Area Plans for the Official Community Plan for the Electoral Areas (OCP/Bylaw 4373 Schedule B)

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Here is what it is all about!

The Official Community Plan for the Electoral Areas (Bylaw 4373/OCP) is being updated to provide strategic land use policy for the electoral areas. Area Plans in the OCP will capture and enhance the unique identities and character of each community.

The CVRD is currently in the Area Plan Prioritization Phase of the area planning process. This means: identifying plan area boundaries, making a decision about the sequence of plan development, identifying what type of plan each area will have and how they will differ (i.e., Local Area, Neighbourhood or Master Plan) and identifying a timeline for undertaking plans for the nine electoral areas.

Electoral areas in the CVRD:

Area A - Mill Bay/Malahat
Area B - Shawnigan Lake
Area C - Cobble Hill
Area D - Cowichan Bay
Area E - Cowichan Station/Sahtlam/Glenora
Area F - Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Fall
Area G - Saltair
Area H - North Oyster/Diamond
Area I -
Youbou/Meade Creek

What is the Area Plan Timeline?

The Area Plan Prioritization Phase will be completed in summer 2022. The timeline to deliver all area plans will vary. This will be influenced by budget, gaps analysis and other considerations. A recommended timeline will be one outcome of the Area Plan Prioritization Phase.

What is the purpose of engagement at this stage of planning?

The purpose of engagement is to gather feedback and your thoughts on the proposed plan boundaries, the proposed plan types for each area, the planning timeline and area identity.

How can you participate?

One of the ways we are asking for your thoughts is through Community Circles. A Community Circle is a small group of people having a guided discussion about the Cowichan Valley’s future. It’s a way for community members to gather and develop ideas that will shape Cowichan Valley’s future. Follow the link to read about how to participate in a Community Circle, and then use the Area Plan workbooks below to submit your ideas.




Local Area Plan Workbooks


First, a little bit of context.

What are the different plan types and what are their roles?

  • The Official Community Plan: The Official Community Plan for the Electoral Areas is being updated to to envision a resilient future and to provide strategic land use policy for the nine electoral areas. Policies are being updated to plan for some of the most pressing questions the CVRD faces today, such as: How can we accommodate new housing? How can we ensure safe access to drinking water for current and future residents? How can we grow our local economy? How can we respond to climate change? The OCP process includes community engagement on the eight policy topic goals as well as community engagement on the area plan strategy.
  • Area Plans: Area plans are the places in the OCP where area-specific policies emerge to capture and enhance the unique identities and characters of each community. Policies within the area plans will include: public realm policies, density bonusing and amenities, identification of lands for future housing and area-specific design guidelines. The community circles will consider local area agriculture plans that may be nested within these plans. Area plans will also discuss considerations unique to each electoral area, such as flight pathways in electoral area H.
  • Master Plans: A master plan would provide a greater level of detail than an area plan or an official community plan. Due to the size of electoral areas A, B and C, and because these areas share a liquid waste management plan, developing a master plan for these areas is possible and would provide benefit.
  • Agricultural Plans: An agricultural plan focuses on a community's farm area to discover practical solutions to issues, identify opportunities to strengthen farming and, ultimately, contribute to agriculture, the food system and the community's long-term sustainability. An agricultural plan can help to further goals found within the local area plan or neighbourhood plan regarding community resilience, food security, economic prosperity, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. Local agricultural plans can connect to broader regional agricultural plans and offer a greater degree of specificity within the recommended actions.

Will the Area Plans determine where growth occurs?

Growth containment boundary maps are currently in draft form and are being reviewed through this OCP process. The draft boundaries can be viewed through the links in each workbook below. Growth containment boundaries take into consideration water supply, servicing challenges, land use details, development applications, past growth and more. Growth containment boundaries allow the CVRD to ensure that growth is being managed in a responsible manner by:

  • linking servicing with growth so that investments in water and sewer infrastructure can be supported by future growth;
  • focusing growth in strategic locations such as near village centres, jobs, public transit and other amenities to create complete communities;
  • ensuring that densities outside of the growth containment boundaries are reflective of rural land use patterns (below one unit per hectare);
  • ensuring that densities inside the growth containment boundaries are reflective of suburban and urban land use patterns (above one unit per hectare);
  • protecting the Agricultural Land Reserve and agriculturally-designated lands; and,
  • avoiding floodplains and other areas with environmental hazards.

Will the Area Plans determine land uses?

Land use designation maps are currently in draft form and are being reviewed in this OCP process. The draft maps can be viewed through the links in each workbook below.

Will CVRD collaborate with First Nations Governments in this process?

Yes. The electoral areas have many shared boundaries with First Nation lands. CVRD will be consulting with First Nations governments to identify opportunities for collaboration and to share draft plan directions for input. The key objectives will be to consider the integration of planning and land use and opportunities to share services. We will also be consulting with First Nations to understand how they would like to be engaged in the area planning processes.


