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Wellington North presents Community Growth Plan to public

by Olivia Rutt

MOUNT FOREST - Wellington North’s population is set to grow to 17,685 by 2041.

The township is currently preparing a Community Growth Plan to help accommodate that growth.  

On Jan. 24, a public meeting was held at the Mount Forest and District Sports Complex to present the plan compiled by GSP Group. It includes elements such as housing, active transportation, environment, commercial and retail, downtown, community facilities, transportation, employment and industry and infrastructure.

Growth management goals include directing and focusing development; planning for orderly, appropriate and compact development; and having growth pay for itself.

The plan looked at several strategies (including: intensification, housing, employment, transportation, infrastructure, community facilities and services and environment and heritage conservation) and provided recommendations for growth management in each.

The plan also identifies a number of regions within each built-up community as future residential and future industrial/commercial areas.

The next step, says Mayor Andy Lennox, is to look at servicing.  

“To accommodate the growth we’re going to have to ... extend servicing, so where’s that going to need to be, where’s that going to be first?” he said.

Lennox added a required development charges update is coming later in 2018, and a transportation study is also expected in the near future.

Lennox said one of the key takeaways from the Community Growth Plan is that land is available.

“We do have places to accommodate growth, we have land available for development, which helps attract investment and we’ve also got some feedback from the public as to what they’d like development to look like,” he said. “The community has clearly said they want to see development fairly compact and built into what we’ve got, rather than just sprawling out.”

Lennox added the plan will help guide council’s planning decisions.

“That’s why we’ve spent so much time and effort to consult with the public as we want it to be the right thing for the community so we have the confidence to make those decisions,” he said.

The township also planned to host a public meeting in Arthur on Jan. 31.

The Community Growth Plan is expected to come to council for adoption in late February.

February 2, 2018


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