Council Supports Business Park Land Use

Press Release

May 10, 2016  #2016-10
For more information please contact:
Mayor John Becker


PITT MEADOWS, BC – Pitt Meadows City Council is looking at further business park development in the south Bonson area as outlined in the Official Community Plan as a way to diversify the city’s tax base while placing a lighter burden on municipal services, offer businesses options to locate in Pitt Meadows, and create local jobs.

The current proposed project for the business park space is the Golden Ears Business Park, an Onni Development project, a large-scale industrial business park that will be the most diverse in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, offering up to 3,700,000 sq.ft. of build-to-suit opportunities and multi-tenant warehouse space. Phases 1 and 2 of the Golden Ears Business Park are complete, and the development is currently in the application and planning stages for Phases 3 and 4.

The Official Community Plan (OCP), adopted in 2008, acknowledges the need for adequate industrial land supply, and designates all land for industrial use in the south Harris Road area. The business park land use provision in the OCP was reaffirmed by Council in 2013 and was again reviewed in March of this year.

“Council supports the provision of a business park as outlined in the Official Community Plan. The City is working with Onni on their application to align with the long-term plan for the community and optimize amenities for Pitt Meadows,” said Mayor John Becker.

“While we would estimate collecting moderately more property tax revenue for single family residential than a business park would generate, it’s the consumption of services that financially supports development of a business park in favour of residential development.”

“I requested this research from staff for comparative purposes, and their findings showed that the tax revenue for business parks was less than single family designation due to the assessment value, but the draw on municipal services was considerably higher by single family, and that’s something Council sees as a significant factor.”

Based on the City’s research, the aggregate assessed value of single family residential properties is estimated to be over three times that of business park for the same area, resulting in an offset of the business property tax rate being three times the residential property tax rate.  However, based on a 2007 study prepared by MMK Consulting on behalf of the City of Vancouver, the non-residential sector paid $2.42 in taxes for each $1 of municipal services consumed while the residential sector paid $0.56 for each $1 of services consumed.

When examining the land use as farm property, the City found the amount of municipal taxes collected per acre would be substantially less than either residential or business park, while also paying only $0.56 for each $1 of municipal services consumed.

A report released by Metro Vancouver in 2014 as part of the Regional Growth Strategy also offered guidance for municipalities on how to protect and efficiently develop industrial lands. 

The report states, "Any changes in industrial land use designations can have regionally significant impacts, including on the region’s transportation system and economy. Given the pressure to convert industrial lands to other uses, and the limited size of the current industrial land base, protecting the region’s industrial land supply is imperative to accommodate the growing economy and employment base. As such, a key objective of Metro Vancouver 2040: Shaping our Future (Metro 2040), Metro Vancouver’s regional growth strategy, is to protect and maximize the effective use of industrial lands in the region."

“Council continues to support business park use for the area in alignment with our OCP, but we need to make sure the right business park is what materializes in that area,” said Becker.

“This isn’t the end of negotiations; the next phases of the business park are still in the early stages of the process and there will be opportunities for public input.”

The City has made information available on the Golden Ears Business Park on its website at Opportunities for public input, including a Public Hearing, will be advertised.