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Report: Centre Wellington 1,000 acres short of needed growth land

Land needs assessment shows Centre Wellington has a shortfall of urban land to accommodate 30,000 more residents, 11,000 new housing units and 14,600 new jobs by 2051
Wellington County has been mandated to grow in population and as a result large housing developments, like the planned Storybrook Subdivision in Fergus, are popping up across the county. Some experts believe a switch remote working could accelerate a migration from large cities to smaller towns.

CENTRE WELLINGTON – Centre Wellington is about 1,000 acres short of land in its urban areas to accommodate provincial growth targets says a report. 

A land needs assessment report and presentation for an upcoming Centre Wellington council meeting says a settlement area boundary expansion is required to support an increase in population, housing and employment as mandated by the province. 

The province has assigned a minimum growth target to 2051 for Wellington County with a majority of it going to Centre Wellington.

By 2051, a presentation by consultants Watson & Associates stated Centre Wellington is expected to have a population of 58,200, up from 29,000 in 2016. 

The township will also add more than 11,000 new housing units over that 35 year period, representing 322 units annually which is nearly double the amount added each year from 2006 to 2016. 

Further, Centre Wellington is anticipated to add 14,600 new jobs in that time frame for a total of 25,080. 

A land needs assessment by the consultant determined there’s a shortfall of 590 acres in community area, land that is used for housing, commercial, office and institutional buildings, and 395 acres of employment area within the existing urban boundaries in Elora and Fergus.

There is potential for this to change. The report and presentation noted the density of the South Fergus Secondary Plan — an area in the south end of Fergus set to see development in the future — is undetermined and could reduce land need requirements. It also noted the county’s attainable housing strategy and provincial policy prioritizing intensification as having potential impacts. 

The staff report recommends the township retain Watson & Associates to further review the urban area land needs on its behalf to build upon the County of Wellington’s Municipal Comprehensive Review and to identify opportunities to optimize urban land requirements. 

The estimated cost of this review is $32,800 before taxes which can be funded through development charges.

The report and presentation can be found here and here.


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Keegan Kozolanka

About the Author: Keegan Kozolanka

Keegan Kozolanka is a general assignment reporter for EloraFergusToday, covering Wellington County. Keegan has been working with Village Media for more than two years and helped launch EloraFergusToday in 2021.
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