Community Planning

Community Planning

Community Planning is a participatory process in which residents, property owners and other agencies and stakeholders develop a vision and objectives for their respective communities.

What does Planning Accomplish?

Planning addresses the use of land, resources, facilities and services in ways that secure the physical, economic and social efficiency, health and well-being of urban and rural communities.

Planning can be a way for the community to work with their local government to address local land use concerns including directing where new development should go, identifying where lands should not be developed, protecting rural character, water sustainability, private land logging, cannabis, short term rentals etc.

Does It Increase My Property Taxes If There Is Planning?

Planning is a service provided whether you have a ‘plan’ or ‘have no plan’ and does not result in increased property taxation. All Electoral Areas currently pay into the planning service as some land use bylaws such as the Floodplain Management Bylaw and Subdivision Bylaw are applicable everywhere in the RDCK.

What Is An Official Community Plan?

An Official Community Plan (OCP) is a statement of the objectives and policies of the local government respecting land use in the area covered by the OCP.

OCPs include policies on:

  • Housing
  • Commercial, industrial, institutional, agricultural, recreational & public utility land uses
  • Natural environment
  • Sand & gravel resources
  • Hazards
  • Infrastructure such as road, sewer & water systems
  • Public facilities including schools & parks
  • Greenhouse gas emissions

Parts of an OCP can be specific to each individual community or can be directed to an overall framework for the wider plan area under review.

The making of an OCP is a collaborative process with extensive consultation with the public, local business owners, community associations, non profits, First Nations, school districts, and other government agencies.

The purpose of an OCP is to guide future land use decisions by local and provincial governments for the next 10 to 20 years. An OCP can be adopted on its own or with a set of regulatory bylaws to implement the OCP’s policies. The strength of an OCP is that all bylaws adopted after the OCP must be aligned with its polices. OCPs themselves only regulate land use with Development Permit Areas.

What Is A Zoning Bylaw?

If residents desire their local government to direct land use activities to certain lands and not others  or otherwise direct growth within their communities, that community would have to set up a regulatory bylaw. Zoning bylaws regulate how land, buildings and other structures may be used. Zoning bylaws may divide the whole or part of an area into zones, name each zone and establish the boundaries of those zones.

The following may be regulated within a zone:

  • Use and density of land, buildings and other structures
  • Siting, size and dimensions of buildings and other structures and permitted uses
  • Location of uses on the land and within buildings and other structures
  • Shape, dimensions and area of all parcels of land created by subdivision (this can include establishing minimum and maximum parcel sizes)

 Zoning implements the land use planning visions expressed in an Official Community Plan (OCP), as a Zoning Bylaw must be consistent with the policy framework adopted in an OCP.

What Are Some Other Planning Tools?

If there is an Official Community Plan:

Regardless of if there is an Official Community Plan:

Note: other regulatory bylaws such as noise control, nuisance and unsightly property bylaws can be adopted with or without an Official Community Plan in place.

What Planning Bylaws Are Currently In My Area?

Some Electoral Areas have bylaws for their entire geographical area, some for partial areas, some none at all. Some Electoral Areas have an Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw, some only a Official Community Plan.

The RDCK has a public webmap that is a great tool for determining what may impact individual properties. You can take a look at whether a property falls within an OCP area, what zone it is in (if a zoning bylaw is in place), whether the property is within the ALR and much more. The ‘Community Planning Services’ Layer provides Planning related information while there are many other layers related to other RDCK Services. You can access the New Public Webmap from the RDCK’s mapping webpage:

You can find all of RDCK’s Land Use Bylaws here:

I Think My Community Should/Should Not Have Planning. How Can I Be Involved?

Planning is meant to be a collaborative process. The creation of Official Community Plans and Zoning Bylaws require information, feedback and review from the community.

Informational virtual meetings are planned for 2021 with the public in Electoral Areas A, D, E & H. Stay tuned here for information on how to join. At anytime you can contact your Local Area Director or Planning Staff.

Area D Planning 101 Presentation
March 9, 2021 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Online via Webex
Join by Video:

Meeting number (access code): 177 306 9020
Meeting pasword: pZ9ZTnE3ZQ2
NOTE: You may need to download the WebEx meeting application for video.

Join by Phone:
1-844-426-4405 Canada Toll Free
Meeting number (access code): 177 306 9020

Area D Planning 101 Follow Up Meetings
March 16, 23, 30 – stay tuned for more details 

Why Are You Hosting These Information Sessions Now?

In 2020, the RDCK Board passed individual resolutions brought forward by Chair Watson, Director Popoff, and Director Faust, who requested that Staff host these sessions in their respective Electoral Areas in response to interest from their residents.

Where Can I Find Out More?



The content on this page was last updated February 24 2021 at 10:31 AM