Downtown Core Area Plan

The Downtown Core Area Plan (DCAP) was originally approved in September 2011 as a new type of policy plan with dual roles, both as a detailed neighbourhood level plan for the Downtown and Harris Green neighbourhoods as well as a broader policy overlay in conjunction with the respective neighbourhood plans for other surrounding areas that are included within the DCAP boundary.  This includes the Rock Bay area of the Burnside neighbourhood and portions of the North Park, Fairfield, and James Bay neighbourhoods.     

The DCAP was approved as a 30-year plan to guide growth and development through policies, guidelines and actions that strike a balance between what exists currently and new development, to ensure that the Downtown Core Area develops as a more accessible, attractive, resilient, and enjoyable place to visit, live, work and play. One of the key functions of the DCAP is to provide policies and guidelines to support the review and evaluation of development applications and improvements to the public realm.  


On March 3, 2022 Council approved the updated Downtown Core Area Plan (2022).  The updated Downtown Core Area Plan (DCAP) introduces improved design guidelines (Appendix 4) to enhance liveability.  Key design improvements include increased building separation distances, providing further guidance for challenging development sites that are undersized, guidelines for high performance buildings, universal accessible design, bird-friendly building design, and improving guidance for the Inner Harbour and heritage building adjacencies.  Housekeeping amendments were also undertaken to correct dated policies in line with more recent, existing City policies, and improved user-friendliness.