Frequently Asked Questions

The following responses to frequently asked questions describe the role and function of an Official Commuity Plan (OCP). Learn more by clicking below, and let us know if you have other questions by emailing kamplan@kamloops.ca.

What is an OCP?

As the overarching document for the City, the Official Community Plan (OCP) provides objectives and policies to guide decisions on land use management and development within the areas covered by the Plan. After its adoption, all bylaws and works undertaken by Council must be consistent with the OCP.

Pubic, stakeholder, and First Nations engagement occurs throughout the development of an OCP to identify key issues and priorities. This input helps to formulate the goals and policies within the Plan, which reflects the aspirations and values of the community. The OCP is a “living document” and can be amended based on evolving circumstances, community needs, or interpretation of policies by Council and staff.

How does an OCP help us reach community goals?

The OCP is the overarching document for the City that provides objectives and policies to guide decisions on planning and land use management within the areas covered by the plan. After its adoption, all bylaws and works undertaken by Council must be consistent with the OCP.

Pubic, stakeholder and First Nations engagement occurs throughout the development of an OCP to identify key issues and priorities. This input helps to formulate the goals and policies within the Plan, which reflects the aspirations and values of the community. The OCP is a “living document” and does not preclude change to the Plan based on evolving circumstances, community needs, or interpretation of policies by Council and staff.

What if there was no OCP?

Without an OCP the City has little control over development and land use, cannot coordinate development with services and capital planning, cannot manage the separation of incompatible land uses and cannot protect development from locating on hazard lands. Essentially, the growth of the City would be poorly planned and managed.

Who uses an OCP?

Residents, developers, businesses, and community groups use the OCP to learn about where and how future growth may occur. Council is guided by the OCP when making decisions about zoning, development and servicing.

Why does KAMPLAN (Kamloops’ Official Community Plan) have so much focus on land use and development policy?

The provincial Local Government Act outlines the purpose, required content and optional content of an OCP. The purpose of an OCP, under the Act, is a "statement of objectives and policies to guide decisions on planning and land use management."

The City of Kamloops has a number of plans or guidelines in place that provide detailed guidance on specific issues such as agriculture, parks and recreation, and transportation. Inclusion of these details in an OCP would create a complex document that is hard to read and difficult to administer or enforce. Therefore, the intent of an OCP is a high-level document that guides planning and development and provides direction for all secondary or themed plans for the City.

Why is public input needed?

The Local Government Act requires municipalities to consult with the public, stakeholders, government agencies and First Nations when an OCP is developed or revised.

Municipalities must provide one or more opportunities for consultation with the community, organizations, and authorities that will be affected. This required consultation effort is in addition to the requirements for a formal public hearing, and many municipalities go beyond the minimum level of engagement when completing an OCP review because of its importance to citizens and stakeholders.

City staff engaged the public, stakeholders, and First Nations at key stages throughout the OCP update process using a variety of techniques that allowed meaningful participant feedback. This input influenced the OCP's goals and policies and helped ensure that the OCP reflected the overall ideas and aspirations of the community. The aim of the KAMPLAN Review and Update process was to engage residents of all ages and walks of life to participate as part of an ongoing community dialogue that will carry on through the implementation of the OCP.

When was KAMPLAN last updated?

The last major update to the City of Kamloops OCP started in 2014, and concluded in April 2018.  The OCP may be subject to revisions and amendments from time to time.  

Developing this most recent version of KAMPLAN provided the City with an opportunity to update policies to address current challenges such as climate change, community growth and land use, housing affordability, and others. Retaining past policies that were identified as working well while creating new policies that better reflect Kamloops’ contemporary challenges, the OCP is able to shape future growth to achieve the community’s vision for a sustainable Kamloops.

How was Tk’emlúps to Secwépemc (TteS) involved in the latest OCP update?

TteS was engaged throughout the four-phase review and update process. During Phase 1, the City of Kamloops met with TteS on October 22, 2014 to introduce the KAMPLAN Review and Update process and identify key issues and concerns. On March 30, 2015, a Community-to-Community Forum was held between the City and TteS, where City staff provided an update of the OCP process and shared the results of Let's Ta!k Phase 1.

At a Community-to-Community Forum on October 31, 2016, City staff provided TteS with an update on the process, shared a brief summary of results from Phase 2, and sought feedback on how TteS would prefer to be engaged moving forward. The City continued to engage TteS during Phase 3 with a Community-to-Community Forum held on March 13, 2017 where feedback was obtained on the proposed growth strategy and initial OCP goals and policy directions. On June 23, 2017, an open house was held for TteS members to provide input on the completed first draft of the OCP.

During Phase 4, the City continued to engage and obtain TteS feedback on the second draft of the OCP during a Community-to-Community Forum on November 20, 2017.

Following adoption of the OCP at Council in April 2018, the City continues to work in partnership with TteS to implement relevant action items. 

How do the updated KAMPLAN policies relate to sustainability?

Prior to the OCP review and update, the Sustainable Kamloops Plan: Foundations for Sustainability, was adopted in 2010. This most recent OCP update provided an opportunity to ensure that City of Kamloops policies relating to land use, development, transportation and other topic areas aligned with the community's sustainability goals.

How do other municipal and regional plans relate to KAMPLAN?

As an Official Community Plan, KAMPLAN is influenced by (and must be in alignment with) the Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s Regional Growth Strategy.

This strategy sets overall vision for the livability of the region and prioritizes goals across the region to meet common social, economic, and environmental objectives. Within the jurisdiction of the City of Kamloops, KAMPLAN provides the highest level of direction for managing land use and development. All bylaws and works undertaken by Council must be consistent with the OCP and municipal policies and plans should align with the overall goals, objectives, and policies in the Plan.

What is the difference between the Zoning Bylaw and an Official Community Plan?

The Zoning Bylaw is a regulatory tool that is very specific about land use, density, building siting (where it is located on a lot) and other issues such as landscaping and lot coverage.

The OCP is high-level, more strategic and often less prescriptive about specific sites, and defines policies for future land use and development. The OCP will designate what land uses (i.e., residential, commercial, industrial, etc.) should go where within the City’s jurisdiction. In comparison, the Zoning Bylaw will say that a building on that specific lot will be three storeys tall and cover no more than 50% of the lot, and will regulate required setbacks from property lines and permitted density.