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Official Community Plan

Introduction & Objectives

In January, the Village Council authorized work to begin on updating the Official Community Plan (OCP). The update work will be completed over the course of 2019, with completion targeted for end of year.

 

What is an OCP?

An OCP is a long-term vision for a community regarding uses of land, community facilities, infrastructure and environment. OCPs do not directly regulate the use of private property, which is the purpose of a municipalities’ Zoning Bylaw. Once adopted by a municipality, OCPs serve as an overarching guiding document to manage growth and development. The OCP directs all other municipal plans (including strategic and financial plans), bylaws, and ultimately capital projects within a municipality. The Local Government Act (LGA) is the provincial act which provides authority for municipalities to plan and manage land use outlines the requirements for preparing an OCP, including required content, and method for adopting.

How is an OCP adopted?

The LGA requires OCPs to be adopted by bylaw. This also means a public hearing must be conducted by the Village Council to allow persons interested to make their views known on the bylaw. Once adopted, any changes to the OCP will require a bylaw amendment and another public hearing.

 

What effect does an OCP have once adopted?

The LGA states that once an OCP is adopted all municipal activities must support the OCP (LGA, Sec. 478). All bylaws or works undertaken by a municipality must be consistent with the long-range vision for the community. OCPs do not, however, commit or authorize a municipality to proceed with any project specified in the plan. This must be done separately through a municipality’s financial plan.

Benefits of an OCP
OCP's provide many benefits to municipalities including:
  • Identifying and locating compatible and supportive uses in proximity to each other.
  • Minimizing or preventing negative impacts on the natural environment, for example by locating development away from watercourses and steep slopes.
  • Guiding uses where they can be supported by infrastructure.
  • Helping prioritize spending of finite public dollars.

How is an OCP developed?

Because OCPs reflect a long-term vision and the values of a community, they are developed with input from the community. OCPs should also be technically vetted to ensure that the vision, goals and objectives of what’s desired are achievable. Several opportunities for public engagement typically occur during the development of an OCP. The public engagement opportunities for the Tahsis’ OCP update are identified here.

 

For the Tahsis OCP update an Advisory Committee has also been formed to provide input to at key stages. The Advisory Committee includes residents, business operators, the Mayor and two Council members.

Why does the OCP need to be updated?

Tahsis’ current OCP was adopted in 2010. Given that OCPs include content about a community’s long-term vision, and outlines priorities and needs for housing, community facilities, and infrastructure, it’s important those needs are reassessed on a regular basis to ensure they reflect community values and needs.

 

What the Census tells us about Tahsis

A Community Profile providing background demographic, socio-economic and housing data was prepared using the most recent Census Data (2016), and previous Censuses to determine trends moving forward. The Community Profile can be accessed here.

 

Phase I
Orientation & Analysis
Objectives: To inform and educate the community about the OCP update and obtain input on community values.
Winter/Spring 2019
Phase II
Draft OCP
Objective: To develop a Draft OCP and gather input on its content.
Summer 2019/Fall 2019
Phase III
OCP Bylaw Adoption
Objective: To prepate an OCP Bylaw for Council consideration and conduct a public hearing.
Fall/Winter 2019

Public Engagement Opportunities

There will be several opportunities to engage during the OCP update:

 

Community Survey: A Community Survey to obtain resident input on community values and priorities was completed in June. Responses were received from 132 residents. Thanks to all who took the time to provide your valuable responses!

A summary of the survey results can be found here…

 

Community Workshop: A community workshop is scheduled for Thursday, October 17, 2019 from 1pm-5pm at the Recreation Centre, with a presentation scheduled at 1:30pm. The purpose of the workshop will be to present the draft OCP and obtain input on scope and content.

 

A questionnaire has been mailed to all Tahsis residents and will also be available at the Community Workshop. The deadline to complete the questionnaire and provide comments on the draft OCP is Thursday, October 31, 2019.

 

Next Steps: Following the Phase II consultation period, comments on the draft OCP will be reviewed and to the extent feasible incorporated into a final draft OCP for Council consideration (Phase III). Following Council’s initial consideration, a public hearing will be scheduled to gather input on the OCP Bylaw.

 

 

Who is Involved?

In order to inform the OCP update, various levels of input are required to ensure that a broad representation of interests and perspectives are reflected in the plan. The following groups will be integral in the development of an updated OCP.

 

 

Draft OCP

 

A copy of the Draft OCP can be found here…

 

 

 

Questions for Consideration
Do the goals and objectives of the draft OCP reflect the values and vision of the community?
Is there anything that has been missed?
What alternatives or changes would you suggest?
Advisory Committee - This includes residents, business operators, the Mayor and two Council members. They will provide input on the project’s deliverables during the OCP update as representatives of the larger community.
Residents and Business Operators - They will be able to provide input through the community surveys, community workshop, and public hearing. There will also be opportunity through the ask questions and stay updated through the e-mail list serve.
Village Staff - will provide technical input, including information on public facilities and servicing, as needed to update the OCP.
Village Council - The final decision makers!
Consultant - Through provincial grant funding, the Village has hired a consultant (McElhanney Ltd.) to assist with the OCP update. The role of the consultant will be to listen and ensure the public input received, including the Advisory Committee, Village Staff, and Village Council, is reflected in the updated OCP to the extent feasible. Their role will also be to provide professional advice and due care to ensure the OCP is prepared in accordance with the requirements of the provincial legislation.