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.
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