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How to look up Kitchener zoning bylaws
#1
I was curious about the zoning at Grand River Rocks to see whether they'd follow the fate of numerous Toronto climbing gyms and get booted by condo developers in a decade or so. (Turns out that their land is zoned industrial, M-2. Zoning to the rescue, for once.)

So I went and looked at the Kitchener interactive map: http://maps.kitchener.ca/

The zone itself is fairly self-explanatory as these things go. You can find the big list of zones here: http://app.kitchener.ca/zonebylaw/es_zon...t\Sections

But the zone information also comes with codes "1R" and "153U". It took me some time to figure out what those were.

Appendix D defines the R symbols, "Special Regulation Provisions for Specific Lands": http://app.kitchener.ca/zonebylaw/es_zon...ic%20Lands. 1R means "wetlands protected".

Appendix C defines the U symbols, "Special Use Provisions for Specific Lands": http://app.kitchener.ca/zonebylaw/es_zon...ic%20Lands. 153U means "no car dealerships".

Hope that helps someone.
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#2
(05-09-2016, 09:16 AM)plam Wrote: I was curious about the zoning at Grand River Rocks to see whether they'd follow the fate of numerous Toronto climbing gyms and get booted by condo developers in a decade or so. (Turns out that their land is zoned industrial, M-2. Zoning to the rescue, for once.)

I wouldn't call them safe. Zoning exists just to make sure that council has ultimate say over property redevelopments. Someone could buy the building, and bring forward a plan for redevelopment. It means there's probably a 1-2 year buffer, compared to as-of-right redevelopment.
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#3
(05-09-2016, 09:16 AM)plam Wrote: I was curious about the zoning at Grand River Rocks to see whether they'd follow the fate of numerous Toronto climbing gyms and get booted by condo developers in a decade or so. (Turns out that their land is zoned industrial, M-2. Zoning to the rescue, for once.)

Careful. A NIMCLIGY will be reviled by all urbanists.
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#4
(05-09-2016, 10:00 AM)Markster Wrote:
(05-09-2016, 09:16 AM)plam Wrote: I was curious about the zoning at Grand River Rocks to see whether they'd follow the fate of numerous Toronto climbing gyms and get booted by condo developers in a decade or so. (Turns out that their land is zoned industrial, M-2. Zoning to the rescue, for once.)

I wouldn't call them safe.  Zoning exists just to make sure that council has ultimate say over property redevelopments.  Someone could buy the building, and bring forward a plan for redevelopment.  It means there's probably a 1-2 year buffer, compared to as-of-right redevelopment.

Will probably be in a Major Transit Station Area. Yes, City Council or the OMB could always override, but it is a deterrent at least. Really, they should buy their building.
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#5
(05-09-2016, 10:54 AM)plam Wrote: Will probably be in a Major Transit Station Area. Yes, City Council or the OMB could always override, but it is a deterrent at least. Really, they should buy their building.

No matter who owns their building, it does not make sense to have a single-story building surrounded by empty space immediately next to an LRT stop (even if the single story is 10m high). Buying their building would make the choice theirs, but the economics would still almost certainly push them to re-develop just as any other owner would. Having said that, why shouldn’t the ground floor of a residential condo tower be a climbing gym? Or there could be a large atrium which is a tall climbing wall. I can think of lots of neat ways of both redeveloping and still having a climbing gym.
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#6
(05-10-2016, 12:48 AM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(05-09-2016, 10:54 AM)plam Wrote: Will probably be in a Major Transit Station Area. Yes, City Council or the OMB could always override, but it is a deterrent at least. Really, they should buy their building.

No matter who owns their building, it does not make sense to have a single-story building surrounded by empty space immediately next to an LRT stop (even if the single story is 10m high). Buying their building would make the choice theirs, but the economics would still almost certainly push them to re-develop just as any other owner would. Having said that, why shouldn’t the ground floor of a residential condo tower be a climbing gym? Or there could be a large atrium which is a tall climbing wall. I can think of lots of neat ways of both redeveloping and still having a climbing gym.
 whoever is running the business will probably set up somewhere else once they were to get the boot and it's not really worth the hassle to move your business again so they wouldn't relocate back (and pay all the set up costs again).

I'm not sure how profitable of a business climbing is but it is unique so they could set up anywhere that has cheap rent and have everyone come to them instead of waiting a few years and than possibly paying higher rent for the redeveloped building.
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#7
Also note that a substation is going into the parking lot for that building, which while a minor detail in the grand scheme of things, still represents an impediment to redevelopment.

GRR in particular would be a massive relocation. If the owners are smart, they'll protect against this. Unless they were to find an identically shaped gym, much of their rock surfaces could not be reused, custom-built to the building as they are, let alone the inability to be uncovered and disassembled in such a way as to allow for reuse.
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#8
(05-10-2016, 04:12 AM)darts Wrote: whoever is running the business will probably set up somewhere else once they were to get the boot and it's not really worth the hassle to move your business again so they wouldn't relocate back (and pay all the set up costs again).

I'm not sure how profitable of a business climbing is but it is unique so they could set up anywhere that has cheap rent and have everyone come to them instead of waiting a few years and than possibly paying higher rent for the redeveloped building.

GRR is actually co-owned by a team of 4 climbers. In the GTA lots of climbing gyms have been sprouting. (I was just reading the climbing gym association's report and growth in number of gyms has been > 10% for a couple of years now). I think there are 18 in GTA now; I counted at some point. Usually they are set up in places that have cheap rents, but set-up is somewhat difficult, labour-intensive, and expensive. Usually walls are custom builds. For wall climbing, you always need a place with high enough roofs, and that's a bit difficult. Some of the GTA gyms have been re-opening, post move, in places with roofs that aren't so high, which is disappointing.

I don't think it's that profitable. Insurance is expensive. Usually the revenue model relies in large part on birthday parties. Memberships are a steady stream of revenue that isn't that lucrative.

(05-10-2016, 08:13 AM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: Also note that a substation is going into the parking lot for that building, which while a minor detail in the grand scheme of things, still represents an impediment to redevelopment.

GRR in particular would be a massive relocation. If the owners are smart, they'll protect against this. Unless they were to find an identically shaped gym, much of their rock surfaces could not be reused, custom-built to the building as they are, let alone the inability to be uncovered and disassembled in such a way as to allow for reuse.

Yeah. I've talked to them about it and last time they weren't as concerned as I think they should be.
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#9
What that says to me is that they will get pooched by this Undecided and as someone without a car, if they reopen somewhere with cheap rent, it'll likely be somewhere that's not transit accessible.
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#10
(05-10-2016, 08:45 AM)Viewfromthe42 Wrote: What that says to me is that they will get pooched by this Undecided and as someone without a car, if they reopen somewhere with cheap rent, it'll likely be somewhere that's not transit accessible.

The only fortunate thing is that in K-W the places that are less transit accessible tend to not have high ceilings; they're suburban and also not so industrial.

There are some industrial areas in Cambridge but I suspect that would be "too far" (in K-W terms) for much of their target audience.
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