Official Community Plan Review

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About the Official Community Plan (OCP)

Since the fall of 2020, there have been a variety of opportunities for the public to provide input into the first phases of updating the Official Community Plan (OCP). Hundreds of North Saanich residents have participated through online surveys, workshops, and meetings, providing valuable feedback about how the community might change over the next 20 years.

We are in Phase 3: Drafting the OCP

At the Regular Meeting of Council held December 5, 2022, Council passed a motion to establish an Official Community Plan (OCP) Advisory Committee. We will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Subscribe for project updates (see "Stay Informed" on the right) or check back for more details.

About the Official Community Plan (OCP)

Since the fall of 2020, there have been a variety of opportunities for the public to provide input into the first phases of updating the Official Community Plan (OCP). Hundreds of North Saanich residents have participated through online surveys, workshops, and meetings, providing valuable feedback about how the community might change over the next 20 years.

We are in Phase 3: Drafting the OCP

At the Regular Meeting of Council held December 5, 2022, Council passed a motion to establish an Official Community Plan (OCP) Advisory Committee. We will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Subscribe for project updates (see "Stay Informed" on the right) or check back for more details.

  • December 5 Regular Meeting of Council

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    by crimell,

    At the Regular Meeting of Council held December 5, 2022, Council passed the following motion regarding the Official Community Plan:

    That pursuant to Section 141 of the Community Charter, Council approve the establishment of the Official Community Plan [OCP] Advisory Committee as proposed by Mayor Jones and further select three councillors and one alternate council representative to serve on the committee.

    The following motion by Councillor DiBattista was withdrawn:

    That Council direct staff to plan a workshop/information session in January of 2023 where staff can update council as to the process undertaken with regards to community engagement related to the OCP through phase 1, 2 and 3 and review the process of how the 6 major themes and the 30 recommendations were developed.

    We will continue to provide updates as they become available.

  • November 21 Regular Meeting of Council

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    by crimell,

    At the Regular Meeting of Council held November 21, 2022, Council voted in favour of the following motion, stopping the drafting of the Official Community Plan:

    1. That Council rescind the following resolutions from the August 15, 2022 Regular Council meeting:
      • 443 - That Council receive the Official Community Plan Review - Phase 3 Engagement Summary & Recommendations Report PCS-22-050. A 444, and 447 adopted at the Regular Council Meeting of August 15, 2022.
      • 444 - That the Main Motion be amended to include "and endorse" after "receive".
      • 447 - That Council direct staff to proceed with drafting the Official Community Plan as per the recommendations in Table 1 (recommendations 1-30) and approach as outlined in Staff Report No. PCS-22-050.
    2. That Council direct staff that any further work on a draft of the Official Community Plan be stopped until Council has undertaken further consideration and discussion of all aspects requested by the community; to be based on the existing vision and objectives of the current OCP and the role of North Saanich in the 2018 Regional Growth Strategy, with particular emphasis on Environment and Natural Assets, Agriculture and Food Security, Climate Change and Marine and Foreshore.

    3. That staff report back to Council with an outline of next steps.

    Timelines and next steps are still to be determined and we will provide updates as they become available. Please subscribe for project updates to stay informed.

  • 30 Recommendations for the OCP Review

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    by crimell,

    The Phase 3 Engagement Summary & Recommendations Report provides a comprehensive review of the engagement activities and the feedback received. The recommendations seek to address the feedback received through the third phase of engagement alongside technical planning analysis.

    The table below is an excerpt from the Phase 3 Engagement Summary & Recommendations Report (see Recommendations Section) and summarizes the Council endorsed recommendations. These recommendation represent key changes and the proposed approach to guide the development of the draft OCP. it is important to note these recommendations are not a comprehensive list of all the changes or updates that will be considered while developing the draft OCP. Other policy ideas from the scoping report (March 2020), high level review of the current OCP (May 2022) and other foundational documents previously endorsed by Council will also be referenced during the development of the draft OCP.

