2040 Official Community Plan


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Last Updated: 
January 10, 2022
2040 OCP - Chapter 17 - Definitions chapter header, image of park in Rutland

Active Transportation Corridor

A corridor that is prioritized for safe and convenient use by human-powered (active) modes of transportation, such as walking and biking. Active Transportation Corridors can consist of independent pathways, or protected paths integrated into roads.

Adaptive Capacity

The ability of a system to adjust to change, moderate potential damage, take advantage of opportunities, and cope with the consequences.

Adaptive Management

A systemic process for continually improving management policies and practices by learning from the outcomes of previously employed policies and practices.

Affordable Housing

Housing that costs less than 30% of a household’s before-tax income.


Activities that are defined as agri-tourism in the Agricultural Land Reserve Use Regulation.

Agricultural Land Commission (ALC)

An autonomous administrative tribunal, independent of the provincial government, that is responsible for administering the ALC Act and its regulations with its goal as the preservation of agricultural land and the encouragement of farming in the ALR.

Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR)

Land, including Crown Land, that has been defined as being suitable for farm use and has been designated for protection under the provisions of the Agricultural Land Commission Act.  The ALR is a provincial zone in which agriculture is recognized as the priority use.  Farming is encouraged and non-agricultural uses are restricted.

Agricultural Lands

Agricultural lands include the following:

  • lands situated in the ALR; or 
  • lands less than 30% slope with a future land use designation of Rural Agricultural and Resource and zoned for agriculture.
Agriculture Structures

Those buildings or structures used for agriculture or intensive impact agriculture, but does not include buildings or structures for alcohol production facilities, home based business, kennels or farm retail sales stands.

Airport Zoning Regulations

Zoning Regulations for Kelowna International Airport enacted by the Government of Canada. These regulations apply to all the lands, lands under water including public road allowances, adjacent to or in the vicinity of the Airport. The extent of these lands is described in Part II of the Transport Canada Zoning Regulations and comprises the YLW Obstacle Limitation Surface Area.

Area Redevelopment Plan

Area Redevelopment Plans are supplementary plans undertaken for developed areas of the City where there are existing services and the area is experiencing pressures for redevelopment or infill development that would significantly increase building height or density beyond existing zoning.

Area Structure Plan

Designated within an Official Community Plan, an Area Structure Plan (ASP) is a form of intermediate plan that results in a clear plan for the development of identified lands in a manner consistent with City policies, bylaws and standards. ASPs deliver a greater level of technical detail than an OCP, but less detail than a Rezoning, Subdivision or Development Permit. ASPs are typically prepared by one or more landowners or their representatives.

Arterial Road

A road that is designed to facilitate the movement of people or goods over longer distances in the city, as outlined in OCP Map 13.1 and the Transportation Master Plan.

Auto Dependent

Refers to transportation and land use patterns that necessitate the use of automobiles for most, if not all, daily trips and that provide relatively inferior access to alternative modes of transportation.

Auto Oriented Uses

Uses that typically require auto-oriented design and a significant amount of space dedicated for on-site parking and loading.

Build Back Better

A phrase popularized during the COVID-19 pandemic that refers to the opportunity to focus economic recovery efforts away from environmentally destructive investment patterns and towards triggering investments and societal changes that will both reduce the likelihood of future shocks and improve our resilience to those shocks when they do occur, whether from disease or environmental degradation. At the heart of this approach is the transition to more inclusive, more resilient societies with net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and much reduced impacts on natural environment.

Bunkhouse Accommodation

A building, often with bunk beds, offering basic sleeping accommodations for workers.

Car Dependent

Refers to transportation and land use patterns that necessitate the use of cars for most, if not all, daily trips.

Child Care Centre

An establishment licensed as required under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act intended to provide care, educational services, and supervision for children.

Civic Street

A street located in an Urban Centre where civic uses in addition to commercial uses are required at grade.

Climate Mitigation

The process of reducing or sequestering greenhouse gas emissions to limit future climate change.

Compensation Ratio

In the context of no net loss, the replacement area of natural habitat or increase in the productivity of existing habitat compared to the natural pre-developed area in order to maintain those habitats affected by human activity.

