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Official Community Plan Prevails

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Official Community Plan Prevails

Post by The Invisible Man on Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:06 pm

Looks to me like local government's Official Community Plan (OCP) has more relevance than some may think. HERE IS A COURT CASE where a landowner challenged the City of White Rock about a decision based on the OCP and won.

The OCP Trump Card: By Appeasing Popular Opinion Council Oversteps its Jurisdiction

It is a problem often shared by local governments: letters to the editor start pouring into the local newspaper from citizens concerned about a new condo development. The complaints are commonplace, but usually revolve around the proposed new building somehow not fitting into the community. The trouble is that the condo developer has met the requirements of all of the applicable bylaws. No variances are required, or only minor ones are at stake. The local government wishes to be accountable to its constituents, but senses its hands are tied. In situations where a proposed real-estate project requires a development permit by virtue of an official community plan (“OCP”), it can be tempting for the local government to attempt to decline the development permit for the very reasons that have pitted the community against the project.

While the local government believes that it is acting in good faith in the interest of the community by refusing the development permit, the Supreme Court of British Columbia has now confirmed that local governments have no authority to decline development permits for projects which conform to the guidelines of an OCP if the refusal is based on consideration of criteria not contained in the OCP. By way of background, section 919.1 of the Local Government Act provides local governments with the opportunity to designate development permit areas in their OCP for one or more purposes enumerated in that section.

So the next time you hear an uproar over a decision like building a new shelter to deal with homelessness or any other controversial plan, you'll know that they (we) should have been paying closer attention to the planning process that local government officials invite the public to partake in every few years.
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The Invisible Man

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