Official Community Plan (OCP) Review

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Consultation has concluded

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. Initial public engagement on several aspects of the OCP was undertaken in 2019, however due to the restrictions on in-person public engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic this engagement was paused.

In November 2020, Council directed staff to resume engagement on the OCP Review, with a focus on reviewing building heights, particularly in the Town Centre, outside the Town Centre and in the waterfront areas. This consultation has primarily been done through virtual methods (online and paper surveys, and digital open houses) while public health restrictions remain on public gatherings.

The City has worked with the public to get feedback and make sure the community's aspirations and concerns were understood and shared with Council before they made decisions on changing the OCP.

In March 2021, following Council's review of the input from public engagement, direction was given to prepare amendments to the Official Community Plan. These changes were on the Land Use and Planning Committee agenda for May 31, 2021, and the OCP Amendment Bylaw was given first and second reading, as amended. A public hearing for the Bylaw was held to receive input from the community on June 21, 2021, and the Bylaw was given third reading, as amended, and finally adopted on July 12, 2021.

The new consolidated OCP Bylaw can be downloaded from the City's website (https://www.whiterockcity.ca/DocumentCenter/View/276/Consolidated---Official-Community-Plan-Bylaw-2017-Number-2220-PDF) or the Documents Library on the right-hand side of this page.


Consultation has concluded
  • OCP Review (Height and Density) completed with Bylaw adoption July 13, 2021

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    On July 12, 2021, the current OCP Review process has concluded with City Council adopting Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 2387, the bylaw that updates the City's OCP.

    You can review the bylaw itself as well as Council discussion of the adoption on the Regular Council agenda page at the following link: July 12, 2021 Regular Council Meeting Agenda and Video.

    A minor change to the bylaw was made prior to adoption, which was to limit the height of buildings on the Silver Moon (1081 Martin Street) and Montecito (1153-1169 Vidal Street) to three storeys.

    A consolidated version of the OCP Bylaw will be posted to the City's website later this week.

    Thank you to everyone who participated in this process and providing your input on where and how the City should grow in the future. Stay tuned for future opportunities to share your views on the Zoning Bylaw Update, which is anticipated to start in Fall 2021.

  • June 21 - Public Hearing for OCP Amendment Bylaw No. 2387

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    On May 31, 2021, Council gave first and second readings to an amendment to the City’s Official Community Plan, and a public hearing will be held for this Bylaw No. 2387 on June 21, 2021.

    Further details regarding the time of the Public Hearing and how to participate will be posted at the following link: Public Hearings and Public Meetings | White Rock, BC (whiterockcity.ca) .

    The staff report associated with this proposed change to the OCP, which changes maximum heights and density of new development in several areas throughout the city, is available on the Land Use and Planning Committee agenda of May 31, 2021 under item 6, and includes a description of all the changes proposed in Bylaw No. 2387.

    Note that prior to to the draft bylaw being given readings on May 31, the 1100-block of Elm Street (east side of Elm Street) was changed by Council to remain in the current "Waterfront Village" land use designation instead of changing to the "Mature Neighbourhood" land use designation, and a policy was added that new development proposals in the area would be required to show consideration in their design for the heritage context of existing buildings in the area. The Waterfront Village land use designation would allow a maximum 3 storey building (below grade parking levels not included in the number of storeys).

  • Upcoming OCP Amendment Bylaw (May/June 2021)

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    On March 29, 2021, the Land Use and Planning Committee passed a series of resolutions directing staff to prepare revisions to the Official Community Plan (OCP) bylaw, as part of the third and final phase of the City’s OCP Review. These resolutions were made following consideration of the results for the Building Heights outside the Town Centre survey.

    On May 10, 2021, Council adopted an amendment to the Zoning Bylaw for the Town Centre Commercial / Residential Zone (CR-1), after a public hearing was held on April 19, 2021.

    Staff are preparing an OCP amendment bylaw that would implement the direction from the March 29, 2021 LUPC meeting as well as reflecting the new Town Centre CR-1 zoning. This OCP amendment bylaw is expected to be presented to Council for consideration on May 31, 2021, and if given first and second reading, a public hearing for the bylaw could be scheduled as early as June 21, 2021.

  • Results from Building Heights (outside the Town Centre) Survey available

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    The survey "How Tall Should Buildings be in White Rock (outside the Town Centre)?" was open between January 15 and February 12, 2021. Close to 500 responses were received, with 26 hard copies and 465 online submissions made.

    The March 8, 2021 Regular Council agenda includes a report with the results of this survey, including the 'open-ended' comments provided by respondents (see Appendix A). You can read the community's responses by downloading the report at the following link (Results of Official Community Plan Review Survey – Building Heights outside the Town Centre (escribemeetings.com) or by access it via the Documents Library on this page (see "2021-03-05 Report - Building Heights Survey Results").

  • Link and Instructions for joining Jan. 14, 2021 Digital Public Open House

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    For written instructions on how to join the Microsoft Teams "live event" open house beginning at 5:30pm on January 14, including the link to use to access the meeting, please view the following page on the City's website calendar.

    https://www.whiterockcity.ca/Calendar.aspx?EID=1941

    An instructional video from Microsoft on attending live events is also available by clicking HERE.

    This digital "public open house," part of the Official Community Plan (OCP) Review, will present options for building heights outside the Town Centre, specifically three areas:

    • the Town Centre Transition areas (north of Thrift Avenue, both east of George Street and west of Martin Street),
    • the Waterfront Village area (along Marine Drive between Stayte Road and Oxford Street), and
    • the East Side Large Lot Infill area.

    An online survey, which will be available on this page on January 15, 2021 for the public to share their views on the proposed policy options and any additional feedback on this topic.

  • Upcoming Digital Public Open House on Building Heights

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    Save the date for January 14, 2021, from 5:30pm to 7:00pm, for a digital public open house to learn more about options for making changes to the City's policies for building heights outside the Town Centre. The three areas of focus are identified on the map (click HERE for larger version).

    The meeting is set up as a Microsoft Teams "live event" and you will be able to listen in virtually and ask questions staff using the text-based input on your computer or mobile device. Instructions and technical details for the meeting are available on the City's website calendar at the following link: https://www.whiterockcity.ca/Calendar.aspx?EID=1941.

    The meeting will be recorded and posted to the City's YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxIIOjGJ78o-ZQ28ABTVSpw) if you are not able to attend.

    Following the open house on January 14, an online survey will be made available on January 15 on this website in the "Surveys and Forms" section for you to provide your input on the options and share any additional thoughts you have on building height policies.


  • December 2020 Update: OCP Review to be focused and advance in early 2021

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    On November 23, 2020, Council directed staff to amend the scope of the OCP Review to focus on the Town Centre, building heights outside the Town Centre, and the Waterfront topic areas.

    The intention is to accelerate the completion of the OCP Review following a pause in the process due to COVID-19 restrictions on public engagement. Public engagement on building heights is expected to resume in early 2021, with an digital public open house on the topic as well as an online survey to provide feedback. This would be followed by Council consideration of OCP Bylaw changes, including Public Hearings for changes that are moved forward.

    Please come back to visit this site and stay tuned for opportunities to share your input in early 2021!

  • May 2020 Update: COVID-19 Pandemic and OCP Review

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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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    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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    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).