Continuum of Health

Integrated system of health care that follows a patient through time or through a range of services. The goal is to offer a more comprehensive patient care.

Core Area

The Core Area includes neighbourhoods that are adjacent to and connecting the 5 Urban Centres within the central part of the City. The Core Area will provide a wide variety of housing forms, focusing primarily on ground-oriented housing, such as smaller homes, house-plexes and row housing, along with low rise apartments along key corridors.

Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED)

The physical aspects of design to reduce crime (i.e. street lighting, building orientation).

Culturally Appropriate Food

Foods that are a core part of culture and identity.


The departure of people from their homes and / or neighbourhood due to social and economic changes to that neighbourhood, typically as a result of redevelopment.

Displacement Risks

Factors that increase the risk of marginalized populations being displaced from their homes and/or neighbourhood.

Drift Fencing

Fencing, typically constructed of cloth or plastic, that is used to direct turtles, snakes and small mammals to an underground road crossing.

Ecosystem Connectivity Corridor

A linked network of natural areas through which wildlife and ecosystem processes can move, flow, and interact.  Maintaining ecosystem connectivity is crucial for supporting ecological processes that sustain our wildlife and human populations.

Ecosystem Level Approach

An integrated approach that recognizes the full array of interactions within an ecosystem, including humans, rather than considering single issues, species or ecosystem services in isolation.

Ecosystem Services

The benefits arising from the ecological functions of healthy ecosystems. Such benefits accrue to all living organisms, including animals and plants, rather than to humans alone. Examples of ecosystem services include purification of air and water, maintenance of biodiversity, decomposition of wastes, soil and vegetation generation and renewal, pollination of crops and natural vegetation, groundwater recharge, seed dispersal, climate mitigation, and aesthetically pleasing landscape.

Employment Areas

Areas of significant employment density. These areas include Urban Centres, Kelowna General Hospital, the University of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus) and Kelowna International Airport.

End-of-Trip Facilities

Typically consisting of provisions such as secure bike storage, showers and change rooms, end of trip facilities are dedicated facilities that support people using active modes of transportation to travel to their destination rather than driving or taking public transportation. 

Energy Benchmarking

A way to measure energy performance of a building over time, relative to other similar buildings, or to modeled simulations of a reference building built to a specific standard (such as an energy code). The overall goal is to inform and motivate performance to encourage improvement.

Energy Labelling

The energy performance of a building that allows comparison of a building’s performance to a benchmark and other buildings.

Energy Retrofit

An improvement to an existing building’s energy system with the objective of reducing energy usage and/or GHG emissions.  They can range from quick modifications like sealing windows to complete replacements of the major systems that heat and cool a building.

Energy Step Code

A provincial policy that aims to create healthier, more efficient and more comfortable buildings through increasingly stringent performance “steps”, with the overarching goal of having all new construction be net-zero energy ready by 2032. A building's performance must be proven through whole building energy modelling and on-site airtightness testing. Local governments have the authority to implement whichever step(s) suitable to their respective community.

Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA)

Those parcels of land that already have, or with restoration or enhancement
could become natural features.   These features contribute to the retention and/or creation of wildlife habitat, soil stability, water retention or recharge, vegetative cover and similar vital ecological functions. Environmentally sensitive areas range in size from small patches to extensive landscape features. They can include rare or common habitats, plants and animals. Environmentally sensitive areas may overlap hazardous condition areas.


Equity is the fair distribution of opportunities, power, and resources to meet the needs of all people, regardless of age, ability, gender, culture or background. To foster equity, local governments should redistribute the resources to those who need it most in order to reduce inequities. 

Equity-Seeking Groups

Equity-seeking groups are those that experience barriers to equal access, opportunities and resources due to disadvantage and discrimination and actively seek social justice and reparation. This marginalization could be created by attitudinal, historic, social and environmental barriers based on age, ethnicity, ability, economic status, gender, nationality, race, sexual orientation and transgender status, etc. Individuals can experience intersectional marginalization by identifying with more than one equity-seeking group.  

Factor of Safety

An expression of how much stronger a system is than it needs to be for an intended load. 

Farm Help Housing

Dwellings, both temporary and permanent, used to accommodate farm worker(s) who support the farm operation.

