What is an Official Community Plan?

The Official Community Plan describes the long-term vision of the nine Electoral Areas that make up the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD). The plan includes objectives and policies that guide decisions on planning and land use management which impact our communities' sustainability and resilience. Regional Districts have the authority to develop official community plans under the Local Government Act.

After the adoption of an official community plan, all bylaws enacted or works undertaken by the Regional District must be consistent with the plan. However, the official community plan does not require the local government to proceed with any works or projects mentioned in the plan. Official community plans must include certain plan statements and map designations and may also contain optional policy statements and development permit area designations. Other federal and B.C. government guidelines and requirements may influence the content of an official community plan. 

If a local government chooses to prepare and adopt an official community plan, it must have statements and map designations for:

  • Residential development required to meet anticipated housing needs over a period of at least five years
  • Present and proposed commercial, industrial, institutional, agricultural, recreational and public utility land uses
  • Present and proposed public facilities, including schools, parks and waste treatment and disposal sites
  • Sand and gravel deposits that are suitable for future sand and gravel extraction
  • Phasing of any major road, sewer and water systems
  • Restrictions on the use of land that is subject to hazardous conditions or that is environmentally sensitive to development

Show All Answers

1. What is zoning?
2. What is the Web Map and how do I use it?
3. What is a Riparian Area?
4. What is subdivision?
5. Can I subdivide?
6. What is an accessory dwelling unit?
7. Can I have an accessory dwelling unit?
8. What is a secondary suite?
9. Can I have a secondary suite in my home?
10. What is an Official Community Plan?
11. What are Development Permit Areas (DPAs)?
12. What is a Development Permit?
13. How do I know if I need a Development Permit?
14. What is a Development Variance Permit?
15. How do I know if I need a Development Variance Permit (DVP)?
16. What is an Official Community Plan (OCP) Amendment?
17. How do I know if I need an OCP Amendment?
18. What is a Rezoning Application?
19. How do I know if I need a Rezoning Application?
20. What is the Board of Variance?
21. Can I have an Air B&B?
22. Can I cut down a tree (or trees), and do I need a permit?
23. Can I have chickens?
24. Can I live in my RV?
25. Do I need a Building Permit?
26. Do I need a Business License?
27. How do I know if my property is within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR)?
28. Can I have a 'tiny home'?
29. Can I request a change to the Official Community Plan (OCP)?
30. Can I request a change to my zone?
31. Why can't I find information on accessory buildings, suites, or minimum lot size requirements in the zoning section associated with my property?
32. Are there requirements for fence construction?