Courtenay Adopts New Official Community Plan

July 27, 2022

Courtenay’s growth and municipal services will be guided by an updated vision, following Council’s adoption of a new Official Community Plan (OCP) on July 25, 2022. The adoption followed a public hearing in June and other bylaw procedures, and concludes nearly three years of research, analysis, and consultation with community partners and the wider community on what’s important to Courtenay now and in the future.

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.

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.

Courtenay’s OCP includes hundreds of specific policies on a wide range of municipal and community systems such as affordable housing, buildings and construction, transportation, municipal infrastructure, parks and recreation, social infrastructure, arts, culture and heritage, food systems, the local economy, and protection of the environment. The OCP has been developed with the input of hundreds of community members, stakeholders, public agencies, and K’ómoks First Nation.

“On behalf of Courtenay Council, I express deep gratitude to all who participated in this important process to inform Courtenay’s future. A special thank you to the Advisory Committee of locals who worked with staff and consultants to bring a wide range of perspectives to the table,” said Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells. “The OCP provides a strong foundation for all City of Courtenay decision-making. A number of proposals will require further investigation and consultation in order to implement fully. We look forward to working with the wider community on implementation priorities as they evolve.”

A number of straightforward Zoning Amendment Bylaws were also approved along with the adoption of the OCP. The amendments have been designed to support affordable housing throughout Courtenay, as well as active transportation. They include: adding secondary suites as a permitted use in all traditionally single-residential dwelling zones; bike parking requirements and reduced vehicle parking for multi-residential dwellings; and transferring Development Permit Area guidelines and Temporary Use Permit land use regulatory tools from the OCP to the Zoning Bylaw.

Top implementation priorities include a comprehensive review of the Courtenay Zoning Bylaw to begin this year; developing monitoring and reconciliation frameworks for the plan; local area planning in the Harmston Avenue and greater downtown area to support more residences; and streamlining the development application process to improve clarity on City requirements at different stages in the development process.

To learn more about the brand new OCP visit