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OCP Background Information

Plan Nanaimo 1996 Implementation

Plan Nanaimo identified a number of projects and studies to further the goals and objectives of the Plan. These were listed throughout the Plan as well as under section 6.1 "Implementation Strategy." City staff have reviewed all the listed actions in the 1996 OCP and prepared a list of which actions were complete, incomplete, ongoing or no longer required.

In addition to progress on many of the projects, and studies identified in Plan Nanaimo, the Plan has been amended on numerous occasions since its adoption in 1996. Many of these amendments were to adopt plans or studies identified in the plan or to respond to changes in provincial legislation. Other amendments were as a result of applications to amend the plan made by property owners. There have been 59 external applications of which 31 have been approved. Other amendments are considered minor, housekeeping amendments. All Plan Nanaimo Bylaw amendments are listed below.

Land Capacity Analysis

Growth Centre (5 Year) Review

Environmentally Sensitive Areas

Population Projections

Urban Containment Boundaries

The designations on the map above are as follows:

ALR is a provincial designation created in 1973 to protect farmland throughout British Columbia. Policies in the Regional Growth Strategy and the Official Community Plan (OCP) state that lands in the ALR should be located outside the UCB. ALR identified lands are for information only, and specific properties should be confirmed with the Agricultural Land Commission.

DPA 24 is the City's Development Permit Area designation for Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESA). Where a property has an identified ESA then the entire parcel is designated under DPA 24, even though the ESA may only occupy a portion of the parcel.

SBA is the Sewer Benefiting Area and identifies those areas that receive municipal sewer service. Policies in the OCP state that only areas inside the UCB should receive sewer service.

UCB is the Urban Containment Boundary.

Progress Nanaimo Reports

Prior to the Community Consultation Conference and the workshops on urban containment and infill, the City published background information in the local papers to describe the issue and to invite public participation in the OCP review process.


Prior to the Community Consultation Conference and the workshops on urban containment and infill, the City published background information in the local papers to describe the issue and to invite public participation in the OCP review process.

Backgrounder - Intro Introduction to the OCP
Backgrounder 1 Build Complete Viable Communities
Backgrounder 2 Protect the Environment
Backgrounder 3 Managing Urban Growth
Backgrounder 4 Improving Mobility and Servicing
Backgrounder 5 Demographic Growth and Change
Backgrounder 6 Community Conference Summary
Backgrounder 7 Urban Containment Boundary
Backgrounder 8 Infill and Densification


OCP Public Review Process

Public Consultation

In March of 2006 City Council authorized an overall review of the plan document. The reports below outline the review process as it was initially envisaged (see report dated March 2006).

Phase One – Consultation and Review

The OCP Review process was “kicked off” by a community consultation conference held on November 18, 2006 at Malaspina University-College. Approximately 200 people participated in the all day event that included keynote speakers and small group discussions. A summary of the conference is found in the report below. In addition, the presentations made by our keynote speakers and links to related sites are also provided.

Conference Presentations

The conference was followed by three open houses for those people who were unable to attend the conference. These were held on November 23, 2007 at Dover Bay Secondary School, on November 29 at the Beban Park Lounge, and on December 3 at John Barsby Community School. The open houses were sparsely attended.

In December 2006, Council authorized additional workshops to be held in order to explore key issues arising from the November conference in greater detail, including the workshop on Urban Containment Boundaries held on February 15 and the workshop on Infill and Intensification held on April 4.

Urban Containment Boundary Workshop

Infill and Densification Workshop

Phase Two - Policy Update

In the late spring of 2007, staff and the City's consultant team took the public input received in Phase One - Consultation and Review and began to develop new OCP policies that reflected the input received. This included input not only from the conference and workshops described above but also from the City's many advisory committees such as the Social Planning Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee on the Environment, as well as from other City staff.

The draft policy directions were made public through the publication of three “Highlighters” in the local newspaper which focussed on the issues of sustainability, density and growth management. The City also released a discussion paper called the sustainNANAIMO Working Paper. The purpose of the working paper is to provide a summary of Phase One, and to introduce potential changes to the OCP and make decisions on policy directions prior to preparing a draft plan document.


sustainNANAIMO Working Paper Online Survey

Based on the response received from the online survey and comments received from internal and external referrals, a draft revised OCP was prepared in the Fall of 2007. The draft OCP was presented to PNAC at their meeting of November 20, 2007. However, the review of the draft OCP coincided with the submission of a revised OCP Amendment Application for the Cable Bay Lands. Given the implications of the Cable Bay application for the draft OCP and in particular the location of the UCB, the release of the draft OCP was deferred until PNAC and Council had had sufficient time to debate the issues. Also considered in the debate at this time was the proposed designation of the Jingle Pot neighbourhood which had figured prominently in PNAC's deliberations during the Fall of 2007.

In January 2008, City Council considered a report to move the UCB to City limits. This recommendation was subsequently discussed with the Regional District of Nanaimo staff and staff from the other member municipalities in the region at a staff workshop on January 25, 2008. For a variety of reasons, the other partners in the region felt that the UCB at City limits option would undermine the UCB regionally and further consideration was needed.

In February, PNAC and City Council considered a revised location for the UCB which excluded ALR lands and environmentally sensitive areas. PNAC and Council endorsed the new location of the UCB for the purposes of a public review of the revised draft plan. Copies of the various reports to Council on this issue are contained below. Information about the Cable Bay application can be found on the OCP Amendment Applications section of this website.

Draft Plan

A new Draft Plan OCP has been prepared and is now available for review. The Draft Plan contains revisions to the current Plan Nanaimo based on the review and public consultation process conducted to date.

The release of the new Draft Plan included an OCP Online Survey to allow an opportunity for everyone in Nanaimo to provide comments on the Draft Plan. A summary of the Draft Plan and copy of the survey was made available in the 2008-MAR-13 edition of the News Bulletin and at local coffee shops, grocery stores, and community facilities. The Draft Plan document was also made available at community facilities throughout the City including community information displays at Woodgrove Mall on March 29, 2008 and at Port Place on April 5, 2008.

A Community Forum at which the public was invited to provide their comments and suggestions on the draft OCP was held April 10, 2008. The comments from this Community Forum, including Comments Sheets and results from the online survey, are noted below.

A special neighbourhood meeting was held on 2008-Apr-24 in the Jingle Pot neighbourhood to discuss the implications of proposed changes to the Urban Containment Boundary and the new Urban Reserve designation.

In addition, the draft Plan was circulated to both internal and external agencies such as the Snuneymuxw First Nation, the Regional District of Nanaimo, and the District of Lantzville as well as senior governments prior to finalizing the draft plan document.

Phase Three – Revised OCP and Plan Adoption

Following public consultation on the draft plan OCP, results of the consultation process were incorporated into a final revised OCP. This revised document was considered by PNAC on 2008-MAY-06, and by Council on 2008-MAY-26 at which time the plan received first and second reading. A public hearing was held on 2008-JUN-19.

Following the public hearing the Regional Context Statement was submitted to the Regional District of Nanaimo. It received RDN approval on 2008-AUG-26. The new OCP was adopted on 2008-SEP-08.


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