    Draft Vision and Goals

    • Recommendation 1: Proceed with the vision as drafted
    • Recommendation 2: Re-word the goal related to natural areas and ecological systems to include protection
      • “Natural areas and ecological systems are protected, healthy, accessible, and resilient.”
    • Recommendation 3: Re-word goal related to housing to include mention of community character
      • “Greater housing diversity, that respects the community’s character, helps residents from all walks of life attain a home.”

    Marine and Land Based Natural Environment

    • Recommendation 4: Focus on preservation of existing natural assets and work more closely with neighbours at the sub-regional scale
    • Recommendation 5: Use publicly available natural asset data from non-government organizations (NGOs) and other environmental groups to further develop the Blue-Green networks map
    • Recommendation 6: Consider a development permit exemption for shoreline landscape management that has been approved by a Green Shores expert
    • Recommendation 7: OCP Policy should reflect that a Green Shores approach may not be appropriate in all cases and will require coordination between landowners and the District for effective implementation
    • Recommendation 8: Make a clear link between protection of natural environment and its importance in mitigating and adapting to the effects of the climate crisis

    Agriculture and Food Systems

    • Recommendation 9: Tread lightly and provide more detailed policy direction on the farm village and food hub concepts
      1. Establish conditions for support (i.e., location, scale)
      2. Work with other communities to determine need and potential for collaboration
    • Recommendation 10: Ensure agri-business and agri-tourism uses are closely linked to and support food production
    • Recommendation 11: Use the Sandown lands to their full potential as a key agricultural hub
      • Consider Sandown as the primary location for a potential future farm market and food hub
    • Recommendation 12: Move forward with the alignment of agricultural designated lands with Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) lands, while providing policy support for potential ALR exclusions for the sites shown in land use scenario 3

    Climate Action

    • Recommendation 13: Set a greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target in alignment with the Provincial government targets
    • Recommendation 14: Acknowledge that electrical vehicles (EVs) are not a golden ticket – there is still a need for strong active transportation networks and aligning land use with effective public transportation to reduce car dependency
    • Recommendation 15: Work with BC Hydro to better understand electrical infrastructure limitations and opportunities
    • Recommendation 16: Develop and apply a climate lens through which each OCP theme is understood

    Healthy Communities

    • Recommendation 17: Emphasize nature and green spaces as amenities that support healthy communities
    • Recommendation 18: Support a neighbourhood nook use in Ardmore, Queen Mary Bay, and in the Southeast Quadrant (along Lochside or in the Terraces)
    • Recommendation 19: Remove the Deep Cove Community Hub concept from consideration due to lack of community support and designate as per existing OCP
    • Recommendation 20: Develop policy to support childcare in residential areas in certain situations
    • Recommendation 21: Ensure a development’s Community Amenity Contributions are directed towards amenities located within its neighbourhood
    • Recommendation 22: Include policy that supports cultural and socio-economic diversity

    Housing and Affordability

    • Recommendation 23: Move forward with the Residential Infill concept in the Southeast Quadrant with added detail on allowable lot sizes and density provisions to allow small lot subdivision, cottage clusters, duplexes and cottages
    • Recommendation 24: Reduce the land area of Area 2 (Tsehum) designated as multi-family
    • Recommendation 25: Revise the McTavish Village concept at follows:
      1. Reduce the land area dedicated for apartment buildings and increase areas for townhouses and other forms of residential infill (including small lot subdivision, cottage clusters, duplexes and cottages)
      2. Develop guiding policy for mixed use development at the intersection of McTavish and East Saanich Road
    • Recommendation 26: Further explore the trade-offs and tools to secure the building of affordable housing and the required densities to make it viable
    • Recommendation 27: Move forward with the Rural Residential land use designation as described in land use scenario 3 to reduce growth in the rural areas and respect the rural character

