Official Community Plan

Public hearing scheduled July 18 and 19

Updated June 17, 2022

The public hearing for the Official Community Plan (OCP) is scheduled to take place over two meeting dates and formats:

  1. Monday, July 18 at 2:00 pm until at least 6:00 pm: ON-LINE. Visit the agendas page to log in or stream. 
  2. Tuesday, July 19 at 2:00 pm until at least 6:00 pm: IN-PERSON at Cowichan Exhibition Park (this event will be live-streamed)

The public hearing is the final opportunity for public input on the OCP and will conclude an extensive public and stakeholder engagement process launched in 2020. Here is a short video explaining how to participate in the public, how to download and view the OCP, and providing a brief chapter-by-chapter summary of the OCP:

 

The official public hearing notice can be found here: Notice for Bylaw 3900.pdf [PDF - 234 KB]

A plain-language advertisement is also available here [PDF - 239 KB].

The public can provide comments verbally at the public hearing meetings or submit written comments in advance of the hearing, or at the hearing itself. Written comments should be addressed to Mayor and Council and will be accepted in advance until 9 am on July 15th. Copies of the draft OCP can be viewed here [PDF - 27 MB], or at Municipal Hall, 7030 Trans-Canada Highway, from 8:30am to 4:30pm*, Monday to Friday. To view the information related to the public hearing, check the public hearings webpage**.  Comments that are not provided in the prescribed format, including social media comments, are not included for Council consideration as input.

The OCP establishes policy for land use planning, growth management, environmental stewardship, economic development, infrastructure planning, and other topics relevant to the health and well-being of our communities.  It guides Council and staff in budgeting, servicing, planning capital projects, and reviewing development applications. It is used by residents and businesses as a reference for investment decisions, and by school districts and community organizations to guide facility planning and service delivery.

The planning horizon for the OCP is 20 years and beyond, though the document is comprehensively reviewed and updated approximately every 10 years.  The OCP does not directly impact how land may be used, but subsequent bylaws and regulations must be consistent with the OCP.  The OCP does not change zoning designations and the Municipality’s zoning bylaw is not changing at this time.

Once the public hearing has concluded, Council will consider all the input it received and decide whether to proceed with the OCP as drafted, or if further changes will be made before further readings of the bylaw are given and adoption is considered.  

* Note: Municipal Hall hours will change to summer hours of 8:00am to 4:00pm from July 4.

**Note: this page will be updated with new information as it becomes available.

OCP Bylaw given initial reading by Council

Updated May 13, 2022

On April 25, the OCP was presented to Council in bylaw form for first reading, having been amended as per the resolutions passed by Council in March (Council’s resolutions can be viewed here [PDF - 398 KB].  The draft OCP downloadable on this webpage is the latest version incorporating Council’s amendments, along with edits made for clarity, readability and formatting.  Council gave first reading to the OCP bylaw, meaning it can progress to a public hearing.  A public hearing is an opportunity for anyone interested in the proposed OCP, whether or not they are in favour of it, to speak to Council and have their views become part of the public record.

Council will decide at a future meeting when to schedule a public hearing, along with the location and format.  The hearing will be advertised well in advance with details on how to participate provided through a variety of channels. People will also have the opportunity to submit written comments prior to, or at, the public hearing.  Stay tuned for further information.

 Once the hearing has been held, Council will consider all the input it has heard and decide whether to proceed with the OCP as drafted, or whether any further changes should be made before giving second and third readings to the bylaw and moving to adoption.  The new OCP does not take effect until the bylaw is officially adopted by Council.  Prior to this it must receive three readings and be subject to a public hearing.  Until such time as Council adopts a new OCP by bylaw, the current (2011) OCP will remain in place.

Where we are in the process:

Review and Update from Draft Engagement Results

Updated March 23, 2022

Two facilitator-led workshops were held with Council last month to review comments and input received from the public engagement process on the draft Official Community Plan (OCP) that was open from November 8 to December 22. Public and agency input along with various changes to wording, intent and policy were considered and discussed at the workshops.

At the March 16 Council meeting, resolutions were passed that provided direction to staff to amend the draft OCP. The amendments will be incorporated into a revised OCP document that will be presented along with a bylaw that Council is expected to consider for first reading in late April or early May. Council’s resolutions regarding amendments to the draft OCP can be viewed here: March 16 OCP Amendments.pdf

What we heard: Engagement on the draft Official Community Plan (OCP)

Updated February 14, 2022

Thank you for taking the time to review and provide input on the draft OCP. This round of public engagement kicked off on November 8 with a webinar attended by nearly 150 people. The window for feedback closed on December 22, and input from the community was received through: 

  1. The online Konveio platform
  2. Downloading, completing and returning an electronic (or paper) version of the survey
  3. Submission of written comments

Direct outreach to over 60 local community groups, businesses, and non-profit organizations was also a key component of this round of engagement. Additionally, feedback was sought directly through referrals to six area First Nations, four local governments, and nine provincial agencies or ministries

What we heard

A summary of the referral process and the public consultation results can be found in the report presented to Council on February 2. At this link, you can also view a recording of the presentation to Council and hear their discussion.  

Stay informed:

  • Sign up for our "Official Community Plan Project" newsletter
  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@NorthCowichan)  

Questions?

communityplanning@northcowichan.ca