OCP Engagement Session POSTPONED

·         Farmer’s Market @ Gyro Park on Tuesday September 21, 8 am – 1 pm

·         Downtown Walking Tour on Tuesday September 21, 12 – 1 pm.

o   Meet @ Farmer’s Market at 11:45 am

·         Open House @ City Park Solar Panels on Tuesday September 21, 5 – 7 pm

·         Business Luncheon on Market Ave. on Wednesday September 22, 12 – 2 pm.

o   Pre-registration required. This event is aimed at the business community, but anyone is welcome!


What We Heard Report

August 24, 2021

Our What We Heard Report, summarizing our June engagement, is now available. We want to thank the entire community for filling out the Community Circles Kits and survey, engaging with the Thought Exchange platform, and coming out to learn more at our in-person events.

The Community Circles Kits allowed us to get to know you better and learn where the priorities lie for the citizens of Grand Forks. We received a variety of feedback on key themes, and it is easy to see that community members in Grand Forks value having a tight-knit community rooted in nature. Being a smaller community, fostering a sense of connectedness where neighbours and local businesses can be friendly and supportive is critical.

The OCP team has been working on the draft OCP Update and we look forward to presenting this important document back to the community for further feedback. Stay tuned to your email and online for opportunities to give us feedback through an online survey, coming in September. We will also be back in Grand Forks the week of September 20th for our next round of in-person engagement. We look forward to seeing you then!

OCP – Thought Exchange

Are you a member of the business community in Grand Forks?


A big thanks to Community Futures for helping us launch an online discussion hub through Thought Exchange so you can share your ideas with our team and other members of the business community.

The question posed is “What is your top priority for the OCP Update, as it relates to businesses? Ideas could include a business retention and attraction strategy, downtown plan, or economic and development assistance. Policies could encourage businesses in the downtown core, or regulate development on the highway.” All of our voices matter, so your participation is crucial and valued.

Click here to participate: https://tejoin.com/scroll/708651788

You’ll be asked to respond to one open-ended question, consider and assign stars to some of the ideas shared by others (20 to 30 is ideal), and learn what’s important to the group.

Your thoughts and stars are confidential. You can come back as often as you’d like to participate and, in fact, we ask that you do come back to star some of the new ideas shared since you first participated. The ratings will help us understand the most important areas to focus on.

If you need technical help, please call ThoughtExchange at 1-800-361-9027 ext. 4 or email help@thoughtexchange.com

Thank you in advance for your help and input. This forum will be open until July 15.

For more information on Thought Exchange, visit: https://www.thoughtexchange.com

OCP – Wrapping up June

Thank you for your support and enthusiasm during our first week of engagement in Grand Forks. We appreciate everyone who came out to share their ideas, but don’t worry if you missed us! This was only round one of engagement and the project’s introduction, and there will be more opportunities over the summer and fall to get involved.

We managed to get lots of meaningful feedback from the community and are seeing some key themes and ideas emerge, including:

  • More innovative housing options for everyone
  • Preservation of heritage, character, and trees
  • Community cohesion and togetherness!
  • Trail systems and an easier way to move around the city
  • Downtown vibe: create a community hub which is pedestrian friendly, offers a variety in services and stores, and supports local businesses

A quick reflection on our time in Grand Forks…

It is easy to say that our team became enamoured with your city and its beautiful landscape. One of our favourite things we learned about Grand Forks is how flat and bikeable it is, making it great for trails and active transportation. We took a tour through the various neighbourhoods and learned that the city is actually a combination of Grand Prairie and the City of Columbia, and that Market Avenue has great bones to be an amazing hub for the community. We saw the unique character of each neighbourhood, which reinforced the idea of approaching this OCP update with neighbourhood level planning in mind. Notable housing characteristics include generous setbacks, a stunning array of trees that line the streets, and front porches perfect for hot summer days. We noticed that single family units are the primary housing type, and that there are some affordable housing units, but that there is room for variety to improve options for everyone. Grand Forks is a city that is strongly influenced by existing natural systems – slopes, rivers, and wetlands help define the city’s character. We saw a rural agricultural mix and discovered an amazing learning garden made possible by passionate volunteers. We also rekindled our love for borscht!. But enough about our experience….
We are still looking for your feedback!

Stay tuned to the website for project updates or to fill out one of our Community Circles Kits. These kits are designed to get you thinking about your community, complete with an ideas and notes page and survey. Want to pick one up in person? Kits can be picked up and dropped off at City Hall or the library, or scan your kit and email it to us at OCP@grandforks.ca. We love to hear all your thoughts and ideas, and please share far and wide with your community. Once we receive feedback, we will compile the results into a What We Heard Report which we will share with the community. So, stay tuned!

We appreciate having kits returned by July 15.

Get involved with OCP!

Get involved with the OCP!

We have exciting news for citizens of Grand Forks! The City is officially launching the process to update its Official Community Plan (OCP). The OCP affects all of you! Whether you know it or not, the policies in the OCP guide how Grand Forks grows and functions at the highest level.

As we launch the Official Community Plan update, it is important to remember that this is a community led initiative. We want to make sure that you have an opportunity to have your say during this important process. Below we have outlined a few different ways to have your voice heard.

We are now launching our Community Circles Kits, an interactive booklet designed to allow community members to engage with the OCP update from the comfort of their home. The kits explain the background behind the OCP and the different pieces that make a complete community, and allow for feedback via debate questions, survey, and community mapping exercise. Our goal is to get these kits out to the community far and wide, so please share with your friends, family, colleagues, and networks!

Drop in to see us in June at several in-person engagement events. We will be engaging with the community and its members from June 14 – June 16. Join us at the following events:

  1. Farmer’s Market on Tuesday June 15 during the day
  2. Booth at Location TBD, watch for an update!
  3. Big Ideas Reveal @ City Park the evening of Wednesday June 16.

Don’t forget to bring your mask! We will be following Covid-19 safety protocols at all our events. Updates on our engagement schedule, including times and locations, can be found here.

We look forward to hearing all your innovative ideas!

Introduction to Upcoming Updates to the Official Community Plan Bylaw

In British Columbia, provincial legislation gives municipalities the power to develop a variety of land use related bylaws. One such bylaw is an Official Community Plan Bylaw, or OCP for short. Broadly, the OCP is a visioning document which contains statements of objectives, policies, and guidelines that help guide planning and land use decisions.

OCPs are community built in that they rely on public input to articulate the community’s values and ideas on how the community could look and feel in the future. OCP’s are also highly influential documents, if a municipality adopts an OCP, all bylaws and works undertaken by Council must be consistent with the plan. In this sense, the OCP is often understood as the most important plan for a community.

Typically, most communities in BC opt to develop a new OCP or revisit an existing OCP every 10 to 15 years. The City of Grand Forks’ current OCP Bylaw was developed in 2011. At the Regular Meeting of Council on October 5th, 2020, Council directed City staff to pursue a focused update to the OCP. The City is pleased to announce that the contract for this update was awarded to MVH Urban Planning + Design, with a project timeline set for completion in December 2021.

Given that the OCP is functionally the community’s vision for itself, the process for developing or amending an OCP is intensely public. Working with the City, MVH Urban Planning + Design will be engaging the public to gather the thoughts and ideas of the community to inform the update to the OCP. Updating and/or replacing an OCP is a way of ensuring that land use and planning decisions are in alignment with the community’s vision.

This page is dedicated to providing the public with information regarding the OCP update. Be sure to check this page regularly for updates on how you can participate in this exciting process!

Questions and/or comments can be sent by email to: ocp@grandforks.ca