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Land Use Planning / Impact Assessments


Many regions & municipalities are undergoing intense urban densification as part of their Master Plans. As a result, buffer zones are disappearing and allowable land uses are changing, potentially putting incompatible land uses in close proximity to each other. What does this mean for your company?

Services Offered:

  • Dust / Odour / Noise Impact Assessment
  • Land Use Compatibility Study
  • New Build / Land Risk Screening
  • Redevelopment Risk Reports

If you are an existing industrial facility, you could become subject to large environmental compliance approval costs to reduce noise, dust, and/or odour from your facility. Changes in proposed land use are not typically well advertised and, if not caught in the planning stages, you could be subject to comply at new sensitive receptors which never previously existed. It is important to note that when it comes to environmental compliance and land use, there is no grandfathering of who was there first. Simply put, if you’ve previously never had to complete an odour/dust/noise impact assessment for your facility, you may now have too and the results could have large financial implications. This is why it is extremely important to understand the risks to your facility, and how to monitor them.

One important consideration is if there are sensitive receptors located nearby, or if the neighbouring land uses allow for them. Sensitive receptors are non-business dwellings such as residential homes, apartments, childcare facilities, hospitals, long-term care facilities, etc.

One of the greatest challenges for industrial facilities is noise mitigation for sensitive receptors that are located above your facility’s roof line. One of the greatest sources of noise mitigation is often the building itself, as the building often blocks the line of site. Depending on land topography, this could be a standard residential home or a taller apartment building. When developing a noise abatement action plan, it is important to incorporate the maintenance lifecycle into the process. Exhaust fans, make-up air units, chillers, cooling towers, etc. all have a finite lifetime. When pursuing a long-lasting noise impact assessment, it is becoming increasingly important to consider the noise impact of a replacement unit. Costs for quieter models is typically only a small premium and can lead to substantial savings in the future if further noise mitigation is required to comply with provincial guidelines.

Recently, the Ministry of Environment & Climate Control (MOECC) has recently published NPC-300 (Environmental Noise Guideline: Stationary and Transportation Sources – Approval and Planning). NPC-300 guideline replaced three previous guidelines, NPC-205, NPC-232, and LU-131. The guideline was updated to provide more clarity around the treatment of stationary noise sources, and allow for the inclusion of “at-receptor” noise controls.

If you are a property developer, how do the existing permitted uses impact your development? Changes at the design stage can alleviate compliance challenges with alterations to the façade treatment, building orientation, or landscaping. With the release of NPC-300, it is important to understand how to use “at-receptor” noise controls to your advantage.

Looking to purchase land for a new build, or looking to move into an existing facility? We can help you understand your environmental risks and identify suitable land that can reduce the financial burden of costly mitigation measures.

If you need an odour, dust and/or noise impact assessment, contact our team of experts today.

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