Here is what it is all about!

The Official Community Plan for the Electoral Areas (Bylaw 4373/OCP) is being updated to provide strategic land use policy for the electoral areas. Area Plans in the OCP will capture and enhance the unique identities and character of each community.

The CVRD is currently in the Area Plan Prioritization Phase of the area planning process. This means: identifying plan area boundaries, making a decision about the sequence of plan development, identifying what type of plan each area will have and how they will differ (i.e., Local Area, Neighbourhood or Master Plan) and identifying a timeline for undertaking plans for the nine electoral areas.

Electoral areas in the CVRD:

Area A - Mill Bay/Malahat
Area B - Shawnigan Lake
Area C - Cobble Hill
Area D - Cowichan Bay
Area E - Cowichan Station/Sahtlam/Glenora
Area F - Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Fall
Area G - Saltair
Area H - North Oyster/Diamond
Area I -
Youbou/Meade Creek

What is the Area Plan Timeline?

The Area Plan Prioritization Phase will be completed in summer 2022. The timeline to deliver all area plans will vary. This will be influenced by budget, gaps analysis and other considerations. A recommended timeline will be one outcome of the Area Plan Prioritization Phase.

What is the purpose of engagement at this stage of planning?

The purpose of engagement is to gather feedback and your thoughts on the proposed plan boundaries, the proposed plan types for each area, the planning timeline and area identity.

How can you participate?

One of the ways we are asking for your thoughts is through Community Circles. A Community Circle is a small group of people having a guided discussion about the Cowichan Valley’s future. It’s a way for community members to gather and develop ideas that will shape Cowichan Valley’s future. Follow the link to read about how to participate in a Community Circle, and then use the Area Plan workbooks below to submit your ideas.




Local Area Plan Workbooks


First, a little bit of context.

What are the different plan types and what are their roles?

  • The Official Community Plan: The Official Community Plan for the Electoral Areas is being updated to to envision a resilient future and to provide strategic land use policy for the nine electoral areas. Policies are being updated to plan for some of the most pressing questions the CVRD faces today, such as: How can we accommodate new housing? How can we ensure safe access to drinking water for current and future residents? How can we grow our local economy? How can we respond to climate change? The OCP process includes community engagement on the eight policy topic goals as well as community engagement on the area plan strategy.
  • Area Plans: Area plans are the places in the OCP where area-specific policies emerge to capture and enhance the unique identities and characters of each community. Policies within the area plans will include: public realm policies, density bonusing and amenities, identification of lands for future housing and area-specific design guidelines. The community circles will consider local area agriculture plans that may be nested within these plans. Area plans will also discuss considerations unique to each electoral area, such as flight pathways in electoral area H.
  • Master Plans: A master plan would provide a greater level of detail than an area plan or an official community plan. Due to the size of electoral areas A, B and C, and because these areas share a liquid waste management plan, developing a master plan for these areas is possible and would provide benefit.
  • Agricultural Plans: An agricultural plan focuses on a community's farm area to discover practical solutions to issues, identify opportunities to strengthen farming and, ultimately, contribute to agriculture, the food system and the community's long-term sustainability. An agricultural plan can help to further goals found within the local area plan or neighbourhood plan regarding community resilience, food security, economic prosperity, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. Local agricultural plans can connect to broader regional agricultural plans and offer a greater degree of specificity within the recommended actions.

Will the Area Plans determine where growth occurs?

Growth containment boundary maps are currently in draft form and are being reviewed through this OCP process. The draft boundaries can be viewed through the links in each workbook below. Growth containment boundaries take into consideration water supply, servicing challenges, land use details, development applications, past growth and more. Growth containment boundaries allow the CVRD to ensure that growth is being managed in a responsible manner by:

  • linking servicing with growth so that investments in water and sewer infrastructure can be supported by future growth;
  • focusing growth in strategic locations such as near village centres, jobs, public transit and other amenities to create complete communities;
  • ensuring that densities outside of the growth containment boundaries are reflective of rural land use patterns (below one unit per hectare);
  • ensuring that densities inside the growth containment boundaries are reflective of suburban and urban land use patterns (above one unit per hectare);
  • protecting the Agricultural Land Reserve and agriculturally-designated lands; and,
  • avoiding floodplains and other areas with environmental hazards.

Will the Area Plans determine land uses?

Land use designation maps are currently in draft form and are being reviewed in this OCP process. The draft maps can be viewed through the links in each workbook below.

Will CVRD collaborate with First Nations Governments in this process?

Yes. The electoral areas have many shared boundaries with First Nation lands. CVRD will be consulting with First Nations governments to identify opportunities for collaboration and to share draft plan directions for input. The key objectives will be to consider the integration of planning and land use and opportunities to share services. We will also be consulting with First Nations to understand how they would like to be engaged in the area planning processes.


Page last updated: 17 May 2022, 02:47 PM