Waterloo Regional Staff have released their Recommended Growth Scenarios for the Regional Official Plan Update to 2051. Details and the Staff Report can be found on the Engage WR Website at: https://www.engagewr.ca/regional-official-plan
Staff has outlined three scenarios for future growth:
- Scenario #1 – 55% intensification, 60 people and jobs per hectare DGA density with approximately 1300 ha of Greenfield expansion (519 ha residential, 801 ha employment),
- Scenario #2 – 60% intensification, 60 people and jobs per hectare DGA density with approximately 1000 ha of Greenfield expansion (227 ha residential, 801 ha employment),
- Scenario #3 – 60% intensification, 65 people and jobs per hectare DGA density with approximately 800 ha of Greenfield expansion (0 ha residential, 801 ha employment).
Regional Staff is recommending Scenario #2 as their preferred scenario and will be asking Council for a final decision on these targets in the months ahead. Staff will be presenting their report to Regional Council on Tuesday, November 9th.
There are many concerns being raised that these intensification targets for the next 30 years are too low and that they:
- are below some of the rates of intensification that we are already achieving,
- will require over 1,000 hectares of our local farmland to be destroyed for sprawling subdivisions and low density employment lands,
- will use up much of our remaining land reserves, threatening the Countryside Line in many ways,
- may be so low that future phases of iON Light Rail and Rapid Transit could be harder to support,
- ends our traditional Smart Growth leadership in Ontario with numerous other municipalities choosing more ambitious future goals,
- is out of sync with Canadian’s demands that our governments undertake bold actions to address our climate crisis.
Numerous community groups are planning to make presentations to Council on November 9th urging for more ambitious targets and extensive community consultation in the weeks ahead.
There are plans underway by a wide variety of community and environmental organizations to host community webinars, meetings and events to ensure as many people as possible are engaged in these crucial conversations about our vision for the future and the priorities for our communities.
We urge you to get involved by learning more and speaking up for the future that you would like to see by virtually attending or delegating at the November 9th Regional Council meeting, attending future webinars and meetings, and writing Regional staff and elected officials.