A political and legal analysis considers the known relevant issues that impact the owner/investor’s use of a subject property.
In most areas of Ontario, zoning regulations highly regulate industrial leasing and development activity more than any other of the four basic property types. Issues may include but are not limited to environmental issues (provincial and federal), hours of operations, building size, traffic, noise, coastal area management, special zoning requirements, among others. When analyzing or performing due diligence, I investigate municipal, provincial, and federal regulations that may impact existing and proposed industrial uses. Also taking additional care be to be informed about legal and regulatory factors that may impact leasing and sales activity.
A brief list of legal and political considerations includes the following:
▪ Property taxes, special assessments, and public services
▪ Subdivision regulations
▪ Construction code requirements
▪ Health and safety
▪ Environmental regulation and issues
▪ Location incentives
Property Taxes, Special Assessments, and Public Services
Property taxes and special assessments for off-site improvements are one side of a coin; the other side is the quantity and quality of public services. Ideally, there should be a direct correlation between these activities. High property taxes should provide a high level and quality of public services. In the public sector context, the services are water and sewage; fire and police protection for the property and all personnel, access onto the site and roads serving the site, etc.
Alternative industrial locations in a market are virtually synonymous with industrial zones, defining where activity is permitted to take place and what use is allowed. So, alternative location analysis is also alternative zone analysis. An additional consideration is the potential for zoning changes that might create new opportunities for the industrial use or produce problems for neighbouring industrial users.
Subdivision regulations specify the requirements for how the site is subdivided into building lots and specifies the dimensions of the lots.
Construction Code Requirements
Construction codes affect the minimum standards for buildings and possibly site improvements. Building design and function can be affected as well as paving and landscaping requirements and restrictions.
Health and Safety
Health hazards and the potential for employee injury are of particular concern to industrial property users. These liabilities can destroy a business, so health and safety factors is a high priority when rating alternative facilities and sites. Your health and safety criteria and any established Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards are considered.
Environmental Regulation and Issues
Unlike most other commercial endeavors, industrial land usage can affect the physical and social environment significantly. Potential impacts of an industrial use (such as emissions from a manufacturing plant) are considered when analyzing for your proposed use.
Impact areas include:
▪ Truck traffic volume
▪ Particulate emissions and pollution controls and regulations
▪ Noise pollution from trucks and possibly railroads
▪ Solid and liquid waste disposal
▪ Utility requirements and usage (electric power, natural gas, and water)
▪ Sensitive species protection
Local government incentives such as land assembly, financing packages, and various tax concessions are made to attract companies and to encourage economic and real estate development.
Industrial properties have the most divergent real property needs of the four basic property types. It’s very important that you help me become as familiar as possible with your specific business, its method of operation, employment requirements, trade area, environmental impact, infrastructure demand, and all linkages unique to the particular business to meet your leasing and/or development demand(s).
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