Questions & Answers about the OCP

What is an Official Community Plan (OCP)?
An OCP forward-looking document, and a legally required City bylaw which enable Council to plan, co-ordinate and manage the City’s social, economic, and land uses, over the long term (e.g., 2041) It provides a vision of the city and the goals and objectives for getting there.

Why get involved?
As a community such as Richmond is comprised of many diverse groups of people, preparing an OCP requires consultation and a public hearing before it is approved.

When was Richmond’s first OCP prepared?

Richmond’s first OCP was established in 1986. The theme of the existing 1999 OCP is “Quality Improvements”. The theme of the 2041 OCP Update is “Towards a Sustainable Community”.

Who is preparing the OCP Update?
Most departments (parks, recreation and culture, community services, engineering) within the City are involved in the preparation of the OCP Update, although the planning department is leading the process. We work together as a team and will update the OCP together.

When will the 2041 OCP Update be completed?
The OCP has a timeline in order to ensure that the Update is completed by Spring 2011.

What is the difference between the OCP and the Zoning Bylaw?
The OCP establishes what the City want to be by a certain time in the future (e.g., 2041). Its vision and policies indicate if, how and where land uses may remain or change – and that new uses may be allowed.
The Zoning By-law establishes the existing regulation (for example, land use, density, building height, set backs about what a property can be used for and the form the building on it can take (height, size, setbacks from property lines). If an owner want to change the land use, density, etc., of a property, Council will need to approve a rezoning of the site to another appropriate zone, which will require a public hearing.

What about other city plans and their relationship to the OCP?
Other City plans, developed by other departments (Parks Planning, Transportation) are implemented separately but can inform the OCP, and some of the main policies are put into the OCP