There are concerns Wagga will lose its family-friendly environment in the push for infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing city.
Builders, developers and stakeholders collaborated with Wagga City Council last Thursday to discuss the city's pathway to a population of 100,000 people by 2038 and the hurdles that need to be addressed.
Local builder Wayne Carter said it was an "excellent" meeting linked to the imminent release of Wagga's Activation Strategy.
"Wagga City Council are interested in looking at the current building heights around Central to facilitate an increase due to the demand of future growth," Mr Carter said.
"There will be considerable hurdles to address, such as shadowing around the CBD along with the country town mentality as well."
Housing Industry Association Wagga chairman Tony Balding said higher density was one of the minor issues of the meeting.
"It was mainly about more land releases going forward in order to reach targets, which will put a lot more demands of future submissions and having an effective plan to determine traffic and the size of blocks through seeking feedback from developers," Mr Balding said.
"It's an overriding plan and we do need development on a number of fronts, like density buildings, detached housing supplies, which supplies 70 per cent of housing in the city, and potentially some high rises.
"It's important for Wagga to be a city of choice and attracting young families that need a backyard, so that we remain different to Canberra, Wollongong and Newcastle."
Mr Balding disagreed with Wagga losing its country town mentality, but said it was imperative to maintain the city's family friendly nature.
"This is an ongoing plan to continue giving choice to regional centres rather than a country centre," he said.
"There was certainly positive signs that came from the meeting and deadlines that need to be reached in the activation strategy, by setting the direction and numbers for the city to go forward."
Resident Charles Webb-Wagg raised concerns that there are not enough jobs in Wagga to sustain more people.
"Where are the jobs, where are the businesses and industries to accommodate 100,000 people?," he asked.
"Having high density and housing inside a flood zone doesn't make too much sense and we live in a town surrounded by the levee and if more people are going to live within this levee, a lot of people could become displaced."
Mr Webb-Wagg said it is imperative now more than ever for Wagga to remain a family-friendly city.
"All you hear in the news is that Wagga has a high crime rate and cars are being burnt out and so we need to keep the town family friendly," he said.
"When there's events like Mardi Gras that involves the whole community, it's amazing how many people come out and support it and I don't think there's enough of these events.
"I think we are still a small country town, I believe most people are friendly and say hi but I guess if the suburbs outside the city grow people might not have to go through the whole town, so it might lose that country feel."
Mr Webb-Wagg said council needs to ensure that all avenues are investigated before proposals are given the green light.
However Brendan Jones, who relocated to Wagga from Sydney and was not phased about the population push.
"Another 30,000 people might help the retail shops and it's progress for the city that was always going to happen," Mr Jones said.
"It doesn't bother me; if it was a million more people then there would be a bit of concern but it's good.
"There's no rat race and there would have to be a lot more people until it gets as horrible as Sydney."
While Mr Jones said he was not fussed about the increase, he said higher density buildings would be more practical outside of Central.
Council's general manager Peter Thompson said Wagga requires a range of housing to accommodate the changing population.
"Urban infill can occur that respects the character that makes Wagga a beautiful place and heritage conservation can allow for different types of buildings to successfully coexist together," Mr Thompson said.
"Often the most vibrant places have a mix of character, representing different times in history.
"Central Wagga has some buildings and characteristics that will be preserved in perpetuity in the future when we have a city of more than 100,000 people as a tribute to times when Wagga was a smaller place."
Mr Thompson said the council building redevelopment and Waterview complex on Tarcutta Street are prime examples within the city which show where adaptive urban renewal has occurred successfully.
"Council will ensure future higher density development consider more than the site parameters but the local context to make great places," he said.
"The CBD is the heart of the region and needs to foster activities that facilitate economic growth, enjoyment for residents and visitors, and provide services for the broader region.
"It is envisaged that density will increase, however this cannot occur at the detriment in design standards, which compromise quality."
Mr Thompson said council will ensure the whole community is involved in planning for the future of the CBD.
"Council's Strategic Planning documents encourage an increase in density within the CBD to boost retail activity, provide alternate forms of housing and leverage from infrastructure within the core of the city," he said.
"The character of certain parts of the CBD is under transformation and while this aligns with broader strategic objectives, council staff will work with all relevant stakeholders to consider concerns and impacts.
"Council has undertaken consultation in recent times in relation to increasing density within the CBD and the vast majority supported this approach; citing increasing activity within the CBD will support the main street vibrancy, provide housing for households that do not want a large backyard and be within walking distance of night-time activities."