Farm Unit

One or more contiguous, or non-contiguous parcels, that may be owned, rented or leased, within City limits, which forms and is managed as a single farm.

Floor Area Ratio

A method of measuring density that compares the floor area of a building in relation to the size of the property it is located on. The Zoning Bylaw provides a more detailed definition to Floor Area Ratio used by the City of Kelowna.

Frequent Transit Network

A network of transit corridors where transit service runs at least every 15 minutes in both directions throughout the day and into the evening.


One of the five Growth Strategy Districts. The Gateway includes major employment destinations such as the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus, Kelowna International Airport and major industrial employment lands.


A process of changing the characteristic of a neighbourhood that contributes to the displacement of the current residents through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses.

Green Infrastructure

Enhanced and engineered ecological assets designed to mimic and maintain connectivity with natural systems. By integrating ecological principles, green infrastructure techniques aim to deviate from natural processes as little as possible, delivering social and economic benefits, and building resiliency to the pressures of climate change.


Buildings typically three storeys or lower that offer individual entrances to residential units without the use of shared corridors, lobbies or hallways. Examples, include four-plexes and rowhousing.

Growth Scenario

The allocation of future residential units by areas, including a split between units in the Urban Centres/Core Area and the Gateway/Suburban Neighbourhoods/Rural Lands districts, and the split by single/two housing and multi-unit housing.

Growth Strategy

An illustration of the major land use directions that the 2040 Official Community Plan will be taking to create the city envisioned in the Pillars and in Imagine Kelowna. It consists of five Growth Strategy Districts in the city. Each district has its own role in realizing the vision outlined in the Growth Strategy and in supporting the pillars and the Imagine Kelowna vision.

Growth Strategy District

One of the five districts within the City that frames the OCP's Growth Strategy: Urban Centres, Core Area, Gateway, Suburban Neighbourhoods and Rural Lands. Each district includes a distinct set of objectives and policies that applies only to that district.

Hard Armoring

Hard protective structures such as vertical rock or concrete walls to protect the shoreline from reduce erosion.  Soft armouring, on the other hand involves the use of nature-based management techniques to control erosion, but can also improve water quality and enhance habitat.

Heat Wave/Extreme Heat

A period with more than three consecutive day of maximum temperatures at or above 32 degrees Celsius.

Height Cliffs

Situations where the height of one building is significantly taller than an adjacent building.

High Density

Residential and/or commercial development that advances the development of neighbourhoods that achieve between 150-250 combined residents and jobs per hectare.

High Street

A street located in an Urban Centre where retail commercial uses are required at grade and where the City would target the greatest emphasis on creating a high quality, pedestrian oriented public realm.

High-Rise Buildings

Buildings higher than 12 storeys.

Higher Capacity Transit

Public transit that often has an exclusive right-of-way and has vehicles that make fewer stops, travel at higher speeds, provide more frequent service and carry more people than typical local bus service.

Hillside Areas

Areas with slopes greater than 20%.

Historic Context Statement

An analytical framework for identifying and evaluating resources by providing focusing on and concisely explaining what aspects of geography, history and culture significantly shaped the physical development of a community or region’s land use patterns and built environment over time, what important property types were associated with those developments, why they are important, and what characteristics they need to have to be considered an important representation of their type and context.


A term used to refer to various configurations of attached housing units configured to resemble the scale and massing of a single detached dwelling. Typical examples include duplexes, tri-plexes and four-plexes.

Inclusive Community

A community that is welcoming and accepting of people of all backgrounds, cultures, lifestyles, ages and abilities that supports the pursuit of individual well-being.


Lands used primarily for the manufacturing, processing and transportation/warehousing of goods, also including wholesale trade, retail trade and professional/technical services.

Innovation Precinct

A transition area between the core of the UBC Okanagan campus and the adjacent industrial area to the north, running alongside Innovation Drive. The vision for the area is to foster innovative partnerships and collaborations between industrial businesses and ongoing research at the university.

Invasive Species

Any non-native species which has the potential to pose negative or detrimental impacts on humans, animals, or ecosystems.

Land Linking

A support for new farmers looking for land to connect with landowners interested in finding someone to farm their land.

