Over the next 30 years, our population in Waterloo Region will rise by nearly 300,000 people, from about 600,000 to over 900,000. That’s an average of 10,000 new people each year who will need homes and jobs in our Region, not to mention streets, schools, buses, parks, emergency services, and more.
To accommodate these new members of our community, the Region of Waterloo has been working to make our cities more liveable through intensification and to ensure that our growth does not sprawl over and destroy our surrounding valuable farmland.
This is what we call Smart Growth – a more sustainable way of growth and development that encourages walkable, friendly communities, better public transit and transportation options, and helps to ensure our natural areas and prime farmlands are protected for future generations.
After lots of work and public consultation, the Region of Waterloo approved its Official Plan for growth in 2009. This plan, in keeping with provincial policy, sought to limit the amount of farmland consumed by development and instead encourage intensification of urban areas. Part of this plan includes a fixed Countryside Line, separating urban and rural land uses. This plan is important to the Region in protecting our farmland and environment, and in making sure that our growth can continue to build the kinds of communities we want to live in.
It is now time for the 10 year review and update for the Regional Official Plan and there is a provincial deadline of July 2022 that the Region of Waterloo must meet.
We must take steps to ensure Smart Growth, protect our greenspace, and ensure the highest possible quality of life for everyone in our communities in the future. Thankfully, The Region of Waterloo is working hard on the update and there will be many opportunities to provide feedback in the months ahead.
We need your help.