from dozens of exhibitors in 27 categories. The Ottawa Maker Fair is now part of a network of 20 larger feature fairs taking place in cities around the world. There is a growing need to ensure that the city is in a position to capitalize on the economic opportunities of this emerging sector.

Project Purpose
Amendments to the Zoning By-law are being considered to permit small-scale, low-impact industrial uses, including micro-breweries, micro-distilleries and small-scale food processing associated with restaurants. The Study will also consider opportunities to permit small-scale manufacturing such as maker spaces, a location where tools and other resources are shared to produce prototypes and manufacture small batches of product. The amendments would permit land uses that combine retail store, retail food store, catering establishment, restaurant or bar with small-scale forms of low-impact industrial uses.

Project Objectives
The study will focus on commercial zones where restaurants, bars and retail uses are already permitted. The proposed amendments would:
  • Define and permit low impact, small-scale industrial activities
  • Allow small-batch manufacturing as a non-accessory component of a business
  • Provide new opportunities for small business 
  • Contribute to the development of vibrant commercial streets
Project Timelines
  1. Phase 1 - Draft zoning provisions will be available for review and comment in December 2016.
  2. Phase 2 - Comments received will help to inform the development of revised zoning provisions that will be available for review and comment in January 2017.
  3. Phase 3 - A report recommending new provisions for small-scale industrial uses is expected to go to Planning Committee, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and Council in April 2017.
Draft Zoning Provisions

Under the Zoning By-law, the manufacturing or processing of materials into new products is considered an industrial use, regardless of the scale of the manufacturing.  Even if the scale of production is very small, these businesses must locate in industrial zones, locations that are usually separated from other uses and far away from potential customers. 

The amendments in this Study are intended to refine the Zoning By-law to allow these low-intensity manufacturing businesses to locate in commercial areas, near to customers.

 Given that these uses will be producing locally-produced products, these businesses have the potential to contribute to the unique character of commercial areas in the city.  The amendments would allow existing commercial uses to expand their business to produce small batches of product and distribute to others for retail sale.  

An example would be a restaurant that produces and distributes its own brand of food product, beer or spirits for sale in other locations.  This small-scale manufacturing could also be paired with a retail use, where a workshop and a retail store are combined in the same occupancy and products may be distributed to other locations for retail sale. 

In order to control the scale of manufacturing, size restrictions will be proposed.  The retailing of products on-site will be required to ensure occupancies in commercial areas continue to have a commercial function, rather than becoming an industrial occupancy that does not contribute to the commercial character of the street. 

The following draft zoning provisions are proposed for small-scale industrial uses:
  1. A new land use term for small-scale industrial uses is proposed, as follows:

    Micro-Industrial use –  a small-scale industrial use involving the production, retailing and distribution of products, including micro-breweries, micro-distilleries, small batch manufacturing or food production.

  2. A Micro-Industrial Use would be permitted in all commercial zones: AM-Arterial Mainstreet; GM-General Mixed-Use; LC-Local Commercial Use; MC-Mixed Use Centre; MD-Mixed Use Downtown; TD-Transit-Oriented Development; TM-Traditional Mainstreet.

  3. The production area for a micro-brewery would be limited to 475 square metres, while the production area for a micro-distillery would be limited to 300 square metres.  For all other micro-industrial uses, the maximum area of the building used for manufacturing would be 100 square metres, excluding areas used for storage of the products produced on-site.

  4. In all cases, the micro-industrial use would be required to include a retail or restaurant  component, to ensure the commercial character of the street is maintained.

  5. The micro-industrial use would be required to be located within a building and no outdoor storage would be permitted.

Contact person
For further information, please contact:
Carol Ruddy, Planner
Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
carol.ruddy@ottawa.ca (link sends e-mail)
Tel.: 613-580-2424, ext. 28457