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Official Community Plan Update

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Project Overview

One of Council's primary strategic priorities for this term is a review and update of the Town of Sidney's Official Community Plan (OCP). An OCP is a Town bylaw that sets out the broad objectives and policies that guide decisions on planning, land use and provision of municipal services in the community. It also establishes a degree of certainty about the location and nature of community change to residents and landowners while providing a framework for guiding and managing future development and growth. The process to update Sidney’s OCP is expected to take approximately two years, spanning 2020 and 2021.

Want to find out more about the project?

Listen to Corey Newcomb, the Town's Senior Manager of Long Range Planning, on Radio Sidney's Peninsula Affairs show, discussing the project and how the community can get involved. Click here to listen to the recording.

OCP Review Timeline Graphic 2020-09

The Town welcomes direct feedback from residents, business owners and other interested parties. Please email us at or call 250-655-5428 with ideas, concerns or questions regarding the development of Sidney's new OCP.
  There will be many opportunities for Sidney residents and business owners to get involved and contribute their ideas and opinions – watch this space and subscribe to email updates to get the latest information on project events.

Project Updates

September 2020

  • Planning staff and members of the OCP advisory committee hit Beacon Avenue in early September to connect with the public and raise awareness of the project and the project launch open house.
  • The public project launch open house was held at the Mary Winspear Centre on September 26th as well as virtually online. This event was intended to gather initial feedback on the community’s priorities for the project and help guide future work. Combined, the in-person event and the online version more than doubled the attendance target of 100 people, so thank you to everyone who participated!

July - August 2020

  • The project consultant conducted a series of initial stakeholder interviews with various community organizations and representatives. Together with early community engagement feedback, these interviews will help set the broad directions for the project and inform future detailed planning work.
  • At their regular meeting on August 17th, Council considered some potential areas of collaboration with Sidney’s neighbouring municipalities of North Saanich and Central Saanich, who are also undertaking their own Official Community Plan Review projects. Additional information can be found in a staff report on the subject.
  • The OCP Review Advisory Committee reviewed the draft project Work Plan and Community Engagement Plan at their July 6, 2020 meeting and recommended approval of the documents, with the addition of several community engagement tasks. Council gave final approval for these changes and the documents at the regular Council meeting on July 20, 2020.
  • Work began on the Background and Recommendations report, which provide a high level assessment of the current OCP and issues to address during the review.
  • Preparations began for the public launch of the project in September.

June 2020

  • Council considered the draft project Work Plan and Community Engagement Plan at the June 22, 2020 Council meeting. These documents will form the basis for the work to follow over the next 18 months. Council also referred these documents to the OCP Review Advisory Committee for their review and feedback.
  • The OCP Review Advisory Committee met for a second time on June 18, 2020. This meeting introduced committee members to some of the more technical aspects of the Town’s OCP and provided an overview of how the OCP is used in practice and how it integrates with other Town bylaws. See the right-hand column for a link to the committee's minutes and a video of the meeting.
  • Background document review, policy review and data gathering and analysis work has begun.

May 2020

  • Project introduction letters were sent to stakeholder organizations, local governments, First Nations, and relevant provincial and federal ministries regarding the Town’s intention of undertaking the project, and asking for the participation of these organizations in the engagement process.
  • Council considered a staff report regarding letters to be sent to Sidney and Saanich Peninsula community organizations, inviting them to participate in the project.
  • The OCP Review Advisory Committee held its first meeting. Visit the OCP Review Advisory Committee page for more information on the committee's meetings.

April 2020

  • A Project Update, including a short discussion on the potential implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the project, was included in the Spring 2020 issue of Town Talk.
  • Town staff held initial meetings with the consultant team to discuss and confirm the scope, timing and other details of the project.

March 2020

  • Council considered a staff report on the results of the Town’s RFP process and selected Modus Planning Design and Engagement Ltd. as the primary project consultant for the project. Council requested that staff bring more detail forward in June regarding the cost of potential extra community engagement initiatives for further consideration.

January 2020

  • Town issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the project.
  • As one of the initial steps in the OCP Review process, Council established an OCP Review Advisory Committee, which will provide general guidance and advice to the Town during the project. The Committee is comprised of the Mayor, Councilor Wainwright and 7 members of the public and will assist in the project by:
    • Considering new policy directions;
    • Reviewing draft sections of the plan;
    • Acting as informal ambassadors with the public by encouraging community participation and engagement with the project;
    • Providing input into the final version of the OCP document.

December 2019

  • Council considered an approach report prepared by staff which provides an overview of the proposed approach to the OCP Review project, its objectives, and process.

February – November 2019

  • The Town completed its Housing Needs Assessment (HNA) prior to initiating the OCP Review. Provincial legislation requires municipalities to undertake a HNA before completing an OCP update.

January 2019

  • Staff prepared an OCP Review Memorandum for Council’s consideration. This Memorandum provided an overview of the legislative requirements for OCPs, potential Town objectives, and an early discussion on project scope. Based on this memorandum, Council elected to undertake a “comprehensive” review and update of the Town’s OCP.


OCP Review Advisory Committee

For information about the OCP Review Advisory Committee, including meeting agendas and minutes, visit the OCP Review Advisory Committee page.