Large Format Retail

Retail or wholesale commercial uses that include, but is not limited to supermarkets, home improvement stores or retail warehouses, that serve a regional catchment area and are greater than 3,000 m2 in size.

Large Office

Buildings that typically contain more than 1,000 m2 of office space.

Level 2 EV Chargers

Electric vehicle chargers that generally possess between 208-240 charging volts and a 12-80 amp circuit (like what an electric dryer or oven uses). Level 2 chargers can fully charge a batter electric vehicle in 4-8 hours, depending on the battery capacity.

Level 3 Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFC)

Electric vehicle chargers that generally possesses between 208-600 charging volts and up to a 400 amp circuit using direct current (DC). Most Level 3 chargers provide a full charge in under an hour but are significantly more expensive than level 1 or level 2 chargers.

Local Food System

A food system in which food production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management are integrated to enhance the environmental, economic, social and nutritional well-being of citizens.

Lot Trees

Trees planted on private property.

Low Density

Residential and/or commercial development that advances the development of neighbourhoods that achieve up to 30 combined residents and jobs per hectare.

Low Rise Building

Buildings up to six storeys in height.

Mass Transit Corridor

A designated corridor along Highway 97 that provides high frequency limited stop transit service, as identified in the Regional Transportation Plan and the Transportation Master Plan.

Mass Transit Station

A designated stop or station that serves high frequency limited stop transit service.

Medium Density

Residential and/or commercial development that advances the development of neighbourhoods that achieve between 30-60 combined residents and jobs per hectare.

Mid-Rise Buildings

Buildings of between six and 12 storeys in height.

Missing Middle

A range of house-scale buildings with multiple units—compatible in scale and form with single-detached dwellings—located in a walkable neighborhood. Typical examples include house-plexes, bungalow courts, and courtyard apartments.


Actions taken during planning, design, construction and operation to alleviate potential adverse effects on natural habitats, and includes redesign or relocation of project components, timing of works, and methods of construction or operation which avoid or minimize changes to habitat attributes that affect its  productive capacity.

Mixed Residential Street

A street located in an Urban Centre where both commercial or residential uses would be supported at grade with primarily residential uses being supported above grade.

Mobile Uses

The delivery and sale of food and other products using a fleet of vehicles.

Multiple Barrier Approach

Taking into account potential threats to drinking water supply from the source to the consumer's tap and ensuring there are barriers in place to either eliminate the threats or minimize their impact.

Native Vegetation

Any plant indigenous to the Southern Interior British Columbia forests, grasslands, or wetlands, as recognized by the Province of BC. 

Net-Zero Energy Building

Buildings that produce as much clean energy as they consume. They are up to 80 percent more energy efficient than a typical new building and use on-site (or near-site) renewable energy systems to produce the remaining energy they need.

Net-Zero Energy Ready Building

A building that has been designed and built to a level of performance such that it could, with the addition of solar panels or other renewable energy technologies, achieve net-zero energy performance.

No Net Loss

A principle that strives to balance unavoidable habitat, environment and resource losses with replacement of those items on a project by project basis so that further reductions may be prevented.  Every effort must be made to avoid, minimize and restore the negative impacts on biodiversity, so that the damages resulting from human activities are balanced by equivalent or greater gains in habitat and biodiversity.

Non-Farm Use

Activities that may not be linked directly to agriculture and may or may not be permitted by the Agricultural Land Commission as outlined in the Agricultural Land Reserve Use Regulation.

Packing District

The North End Industrial lands as outlined in Map 16.1: Special Planning Study Areas.


Lands converted for active park use that are too small or unusually shaped to meet traditional active park dimensions. Parkettes are typically found in urban areas where space is at a premium.


A small seating area or green space created as a public amenity on or alongside a sidewalk, often in a former on street parking space.

Passive Recreational

Recreational activities that do not require prepared facilities like sports fields or equipment and have minimal impacts on the site, such as trails in natural areas. 

People Capacity

The ability of a street to move people using all modes of transportation, not just automobiles.

Permanent Growth Boundary

The boundary outside of which urban development is not supported. Lands within the Permanent Growth Boundary (PGB) are expected to develop and redevelop to higher intensity uses to accommodate the anticipated growth of the community to 2040, where lands outside of the PGB are not expected to see redevelopment pressure.

