OCP Review

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Our Official Community Plan (OCP) is the city's blueprint for managing change to achieve our shared goals. It contains policies that guide Council's 'land-use' decisions for where and how we grow in the future, helping to conserve what we love about the city as well as improve the quality of life for current and future residents.

An OCP is typically reviewed every five years to ensure it remains relevant and continues to meet the needs of the community, but changes to the OCP can be considered by Council in between major updates. Council has expressed their desire for re-engagement with

Our Official Community Plan (OCP) is the city's blueprint for managing change to achieve our shared goals. It contains policies that guide Council's 'land-use' decisions for where and how we grow in the future, helping to conserve what we love about the city as well as improve the quality of life for current and future residents.

An OCP is typically reviewed every five years to ensure it remains relevant and continues to meet the needs of the community, but changes to the OCP can be considered by Council in between major updates. Council has expressed their desire for re-engagement with the public on certain aspects of the current OCP which was adopted in October 2017, to ensure that it reflects the community's values, and to provide additional support to the City's efforts in areas such as:

  • Strengthening Transit
  • Greening the City (on new green space and tree planting)
  • Improving Housing Affordability
  • Expanding Peace Arch Hospital
  • Monitoring OCP Goals to Measure Success and Track Implementation
  • Enhancing the Waterfront
  • Reviewing Town Centre (Height, Density and Public Space / Green spaces)
  • Reviewing Building Heights outside the Town Centre

As the Waterfront and Marine Drive businesses are of vital importance in the community, special events (public consultation and forums) for the Waterfront Enhancement Strategy part of this OCP Review will be held separately from the other OCP Review topics to allow for greater focus and earlier implementation of Waterfront policies. Similarly, due to the complexity of design issues in the Town Centre review, special workshops will be held for this topic as well.

Over the next two years (2019-2020), the City will be working with the public to get feedback and make sure the community's aspirations and concerns are understood and shared with Council before they make decisions on changing the OCP. We look forward to working with you to shape the future of White Rock!

  • May 2019 Update: COVID-19 Pandemic and OCP Review

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    21 May, 2020
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    The OCP Review continues despite challenges emerging as a result of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

    On March 9, 2020, a report was presented to Council outlining the results of public consultation held in November and December, 2019, focused on the Waterfront Enhancement Strategy (WES) and the Town Centre (i.e., urban design, including building heights, and the public realm). The following Figure was included in the report and outlines how members of the public would allocate resources towards waterfront enhancement if given the opportunity to be “Mayor for a Day”.

    As outlined in the Figure, the majority of respondents felt that the issues of improving accessibility and strengthening waterfront business and character warranted additional investment. Strategies related to these two issues, discussed during the engagement activities, include:

    Improve Accessibility:

    • Refine parking program and traffic management;
    • Reconsider Marine Drive as a “Pedestrian First Zone”;
    • Improve the pedestrian connection to Uptown;
    • Improve wayfinding signage;
    • Expand access to East Beach;
    • Widen the sidewalks in west section of West Beach; and
    • Develop a rail-free waterfront in the mid-to-long term.

    Strengthen Waterfront Business & Character:

    • Reintroduction of a “façade facelift” incentive program;
    • Completion of character design guidelines for East and West Beaches;
    • Creation of a “Vacancy No More” campaign;
    • Support a richer mix of uses and expand promotion; and
    • Improve policies and regulations.

    Regarding the Town Centre, the report summarizes 12 draft recommendations coming out of community engagement activities held between May and July, 2019; a public open house to more specifically discuss the recommendations was held on December 10, 2019. The 12 draft recommendations were grouped into three different categories and are summarized as follows:


    A Green Town Centre

    1. Grow the Tree Canopy and Species Mix
    2. Manage Rainwater Sustainably
    3. Improve Soil Connectivity
    4. Prioritize Green Buildings


    A Strong and Connected Community

    1. Create Social and Affordable Housing
    2. Increase the Mix of Uses
    3. Identify Transit Exchange Options


    A Vibrant Sense of Place

    1. Refine the Community amendment Contribution Density Bonus Policy
    2. Building Heights (as recommended within an accompanying map)
    3. Promotion of Plazas, Patios and Green Space
    4. Build the Open Space Network
    5. Identify Town Centre Priorities


    Members of the public were invited to complete a survey regarding the above-listed recommendations and, in doing so, to indicate their level of support or non-support for each. There was also an opportunity to add open-ended responses regarding each recommendation within the survey.

