Time and time again, we hear how Cochrane is the fastest-growing town in Alberta and 11th in Canada.

A 2022 development summary report presented to town council last night provides a little perspective on what that really means.

Adam Nordquist, town planner II, told council Cochrane grew by about 1,404 residents, or 4.4 per cent, in 2022. The population is estimated to be 33,453.

There were 540 new dwellings added, down from 606 last year. A dwelling is defined as a single-family, multi-unit, or accessory suite. There were a total of 482 homes built in the town's 10 main growth neighbourhoods.

Nordquist told council, the average build rate over the last 10 years is 583 units per year, but when excluding exorbitant growth in 2014 and 2015, it drops down to about 500. 

Based on these numbers, it is estimated Cochrane can accommodate between four or five years of growth within its current water licence. It has a land supply between 16 and 19 years within its current corporate limits.

The summary provided to council says these numbers indicate the town is in a good position to respond to growth proactively.

Drew Hyndman, town executive director of development and infrastructure services, told council they anticipate growth will continue to be consistent with previous years, however, some economic indicators suggest we may slow down slightly.

"We may slow down a bit, but Cochrane, as you can see through the historic numbers, has been fairly resilient and consistent in terms of the numbers."

The town is currently undertaking an in-depth growth study, which, in part, will provide the town with an objective look at the projected population and the developable land required to support the growth.

It's also pursuing measures to address future water needs to accommodate growth.