Residents viewed a summary of a the first draft of White Rock's updated Official Community Plan at an open house March 9 at Centennial Arena.

Residents viewed a summary of a the first draft of White Rock's updated Official Community Plan at an open house March 9 at Centennial Arena.

White Rock takes first look at draft OCP

Preliminary version is being shown to the public and stakeholder groups as part of a process of feedback and revision

The public is now getting its first view of a preliminary draft of White Rock’s new Official Community Plan – which sets out a vision of the city up to the year 2045 – as part of an ongoing draft, feedback and revision phase.

The 170-page document – first presented to council’s land use and planning committee Monday and posted online in its agenda on the city website, www.whiterockcity.ca – was subject of an open house Thursday at Centennial Arena after Peace Arch News press time.

‘Pop-up’ public engagement meetings are to take place today (Friday) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at White Rock Community Centre, 15154 Russell Ave.; and twice on Tuesday, March 14 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at White Rock Library, 15342 Buena Vista Ave., and 5-8 p.m. at the community centre. Further pop-up meetings will be held at the community centre on March 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; March 30, 4-8 p.m.; and April 1, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Stakeholder groups, including the city’s economic development committee – which got an initial glimpse at the draft document at its meeting Wednesday afternoon – will also be consulted as part of the phase.

The draft has also been sent to federal, provincial, regional and local agencies for review and comment.

In a corporate report to the land use and planning committee, acting planning and development services director Greg St. Louis said a revised draft will be developed once input is collected and analyzed. At that point, the revised OCP will be presented to the committee again before moving on to regular council for consideration of first and second readings of an adoption bylaw.

Last say by the public will be a public hearing on the adoption bylaw, to be scheduled when first and second readings reach the agenda.

Among key differences between the updated OCP and the current version are a revision of land-use designations to tie in to specific geographic areas of the city.  General regulations for height and density are included as part of land-use designations such as mixed-use, multi-unit residential and commercial.

Density is now regulated by height and floor area, rather than units-per-acre, and transitions in height and density are also spelled out in all existing land-use designations, as well as in a newly developed designation, Town Centre Transition.

The document has also been separated into four sections – Purpose and Context; Policies; Implementation and Development Permit Area Guidelines.

The updated OCP also includes policies related to climate change and sustainability, plus housing policies recommended by the city’s Rental Housing Task Force.