Official Community Plan
The Courtenay OCP Bylaw 3070 was adopted on July 25, 2022!
The City of Courtenay thanks the hundreds of people who participated in the Official Community Plan (OCP) consultation since early 2020. The OCP is a community effort!
A comprehensive review of the Courtenay Zoning Bylaw will occur following adoption of the new OCP.
For background information on on OCP Bylaw No. 3070 visit:
View the Official Community Plan in PDF Format:
The Official Community Plan (OCP) is a tool for Council and citizens to manage change in our community.
An OCP guides a wide range of land use and other municipal decisions, ensuring they are influenced by a comprehensive community vision. It informs all City operations, services, programs, and development approvals.The OCP applies to the entire municipality and is the principal policy document that Council uses to make decisions on matters such as:
- Growth Management & Land use
- Layout & Design of the Built Environment
- Streets & Transportation
- Buildings & Landscape
- Affordable Housing
- Natural Environment
- Parks & Recreation
- Municipal Infrastructure
- Social Infrastructure
- Arts, Culture, & Heritage
- Food Systems
- Economic Development
Courtenay’s OCP is symbolized by a compass which identifies the four core directions of the plan: reconciliation, community well-being, equity, and climate action. These core directions are reflected in the hundreds of policies contained throughout the plan.
Local Area Plan Contained in the Official Community Plan
Local Area Plans provide more detailed planning direction for a particular area. OCP Bylaw No. 3070 currently contains one Local Area Plan:
Maps contained within the Official Community Plan
- Land Use Designations [PDF - 3 MB] (also on page 51 and 248)
- Floodplain [PDF - 256 KB] (also on page 82 and 249)
- Environmentally Sensitive Areas
- Steep Slopes [PDF - 784 KB] (also on page 212 and 255)
- Road Network [PDF - 547 KB] (also on page 250)
- Long Term Cycling Network Connectivity Opportunities [PDF - 535 KB] (also on page 251)
- Parks and Greenways [PDF - 837 KB] (also on page 256)
- Community Facilities [PDF - 553 KB] (also on page 257)
Development Application Related Policies from the OCP
Policies that inform development proposals and requirements are listed in this 14 page Development Standards Policies Reference Guide [PDF - 313 KB].
Development Permit Areas *Now* Located in the Zoning Bylaw
Large buildings, infill residential development and work near or within environmentally sensitive areas, steep slopes or adjacent to farms often require a Development Permit.
Development permits regulate form and character, signage, siting, landscaping, screening, lighting and parking. They also provide conditions to protect the natural environment, protect farming, and protect development from natural hazards such as steep slopes where applicable. The Development Permit Areas are designated in the OCP but the implementation-oriented guidelines are now located in Zoning Bylaw No. 2500. See the Development Permits page for more information.
How to Make an Official Community Plan Bylaw Amendment Application
An Official Community Plan (OCP)amendment is required when you want to request a change the land use designation for the subject property to allow for a new development that isn’t allowed under the existing land use designation. OCP amendment applications are usually submitted at the same time as a zoning amendment application. OCP amendments are relatively rare.
Refer to Map no. B-1 in the OCP or the City’s GIS mapping to confirm the properties land use designation.
Step 1 - Research
- Familiarize yourself with the OCP and zoning regulations of the subject property to understand what you wish to amend.
- Make sure that your development proposal meets other applicable guidelines and regulations which include, but are not limited to:
- Development Application Related Policies from the OCP.
The OCP is the City’s growth management policy document and will influence the decision by Council to support an OCP amendment. OCP policies that inform development proposals and requirements are listed in this 14-page Development Standards Policies Reference Guide.
- If your development proposal is on land containing or adjacent environmentally sensitive areas, steep slopes, or agricultural land, additional development guidelines will apply. Visit the Development Permit Areas page for maps and more information.
- If your development proposal is on land containing or adjacent environmentally sensitive areas, staff and Council encourage applicants to work with the Comox Valley Conservation Partnership (email@example.com) early in the design stages of a project to obtain valuable feedback on design options that could help mitigate, improve or adapt to environmental conditions of the development site.
- Note - K’ómoks First Nation (KFN) has enacted a Cultural Heritage Investigation Permit (CHIP), which is required for development works within a certain proximity of watercourses and all areas having a high archeological potential. Where applicable, staff and Council advise applicants to contact KFN directly to learn if a CHIP is required. The CHIP is administered by KFN. For more information contact the KFN administrative office at 250-339-4545 extension 112, or visit https://komoks.ca/department/lands-program/.
- Development Application Related Policies from the OCP.
- Review the procedures required to process an OCP amendment application in the Development Application Procedures Bylaw.
This bylaw outlines the process and some of the requirements for your application. Review Section 6.1 of the bylaw as it lists the types of reports that could be required as part of your application. Review Schedule 1 as it lays out the steps for an OCP amendment application in more detail.
- Prepare a detailed description of your proposal.
Step 2 – Discuss with Staff
Meet or correspond with staff to discuss your proposal.
This is strongly advised before the City of Courtenay accepts your application. Specific application requirements, required studies, fees, and policy support for the application will be discussed. Contact planning staff to arrange an appointment at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please prepare proposal concepts and questions as comprehensively as possible to make the best use of everyone’s time.
Depending on staff availability, generally only two pre-application meetings will be arranged before an application has been accepted.
Step 3 – Prepare an Application
Read the OCP Amendment Application Form and Guidelines to understand the application process and required submissions.
Complete the application form,site disclosure statement and sustainability evaluation check list and compile the required application submissions prior to sending your application to the City.
- OCP Amendment Application Form & Guidelines
- Site Disclosure Statement
- Sustainability Evaluation Checklist
Step 4 – Submit Your Application
When you feel that you are familiar with the requirements for making an OCP amendment application and have completed and compiled all of the required application submissions, contact Planning staff for a final review of submissions and staff will forward a link for you to upload your submissions to and provide you with the required application fees and methods available for payment.
ONCE YOUR APPLICATION HAS BEEN SUBMITTED AND IT IS CONFIRMED TO BE COMPLETE THE NEXT STEPS ARE AS FOLLOWS
Step 5 – Public Notice Sign
You are required to post a public notice on the development property. Read the following information handout to become familiar with the requirement for installing a Public Notice Sign on the property. Staff will provide the applicant with the sign details and information for sign construction.
Step 6 – Public Information Meeting
This step takes place after an application has been submitted. Staff will provide instructions.
Step 7 – Application Referral
Upon receipt of an application, staff will send your application submissions to all applicable City departments, Council Committees, Senior Governments, First Nations, and external agencies and organizations for their review and comments.
Once all referral comments have been received and staff have reviewed the application in detail, staff may request that you provide additional information and studies to address these comments or information gaps.
After the additional information and studies have been submitted and the application is determined to be complete staff will begin to prepare the technical report for Council’s consideration, incorporating feedback received from the referral process, the community and any recommendations from Council committees.
Your application will now proceed through the Council review and bylaw adoption process.
Step 8 – Council Review and Bylaw Adoption
Staff prepare the detailed staff report and a draft bylaw. These are presented to Council at a regular meeting. Council may give the bylaw first and second reading. Or Council may deny the application or request more information.
After second reading and before third reading a public hearing is scheduled and held. The applicant is encouraged to attend the public hearing.
Following third reading of the bylaw, where applicable, any legal documents such as covenants and statutory rights of way shall be registered on title, and if applicable subdivision agreements completed, and final technical documents submitted for review and consideration.
When the applicant has adequately addressed all the conditions identified at third reading (if any), Council will consider adoption of the bylaw(s) at the fourth and final reading of the proposed bylaw.