FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John now has an updated version of its Official Community Plan

Council adopted the City of Fort St. John’s OCP update at the regular Council meeting on August 27th after a brief public hearing about the OCP bylaw.

An Official Community Plan is a local government bylaw that outlines a local government’s goals and policies related to planning and land use management, which every municipality in B.C. is required to have under the Local Government Act.

The City began the process of updating the OCP back in 2016, which included community engagement before the draft of the Plan was presented to Council last year.

Over the past 2 years, various community workshops, surveys, and events provided opportunities for residents to contribute to the City’s guiding document. This policy document addresses critical issues such as diversity, quality of life, economic opportunity, land development and environmental sustainability.

Among the highlights from the OCP released today include plans for the development of several notable empty lots in the downtown core, as per the Land Use Plan.

In the document, the City said it hopes to have the sites of the three former downtown hotels – the Condill, Fort, and Frontier – developed within the next five years.

The former Condill Hotel site is envisioned as a higher-density mixed-use development, while the former Fort Hotel site – which is the smallest of the three – is planned to be developed as a focal point for the City’s downtown core.

Meanwhile, the site of the former Frontier Hotel and the old hospital lot are both envisioned as being developed to act as gateways to the downtown area along 100th Ave. The City said in the new OCP that it hopes to have the Frontier lot developed before 2023, while the old hospital lot redevelopment isn’t planned to be completed until 2030.

“An Official Community Plan is a key document for any community, it is the community’s vision for their future captured through the public participation where our residents shared their thoughts and hopes for our community. Developing this is not an easy task and thanks goes to the residents who provided input, the hard-work of City Staff, and the dedication of Council. The OCP will guide our city’s growth over the next number of years as we continue to take a planned and principled approach to decision-making,” stated Mayor Lori Ackerman.

The entire Official Community Plan can be read below.