The City of Colwood could see a 35 per cent population increase in the next 10 years according to a demographic study that was endorsed by the city.
As part of the Official Community Plan — a city-wide policy document that provides a framework for decision making in Colwood — a demographic study was started in October 2018 and focused on Colwood’s 10- and 20-year population projections. It also had a focus on commercial and industrial land use demands that would correspond with population projections.
According to a City of Colwood report, the demographic study was to give clarity on how many people are expected to live in the city by 2028 and 2038.
The study was also to provide commentary and maps outlining where new residents are likely to live in the next 20 years as well as project Colwood’s future land use capacity according to the population grown estimates.
The study found that the city’s population is estimated to grow up to 22,742 people by 2028.
By 2038, it is estimated to grow to 26,484 people.
According to the 2016 census, Colwood’s population is around 16,850 residents. That means there is likely to be a 35 per cent population increase in the next 10 years and an additional 16 per cent increase in the ten years following that.
“It is anticipated the majority of this growth will be concentrated within Colwood Corners and Royal Bay neighbourhoods,” the report reads.
The demographic study also determined potential for up to 204,000 square feet of retail development in Colwood. It recommended focusing planning efforts for retail spaces within the Royal Bay, Seaside and Latoria neighbourhoods.
The three neighbourhoods have also been identified as areas that are likely to develop sooner than others, according to the city.
The city said it “acknowledges that population growth can result in transportation challenges” even though transportation impacts were outside the scope of the study.
“Solutions will need to be multi-faceted and collaborative,” the City of Colwood website reads. “Staff are coordinating transportation planning between major development partners to realize intersection upgrades, traffic flow improvements and pedestrian and cycling enhancements.”
The city’s website also says BC Transit is planning for priority lanes between Colwood Corners and downtown Victoria and envisions a transit hub in Royal Bay.
BC Ferries, according to the city, is exploring the feasibility of a ferry between Royal Bay and Victoria Harbour.