by Morinville News Staff

The 24-municipality Capital Region Board approved new density targets Thursday it says will support the compact growth required as the Edmonton Metropolitan Region doubles in population in the next 30 years.

The Board accepted aspirational density minimum targets that will now go forward into the final draft of the new Growth Plan 2.0. That plan is set to come to the board for final approval in October. Once approved, Growth Plan 2.0 will then be sent to the province. It is expected provincial approval will occur in the middle of 2017.

“I am proud of what we accomplished here today,” said Board Chair Nolan Crouse in a media release Thursday. “We have agreed to targets for land use many years out, which, as per the CRB mandate, set the conditions for the continuing prosperity of the Region in the future.”

The Board approved Alternate Greenfield Density Targets to increase current minimum densities measured in dwelling units per net residential hectare (or du/nrha) in Edmonton and Leduc County (west of QE II) from 30 to 40 du/nrha. St. Albert and the urban parts of Strathcona County increase from 30 to 40 du/nrha. Beaumont, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, Leduc County (east of QE II), Spruce Grove, and Stony Plain increase from 25 to 35 du/nrha.

In the CRB’s newly-designated rural-metropolitan tier, which previously had no density target, the towns of Devon and Morinville will now have minimum densities of 30 nu/nrha. Other towns, including Bon Accord, Gibbons, Legal, and Redwater will have density targets of 25 du/nrha. Villages and growth hamlets have minimum densities of 20 du/nrha.

Crouse said it is critical to note the effects of the density changes may not be felt for at least 15 to 20 years.

“We have plans in place for most of the land we need for the foreseeable future,” he said. “These targets establish the pattern of how we know we must build going forward.”

The Growth Plan Task Force will meet in August to complete the final draft Growth Plan 2.0 for the October Board meeting.

By 2044, the Edmonton Metro Region is projected to grow from 1.2 to 2.2 million people and from 725,00 to 1.2 million jobs. With about 30 per cent of the province’s population, the region represents 40 per cent of Alberta’s GDP.

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