To accommodate a projected population in excess of 50,000 by the year 2041, the city will need to adjust its urban area boundary as part of a review of its official plan.
Last June, the city completed a population and housing study which determined the municipality will require an additional 76 gross hectares of residential land to accommodate this growth.
As such, the city is undertaking – with input from residents – a project it identifies as Positioned for Growth.
The study will assemble the required planning and engineering reports to support the preferred expansion lands and bring them into the urban area boundary to designate for development.
In addition, the city will identify recreational and cultural infrastructure and the fire protection services required to support this growth in the coming decades.
The city aims to unlock new lands for residential development, all of it on the municipality’s west side, jumping across Kettle Creek, but still within the legal boundaries.
Four areas, all hugging the western limit of the city bordering with the Township of Southwold have been flagged (see map). They have been identified as the last remaining lands within the municipal boundary that can accommodate this level of projected residential growth.
Area 1, consisting of 63 hectares, is south of Talbot Line on both sides of Ford Road.
Area 2, 101 hectares, is north of Fingal Line while Area 3, 39 hectares is south of Fingal Line.
Area 4, 88 hectares, includes land on both sides of Bush Line.
As a way of garnering public input, the city is hosting Coffee Conversations this Wednesday (May 8) from 2 to 4 p.m. and again 6 to 8 p.m. at Memorial Arena.
Residents are invited to drop in for a coffee and light refreshments and engage with Mayor Joe Preston and members of council to learn more about the project.
A Positioned for Growth website is now up and running at stthomas.ca/positionedforgrowth.