Official Community Plan (OCP)

Kelowna 2040: Our Kelowna as We Grow

How our city looks and feels is shaped by our Official Community Plan, which is currently being updated to plan for the next 20 years. The update will primarily refine and update land uses, mapping and policies to reflect the community's vision (as captured through Imagine Kelowna) and to clearly signal where development is to be accommodated and supported with corresponding infrastructure and amenities. The OCP provides a policy framework for Council by addressing issues such as housing, transportation, infrastructure, parks, economic development and the natural and social environment.  Imagine your influence on our Kelowna, and stay involved. 

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Public engagement opportunities

Updating of the Official Community Plan is a multi-year project, with multiple phases of public and stakeholder engagement and a variety of engagement tools intended to actively engage community stakeholders in a meaningful way, where individual contributions are understood and they help to shape the future of Kelowna.

The Official Community Plan update follows on the heels of nearly a two-year engagement process undertaken for the development of Kelowna’s new strategic community vision, Imagine Kelowna. The OCP engagement is framed in such a way as to build on what has been gathered through the extensive and varied processes already used rather than attempting to duplicate or re-engage on a similar topics.

The community engagement portion of the OCP update is intended to be broad, inclusive, and innovative.  Where it is feasible, the City will look to other community partners to team up on opportunities to engage residents to ensure engagement is meaningful, and touches all demographics of our community. Engagement activities are additionally coordinated with the Transportation Master Plan to ensure public outreach is strategic and well-coordinated. 

The engagement and information process began in February 2018 and is anticipated to be completed by Summer 2020. Review the below for completed phases and stayed tuned for upcoming opportunities.

Kelowna 2040 neighbourhood expos - closed

Neighbourhood expos featured displays and activities to help participants explore a range of topics, such as transportation, parks, infill housing and future land use. Participants received a ‘passport to 2040’ to give feedback through an online survey that was available Sept to Oct. 4 or at four in-person events. Check out the summary of the sessions held at the Kelowna Community Theatre, Rutland Boys & Girls Club, Capital News Centre and Orchard Park Shopping Centre.

Plan development (land use idea generator) - closed

In fall 2018, landowners considering redevelopment of their properties within the next ten years were invited to share their ideas for consideration. A draft Future Land Use Plan will be developed in 2019, and those who made submissions will be notified if their idea was incorporated. To file an immediate development application, please visit the Property Development Application webpage. Redevelopment of agricultural lands or lands outside of the Permanent Growth Boundary were not considered through the idea generator.

Growth strategy development - closed

Residents were invited to share how they want Kelowna to grow, as well as experience four different growth scenarios for Kelowna 2040. Public, interactive exhibits were held at Stuart Park, Okanagan College, and the Rutland Centennial Hall. In addition, residents were invited to walk through the Pick your Path interactive storybook and complete an online questionnaire. Read the engagement summary of feedback received.

Based on technical data, growth projections, and public and stakeholder input, Council endorsed a growth strategy that proposes a gradual shift toward a more compact and complete community. The scenario will be used as a benchmark to help guide development of the 2040 Official Community Plan, Transportation Master Plan and 20 Year Servicing Plan.

Update process
  1. Background and project launch (winter 2018)
  2. Growth strategy development (spring - fall 2018)
  3. Plan development (fall 2018 - winter 2020)
  4. Plan refinement (spring - fall 2020)
  5. Final Plan endorsement, readings, and public hearing (fall 2020 - winter 2021)
Get involved as we plan Our Kelowna

Resources

The 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 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.

Growth scenario to 2040: Guiding future residential growth

The endorsed growth scenario identifies generally where future residential growth, estimated at 25,000 units, would be targeted between 2020 and 2040. The growth scenario will guide the Future Land Use Plan and policy development for the Official Community Plan, Transportation Master Plan, and the 20 Year Servicing Plan.

To explore the four growth scenarios that were proposed through the engagement process in more detail, with in-depth technical analysis, access the scenario dashboard.

Facts in Focus discussion papers

Learn about the topics covered by an OCP process by reading through the below Facts in Focus discussion papers and interactive summaries.

What's an Official Community Plan?

The Official Community Plan (OCP) is the primary tool that local governments can use to guide the long-term growth of their communities.

PDF report  |  Online summary

Population and housing in Kelowna

To plan for the future, it's important to understand population growth and related housing that will be required for those people who will reside in Kelowna in 2040.

PDF report  |  Online summary

Compact, complete communities

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.

PDF report  |  Online summary

Transportation

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.

PDF report  |  Online summary

Agriculture and rural areas

Historically, agriculture has been vulnerable to many changing environmental and economic factors. These uncertainties will continue into the future.

PDF report  |  Online summary

Natural environment

Because the natural environment is the foundation of what makes Kelowna unique and special, it is fundamental that the City plans to protect the water, air and land that residents enjoy and depend upon for their health, economy and livability.

PDF report  |  Online summary

A changing climate

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.

PDF report  |  Online summary

Financing the plan

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.

PDF report  |  Online summary

How transit can keep Kelowna moving

A look at how public transit can help limit congestion by using road space more efficiently and a high-level evaluation of mass transit technologies and their feasibility in Kelowna.

PDF report  |  Online summary

The congestion paradox

An analysis of the cost of widening roads and how a shift away from our car-centric culture does not mean banning cars.

PDF report  |  Online summary

Kelowna 2030: Greening our Future

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 Indicators Report monitors the effectiveness of the OCP on the ground. As progress is measured and trends emerge, the City can make adjustments where needed to ensure 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. 

Read the OCP Indicators Report

Learn more about the Official Community Plan
How an Official Community Plan helps us reach community goals

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.

Purpose of an Official Community Plan

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 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.

Who uses an Official Community Plan and who is affected

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.

Land use and development policy focus

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.”

The City 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.

Importance of public input

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 walks of life to participate in a wide number of activities during the review.

Difference between the Zoning Bylaw and Official Community Plan

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,” whereas 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.