Brownfield Redevelopment Community Improvement Plan
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Brownfield Redevelopment Community Improvement Plan

What is a Brownfield?

Windsor's brownfields are the legacy of its industrial past dating back to the turn of the 20th century.  They are the properties where previous use(s) has caused environmental contamination which will need to be properly addressed before redevelopment can occur.  Brownfields are often also characterized as underutilized, derelict or vacant property and buildings.
 
Some typical examples include former industrial or manufacturing plants, fuel storage facilities, dry cleaners, landfills, and gasoline stations.

Municipal Leadership in Action

There are many barriers to brownfield redevelopment, including it being more expensive, time consuming and complex than traditional forms of development.  Municipalities can play a key role in helping overcome many of the traditional barriers to brownfield redevelopment. 
 
By adopting a comprehensive Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy and Community Improvement Plan (CIP), the City of Windsor has created brownfield supportive planning policies, financial incentive programs, and a municipal leadership strategy where the City will take a leadership role in order to realize the benefits of brownfield redevelopment.
 
The City wants to find new opportunities and partnerships to deal with brownfields, and the City is looking for interest from all types of developers and entrepreneurs (big and small).  Contact the City of Windsor to find out if there is an opportunity for you.

Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy

The final version of the City of Windsor Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy is available.  This document provides the policy direction and guidance on how to best encourage brownfield redevelopment in Windsor.  The Brownfield Redevelopment Strategy will be implemented by the Brownfield Redevelopment CIP described below.

Brownfield Redevelopment Community Improvement Plan

The final version of the City of Windsor Brownfield Redevelopment Community Improvement Plan (CIP) was adopted by City Council on April 26, 2010. The Windsor Brownfield Redevelopment CIP applies to the entire urban area of the City of Windsor and contains the details of the approved financial incentive programs and a municipal leadership strategy that the City is promoting to encourage the clean up and redevelopment of brownfields sites in Windsor.

What properties are eligible for incentives?

Any property located in the city that is contaminated with respect to the Ministry of Environment standards as to the proposed use of the property.  If someone has to spend money cleaning up a site to meet the Provincial standards prior to it being able to be redeveloped, they are likely eligible to recover those costs through the incentive programs.

Financial Incentive Programs

The City of Windsor is offering a number of attractive incentive programs designed to promote brownfield redevelopment throughout the city.  These incentives include grants and tax assistance to encourage activities such as feasibility studies, environmental studies, environmental remediation, building rehabilitation, infrastructure upgrading, and even the construction of energy efficient “green” buildings.
 
Projects that demonstrate a commitment to “green” planning and building practices are eligible for an increased level of financial incentives.
 
The five financial incentive programs approved to encourage the redevelopment of brownfields in Windsor are:
  • The Feasibility Study Grant Program
  • The Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Grant Program
  • The Brownfields Property Tax Assistance Program
  • The Brownfields Rehabilitation Grant Program
  • The Brownfields Development Charge Exemption Program

Below is a summary table that provides the general descriptions for all of the financial incentive programs:

Feasibility Study Grant Program

The Feasibility Study Grant Program offers a matching grant to property owners and prospective purchasers of brownfield sites to conduct studies on the feasibility of reusing, rehabilitating, retrofitting and constructing buildings on these sites.
The Feasibility Study Grant offered by the City is equal to 50% of the cost of an eligible feasibility study with a maximum grant of $7,500 and maximum of one study per property.

Downloads

Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) Grant Program

The Environmental Site Assessment Grant Program offers a matching grant to property owners and prospective purchasers of brownfield sites to undertake environmental studies that provide information on the type of contamination and potential remediation costs.

The ESA Grant Program offered by the City is equal to 50% of the cost of an eligible environmental site assessment to a maximum grant of $15,000 for one study and $25,000 for two studies.

Downloads:

Brownfields Property Tax Assistance Program

The Brownfields Property Tax Assistance Program offers a freeze of City property taxes on a brownfield property for up to three (3) years during and after remediation and construction. Property owners may also apply to the Province for a matching freeze of education property taxes for up to 3 years.

Downloads:

Brownfields Rehabilitation Grant Program

The Brownfields Rehabilitation Grant Program starts after the Brownfields Property Tax Assistance Program ends. The Brownfields Rehabilitation Grant Program offers an annual grant equal to 70% of the City property tax increase for up to ten (10) years to help owners of brownfield sites offset the increase in property taxes that can result from redevelopment of their property.
The annual Brownfields Rehabilitation Grant increases to 100% of the City property tax increase for any building project that achieves certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Program.

Downloads:

Brownfields Development Charge Exemption Program

A property owner with an approved application under the Brownfields Rehabilitation Grant Program has the option of applying their approved grant amount to a 60% reduction in the development charges payable for that property (after any demolition charge credits are applied).  The amount of the approved grant applied against the development charges payable will be deducted from the Brownfields Rehabilitation Grant to be paid. 
Additionally, for projects that achieve land use compatibility goals supported by the City's Official Plan, the inclusion of Smart Growth principles, and LEED certification into the proposed development, the cost of remediation applied against the development charges payable will not be deducted from the Brownfields Rehabilitation Grant to be paid.

Downloads:

You must have an approved Brownfield Rehabilitation Grant Application to take advantage of this program.  Below is the program guide and application for the Brownfield Rehabilitation Grant Program:

How Do I Apply?

Simply contact the City of Windsor's Planning Department to discuss your brownfield redevelopment project. City staff will advise you of the programs that you may be eligible for and guide you through the application process.
 
For general information, call 311. For detailed inquiries, contact us at:
 
Planning & Building Services Department
Planning Division
Suite 404, 400 City Hall Square East
Windsor, Ontario, Canada N9A 7K6
Phone: (519) 255-6543
Fax: (519) 255-6544
Email: planningdept@citywindsor.ca