Administration and Interpretation

Chapter 14


This document may be cited as the “Resort Municipality of Whistler Official Community Plan, 2018”.


The regulatory bylaws that implement this OCP may contain provisions that are more restrictive than the OCP.

If any section or lesser portion of this OCP is held to be invalid by any Court, such invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining sections of this OCP.

Nothing in this OCP prevents Council from enacting a bylaw which sets servicing standards or establishes minimum parcel size requirements enabling the Approving Officer to grant subdivision approval where water and sewer disposal systems were installed on a parcel prior to incorporation of the municipality.

In the event of a conflict between the graphics and the text of this OCP, the text prevails.


Accommodation is a building or facility, or portion thereof, where people either reside or stay on a temporary basis. Accommodation includes residential accommodation, visitor accommodation and employee housing.

accommodation capacity

An estimate of zoned and approved accommodation development potential typically measured in bed units or accommodation units.

active transportation

Any form of overland travel that is self-propelled, including walking, jogging, cycling, hand-propelled wheelchair use, cross country skiing, ski touring, inline skating and skateboarding.

aging in place

The ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level.

amenity zoning

Either (a) Zoning Bylaw provisions that entitle a landowner to a higher density in exchange for amenities, or affordable or special needs housing or (b) zoning established by zoning amendment whereby Council has approved the amendment with conditions related to the provision of amenities, affordable or special needs housing, or other resort community benefit.

bed unit

A measure of development intended to reflect servicing and facility requirements for one person. Different accommodation unit types and sizes are allocated a specified number of bed units, calculated as follows:

Cheakamus Community Forest (CCF)

A limited partnership between the municipality, Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation that holds a forest management tenure over 33,000 hectares of land in the Whistler area and applies ecosystem-based management in its land use decisions.

Community Energy and Climate Action Plan (CECAP)

A document that describes how to reduce both corporate and community emissions to meet mandated emission reduction targets.

detached dwelling

A building containing one principal dwelling unit.

duplex dwelling

A building consisting of two principal dwelling units placed one above the other or attached side-by-side.

dwelling unit

A self-contained set of habitable rooms with one set of cooking facilities.

ecosystem-based management (EBM)

An adaptive approach to managing human activities that seeks the coexistence of healthy, fully functioning ecosystems and human communities. EBM seeks to maintain spatial and temporal ecosystems such that component species and ecological processes can be sustained and human well-being supported and improved.


Is defined for the purpose of employee housing to mean a person who:

(a) is either employed or self-employed on an annual basis for an annual average of at least 20 hours per week and whose employment justifies residing in Whistler and directly relates to the provision of goods and services within the municipality; or

(b) is at least 55 years of age and has ceased active employment but who has been an employee under (a) for at least five of the past six years, prior to ceasing employment.

Employees may also be required to meet additional eligibility, use or occupancy requirements when applying for, or residing in, employee housing.

employee housing

Means housing intended for employees—that is affordable and attainable relative to their household size and income—and restricted to employee occupancy by way of housing agreement, lease, covenant, zoning or similar means. Employee housing may also be subject to additional eligibility, occupancy, resale, price, rent or other restrictions.  Employee housing is restricted to residential accommodation use.

environmentally sensitive area

An area of land which should remain free of disturbance under a bylaw or permit of the municipality, a covenant registered in favour of the municipality, or a federal or provincial regulation or legislation and includes Streamside Protection and Enhancement Areas (SPEAs), endangered species habitat, individual trees identified in a tree protection covenant and tree protection areas.

Groundwater Resource Protection Plan

A plan endorsed by Council that establishes the boundaries of Well Protection Areas, identifies potential sources of contamination and identifies risk factors to the groundwater resources. This plan also sets out spill reporting procedures, groundwater monitoring procedures and various other measures targeted at minimizing risk to the groundwater resources.


State of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.

infill housing

The incremental addition of new dwelling units within existing developed areas.

Legacy Land Agreement (LLA)

Agreed between the municipality, Lil’wat Nation and Squamish Nation in May of 2007 pertaining to the provision of 121 hectares of lands within the municipality to the Lil’wat Nation and Squamish Nation to support their economic development objectives.


