Official Community Plans
An Official Community Plan (OCP) can be developed by both
municipalities and regional districts. The OCP provides the longer
term vision for the community. Under the Local Government Act section 875, an OCP is a statement of objectives and policies to
guide decisions on planning and land use management, within the area
covered by the plan, respecting the purposes of local government.
Local governments are encouraged to consider how the OCP can be integrated with other community strategies, including transportation plans, sustainability plans, and waste management plans.
Approaching planning and development in an integrated way supports coordinated efforts.
If a local government chooses to prepare and adopt an OCP, there are requirements for statements and map designations for:
A local government may choose to provide certain types of policy statements in an OCP, including:
Development permit areas (DPA) may be used to achieve some of the objectives identified in an official community plan. A DPA can be designated to: protect agricultural land, protect the natural environment, and guide the form and character of development. This authority can also be used to achieve climate action goals, including: energy conservation, water conservation and GHG reduction.
Tools such as the Community Infrastructure Planning Decision Support Tool can assist local governments in determining the long-term lifecycle costs of alternate development scenarios being considered during the development of an OCP.
Consultation during the development of an OCPAs part of the development of an OCP, the regional district board or the municipal council must provide one or more opportunities for consultation with persons, organizations and authorities that will be affected, for example:
The board or council decides what form the consultation will take.
The consultation can include written referrals, open houses,
information meetings, focus groups, workshops, newsletters,
This consultation is in addition to the requirements for a formal public hearing.
Age-friendly and Disability-friendly Official Community Plans
The Ministry has developed an updated guide, Age-friendly and Disabilty-friendly OCPs (.PDF, 458 KB) to help communities incorporate accessibility provisions into their OCPs.
Such provisions make it easier for seniors and people with disabilities and health and activity limitations (including mobility, visual, hearing and cognitive impairments and mental health challenges) to move around their communities and participate in all aspects of community life – economic, social, recreational and cultural – through improved planning, design, and service provision.
The guide (.PDF, 458 KB) includes over 80 recent best practice examples from over 40 local governments across the Province that have included strategies, goals, or policies in their OCPs aimed at improving accessibility.
The guide (.PDF, 458 KB) was developed in support of Accessibility 2024, British Columbia’s 10-year action plan supporting its vision of becoming the most progressive province for people with disabilities in Canada.