Feb 21, 2019
Ladysmith Among Fastest Growing Municipalities in B.C.
The Town of Ladysmith continues to be discovered as a very desirable community to live, work and play and as a result has been cited as one of the fastest growing communities in British Columbia for last year.
A recent BC Stats report on population estimates shows Ladysmith welcomed approximately 324 new residents in 2018.
This 3.6% year-over-year increase makes our town the fastest growing municipality among those with a population of at least 5,000 residents.
"The continued investments in making our community an attractive place to live and do business are paying dividends," said Mayor Aaron Stone. "We have become one of the premiere destinations for new residents and businesses in one of the most in-demand areas of Canada. The challenges and opportunities we face today are largely those of our community success. We have been discovered."
The Province estimates year-over-year population growth by using the health client registry and residential hydro hook-ups.
Ladysmith's population is currently projected to be 9,417 and the community has grown an estimated 2.9% annually on average over the past five years.
Over the same period of time the Town has invested millions, with the support of federal and provincial grant revenues, into capital projects such as upgrades to Wastewater Treatment Plant and the new Water Filtration Plant set for completion later in 2019.
In keeping with the community objective set out in the 2013 Sustainability Action Plan to conserve and protect the Town's drinking water, increasing the Holland Lake water storage capacity remains a key infrastructure priority for the Town over the coming years.
"To address our goals for sustainable growth, we have made - and will continue to make -- significant investments in our water and wastewater systems. These investments in our award-winning infrastructure will ensure that we are well positioned for decades to come," said Mayor Stone. "We are also committed to our environmental goals, working to ensure that new development holds up our sustainability vision, reducing negative inputs into our environment and improving outcomes for all."
Ladysmith's Economic Development Strategy supports attracting residential development and sustainable population growth to create a larger market for local businesses, while also expanding the local workforce.
The Town similarly continues to support local not-for-profit organizations and to lobby our provincial and federal government partners on affordable housing opportunities and future housing needs for seniors and people with limited incomes.
An ongoing Development Cost Charges (DCCs) review will ensure we collect the appropriate capital costs needed to service future population growth.
DCCs are collected from developers and builders to help pay installing growth-related infrastructure tied to water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, roads and parks.
Council has reviewed population estimates for new development, growth-related capital project lists as well as costs and are now wishing to hear from the development community and residents at open house scheduled for Feb. 27 from 4-6 p.m. in the Lower Program Room of the Frank Jameson Community Centre.
"Looking toward the future, we must continue to address the affordability crunch, ensuring there is housing for all incomes and abilities, supporting a growing and diverse population of young families, seniors and potential investors," said Mayor Stone. "We are encouraged by our results but there is always more to be done. I am excited to take on these challenges with our strong council and talented staff team."