The Official Community Plan - OCP (PDF) is one of the Town’s most important documents and is essential to planning for future growth and development within Comox. It establishes community objectives and broad policy statements to guide Council’s decisions about land use, zoning and development. It sets forth a 20-year vision for the Town that includes the approximate location, type and density of residential, commercial, industrial and institutional development. The OCP also includes policies related to social needs, environmental protection and affordable housing.
In 2009, the Town of Comox launched a comprehensive process to develop a new OCP. The Town worked with lead consultant Arlington Group and partners including Diamond Head Consulting, Sustainability Solutions Group, and Koers & Associates Engineering Ltd. The process included extensive public consultation and various technical and background reports.
Official Community Plans are essential to planning for future growth and development within the Town of Comox. It sets forth a 20-year vision for the Town, establishing community objectives and broad statements of policy to guide Council’s decisions about land use, zoning, and development.
The current Town of Comox OCP, adopted in 2011, is the result of a comprehensive process that began in 2009. This process included a number of technical and background reports and a broad program of public consultation that culminated in Town Council’s adoption of a new Official Community Plan Bylaw in July of 2011.
In British Columbia, a local government must ensure that its OCP is consistent with a larger Regional Growth Strategy, which is a planning document that sets forth a vision for land use and growth for an entire regional district. Since the Town of Comox is located within the Comox Valley Regional District, its OCP must be consistent with the development and growth patterns found in the CVRD Regional Growth Strategy.
The Town of Comox OCP contains the following:
- Approximate location, amount, type and density of residential development required to meet anticipated housing needs over a period of at least five years;
- Approximate location, amount and type of present and proposed commercial, industrial, institutional, agricultural and recreational land uses;
- Restrictions on the use of land subject to hazardous conditions or identified as environmentally sensitive;
- Approximate location and phasing of any major road, sewer and water systems;
- Approximate location and type of present and proposed public facilities, including schools parks and waste treatment sites;
- Policies with respect to affordable, rental and special needs housing;
- Targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and policies and actions proposed with respect to achieving those targets.
An OCP also may also contain:
- Policies relating to social needs, social well-being and social development;
- Policies to maintain and enhance farming and designate specific areas for agricultural use;
- Policies for the preservation, protection, restoration and enhancement of the natural environment its ecosystems and biological diversity.
Additionally, the OCP may designate Development Permit Areas (PDF), which allow the Town additional controls for regulating certain types of development.
You can find the OCP land use designation of your property by looking it up on the OCP Land Use Maps (PDF). You can also check the Development Permit Area Maps (PDF) to determine if your property is within a Development Permit Area. Further details about land use categories and Development Permit Area Guidelines can be found in the Official Community Plan Bylaw, 2011 (PDF).
If you have further questions about the Official Community Plan please contact the Planning Department either in person at Town Hall, or by phone at (250) 339-1118.
If you are considering a development project that does not fit within the land use designations of the OCP, you may need to get an OCP amendment to ensure the project conforms with the OCP. Information on the OCP amendment process can be found here and you can also contact the Planning Department either in person at Town Hall or by phone at (250) 339-1118 for further information.
The Town of Comox OCP Planning process was broken down into three phases:
If you have any questions regarding the OCP process or the Comox Official Community Plan Bylaw, 2011 please contact the Planning Department at (250) 339-1118.