    Jobs and the Local Economy

    • Recommendation 28: Support mixed use development (residential/commercial) to the parcels at the intersection of McTavish Road and East Saanich Road only and to those that are currently designated either General Residential or Commercial
    • Recommendation 29: Limit the size of commercial retail units (CRUs) in new development in McTavish Village concept to ensure small-scale, local shops are prioritized (and not big box stores)
    • Recommendation 30: Ensure alignment between applicable Marine Task Force recommendations and other shoreline-related policy directions across OCP themes
  • Council Directs Staff to Draft the OCP

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    by crimell,

    On August 15, Council received and endorsed a detailed Phase 3 engagement summary report with 30 recommendations to help inform drafting an OCP, based on what was heard. Council directed staff to draft an Official Community Plan (OCP) per the 30 outlined recommendations. Once drafted, the plan will be presented to Council and North Saanich residents in 2023 for review and another phase of public engagement.

    Over two months, nearly 800 people provided feedback on the draft vision, goals, and potential land use scenarios and policy directions related to the six OCP themes: agriculture and food systems, marine and land-based natural environment, climate action, healthy communities, jobs and the local economy and housing and affordability. Responsive to public input and a desire to reach as many perspectives as possible, several in-person opportunities, including two open houses, resident dialogue sessions and a Southeast quadrant workshop were offered, in addition to an online survey and virtual open house. There were also meetings with the OCP Advisory Working Group and the District’s Commissions.

    All the input received is captured in a comprehensive engagement summary report, available at: https://www.connectnorthsaanich.ca/15055/widgets/61172/documents/86788

    Based on what was heard, several shared values and key takeaways, as well as 30 recommendations emerged. The recent phase of engagement underlined congruence around six key areas that will help underpin the drafting of the plan.

    1. Apply a climate lens throughout the entire OCP
    2. Protect the environment and agricultural lands
    3. Include First Nations at the table
    4. ‘One size fits all’ policies may not work in all instances
    5. No sprawl; and
    6. Collaborate across jurisdictions and with neighbours


    Staff will now draft the OCP and present to Council in early 2023 marking the end of Phase 3. At this meeting Council would have to opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback, and request changes. The project team would also present the Phase 4 engagement and communications plan, work plan and budget and Council would have the opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback and request changes and direct the next steps in the OCP review.



    Southeast Quadrant Workshop McTavish Open House
  • Thank you for your feedback!

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    by crimell,

    We would like to thank the many North Saanich residents who provided feedback on the Official Community Plan (OCP) review during our third phase of public engagement.

    Phase 3 opened on May 16 and closed on June 12, 2022.

    Hundreds of residents participated in the survey and visited the online and in-person open houses, where they spoke to the project team, asked questions about the OCP review process and materials, and provided feedback.

    Additionally, residents from the district’s “Southeast Quadrant” participated at a special workshop tailored to address their community’s specific needs and hopes for the future. The Project Team also hosted seven dialogue sessions with various community, resident, and environmental groups as part of the engagement process.

    Results from the survey, and feedback from the open houses, workshop, and dialogue sessions will be captured in a comprehensive engagement summary and will be presented to Council at the Council Meeting on Monday, August 15.

    This report will document the engagement process, including who participated, what was heard at each activity, and how the feedback is recommended to be used to shape the draft OCP.

    In 2023, the draft OCP will be presented to North Saanich residents for review and another round of engagement.


    Southeast Quadrant Workshop, June 1, 2022



  • District invites feedback on draft vision, goals, and policy directions.

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    by crimell,

    Today, the District of North Saanich kicked off its latest round of public engagement on the Official Community Plan (OCP) review.

    The OCP guides decisions on how lands will be managed and reflects the community’s values and vision for the next 20 years. It will guide decisions on things like land use, infrastructure investment, and mitigating and adapting to climate change. It is adopted as a bylaw and informs Council and community decision-making.