The sum of the factors that add up to a community’s quality of life—including the built and natural environments, housing, economic prosperity, social stability and equity, educational opportunity, and cultural, entertainment and recreation possibilities.

major park

Municipally controlled land possessing unique, diverse and highly popular recreation and leisure amenities and opportunities, such as lakefront. Major parks cater to the resort community and, because of their special amenities, attract users from beyond neighbourhood boundaries.

natural area park

Municipally controlled lands that maintain the natural characteristics of the site while accommodating a light development footprint. Natural area parks may attract users from beyond neighbourhood boundaries because of their special amenities or access to water front.

neighbourhood park

Municipally controlled land with open space and recreation and leisure amenities designed for the immediate neighbourhood.


Ground travel without electric or fossil-fuel-powered means as defined by the Motor Vehicle Act, ICBC and/or any municipally developed e-bike policy. Includes walking, cycling, small-wheeled transport (inline skates, skateboards, push scooters and hand carts) and wheelchair travel (motorized wheelchairs permitted). These modes provide both recreation (they are an end in themselves) and transportation (they provide access to goods and activities), either separately or concurrently.

open space

A parcel of land suitable for passive, active, programmed or unprogrammed recreation and leisure purposes. Includes a range of land types, from forested natural areas to urban spaces.

Precautionary Principle

The avoidance of environmental risk in the face of uncertainty. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those proposing to take the action in question.


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada states that reconciliation is an ongoing process of establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples. (TRC Report 2015)

recreation and leisure amenity

Any naturally occurring or constructed feature that supports recreational activities freely chosen by residents and visitors, including: engaging in physical activities; participating in organized sports; participating in unprogrammed, self-directed, passive or free-flowing activities; visiting parks and natural areas; family or other personal outings; and nature appreciation.

Recreation and Leisure Master Plan (RLMP)

A document that outlines municipal-level strategies and direction for the development and management of parks as well as recreation and leisure amenities.

Sea to Sky Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP)

Adopted by the B.C. government in 2008 and serves as the primary land use planning document for the region.

sensitive ecosystem

A rare, ecologically fragile or at-risk ecosystem including species at risk habitat and ecological communities at risk.

species and ecosystems at risk

Means species, sub-species or populations that are listed under Schedule 1, 2 and 3 of the Species at Risk Act (S.C. 2002, c.29) and/or BC Conservation Data Centre Red and Blue listed and/or those considered regionally important. Ecosystems at risk include species communities that are provincially Red and Blue listed.

Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) Regional Growth Strategy (RGS)

A long-term plan and agreement adopted in June 2010 that deals with growth management and economic recovery issues over a 20-year period for the SLRD area. Developed and approved by the member municipalities in partnership with the regional district, the RGS is intended to guide the SLRD and its member municipalities with respect to land use decisions in accordance with their legislative authority.


Stream includes any of the following:

(a) a watercourse whether it usually contains water or not;

(b) a pond, lake, river creek or brook;

(c) a spring that is connected by surface flow to something referred to in paragraph (a) or (b);

(d) a wetland.

Transportation Cycling Plan

A document that outlines municipal-level strategies and direction for the development, direction and management of primarily transportation-based cycling infrastructure and programs.

Universal Design

The design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Universal Design is based on seven principles:

(1) Equitable Use: The design is useful and marketable to people with diverse abilities.

(2) Flexibility in Use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.

(3) Simple and Intuitive Use: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills or current concentration level.

(4) Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.

(5) Tolerance for Error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.

(6) Low Physical Effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably and with a minimum of fatigue.

(7) Size and Space for Approach and Use: Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use regardless of user’s body size, posture or mobility. (Mace 1985) (Centre for Excellence in Universal Design)

urban development

Any development for which any of the following conditions apply:

(1) a development that is connected to municipal water and sanitary sewer service;

(2) a development with a density of greater than one dwelling unit per 40 hectares;

(3) a development with a building or structure larger than 465 square metres; or

(4) a development for any non-resource use with a land disturbance affecting an area of greater than 1 hectare.

zero waste goal

The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health. (Zero Waste International Alliance)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email