Permeable Surface

A variety of types of pavement, pavers and natural surfaces that allow for infiltration.


The ten foundations of the 2040 OCP that outline how the OCP will meet the Imagine Kelowna vision. 

Purpose-Built Rental

Buildings constructed for the purpose of providing dwelling units for rent, and not for sale.

Rare Natural Plant Communities

Plant communities that include the following:

  1. Plant communities listed in the Identified Wildlife Guidebook (includes red-listed species affected by forest or range activities)
  2. Plant communities listed as red or blue with the BC Conservation Data Centre;
  3. Ecosystems identified by  the regional agrologist or regional rare and endangered species specialist as being rare or significant; and
  4. An ecosystem (site series or surrogate) that comprises less than 2% of the landscape unit and is not common in adjacent landscape units.
Renewable Natural Gas

Natural gas that is derived from biogas, which is produced from decomposing organic waste from landfills, agricultural waste and wastewater from treatment facilities. The biogas is captured and cleaned to create carbon neutral Renewable Natural Gas (also called biomethane).

Rental Only Zoning

Zoning that requires new housing in designated areas to have rental tenure exclusively. The intent of the rental only zoning or rental tenure zoning is to protect existing rental housing stock from redevelopment into ownership housing, and to promote the development of new rental tenure housing.

Rental Replacement Obligations

Obligations established by a municipality that require a developer seeking to demolish or otherwise redevelop an existing rental building(s) to replace the demolished rental tenure units, typically within a larger redevelopment of the site. Obligations may also extend to the relocation of the tenants residing in the building(s) being demolished.

Residential Infill

A street located in an Urban Centre where residential uses are required at grade with opportunities for limited commercial uses.


The ability of a system and its component parts to anticipate, absorb, accommodate, or recover from sudden or unexpected changes.

Retail Street

Streets identified in Urban Centres that will require retail commercial uses at grade.

Riparian Area

The area adjacent to watercourses that supports the features, functions and conditions vital to the health and integrity of the watercourse, and which is to remain free of development. 

Riparian Management Area (RMA)

A riparian area of sufficient width to include any significant natural attribute and adjacent ecosystem (e.g. vegetation, water features, fish and wildlife habitat, escarpments, terraces, steep valley sides and cliffs). An RMA is:

  • Adjacent to a stream, links aquatic to terrestrial ecosystems and includes both existing and potential riparian vegetation and existing and potential adjacent upland vegetation that exerts an influence on the stream; and
  • The size of which is determined in accordance with Table 1, Chapter 21 Natural Environment Development Permit Area.
Rural Lands

One of the five Growth Strategy Districts. Rural Lands are characterized by primarily rural and agricultural lands outside of the Permanent Growth Boundary.

Safety Net Supports and Services

Supports and services that provide temporary, short-term accommodation, food and supports for those living without homes. This includes emergency shelters and short-term supportive housing.

Sensitive Ecosystem

One of the seven ecosystem types that are ecologically fragile or are rare in the provincial landscape and are relatively unmodified by human influences. They are generalized groupings of ecosystems that share many characteristics, particularly ecological sensitivities, ecological processes, rarity, and wildlife habitat values.  They include wetlands, riparian areas, old forests, grasslands, broadleaf woodlands, coniferous woodlands, and sparsely vegetated areas.  

Service Commercial

Commercial uses that typically require significant onsite storage space and are often auto-oriented.

Service Commercial Street

A street in an Urban Centre along which service commercial uses should be encouraged.

Shared Spaces

A road with very low motor vehicle speeds and volumes in which the living environment dominates over the through movements. A shared space functions first as a meeting place, residence, playground, and pedestrian area. The road is shared among people walking, cycling, and driving.


The part of the shore between the high and low water marks.

Significant Tree

Any tree, on private or public property, that meets one or more of the following criteria and is not identified as an invasive species:

  • Large trees with a trunk diameter of 45cm or greater measured 1 meter from the base;
  • A tree listed as having heritage or cultural significance on a list approved by Council;
  • Any tree that contributes significantly to the location due to few adjacent trees and/or limitations posed by surroundings; and/or
  • A tree of locally rare species or unique character that enhances the diversity of the urban forest.
Social Innovation

New social practices that aim to meet social needs in a better way than the existing solutions. Examples include community development, health, education. 

