The Official Community Plan (OCP) is a bylaw communicating the City’s vision, goals, objectives, and policies for the future. The purpose of the document is to provide a comprehensive policy framework to guide the physical, environmental, economic, social and cultural development of Swift Current or any part of the City over the next 25 years, including City Council’s strategic goal of 25,000 residents by the year 2025.
Currently, the City of Swift Current is experiencing an increase in growth, which is expected to continue into the future. In order to accommodate this growth, the City officially adopted The Swift Current Official Community Plan (OCP) on May 21, 2019.
A community plan is a growth management strategy for a municipality and enables it to set development goals, objectives and policies that council can use to manage land use, subdivision, municipal services and public utilities.
An OCP is required to identify policies that address:
- sustainable current and future land use and development in the municipality;
- current and future economic development;
- the general provision of public works;
- the management of lands that are subject to natural hazards including, flooding, slope and instability;
- the management of environmentally sensitive lands;
- the co-ordination of land use, future growth patterns and public works with adjacent municipalities;
- source water protection;
- implementation of the OCP;
- the provision of municipal reserve for school purposes; and
- the management of lands that are in proximity to existing or proposed railway operations.
An OCP may:
- address the co-ordination of municipal programs relating to development;
- contain statements of policy regarding the use of dedicated lands;
- contain concept plans for future planning of development;
- contain a map or series of maps that denote current or future land use or policy areas;
- if a council has been declared an approving authority, contain policies respecting site plan control for specific commercial or industrial development; and
- contain any other statements of policy relating to the physical, environmental, economic, social or cultural development of the municipality that the council considers advisable.
Without an OCP, a municipality:
- has little control over development and cannot effectively manage land use;
- cannot co-ordinate development with services and capital planning;
- cannot manage the separation of incompatible land uses (e.g. residences and industrial or livestock operations); and
- cannot protect development from locating on hazard lands.