The way our City looks and feels is shaped by our Official Community Plan (OCP). The OCP is a long-range plan that sets out the community’s long-term vision, goals and objectives. Pitt Meadows OCP is currently being updated to plan the community’s vision for 2040.
Pitt Meadows current OCP was created in 2008. Changes were made to this plan to strengthen policies regarding greenhouse gas emissions in 2011, and for affordable housing in 2013. In the decade since the adoption of the OCP, we have seen the community continue to grow and increasing concerns around climate change and the environment. Recent changes to transportation in the region have both a positive and negative impact on Pitt Meadows. The new OCP will allow the City to respond to these emerging issues and changing conditions and set us on a path towards our desired long-term vision.
The OCP is currently undergoing a full review, and we are seeking input from everyone in Pitt Meadows. The review and update processes is complex and involves input over the course of approximately two years from many residents, businesses, community organizations/groups, Katzie First Nation, City staff, Mayor and Council, adjacent municipalities, and regional and other government bodies.
The draft vision statement for the new OCP based on community participation is:
Why is an OCP important?
The OCP is an official Policy document that guides Council in making decisions on matters such as land use and growth, transportation, agricultural preservation, economic development, housing and more. It works together with the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS), administered by Metro Vancouver, the regional government body, and must be consistent with the RGS.
The OCP is important because it sets the stage for the City’s overall growth, conservation and development. For example, land use and development influence all parts of our daily lives: where we live, work and play. In order to gain a better understanding of how different growth options impact the community, the City will compare a variety of options. This information will be used to engage the community in a conversation about the future of growth in Pitt Meadows.
As part of the OCP review, we will also look at and ask for input on a number of other important topics including: agriculture, environment, parks and recreation, transportation, waste and water, employment and economy and more.
The results from the research and engagement will form the basis for the new OCP.
Six-Phase Review & Update Process
Overall, reviewing and updating the OCP is a six-phase process that is taking place over approximately two years as outlined in the below diagram.
- Phase 1: Background Research (completed: 2017 – spring 2018)
- Phase 2: Public Launch (completed: spring - summer 2018)
- Phase 3: Vision & Goals (completed: summer - late fall 2018)
- Phase 4: Refining Our Goals (Current: winter 2018 – summer 2019)
- Phase 5: Drafting the Plan (late fall 2019 - spring 2020)
- Phase 6: Adoption Process (summer/fall 2020)
For more information about each phase, please see the Detailed OCP Update Timeline.
After over two years of extensive engagement to draft the new Official Community Plan (OCP), the project is moving into the final adoption phase. The first reading of the new OCP took place at the Council Meeting on July 21. To watch the presentation here.
A public hearing will take place in the fall, where everyone who wishes to speak will be heard by Council prior to their final decision. The City would like to thank the community for their input throughout this project.
Stay tuned for more information on our website and social media channels.
The Local Government Act defines an OCP as a statement of objectives and policies to guide decisions on planning and land use management. A Council is required to comply with an OCP when adopting a Zoning Bylaw amendment, all bylaws and works undertaken by the City must be consistent with the OCP.
Section 473 of this Act requires that the following content be included:
- Approximate location, amount, type and density of residential development required to meet anticipated housing needs over a period of 5 years;
- Approximate location, amount and type of present and proposed commercial, industrial, institutional, agricultural, recreational and public utility land uses;
- Approximate location and area of sand and gravel deposits that are suitable for future sand and gravel extraction;
- Restrictions on the use of land that is subject to hazardous conditions or that is environmentally sensitive to development;
- Approximate location and phasing of major road, sewer and water systems;
- Approximate location and type of present and proposed public facilities, including schools, parks and waste treatment and disposal sites;
- Housing policies for affordability, rental housing, and special needs housing, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions;
- Policies that maintain and enhance farming in areas designated for farming and agricultural land use; and
- Policies related to preservation, protection, restoration and enhancement of the natural environment, its ecosystem and biological diversity.
In addition, an OCP may include broad statements respecting a variety of other matters including social needs, heritage, and culture.
The OCP reflects the community's values and priorities as presented through its vision. By setting out a clear community vision today, we can shape our future growth in a way that is sustainable and provides a high-quality of life for current and future residents.
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.). Citizens, landowners, businesses, and developers use it to guide property and investment decisions. Council and staff use it to guide municipal decisions such as budgeting, servicing, capital projects, land use and development proposals. The School District and other agencies use it to guide facility planning, as well as program and service delivery.
From time to time, Council will consider amendments to the OCP Bylaw which may result in changes to this document. Users of the OCP will need to assume responsibility for making the necessary inquiries regarding these changes.
The Local Government Act includes specific requirements for the OCP adoption process. An Official Community Plan must be adopted by Council through four readings of a bylaw process. The OCP document forms part of the bylaw. After first reading of a bylaw, the City must consider the proposed OCP in conjunction with its financial plan and any waste management plan. Next, the plan must be referred to the Provincial Agricultural Land Commission for comment. Then, the City must hold a public hearing on the proposed official community plan. Finally, to adopt the OCP, Council must give the bylaw fourth reading.