Official Community Plan (OCP) Review

Updated  September 7, 2022

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Picture Sooke is the largest and most important planning process currently being undertaken by the District of Sooke. Picture Sooke is an Official Community Plan (OCP) update.  An OCP is the most important tool in the municipality’s policy toolkit influencing the way a community grows and develops.  An OCP contains policies that dictate the way land is used and developed, including for homes, shops, offices, industry, public institutions, and more. For this reason, it is important residents and businesses participate in document development.


  • Second Reading of Bylaw No. 800 May Be Considered on September 8, 2022 – A meeting for consideration of second reading of OCP Bylaw No.800 has been scheduled for Thursday, September 8, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. The agenda package, including the amended OCP will be available, by Friday, September 2, 2022. Public may attend to listen to this meeting in person or online.(External link) Following the Council Procedure Bylaw(External link), public comment will not be permitted at this meeting; public comment is reserved for the Public Hearing. The Public Hearing can be scheduled after OCP Bylaw No. 800 is given second reading.

Project Phases


Draft OCP Presentation, August 30, 2021


  • 14:38 Introduction
  • 17:58 Remarks from OCP Advisory Committee
  • 25:00 Presentation from DIALOG, Project Consultants
  • 1:10:20 Discussion

Frequently Asked Questions (& Answers)

What is an OCP?

An OCP is a guiding document for land use and development in a community. It informs municipal policies, plans, and regulations.

What is an Official Community Plan (OCP) review?

An OCP review provides an opportunity to ensure that the goals and objectives which were set out in the OCP are still important to the community and allows for them to be updated appropriately.

How does an Official Community Plan (OCP) help us reach our community goals?

All municipal policies, plans, and regulations must be in alignment with the OCP Bylaw, making it a powerful guide for District decision-making. The OCP steers the path forward for the community.

What are the emerging themes the District is hearing?

In fall 2020 residents shared their vision for the community. Emerging themes from this public consultation include:

  • the value of the natural landscape;
  • the importance of developing;
  • the local economy;
  • the need for housing options;
  • the concern for vehicular traffic congestion;
  • the need for safe cycling and pedestrian connections;
  • the desire to age in place;
  • the interest in a renewed relationship with the waterfront and;
  • the need to develop the OCP through the lenses of compassion and climate action.

Next, we will be looking at growth scenarios. Please subscribe to our electronic mailing lists to be notified of the engagement opportunities.

Have further questions or comments? Let’s connect at

Public Meetings

Date Time Location Agenda Minutes Notes
Thursday, February 25, 2021 10:00 a.m. Electronic Meeting Meeting open to the public. To attend the meeting, please email
Thursday, January 28, 2021 10:00 a.m. Electronic Meeting PDF Meeting open to the public. To attend the meeting, please email
Thursday, December 17, 2020  10:00 a.m. Electronic Meeting Agenda
New Business/Supplemental Agenda
PDF Meeting open to the public. To attend the meeting, please email
Wednesday, November 25, 2020 10:00 a.m. Electronic Meeting PDF Posted once approved Meeting open to the public. To attend the meeting, please email
Thursday, October 22, 2020 
10:00 a.m. Electronic Meeting PDF PDF Meeting open to the public. To attend the meeting, please email
Wednesday, September 30, 2020 10:00 a.m. Electronic Meeting PDF PDF Meeting open to the public. To attend the meeting, please email

Public Input Opportunities

Please click here to subscribe to the OCP Mailing List to be added to the electronic mailing list to receive updates, delivered to your inbox. In addition to public meetings, residents can participate during specified engagement periods and/or; share comments by email to

What’s next with the OCP review?

  • Draft Bylaw to receive public feedback (Summer 2021)

How else can I be involved?

  • Please spread the word! Tell your neighbours and encourage them to visit to be a part of having your say and Picture Sooke with us. Invite your neighbours and contacts to subscribe to our electronic mailing lists.
  • Share general comments on the OCP by email to

What has been done?

