The City of White Rock will review the OCP in the months to come.

The City of White Rock will review the OCP in the months to come.

White Rock plans an overhaul of its OCP

Funding in place for comprehensive review of rules for development in city

White Rock council voted to get the ball rolling on a review of the city’s Official Community Plan Monday.

Following a presentation by the city’s director of planning and development services, council voted unanimously – with Coun. Helen Fathers absent – to receive and endorse Karen Cooper’s report, as well as authorize that the “anticipated incremental costs” of $100,000 for consultants be funded from the city’s accumulated surplus fund.

The primary concern of the consultants, Cooper said, would be to ensure there is a liaison with the community during the review of the OCP.

Other anticipated costs include $18,000 for consulting costs to undertake mapping updates and $25,000 for consulting costs to undertake the Parks Master Plan Review, which raised an eyebrow from Coun. Lynne Sinclair.

“What on earth could cost $25,000?” she asked, noting she didn’t believe there had been any significant change since a review in 2011.

Cooper responded that there have been “quite a variety of changes” in the aspirations of residents for future recreational facilities in White Rock.

The city’s current OCP was adopted on Sept. 15, 2008, with council since then approving 15 amendments to the original document. Cooper said none of those changes were major, adding that the OCP is intended to change over time in response to changing circumstances.

“The official community plan is intended to be a guide,” she said.

Recently, however, the city has received development applications and enquiries that would require significant OCP amendments, if approved. As well, residents at development-application meetings and public hearings have questioned the role of the current OCP “in meeting their aspirations.”

“This suggests that the plan may be outdated and not reflect current needs and aspirations,” Cooper’s report states.

The report notes that for those reasons, a comprehensive review of the OCP is needed.

“It’s best practice to review the OCP every five years,” said Cooper, adding that it is believed the OCP can be completed over an 18-month period, broken into four phases.

Public consultation will play a major role in the development of the OCP, Cooper said. A proposed consultation program includes public visioning sessions, open houses, forums, focus-group meetings with stakeholders representing a wide range of issues, a community survey and web-based questionnaires and a progress report to council, in order to “get it right.”

“It will be a much more specific plan than the general master plan that was adopted earlier,” Cooper said.


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