Council for the Region of Waterloo voted to adopt a proposed amendment to the Region's Official Plan (ROP) during a special meeting held Thursday. The decision comes after a two-year process to review the ROP for projected population and job growth.

The adopted amendment includes plans for an additional 121,000 housing units, the development of 15-minute neighborhoods, protection of the region’s natural resources and ensures supply of employment lands for economic development.

The review process allows the region to achieve its goal for an inclusive and sustainable sector of rural and urban communities, obtainable by identifying housing, commercial and employment areas that support community building and climate change objectives.

"We feel this approach to growth is ambitious, achievable, and responsible," said Rod Regier, the Region’s Commissioner of Planning, Development & Legislative Services, in a press release. "It achieves our established community building objectives, prioritizes intensification, builds on a strong employment base, and importantly delivers on housing, as it promotes [a] diverse range and mix of housing that will improve both choice and affordability."

The next stage of the review process will focus on policies on the agricultural and water systems, in addition to the transportation systems, mineral collections and general plan implementation.