Official Community Plan (OCP)
Public engagement opportunities
As Kelowna grows, where new homes will be built and how we get around will largely be shaped by the decisions we make today. Residents were invited to shape Kelowna's path to 2040 by participating in person or online to experience different scenarios for Kelowna 2040.
Interactive exhibits were held June 2 to June 7 at various locations throughout Kelowna.
Residents were invited to walk through the interactive storybook and then, at the end of the storybook, complete the online questionnaire between June 1-30.
Based on public input, analysis and research, a preferred growth scenario will be selected for Council’s consideration this fall. The scenario will provide context for the corresponding policy directions recommended in the 2040 Official Community Plan and the Transportation Master Plan.
Official Community Plan update
Updating of Kelowna's Official Community Plan is underway. This multi-year project is anticipated for completion in 2020.
The update will primarily refine and update land uses, mapping and policies to reflect the community's vision (as captured through the Imagine Kelowna process) and to clearly signal where development is to be accommodated and supported with corresponding infrastructure and amenities.
The OCP intends to address sustainability as the focus of community goals, objectives and policy. It provides a policy framework for Council by addressing issues such as housing, transportation, infrastructure, parks, economic development and the natural and social environment.
A breadth of topics covered by the OCP are fundamental to understanding the complex trends and changes that affect long-term planning for our municipality. Imagine 50,000 more people in our city. Where would they live? How would they get around?
Check out the resources below to find interactive online summaries, videos and reports about a number of these topics. Stay involved, get curious, be informed, share your passion, and imagine your influence on our Kelowna!
Watch the introductory video as we plan for the future.
Explore the four proposed growth scenarios in more detail with in-depth technical analysis.
Facts in Focus
Learn about the topics covered by an OCP process by reading through the below Facts in Focus discussion papers and interactive summaries.
Citizens’ daily lives are profoundly impacted by the shape of their cities – their urban form. Great urban form can make residents healthier – both physically and mentally. Through the OCP update, in connection with planning for Our Kelowna as We Move, the Transportation Master Plan, as well as the 2040 Infrastructure Plan, lasting, positive change can be made.
Kelowna’s traffic patterns largely result from daily travel decisions made by the City’s 130,000 citizens. Where people live, and how far they need to travel to get to work, school, or other services, is a key factor that influences how people choose to get around.
There is global consensus among climate scientists that climate change is happening and that human activity is the cause. Communities must be prepared to join others to respond to the impacts of climate change (climate adaptation) while at the same time reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (climate change mitigation) to minimize climate impacts.
Over the next 20 years, Kelowna is expected to grow by 50,000 people, providing significant benefits to the region but also putting substantial pressure on the City to finance and build new infrastructure to support growth. The decisions around where these residents are encouraged to live in Kelowna will determine the infrastructure that will be required and the financial impact to the City and taxpayers.
The Kelowna 2030 Official Community Plan (Bylaw 10500) was adopted by City Council on May 30, 2011. View the Official Community Plan (OCP) chapters.
Official Community Plan Indicators Report 2016
The fifth consecutive Official Community Plan (OCP) Indicators Report is now available. The report is the City’s principal effort in monitoring the effectiveness of the OCP on the ground. As progress is measured and trends emerge, the City is able to make adjustments or alterations where needed to ensure that the OCP remains a relevant and effective guiding document. The 2016 report suggests an overall positive performance, with 76 per cent of the indicators performing in a positive or neutral direction.
All municipal policies, plans and regulations must align with the OCP Bylaw, so it is a powerful guide to City decision-making. An effective OCP provides clear direction but does not preclude change to the plan based on evolving circumstances or interpretation of policies by Council and staff. In this way, an OCP is often considered a “living document.” This OCP Review seeks to integrate or ‘hardwire’ sustainability into all decisions and create greater alignment of City policies, programs, and projects.
An Official Community Plan (OCP) is a City bylaw that defines policies for land use and development. An OCP takes a long range view to ensure that the needs of current and new residents can be accommodated. For instance, based on population projections (how many people will be born or move here), we learn about how many new homes will be needed. The OCP details what types of homes (apartment, townhouses, single family homes, etc.) are needed and provides policy direction on how, when and where those new homes will be located. The OCP, in addition to housing, addresses many other aspects of the City including environmental protection, economic development, transportation, infrastructure and land use.
City Council, City staff, developers and professionals (architects, engineers, planners, landscape architects, etc.) use the OCP to understand what the community wants as it relates to the delivery of housing and other land uses (types, character), transportation services, infrastructure and amenities. They also use the OCP to understand which areas are suitable for development and which are not (environmentally sensitive areas, steep slopes, hazardous areas, etc.). The public can use the OCP to gain a better understanding of local issues and how they are planned to be addressed or what changes might happen in their neighbourhood.
Provincial legislation (Local Government Act) outlines the purpose, required content and discretionary content of an Official Community Plan (OCP). The purpose of an OCP, under this legislation, is a “statement of objectives and policies to guide decisions on planning and land use management.” Kelowna has a number of plans or guidelines in place that have a very detailed focus on specific issues in the community that may or may not be land use oriented. This is not uncommon for a city of our size. However, inclusion of all those other issues in an OCP creates an unwieldy document that does not necessarily focus on land use and development as intended in the legislation. In the case of Kelowna, there is enough Council and community support for these other plans in place today to stand on their own as separate policy documents and to create an OCP focused exclusively on land use planning and development.
An Official Community Plan (OCP) review involves significant public involvement from beginning to end so that goals and policies reflect community concerns and hopes for the future. During an OCP update, the review process is open, transparent, and requires broad input from residents, elected officials, staff, and stakeholders. It is the City’s goal to engage residents of all ages and walks of life to participate in a wide number of activities during the review.
The Zoning Bylaw is a regulatory tool that is very specific about land use, density, building siting (where it's located on a lot) and other issues such as landscaping and lot coverage requirement as it relates to a lot or site. The OCP is more strategic and often less prescriptive about specific sites. For instance, the OCP will say “this area will be a future growth area for high density housing” where the Zoning Bylaw will say that the building on that specific lot will be 12 storeys tall and cover 50 per cent of the lot.