    A report regarding the conclusions of the Town Centre urban design and public realm review will be presented to Council in Summer, 2020. It is anticipated that the report will seek direction from Council to implement changes to the OCP so as to support a policy framework more closely aligned with the aspirations of the public.

    In addition to the WES and Town Centre review, the OCP Review project is more broadly scoped to evaluate the following six key policy areas/opportunities:

    1. ‘Greening the City’ (strengthening policies regarding greenspace);
    2. City-wide building height review (heights outside of the Town Centre);
    3. Updating affordable housing policies;
    4. Strengthening transit policies;
    5. Strengthening policies regarding Peace Arch Hospital expansion; and
    6. Developing an OCP scorecard to measure success and track OCP implementation.


    City staff are currently in the process of preparing options within each key policy area based on a review of approaches adopted in other jurisdictions and the feedback received to date. Similar to the WES and Town Centre policy reviews, once options are available, the City will look to share the materials with the public so as to garner feedback and opinion. Due to current COVID-related limitations on public gatherings, opportunities for public input may need to initially rely on digital platforms for engagement and, following the lift of restrictions, a return to more conventional engagement methods will occur.

  • December 2019 Update: Town Centre Open House and Survey

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    21 May, 2020

    December 2019 Update: Town Centre Open House and Survey

    The public open house for the Town Centre topic was held at the White Rock Community Centre (Presentation Hall) on December 10, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. If you were not able to attend, the online survey is available in the "Survey and Forms" section below, and the posters from the event have been added to the Documents Library on this website. The online survey for the Town Centre will be open until January 15, 2020, and the online survey for the Waterfront Enhancement Strategy will be open until December 31, 2019.

    A pop-up info session on the Town Centre will also be held at the Landmark PopUptown Gallery (in Central Plaza at 15140 North Bluff Road) on Thursday, December 19 between 1:00PM and 3:00PM. Feel free to come by and ask questions about the recommendations or fill out a hard copy of the survey.

    Stay tuned for a future open house and survey to be held in early 2020 on the other topics in the OCP Review.

  • Upcoming Events for the Town Centre - December 10

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    02 December, 2019

    We want to hear from you on proposed policy changes to help shape growth and create great public spaces in the Town Centre. Come share your thoughts on draft policy directions that build on public input received at the Town Centre design workshops held in July 2019. An online survey will be available here for those unable to attend the public open house.

    A summary of the public engagement on the Town Centre portion of the OCP Review is also available in the Documents Library (see the file "OCP Review - Phase 1 Public Engagement Summary" starting at page 178).



  • Waterfront Enhancement Strategy - Mayor for a Day Online Survey

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    25 November, 2019

    The online survey for the draft Waterfront Enhancement Strategy is now available. If you are not able to attend the open houses on November 24 and 26, you can answer the same questions being asked at the open houses through this. Either click on the "Survey and Forms" button above to get to the survey, or click the following link to get their directly: https://www.talkwhiterock.ca/ocp-review/survey_tools/waterfront-enhancement-strategy

    Note that you will need to register in order to complete the survey, and all survey submissions will be entered into a draw to win a $50 VISA gift card, along with those who enter at the open houses.

    Odds of winning depend on the number on entries received and a skill-testing question must be answered correctly to receive the prize.


  • Upcoming Events for the Waterfront Enhancement Strategy - November 24 and 26

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    06 November, 2019

    Come check out the draft Waterfront Enhancement Strategy! There will be two open houses at the White Rock Community Centre (Art Room), on Sunday November 24, 2019 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm, or Tuesday November 26, 2019, from 6:00pm-8:00pm. We will also plan to 'pop-up' at the White Rock Museum during the Christmas Craft Fair to be closer to the action on Marine Drive.

    We want to hear from you on this proposed 'road map' for City actions and initiatives over the next 10-20 years in the Waterfront / Marine Drive area. Attendees will be asked to act as 'Mayor for the Day', by using play money to share how you would budget resources on the top Waterfront issues as identified through previous public and business consultation. We will also ask for your thoughts on the value and effectiveness of specific proposed initiatives in the Strategy. A full copy of the draft Strategy is available in the documents library, and if you are unable to attend either November 24 or November 26, an online survey will be available.

