Employment Area Conversion Requests

On June 24 Council agenda there is a report reviewing 2 requests for conversion of lands designated as employment to residential in King Township:  ~50% the prestige employment lands at south east corner of King Road/Jane (previously owned by Magna) and the Boynton Lands on Hwy 27 south of Nobleton. The framework for the requests is the new policy in the amended Growth Plan approved in 2019 by the Province.  Full process for assessing these requests is summarized in the report. Briefly:  such is considered as part of the municipal comprehensive review (MCR) by York Region and it is YR who is the approving authority.  YR has identified criteria for assessing and King will be making comments.    The requests for conversion are very important as employment lands are critical for long term economic vitality.  As the conversion for such lands is often a temptation by property owners and municipalities because it tends to be easier/faster to build houses rather than secure appropriate industrial/commercial users provincial policies urge municipalities to take a  holistic perspective on conversions. This is a very big question for King given that our starting point in terms of local employment is poor i.e.number of jobs currently in King is well below targets.  As reviewed in the report its a complicated question as the profile of employment is changing in terms of how much space/land is required for employees; a service digital economy requires far less land than the economy of the 20th century with factories and big head offices.

At the June 24 Council meeting there will be a presentation by the Chief Planner of York Region on the subject of the municipal comprehensive review (MCR).


2 Responses to “ “Employment Area Conversion Requests”

  1. Mike says:

    No no no no no. King needs commercial and industrial lands. Not more homes! We need to extend our tax base. Particularly prestige employment lands.

    • Debbie says:

      Hi Mike, My initial response when I heard about this proposal was very much like yours. But I think there is a case for further consideration. What I heard that evening is that required space for prestige employment is smaller than it was in the pre-digital age. Space for printers, secretaries is considerably less. A person doing technical drawings is not standing at a drafting table any more etc. The new owners of the former Magna lands are proposing to retain a portion (at the east end) for prestige employment. And their stated intent is to develop and build structure(s) for prestige employment. I look forward to hearing more.

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