Regional Harmonized Official Community Plan

The Cowichan region is changing. Population growth, an evolving economy and a changing climate require regional coordination and local action. To support this coordinated effort the CVRD is updating its Official Community Plan (OCP), the main tool guiding how we use land  and shape our communities. The OCP guides planning for our nine electoral areas.

The Regional OCP Process

The CVRD began this process by “harmonizing” our existing electoral area OCPs into one Regional OCP and is now moving towards modernizing that OCP to address regional trends.

The result of this process will be a Regional OCP that will set the foundation for the Cowichan Valley to be an attractive place to live work, and play for years to come.

This Regional OCP does not cover the four Incorporated Areas in our region (City of Duncan, District of North Cowichan, Town of Ladysmith and Town of Lake Cowichan) which each have their own OCPs.

Harmonization and Modernization Diagram v1.0 white

Key Benefits of a Regional OCP  

  • Clarity, consistency and flexibility of policy, regulation and guidelines to ensure efficient and cost-effective decision-making and fair outcomes
  • Standardized information from which to make good planning decisions
  • Opportunity to innovate and better address the pressing issues of our time (e.g. growth management and climate change)

Why Harmonization?

  • There was as many as 30 years between the oldest and newest CVRD OCPs.
  • The project reduced the size of the existing OCPs by about 50%, removing repetitive and sometimes conflicting objectives and policies that unnecessarily clutter and complicate the planning process.
  • The  project is expected to save 45 staff years and $4.5 million in Official Community Plan policy work over the 15 year policy update cycle.
  • A single guiding OCP for our Electoral Areas is in line with our Cowichan 2050 Framework.
Harmonization and Modernization Process v1.0 white

The Formal Referral Period for Advisory Planning Commissions is currently underway to review the current drafts of the Harmonized Official Community Plan (HOCP) 3.0. and Schedule C - Development Permit Areas 2.0. Note: OCP definitions will be included in the Zoning Bylaw modernization.

During this formal referral period the CVRD is asking: Is the HOCP draft generally consistent with the current electoral area OCP?

Following this referral period, the CVRD invites the public to help us shape a Modernized Regional OCP to ensure a resilient and sustainable Cowichan region.

Join the Conversation

Future engagement opportunities will be posted here.