OCP Project Phase 2 - Community Vision and Local Character Mapping

This phase consists of finalizing project initiation with the consultant, including developing an engagement plan, identify opportunities, strengths and constraints through a Gap Analysis Report and establishment of vision and community character values. 

Engagement Plan

An Engagement Plan sets out the foundation for engagement throughout the entire project and considers the following: why engage, key concepts of public engagement, who to engage, how to engage, how to communicate, overview of tactics for engaging and communicating with stakeholders and what success will look like.  

The framework for the engagement plan changed drastically due to COVID-19 and its impacts on the community and restrictions that have been put in place from health officers from various different levels of government.  Because of these concerns on March 18, 2020 Council implemented a 90-day pause on public engagement due to the COVID-19 crisis.  On April 15, 2020, Council decided to reconsider the pause, and directed staff to liaise with the OCP consultants to explore ways to resume engagement digitally in a safe and fulsome way.  On May 6, 2020 Council asked staff to engage with the OCP volunteers on the Engagement Plan, specifically about moving ahead with digital engagement.  We met with the OCP Volunteers on June 5 and June 11, 2020 to seek their input. 

Please click on the link to review the draft Engagement Plan [PDF - 1016 KB].  The final Gap Analysis, incorporating feedback from the OCP Advisory Committee, Community Ambassador Committees and Council will be published by August 7. 

Background Papers [PDF - 7 MB] on the key theme areas that the project will address were developed as useful, accessible information to the public.  

For more fun, thought provoking questions check out these postcards [PDF - 4 MB] and share with your friends to get the conversation started about the OCP!

Gap Analysis

One of the first major tasks of this project is to conduct a gap analysis of the current Official Community Plan to understand where there might be gaps between the desired intent and existing policies of the OCPand how the document can be improved.  

The Gap Analysis has been framed around the current structure of the OCP document and the thematic objectives that North Cowichan identified for the update.  The gap analysis report will provide the technical background knowledge to move forward in developing the vision, goals and policies for the OCP.

The development of the gap analysis largely relied on North Cowichan Council, Staff and OCP volunteers to provide further feedback, in addition to the technical review by the consultant.  

Please click on the link to review the final Gap Analysis [PDF - 2 MB].

Vision and Goals

The purpose of this task is to confirm principles, assets and challenges, and draft a vision statement, goals and themes.  A survey will be available to residents to seek their feedback on their values, which will form the basis of the vision statement and goals.  


A Vision and Goals Survey was conducted with the members of the public in August and September 2020.  We received 1,201 responses on the survey.  A summary of survey results can be seen here: Vision and Goals Survey Results Summary.pdf [PDF - 362 KB]


Results from the survey as well as feedback from staff, Council, OCP Advisory Committee and Community Ambassador Teams were considered in the development of the Vision, Goals & Principles document.  These are key components of the project and set the foundation for moving forward into Phase 3 when we focus on growth management and begin to update the OCP policies.  

The Vision, Goals and Principles can be found here: 20210217 Draft Vision Goals Principles.pdf [PDF - 418 KB]

Community Character Profiles

Community character, within the planning context, refers to the built environment (buildings, street design, and pathways) and natural environment (landscapes, views) found in each community.

We asked for feedback through a short, interactive survey on the various physical features (i.e. parks, buildings, viewpoints) that embody the look and feel of each community to better understand community character. The intent was to inform decision-making and policy development, but not to be relied upon as a definitive statement of the composition or character of the area. These will be incorporated into the final OCP document to provide local knowledge for future community planning, public works, and private development projects. 

To see the Community Character Profiles for all areas, click here. [PDF - 27 MB]


Thank you to the 80 residents who participated in the Community Dialogues - we had some great, fulsome discussion on what makes each community in North Cowichan unique.  


As part of the Community Character Phase of the Official Community Plan Update Project, Community Dialogues will be held and hosted by MODUS (consultant) that are intended to supplement the results of the Community Character Survey and will be used to compile community profiles.  Once completed, these profiles will inform the policy development process and be incorporated into the new OCP.

During these sessions, participants can expect to learn about what community character means in the context of an OCP.  There will also be a facilitated discussion and an exercise that will provide the opportunity to have a conversation about the places that make North Cowichan and its communities special.  

These Community Dialogues will be held over Zoom and are open to the public to attend.  Attendees must register for the event, and registration does have a limit so please register as soon as you can.  The dates for these events include the following: