City moving to rezone land near Windsor Airport for industrial use

Rusty Thomson/CKLW AM800 

The City of Windsor is moving to get a large piece of land near Windsor International Airport ready for potential industrial investment opportunities.

An amendment to the official plan and a zoning bylaw amendment for some property near the airport will be up for consideration at Monday’s meeting of the Development and Heritage Standing Committee.

The agenda item asks that the official plan change the land use designations from ‘Future Employment Area’, ‘Airport’, and ‘Open Space’ to ‘Industrial’ and ‘Business Park.’

Committee member and Ward 9 councillor Kieran McKenzie says we’ve already seen investments from a number of different suppliers who want to be part of the supply chain for the NextStar plant.

“We know that there are more opportunities out there for us and there’s active negotiations that are on-going with a number of different parts manufactures in that sector,” he says. “So what we’re trying to do with the zoning amendment is to make sure we have, from an administrative stand point, the things in place that need to be in place for those investments to happen.”

The site in question is a 196.38 hectare or a 485 acre parcel of land on the north side of County Road 42, within the vicinity of the 8th Concession and 9th Concession Roads. 

A report from administration says serviced employment land is in short supply regionally and this is needed to accommodate supply chain manufacturing business related to the NextStar electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility, currently under construction in the area of Banwell Road and the E.C Row Expressway.

The report says failure to plan for zoned and serviced employment land will risk losing economic development investment and related employment. 

McKenzie says currently the airport land provides the greatest opportunity to see investments go forward in the industrial manufacturing sector.

“Because of the NextStar battery plant, we ate up a big chunk of available, service and potentially serviced industrial land that we have available in the City of Windsor currently. What remains right now in terms of the largest chunks we have left are mostly at the airport, there are some other parcels sprinkled across the community,” he says.

McKenzie says it’s a substantial parcel of land but it may not be enough to secure all the investments that may be out there.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure that we have existing land that could host industrial facilities and have the services that would need to be in place, or could be put in place in short order, the airport is where those opportunities are. That’s why we’re seeing the zoning change going forward,” he adds.

The Development and Heritage Standing Committee meets Monday at 4:30 p.m. at Windsor City Hall.