Council Adopts Regional Official Plan Amendment (growth components)
Addition of 121,000 homes, 15-minute neighbourhoods among plan highlights
Waterloo Region – Regional Council voted to adopt the growth components of staff’s proposed amendment to the Region’s Official Plan (ROP) at a special meeting of Council on Thursday, August 18, 2022. The decision comes after a two-year process to review the Region’s Official Plan (ROP) to 2051 - a requirement to plan for projected population and job growth.
The adopted amendment includes plans for the addition of 121,000 housing units that support a range-and-mix of housing, development of 15-minute neighbourhoods in all cities and townships, protection of the Region’s natural and agricultural resources, and ensures supply and distribution of employment lands for job growth and economic development.
The review process is meant to best position the Region to achieve its vision for an inclusive, thriving, and sustainable region of connected rural and urban communities with global reach, fostering opportunities for current and future generations. This is achieved by identifying community (housing, commercial, institutional) and employment areas that support critical community building and climate change objectives.
“We feel this approach to growth is ambitious, achievable, and responsible,” explained Rod Regier, the Region’s Commissioner of Planning, Development & Legislative Services. “It achieves our established community building objectives, prioritizes intensification, builds on a strong employment base, and importantly delivers on housing, as it promotes diverse range-and-mix of housing that will improve both choice and affordability.”
The Region of Waterloo’s population is forecasted to grow to 923,000 people by 2051 and the ROP, a long-term tool used to manage growth and development, will the guide future development, transportation and infrastructure within the Region. The next stage of review will focus further on policies on the natural, agricultural and water systems, in addition to the transportation system, mineral aggregates and overall plan implementation.