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.
- 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.