This past Monday, December 2, 2019, a Municipal Comprehensive Review was presented to Chatham-Kent Council that looks at the next stage of growth and development for the region.
The report was first presented to the Community Development Advisory Committee at their November 12th meeting where representatives from Watson & Associates Economists Ltd., authors of the report, presented their findings.
“In 2013 when the comprehensive review was provided to Chatham-Kent it contained projections that turned out to be almost spot on, including that our population would begin to rebound following a steady decline,” said John Norton, General Manager of Community Development, in a press release.
“The most recent report is showing that if we continue on our current path, with no changes in strategy, that we will have stagnant population growth over the long term. Tenth of a percent is a stagnant population growth and is not good for the long term viability of our community. I believe we can grow faster than projected if we make the right investments.”
Darrin Canniff, Mayor of Chatham-Kent, added: “While the report gives us a good baseline, I see this as an opportunity for Chatham-Kent to make strategic short-term and long-term decisions that will help us grow the right way.”
When asked about what Canniff means by “grow the right way”, he explained that the right growth would see Chatham-Kent have an increase in industries and residents in order to support investments and services which enhance our quality of life.
“I want to see our schools filled with students, our arenas packed, and a selection of homes available, at all price points, to meet each family’s needs,” Canniff said.
“We don’t have all of the answers yet, but what we do have is a good starting point as outlined in this report to Council.”
The report includes key background and technical inputs required by the 2014 Provincial Policy Statement to inform recommendations such as:
– A long-term population, housing, and employment forecast by Primary Urban Centre, Secondary Urban Centre and rural area
– A review of opportunities to accommodate residential and non-residential development within the built-up area and designated greenfield areas
– An assessment of long-term residential, commercial, and employment land needs
Council received the report and asked Municipal staff to proceed with researching opportunities and options for growth to be presented back to Council at a future date.
To download a copy of the draft report, please visit www.investck.ca.