    “Residents can help shape a vision for North Saanich that protects our greatest attributes and responds to the emerging and varied needs of our community,” said North Saanich Mayor Geoff Orr. “This spring, we are continuing in-person and virtual conversations with North Saanich residents to generate ideas and capture feedback, welcoming as many diverse perspectives as possible.”

    The district’s population is projected to grow by almost a thousand people: from 12,235 in 2021 to 13,000 in 2038.

    Six interconnected OCP themes, informed by previous phases of engagement, will guide the OCP conversations: agriculture and food systems, marine and land-based natural environments, climate action, healthy communities, jobs and the local economy and housing and affordability.

    To reach as many residents as possible, there are a variety of ways North Saanich residents can participate. Check out the key dates for more information on the OCP engagement activities!

    A survey invites participants to review the draft vision, draft goals, and potential policy directions that are being considered as the District looks to develop a draft OCP. The survey, which closes on June 12, is available online at connectnorthsaanich.ca/ocp, and hard-copy versions are available at Municipal Hall (1620 Mills Road).

    The District is also offering several in-person events for residents to learn more and provide feedback. These in-person events include two open houses and a workshop for residents in the district’s “Southeast Quadrant”: the McTavish, Bazan Bay, Terraces, and Eaglehurst neighbourhoods.

    No registration is required to attend the in-person open houses. Both locations are accessible and offer activities for children.

    The District is also offering a virtual open house over Zoom, recognizing that this provides more flexibility for people with busy work lives, family commitments, and other circumstances that prevent attending in-person events.

    A number of local resident and environmental associations, as well as the OCP’s Advisory Working Group, have been invited to participate in dedicated community dialogue sessions.

    We hope to see you soon!

  • Third round of engagement to begin on May 16!

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    by crimell,

    On Monday, May 2, at a Regular Meeting of Council, North Saanich Council directed staff to move forward with the next phase of public engagement on the OCP review.

    Council discussed a staff report on the OCP that provided Council with the draft engagement event plans and survey, background materials, and the high-level review of the current OCP.

    After providing feedback on these materials, Council endorsed the Phase 3 engagement event plans and survey with some amendments; all engagement activities will take place in late May and early June.

    Council also endorsed the background materials document and the high-level review of the current OCP, as outlined in the Staff Report and amended by Council.

    Council also directed staff to add an additional dialogue session, with environmental groups to the Phase 3 Engagement Plan. Council identified Peninsula Streams, Friends of North Saanich Parks, SeaChange Conservation, Saanich Inlet Protection Society, Friends of Shoal Harbour, and the Saanich Peninsula Environmental Coalition as candidates for inclusion in this session.

    The third round of engagement on the OCP will begin on Monday, May 16.

    Detailed information about the various engagement activities, including times, dates, and locations for in-person open houses; times and registration details for a virtual house; and a link to the survey will all be available on this page on May 16.

    North Saanich residents will also receive information about these activities in the mail, see them in advertising in the Peninsula News Review, and see them in social media and conventional communications from the District of North Saanich.

  • May 2 Regular Meeting of Council

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    by crimell,

    The agenda for the Regular Meeting of Council on Monday, May 2 at 7:00 pm has been posted.

    North Saanich Council will discuss the Official Community Plan (OCP) review at this meeting.

    The staff report on the OCP review provides North Saanich Council with the draft engagement event plans and survey, background materials, and the high-level review of the current OCP.

    The report formally responds to Council’s March 21, 2022 motions to advance work on a draft OCP based on the six OCP themes (agriculture and local food systems, marine and land-based natural environment, climate action, healthy communities, jobs and the local economy and housing and affordability).

    At the May 2 meeting, Council will have the opportunity to provide feedback on these engagement and communication materials prior to the launch of the phase 3 engagement activities, later in May. These materials, appended to the report, include the event plans for the dialogue sessions, open houses, and workshop for the southeast quadrant (i.e., the McTavish and Terraces neighbourhoods), and the online survey.

