Lake Windermere OCP

Welcome to the source for information about the Lake Windermere Official Community Plan (OCP) Process.  This is a review and update of the current Lake Windermere OCP, which was adopted in 2008 and has been amended 19 times. Over the next year, we will engage the community on land use and development related issues in order to create policies that will guide development and conservation into the future.  An updated policy framework will also promote greater certainty in land use decision making by the Regional District Board.

Recognizing that approximately 70% of property owners in the plan area are non-residents, attending an in-person meeting is not always practical. Online surveys were created to offer those who could not attend the April 21 Community Planning workshop an opportunity to provide feedback on the draft policies and land use questions presented at the in-person workshop.

The draft policy and land use questions presented at the April 21 workshop and in the online surveys are meant to address concerns we heard from the community in previous engagement activities. The draft policies and questions may be new or come from the existing OCP. Based on results from the April 21 workshop and the online surveys will have an idea if we are on the right track, or if more engagement is necessary in a particular topic area.

Results of Online Surveys:

Stay Engaged - Sign up to receive RDEK e-mails

Our e-mail group is a great way to stay on top of the latest news from the Lake Windermere OCP review and update, as well as other RDEK projects, events and news. If you aren’t already on our e-mail list and would like to be, please sign up by clicking this link:

Please note that legal notices are never sent via email – the email groups are used for information purposes only.  We encourage people to check the local newspapers and the meetings page on our RDEK website (  for upcoming public hearings, etc.  In the Lake Windermere OCP area, legal notices are published in the Pioneer (publishes on Thursdays) . All public hearings are also included in the Board Highlights each month.

April 21, 2018 Community Planning Workshop

110 people packed the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce on Saturday April 21 to take part in a community planning workshop for the review and update of the Lake Windermere OCP. The main purpose of the workshop was to comment on proposed policies and questions around various land use topics and to share thoughts on where preservation or changes could occur.
For the most part we received good feedback from the workshop, and participants shared similar opinions about many of the proposed policy and land use questions, which lets us know we are on the right track. That said, there were several questions related to land on the west side of Lake Windermere, near the border of Invermere that did not result in clear direction on how we should proceed. In these cases, we need to do some more engagement.

Recognizing that approximately 70% of property owners in the plan area are non-residents, attending an in-person meeting is not always practical.  An online platform will be used to garner feedback from property owners who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend a meeting and can also be used by residents of the plan area.

Important Links

Advisory Group

Eight community members have been appointed as a volunteer Advisory Group for the planning process.  Advisory Group members have a broad range of interests and subarea representation.

Advisory Group members are:

Brenda Shaw
Andrea Dunlop
Kevin Andruschuk
Bram Rossman
Cheryl Willard
Robert Shaunessy
Colleen Roberts
Terry MacRitchie

The Advisroy Group's role is to provide advice and feedback to RDEK staff and the Area Director and act as a liaison with the community throughout the planning process.  They are tasked with identifying and elaborating on key issues that emerge from the public engagement process, providing feedback on the development of land use policies, passing on public concerns and spreading the word when there are upcoming public engagement opportunities.  The Advisory Group will be acting in an advisory capacity only and does not have decision making authority.

Next Advisory Group meeting:


Meeting Agendas:

Meetings are open to the public.  The public may attend as observers.  The public may submit written comments to the Advisory Group Chair.

Advisory Group Minutes:

We Need Your Input!

Your input is very important and will help shape the future vision of your community.  Please contact Kris Belanger at 250-489-6903 or to ask questions and share your thoughts and ideas.

OCP Process Timeline

The expected timeline for the Lake Windermere OCP process are outlined below:

Board Authorization March 2017
Newsletter #1 & Survey June 2017
Introductory Workshop July 4, 2017
Community engagement - Farmers Market & Fall Fair Summer & Fall 2017
Newsletter #2 Late Winter 2018
Community Planning Workshops Spring 2018
OCP Drafting Spring/Summer 2018
Newsletter #3 Summer 2018
Open House Draft Presentation Summer 2018
Draft Revisions Fall 2018
Formal Bylaw Adoption Process Winter 2019

What is an Official Community Plan?

An OCP is a long term, strategic planning document.  OCPs provide direction and guide local government decision making related to how land is used or preserved.  An OCP does not solely focus on one topic like a lake management or agricultural plan would, rather it contains objectives and policy statements related to a wide range of topics including residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial land use; recreation; environmental values; solid waste; public safety; and transportation. These policies reflect a balanced vision of community, public and private interests and serve to guide RDEK decisions on development applications and provide context for interagency discussions related to land use. OCPs contain maps showing individual parcels and their intended long term land use.

Implications of an Official Community Plan

Benefits of an OCP

• Provides a blueprint for future growth and development.
• Identifies and promotes a local vision for development and preservation within the community.
• Provides direction for the RDEK Board to consider future development applications or issues in the community.
• Enables a proactive rather than reactionary approach to planning.
• Assists in identifying issues of importance or concern.
• Assists in preventing incompatible land uses.

Restrictions associated with an OCP

• Changes to the zoning of property covered by an OCP must be consistent with the OCP, or may require an OCP amendment application.

Other characteristics of an OCP

• Should not impact property taxes.
• Will not change Agricultural Land Commission regulations for land in the Agricultural Land Reserve.
• Will not change the ownership of Crown land.
• Will not affect land uses existing at the time the Bylaw is adopted.
• Will not affect existing permit requirements or other government regulations.


Public consultation is the backbone of this OCP process. Residents of the plan area are encouraged to engage in the planning process by taking advantage of the range of participatory actives available.

• July 4 introductory meeting and workshop
• Community Survey open from May 28 to Aug 4, 2017
• Stall at Invermere Farmers Market, Saturday July 29, 2017
• Stall at Windermere Fall Fair, Sunday September 17, 2017
• A community planning workshop will be held in early January, 2018
• An open house will be held during the summer of 2018 to present the draft plan and gather feedback.
• Public hearing regarding the finalized plan will be part of formal bylaw adoption at the conclusion of the process.


Kris Belanger

Wendy Booth
Director Electoral Area F

19-24 Avenue South
Cranbrook BC V1C 3H8
Fax: 250-489-3498

Last edited: Tue, August 07, 2018 - 5:33:19