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Urban expansion requests exceed 3,500 acres in Wellington County

A planning committee report said this is three times the amount needed to support population growth
A key map complied all the requests around Elora and Fergus where a majority of urban boundary expansion requests are in Wellington County.

WELLINGTON COUNTY – The County of Wellington has received 48 requests for urban boundary expansion across several rural municipalities, totalling 3,570 acres of land.

This is three times the amount the county has identified it needs for to accommodate future population, housing and employment growth, according to a report going forward at a planning committee meeting on Thursday. 

The planning report said throughout its municipal comprehensive review (MCR) of growth forecasts and allocations and land needs assessment, county planning staff have been tracking requests made for properties to be added to a town’s urban boundaries, also called a settlement area expansion.


Total requests 

Total Area (hectares)

Centre Wellington















Wellington North





1,445 hectares or 3,570 acres

The county has identified the need for a lot less land to be added into urban boundaries than has been requested. 

“The overall need for boundary expansions across Wellington is 482 hectares (1,200 acres) after accounting for recommended employment area conversions,” the report stated.

Staff highlight in the report Puslinch is not included in this because the township’s growth is considered rural and there is no defined urban boundary. It also does not include Guelph.

Requests for expansion in Guelph/Eramosa and Wellington North will also not be considered because the land needs assessment did not identify a need for any additional land. 

“If a property is included in the inventory, it does not necessarily mean it will be used for a future urban boundary expansion,” the report stated. “If a property is not included in the inventory, it may still be identified for consideration for a future urban boundary expansion as part of the review process.”

County planning staff are seeking council endorsement on an evaluation framework for figuring out whether a specific area is appropriate for urban expansion. 

Some objectives of the proposed criteria include but are not limited to: protecting prime agricultural area and minimizing fragmentation of farmland, protecting water and natural resources, supporting heritage, and optimizing use of existing or planned infrastructure.

The planning committee will consider staff’s evaluation criteria at a Thursday meeting and it will need full ratification by council at a meeting later in the month.

The full report can be found as part of this agenda.


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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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