Social Isolation

State of complete or near-complete lack of contact between an individual and society. 

Specialty Retail

A retail store that focuses on specific product categories, as opposed to a large number of different consumer goods categories.

Species At Risk

An extirpated, endangered, threatened species, or a species of special concern as identified by the provincial or federal government.

Steep Slopes

Lands in their natural state that have a slope angle of 30 per cent or greater for a minimum horizontal distance of 10 meters.

Street Canyon

A place where the street is flanked by buildings on both sides creating a canyon-like environment.

Street Trees

Trees located along a public street.

Street Wall

The front façade of a series of buildings that are built on or close to the street boundary. Street wall heights are usually established based on the width of the street and other factors in the local context to provide a comfortable feel to the streetscape. 

Suburban Neighbourhoods

One of the five Growth Strategy Districts. Suburban Neighbourhoods are characterized by primarily lower density residential neighbourhoods within the Permanent Growth Boundary but outside of the Core Area and Urban Centres.

Supplementary Plans

Plans that are not par of, but inform the 2040 Official Community Plan, including Area Structure Plans, Area Redevelopment Plans, Urban Centre Plans, the Transportation Master Plan, and others.


The distinct and sovereign Indigenous inhabitants of Kelowna and surrounding region, today comprised of seven member communities: Westbank First Nation, the Okanagan Indian Band, the Osoyoos Indian Band, the Penticton Indian Band, the Upper Nicola Band, and the Upper and Lower Similkameen Indian Bands.  The Colville Tribe in the United States is also part of the syilx/Okanagan nation.

Temporary Farm Working Housing

Dwellings to temporarily accommodate temporary farm worker(s), and is used to provide space for cooking, sanitary, living and sleeping.

Transit Oriented

Development that is carefully designed to maximize its proximity to nearby or adjacent transit service.

Transit Supportive Corridor

Streets that are identified to support a higher density and greater mix of uses in the Core Area that can be accommodated with and support increased transit service. See Chapter 3: Future Land Use.

Transit Supportive Corridors

Streets that are identified to support a higher density and greater mix of uses in the Core Area that can be accommodated with and support increased transit service. See OCP Chapter 3: Future Land Use.

Transportation Demand Management (TDM)

Information, encouragement and incentives that help people make decisions that reduce the demand on the transportation network.


Development that does not meet residential and/or employment density thresholds to support key goals and objectives for aspects of the OCP.

Urban Agriculture

The cultivation of a portion of a non-agricultural property for the production of food including fruits, vegetables, nuts and herbs for human consumption only.

Urban Centre

One of the five Urban Centres: Downtown, Pandosy, Capri Landmark, Rutland and Midtown.

Urban Centre Plan

A supplementary plan for an Urban Centre and, where appropriate, adjacent lands to provide more detailed policy guidance for each Urban Centre.

Urban Forest

The total collection of trees and their growing environments found within our communities and their surrounding areas. This can include treed environments in both public and privately owned lands and can be both cultivated and managed landscapes or completely natural areas. The urban forest refers to any tree within the City's boundary.

Urban Forest Canopy

The coverage of the canopy created by the urban forest, either across the entire City boundary or within a specific district or neighbourhood.

Urban Heat Island Effect

Closely packed buildings and paved surfaces in urban areas trap heat more effectively than natural ecosystems and rural areas, which are often shaded by trees and vegetation and cooled by evaporating moisture.  In addition, urban areas also generate their own heat, which is released from sources such as furnaces, air conditioners, and vehicles.

Urban Uses

Land uses that traditionally rely on the provision of urban services, ranging from urban utilities to parks and transportation systems. Typical uses include urban and suburban residential, commercial, industrial and institutional. Non-urban uses are typically rural residential, agriculture and resource uses.

Urban Utility Servicing

Refers to the provision of sanitary sewer, water and, where applicable, storm drainage services.

Village Centre

A secondary activity of hub of commercial and residential activity, as outlined in Chapter 3: Future Land Use.

Zoning Bylaw

The City of Kelowna’s Zoning Bylaw, as amended or replaced from time to time.