  • Phase 2 Engagement on Growth Scenarios took place March 5, 2021-April 2, 2021. A “We We Heard” Report will be available in the coming weeks.
  • To ensure a holistic representation of community perspectives inform the Official Community Plan, Agency Stakeholder Workshops were conducted November 6, 2020 to November 26, 2020 – see INTERIM ENGAGEMENT SUMMARY 
  • Community Visioning Sounding Boards were displayed in several locations throughout the community October 27, 2020 to November 5, 2020. Residents participating in dot voting and shared comments through post-it notes on the boards. Special thanks to the local business who displayed sounding boards, including:
  • Virtual Ideas Fair (Community Visioning) Public Survey ran from October 9, 2020 to November 6, 2020.
  • A stakeholder workshop with the Advisory Committee, who is made up of community representatives: September 30, 2020
  • Interviews were conducted with stakeholder groups: July-September 2020
  • Workshop conducted with Council: July 2020

Related links

Advisory Committee

On July 27, Mayor Tait announced the advisory committee. In announcing the committee, the District recognizes the remarkable contribution members are making to the community and in advance of additional opportunities thanks all who have and will be participating in this collaborative process. The committee (in alphabetical order) is:

  • Norman Amirault: Career firefighter with the Department of National Defence; former elected councillor with the town of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, where he also chaired the Public Works Dept. and served on the planning commission; former owner/operator of Belvista Retreat B&B in Sooke.
  • Terry Cristall: Former CEO of Number Ten Architectural Group with offices in Winnipeg & Victoria; extensive CV includes dozens of commercial, residential and institutional projects topped by the Winnipeg Convention Centre expansion; current board member with Harmony Project Sooke and trailblazing collaborator with the District and the JDF Community Trails Society for three new signed public pathways now in the works.
  • Steve Grundy: Newly retired as VP Academic and Provost at Royal Roads University while remaining a professor in its School of Environment & Sustainability; served with Sooke’s Economic Development Commission; ex-board member with the Sooke Chamber of Commerce; ex-chair of the Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee; Saseenos resident and mountain biking enthusiast.
  • Ellen Lewers: Local force of nature and super-engaged citizen who served on Sooke’s two previous OCP Steering Committees, chairing the 2008-10 edition; member of Sooke’s Board of Variance since its foundation in the early ’00s; former president of the Sooke Fall Fair; founding board member with Sooke Region Food CHI; owner/operator/grower-in-chief at Mrs. Lewers’ Farmhouse, among much else.
  • Linda MacMillan: Another much-respected #Sooke mover/shaker dating back to when she supervised the Sooke Cooperative Preschool in the 1980s; former board member with EMCS Society, Sooke Family Resource Society, Sooke Fine Arts Society, Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, the Classical Boating Society and the Chamber of Commerce; and Remax realtor (1992-2018) who shared an untold number of listings around town with her husband Bruce (who himself was on the 2001 OCP committee).
  • Siomonn Pulla: Academic and specialist in Indigenous rights, governance and language revitalization; Associate Professor with the Doctor of Social Sciences program at Royal Roads; former senior research associate with the Conference Board of Canada; family man with three young children living in the town centre.
  • Helen RittsMarketing and communications professional with Local Practice Architecture who telecommutes from Sooke while focusing on sustainable buildings and infrastructure for such clients as Metro Vancouver, the CRD, the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University; former Marketing Director with Bing Thom Architects in Vancouver; smart growth champion for the town centre.

Councillor Al Beddows will be council’s non-voting appointee. Mayor Maja Tait will participate as is her ex-offico right with all District committees and commissions. Sooke’s Senior Planner Katherine Lesyshen and the DIALOG consultancy team led by Jennifer Fix will work closely with all of the above. Also part of the team are specialists with Sustainability Solutions GroupColliers InternationalWATT Consulting Group and, for the critical mapping sections of the OCP, Licker Geospatial Consulting.

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