    In addition, Council will also provide feedback on the background materials document that will frame the engagement and provide important context for the discussions on the:

    • Draft vision;
    • Draft goals;
    • Draft policy directions in relation to the six OCP themes; and
    • Land use scenarios and key features.


    The materials also include a high-level review of the current OCP policy language, outlining what could be maintained, strengthened, removed, or revised.

    If, on May 2, Council directs staff to proceed with this work, the launch of the third round of engagement on the OCP will begin on May 16.

    The various ways to participate at this meeting are described at northsaanich.civicweb.net/Portal/Welcome.aspx.


  • Next phase of public engagement on OCP to begin in May

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    by crimell,

    At the Regular Meeting of Council on Monday, March 21, Council discussed the next phase of public engagement for the Official Community Plan (OCP) review and endorsed the recommendations proposed by the OCP project team, while asking for modifications to some elements in the proposed plan.

    At the meeting, the project team presented Council with a high-level work plan for Phase 3, an engagement and communications plan, and an associated budget for these tasks.

    In response to Council direction received on February 14, the project team’s proposed engagement plan included holding eight dialogue sessions with representatives from ten different community and neighbourhood groups to discuss the draft vision, goals and the key themes, policy directions, and draft land use options.

    After discussing the proposed engagement plan, Council directed staff to make some modifications, including consolidating two community associations (Lands End Residents Association and Property Responsibility on the Waterfront) into the same dialogue session.

    Council also directed staff to combine four of the groups into a workshop session that would allow more residents to engage on the OCP review in a longer and more extensive format. These groups are the Bazan Bay Residents Association, McTavish Neighbourhood Community Group, newly formed Eaglehurst Residents Association, and Terraces Community Association.

    The three remaining groups (Dean Park Estates Community Association, North Saanich Residents Association, and Save North Saanich) and the OCP Advisory Working Group (AWG) will each have their own dialogue session.

    The project team will update Council on May 2 about the logistical details and associated costs for these changes, including how many people the newly proposed workshop can accommodate, how discussion will be facilitated, and what engagement tools will be used by the team to solicit the most meaningful and detailed feedback.

    The project team will also present Council with materials to support the other engagement activities, including three open houses and an online survey, before engagement begins in May and June. This will formally launch the engagement activities for Phase 3.

  • March 21 Regular Meeting of Council

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    by crimell,

    The agenda for the Regular Meeting of Council on Monday, March 21 at 7:00 pm has been posted at northsaanich.ca/council-meetings.

    North Saanich Council will discuss the Official Community Plan (OCP) review at this meeting.

    This is a follow up from the Special Meeting of Council on February 14, where Council directed the project team to move forward with the complete OCP review, focusing on all six themes: agriculture and local food systems, marine and land-based natural environments, climate action, healthy communities, jobs and the local economy, and housing and affordability. They also gave the project team direction on the approach for the next phase of public engagement.

    On February 14, Council also directed the project team to initiate a high-level review of the current OCP policy language, outlining what could be changed, stay the same, be added or removed.

    Additionally, Council directed staff to include meetings with the OCP Advisory Working Group (AWG), District Commissions, community associations, and other representative residents as key components of engagement. Council directed staff to restructure the in-person engagement as a community-focused process that would take place from May to June.

    Council directed staff to contemplate the feasibility of drafting the OCP as Phase 4 from July to September 2022 and to report back to Council with the draft OCP in late September.

    In response to this direction, on March 21 the project team will present Council with a high-level work plan for Phase 3, an engagement and communications plan for Phase 3, and an associated budget for these tasks.

    Based on the Provincial Health Officer’s most recent direction, there are no pandemic-related restrictions to the number of people allowed in person at Council Meetings. Please note that the meeting agenda identifies various other ways you can participate at this meeting (and other Council meetings).

Page last updated: 07 Dec 2022, 04:52 PM