White Rock City Council Unanimously Adopts Official Community Plan

After two years, four phases, and over 1,500 distinct interactions with residents, business owners, employees, and developers, White Rock City Council adopted the new Official Community Plan (OCP) at the Regular Council Meeting on Monday, October 23, 2017.

The four phases of the review process were distinct and offered various formats for input. The OCP review was kicked off with high energy and an abundance of ideas at the Visioning Fair in 2015, where the City asked people to Imagine 2045 in White Rock. The process culminated with Phase 4, which included an Open House, 8 Pop-Up Engagement sessions, and online outreach.

The City received many good ideas and different viewpoints on where White Rock should be headed over the next 30 years, but the desire was clear that the new OCP should focus on balancing the existing charm of the City by the Sea with sustainable growth and progress.

If you look out your window right now, you can see the impact OCPs have had on your day to day life. An OCP has guided the structure of your street, the types of buildings around you, the use of parkland and boulevards, and the number of neighbours you have.

An OCP is a document with objectives and policies that guide decisions on planning and land use management. As the overarching city-wide policy for White Rock, this OCP is the guiding framework for all departments and decision-making within the City. OCPs are ‘living documents’ that are intended to evolve over time to address changing conditions in the community. As White Rock’s first OCP from 1958 explains, “city planning cannot be a ‘once and for all’ matter. Any plan needs constant modification to meet the community’s changing needs.”

“By creating a review process which allowed us to hear from thousands of residents, business owners, city staff, and stakeholders over a two year period, we were able to gain meaningful insights into where the community sees White Rock going over the next 30 years”, said Mayor Wayne Baldwin. “Our community has high expectations for the future growth and sustainability of their City, and we are committed to delivering on these expectations. I want to thank everyone who lent their time, energy, and imagination to the OCP review process.”

Some of the key principles in the new OCP include:

  • Making it easier and more inviting for residents and visitors to access the waterfront;
  • Supporting the reinforcement of the Town Centre area as a mixed-use anchor, and encouraging the creation of delightful public places for socializing, dining, resting, people-watching, shopping, and taking in the view;
  • Reinforcing the existing character of established neighbourhoods, while providing more housing choices for diverse households and incomes, including young adults, families with children, and seniors who wish to downsize without leaving their neighbourhood behind; and, 
  • Supporting community amenities to maintain and enhance White Rock’s high quality of life.

Excerpt from the New OCP:

The Vision

The year is 2045...

Our City by the Sea is a beautiful, distinctive, and engaged community of people from all walks of life who choose to live, work, and play in White Rock.

Our residents and visitors experience an extraordinary quality of life due to White Rock’s temperate climate, safe and healthy neighbourhoods, thriving urban Town Centre, accessible ocean waterfront and historic pier, rich cultural and natural heritage, and diverse open space and recreational amenities.

Our progress and commitment to sustainability builds community identity and pride while ensuring White Rock meets the needs of current and future generations.

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