What the heck is an ‘Official Community Plan’?

According to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing:

  • An Official Community Plan (OCP) can be developed by both municipalities and regional districts.
  • The OCP provides the longer term vision for the community.
  • Under the Local Government Act section 875, an OCP is a statement of objectives and policies to guide decisions on planning and land use management, within the area covered by the plan, respecting the purposes of local government.
  • Local governments are encouraged to consider how the OCP can be integrated with other community strategies, including transportation plans, sustainability plans, and waste management plans. Approaching planning and development in an integrated way supports coordinated efforts.

So, it’s a plan developed by local governments that helps to guide their growth and development into the future.  Many different areas can be addressed in the OCP, include food security!  This is where the Central Okanagan Food Policy Council come into play.

We approached the planning staff with the District of Lake Country and asked if we could participate in the update of their OCP, and they welcomed our interest!  They recognized the important role the COFPC could play, by providing input from the community perspective on their plan.

So we got to work!  We looked at their current OCP and pulled out all the food security related policies.  From there we compared the current policies to the different areas of the food system to see where the gaps were.  We then made suggestions of policies to help fill the gaps and have a complete picture of the food system supported by strong policies.  We used the B.C. Food System Policy Database to help up identify policies to suggest.  The Policy Database was developed by Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems.

Here is the letter we submitted:  COFPC Feedback Lake Country OCP 2017

This is a great experience for the COFPC board and members.  We can’t wait to provide input on more OCPs!