    A summary of the public engagement on the waterfront portion of the OCP Review is also available in the October 7 Land Use and Planning Committee report, which is on the City's website at the following link: https://www.whiterockcity.ca/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_10072019-782.



  • Waterfront Design Workshops - July 23

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    09 July, 2019

    Thanks all who participated at the Waterfront Community Forum last Thursday - some great ideas shared to work with and build on as we move forward to Waterfront Design Workshops on July 23. If you missed the Forum, you are still welcome to come out for the Workshop.

    There will be two sessions of the Waterfront Design Workshop on July 23, at the White Rock Community Centre. The afternoon session (from 2:00pm to 4:00pm, in the Gallery Room) is intended for business owners and operators to accommodate their work schedules, and the evening session (from 6:30pm to 8:30pm) is for the general public. Both sessions will include the same activities.

    This workshop-style event is a chance to roll up your sleeves and use your creative ideas to shape the future of the City's Waterfront / Marine Drive area, with a design team and other members of the community. Come out and have your say!


  • Town Centre Design Workshop tonight (July 9, 2019)

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    09 July, 2019

    The second of two Town Centre Design Workshops is happening tonight at the White Rock Community Centre, between 5pm and 9pm. Please register in advance for the Build Town Centre or Design Town Centre activities by emailing your preferred time slots and number of participants to planning@whiterockcity.ca. There are some spots left for all time slots (5:20-6:20pm, 6:30-7:30pm, and 7:40-8:40pm), and if they are not filled in advance you can still join if there is space.

    • Design Town Centre is a graphic facilitated table station where participants will share their ideas and input for the Town Centre in a plan view (two-dimensional).
    • Build Town Centre is a model block facilitated table station where participants can use the blocks to explore their ideas for building heights, open spaces and massing for future development in the Town Centre (three-dimensional).

    You can also view the posters used at the Town Centre Design Workshops on this site's Document Library.


  • Public Open House Posters

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    09 July, 2019

    If you were not able to attend the Public Open House on June 25th, you can still see the display boards (posters) used at the Public Open House that share information about existing policies and what we've heard so far from the online survey. Go to the 'Documents' section on the top right of this page to download and view the posters.

  • Waterfront Enhancement Strategy - Draft Resource Book

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    18 June, 2019

    For the Enhancing the Waterfront component of the OCP Review process, the City of White Rock has retained a consultant, MVH Urban Planning and Design (‘MVH’), to assist with developing a Waterfront Enhancement Strategy. The MVH team, in collaboration with the City of White Rock and the White Rock Business Improvement Association, has developed a Waterfront Enhancement Strategy draft Resource Book, which will be used as a resource to help create a common foundation of knowledge about the existing conditions in the Waterfront / Marine Drive area and inspire potential ideas for improvements. The draft Resource Book includes a detailed analysis of the Waterfront, an outline of the important opportunities and challenges, and numerous enhancement ideas that have been successfully implemented in other communities.

    To learn more about how the City is looking to collaborate with residents, business owners and others to achieve the full potential of the Waterfront, please refer to the draft Resource Book link in the “Documents” section of this page.







  • June 2019 Update: Town Centre Workshop Activity Registration

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    18 June, 2019

    The Town Centre design workshops on July 6 and July 9 are open to the public and there will be display boards and interactive activities for all attendees with no need to register.

    For those interested in a more hands-on session facilitated by our design consultants, there will be two activities which require registration, in order to ensure there is enough time for all participants at the table to contribute.

    The activities which require registration are 'Design Town Centre' and 'Build Town Centre'.

    • Design Town Centre is a graphic facilitated table station where participants will share their ideas and input for the Town Centre in a plan view (two-dimensional).
    • Build Town Centre is a model block facilitated table station where participants can use the blocks to explore their ideas for building heights, open spaces and massing for future development in the Town Centre (three-dimensional).

    Each workshop day will have three rounds where both 'Design' and 'Build' activities are going at the same time. You can register for one, or both of the activities. The options are:

    • Saturday, July 6, 2019 - 1:20-2:20pm
    • Saturday, July 6, 2019 - 2:30-3:30pm
    • Saturday, July 6, 2019 - 3:40-4:40pm
    • Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 5:20-6:20pm
    • Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 6:30-7:30pm
    • Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 7:40-8:40pm

    Please register by emailing planning@whiterockcity.ca with your preferred date/time slot and activity by July 5, 2019. If you register for a time slot that is at capacity, we will respond with alternative times that are still available.