Welcome back fellow residents of White City (and those reading from the surrounding area) for the May 2023 edition of the White City Councillor Blog. This month’s blog will focus on the process to conduct a comprehensive review and update of White City’s Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw. Through a comprehensive engagement, review and redrafting process, Evolve White City 2045 will replace the Town’s current Official Community Plan (OCP) approved in 2015. To understand why this engagement is important to you and your family, it helps to understand municipal planning and what an OCP aims to accomplish.
There are two main powers that guide planning, the province, being the Government of Saskatchewan, and the municipality, being the Town of White City. The province issues Acts which gives municipalities the power to act and carry out plans. In our case, the Government of Saskatchewan has passed The Planning and Development Act, 2007 and The Municipalities Act. These are the two main Acts which guide the planning processes for the Town of White City. In addition, the Government of Saskatchewan has adopted the Statements of Provincial Interest which outlines 16 key areas of common planning interest that provincial and community planning must address, such as:
Now that a municipality is granted power, someone needs to take on those responsibilities – which is where Council and Administration come into play. Council is elected by the community and has the ability to accept or reject plans. In Saskatchewan some municipalities have municipal planners as part of their Administration and other municipalities hire municipal planner or consultants to help them manage their planning responsibilities. Planners are the technical experts and the ones preparing plans, like the OCP and the corresponding Zoning Bylaw.
An OCP is a bylaw that contains the objectives and policies to guide decisions on planning and land use management within the area covered by the plan. The OCP is meant to govern the overall direction of development and its pace at a policy level without getting into the details which are left to regulatory tools like zoning bylaws.
The OCP is especially significant because after its adoption all works and bylaws undertaken by a local government must be consistent with the OCP. Most OCPs are the principal policy document that council uses to make decisions on matters such as land use, protection of the environment, transportation, economic development and housing needs – an OCP is possibly the most important plan to the sustainability of a community. It establishes key policy goals for community land-use patterns and land use decisions in the community, which have a direct or indirect effect on the way you and your family live and experience the community. Your sense of belonging, accessibility to services, parks and open spaces, pedestrian networks and preferred modes of transportation are all aspects of your life shaped by land use decisions made for the community at one time or another and based on the policies outlined by the OCP.
This brings us to the community’s involvement in the development of this important document. White City will be moving forward with a comprehensive process to review and replace our OCP and concurrently our Zoning Bylaw.
This includes opportunities for meaningful public participation in the process described as follows.
- From May 1 – June 15: Phase I of the engagement will serve as an information gathering phase. Specific objectives for the first phase of engagement include:
- Work directly with the public to identify what information is needed and allow stakeholders to participate in a meaningful way in a current state assessment and gap analysis.
- Work with stakeholders to identify decision criteria, reflecting environmental, social and economic values, to be considered in generating and evaluating OCP and Zoning Bylaw regulations.
- Facilitate dialogue on the key values and identity of the community.
- By July 1, 2023, share an engagement findings report summarizing the information gathered with the public during the first phase of engagement.
- From October 6 – 20: Phase II will serve as a review of policy and evaluation of the draft Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw. Specific objectives for the second phase include:
- Share with residents the draft documents, specifically highlighting changes to regulations, impacts to residents and impacts to future planning and development.
- Clearly communicate how feedback received from the first phase of public engagement was heard,integrated and considered in drafting the OCP and Zoning Bylaw.
- Receive public feedback on specific regulations or alternatives as developed by the OCP and Zoning Bylaw Advisory Group.
- Work directly with stakeholders to evaluate specific aspects of the OCP and Zoning Bylaw and consider their input in the final draft of the documents.
- By October 28, 2023, share an engagement findings report summarizing the information gathered with the public during the second phase of engagement.
Engagement will take place through a blend of in-person and virtual opportunities and will be led utilizing International Association for Public Participation (iap2) methods and principles. Additionally, information on the Engagement, and digital opportunities to engage can be found at engage.whitecity.ca/ocp.
If you have any questions, have a comment, want more information, or want to suggest a topic for a future blog please email email@example.com or call 306-781-2355 – we look forward to hearing from you!
- Official Community Plan & Zoning Bylaw Advisory Group
Mayor Brian Fergusson, Deputy Mayor Rebecca Otitoju & Councillor Scott Moskal
- May 2023 - Evolve White City 2045: Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw Review
- April 2023 - 2023 Annual Budget Document
- March 2023 - Chillfest
- February 2023 - A High School in White City
- January 2023 - Multi-Use Recreation Centre - Stage 3 Complete
- December 2022 - 2023 Annual Budget
- November 2022 - Council Committee Structure
- October 2022 - Boundary Alteration Update
- September 2022 - 2021 Annual Report
- June 2022 - Town Centre Development
- May 2022 - White City Fire Department
- April 2022 - Multi-Use Recreation Centre
- March 2022 - Annual Budget
- February 2022 - Utility Rates
- January 2022 - Town Hall Synopsis
- December 2021 - Town Hall
- November 2021 - Letter to RM of Edenwold
- October 2021 - Boundary Alteration Project Update
- September 2021 - One Community, Stronger Together
- August 2021 - Annual Report
- July 2021 - White City Fire Department
- June 2021 - White City Museum
- May 2021 - Water Quality
- April 2021 - Property Assessment
- March 2021 - Introduction