Home News by Region Langford Well-attended intro to Langford OCP refresh

Well-attended intro to Langford OCP refresh

Audience expected more, but the conversation is just getting started.

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Presentation by urban planning consultant BRent Toderian at the Langford OCP gathering, Jan 23, 2024 at the Langford Legion. [[Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Wednesday January 24, 2024 | LANGFORD, BC

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

Many folks had expected a more detailed presentation about the City of Langford Official Community Plan (OCP) in its current form and where it might head through revisions that by provincial requirement must be completed by June 30, 2024.

Instead the crowd heard the equivalent of a pep talk about how enthusiastic and committed the City of Langford council and staff are to the ‘refresh’ of the existing OCP.

The existing OCP was developed with a consultant in 2006, assembled in 2007, and adopted by City of Langford council in 2008. In recent years there were further revisions to focus on developing a more concentrated downtown core. [Click here for a PDF of the City of Langford Official Community Plan – 2008, last updated September 6, 2022]

The City is already working on their 2023-2027 Strategic Plan which will provide more detail on top of the OCP.

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The Urban Food Resilience Initiatives Society is based in the west shore of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.

West shore and Langford growth:

The original OCP in 2006 was developed together with the City of Colwood which has led to the commonplace use of the term ‘westshore’ to locally imply Langford, Colwood and adjacent areas like Metchosin, Highlands and View Royal.

The go-forward Langford OCP will of course be all Langford, as the city has carved out its own way, not the least of which in population growth from about 20,000 when the city was first incorporated in 1992, to about 52,000 now. Population was talked about last night as likely to reach 100,000 by 2040 or 2050.

Consultant supporting council:

The city will be assisted in their OCP refresh by consultant Brent Toderian who also guided the city with a theme of ‘urgency’ at his high-energy talk about urgency in city planning as held in Langford back in May 2023.

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Candid Comments by urban planning consultant Brent Toderian in Langford, Jan 23, 2024. [Island Social Trends]

A more attentive communication process will be needed to maintain Langford community interest in the public engagement process around the OCP refresh. Last night’s order of presentation ran backwards… no introduction to what an OCP is or does until after a lengthy transportation-related presentation, with some course correction by the second speaker whose presentation time was too short for the enthusiasm it could have imparted.

A strong planning-department lead-in to the topic along with some slides about the current OCP would have helped orient the crowd of about 200 people who showed up for more than they got. While Mayor and council were in the audience their presence at the podium for even a few minutes at the start might have wrapped the evening better around its goals.

But there’s time… more engagement online at LetsChatLangford will be coming, and likely more in-person events with the info-board walkabout format that people are used to for a deeper understanding of detailed topics.

lets chat langford
Public engagement in Langford is offered through the online portal Let’s Chat Langford.


Urban planner consultant Brent Toderian reiterated his theme of urgency in dealing with five key crises of our current time including housing, climate change, and complete communities.

While Toderian said there would be ‘candid comments’ on producing a ‘better plan’, again the comments were too light on detail for an audience that was primed to listen and absorb.

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Transportation consultant Todd Litman had a ton of statistics and detail about transportation trends in the Greater Victoria area and successfully introduced the concept of multi-modal approaches to transportation within urban communities.

Light on provincial & CRD:

There was essentially no mention of the fact that Langford will need to identify Transited Oriented Areas (TOAs) by the June 30, 2024 provincial deadline.

Much of the push for the OCP refresh was driven by a suite of BC housing legislation changes that were approved before year-end 2023.

Some mention was made about Amenity Cost Charges (ACCs) but only in response to a question from the audience; that aspect alone will have a key impact of the cost of developing housing and also the cash-management of the city budget.

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Transit Oriented Development Areas (TOD Areas) near transit hubs, in new BC legislation. [Dec 2023]

The mention of the Capital Regional District’s (CRD) Regional Growth Strategy was left to last in Tuesday night’s presentation even though it has been the key driver of the much talked about rapid growth of Langford since 2005.

Use of technology:

A few questions were asked via the online engagement portal Slido.com. Some folks still need more guidance for use of that platform than might be realized by organizers, which tends to skew the digitally-attained results.

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Public engagement in the room using online technology, at the Langford OCP gathering on Jan 23, 2024. [Mary P Brooke / Island Social Trends]

Questions could be submitted by the audience using the Slido interface, with Senior Planner Matthew Baldwin deciding which questions to answer aloud, along with input from the two speakers Brent Toderian and Todd Litman.

Who was there:

Attending in the audience were City of Langford Langford Mayor Scott Goodmanson and city councillors Kimberley Guiry, Colby Harder, Mark Morley, Mary Wagner and Keith Yacucha. Senior city staffers attended including CAO Darren Kiedyk, Director of Finance Michael Dillabaugh, and Senior Planner Matthew Baldwin who emceed the evening.

Also attending was Ravi Parmar, MLA (Langford-Juan de Fuca) and several folks from the former thrust of Langford politics including Hans Fredericksen and Norma Stewart. Ron Coutre of the West Shore Developers Association was there. Attending from The Village Initiative was Cindy Andrew. Attending to represent Urban Food Resilience was Mary P Brooke. Attending from Royal Roads University was Brian White.

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Island Social Trends reports news with socioeconomic insights and analysis. Independent news service on south Vancouver Island, BC.

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Mary P Brooke, Editor & Publisher of Island Social Trends.

Island Social Trends Editor Mary P Brooke has been covering news of west shore municipalities since 2008, attending council meetings in Langford, Colwood, Sooke and View Royal through that time.

News is currently published at IslandSocialTrends.ca . A new biweekly print edition of Island Social Trends is about to launch this month.

In 2020-2022 she covered all the COVID-related BC government news announcements, and in 2023 started regular reporting with the BC Legislative Press Gallery. In 2023 she was nominated for a Jack Webster Foundation journalism award for contributing to her community through journalism.

In 2024 Ms Brooke has launched the Urban Food Resilience Initiatives Society to help guide urban communities in providing for food-growing spaces across neighbourhoods.