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File #: 15-453    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Staff Report Status: Filed
File created: 10/5/2015 In control: Special Committee of the Whole
On agenda: 10/13/2015 Final action: 10/13/2015
Title: Official Community Plan Review - Phase 1 "Kick Off" Survey
Attachments: 1. Staff Report DEV-15-049, 2. Appendix A Kick off survey
Related files: 16-003, 17-069, 16-341



DATE:                       October 6, 2015                     Report No. DEV-15-049

TO:                       Laurie Hurst, Chief Administrative Officer                                           

FROM:                      Marlene Lagoa, Community Development Coordinator



Official Community Plan Review - Phase 1 “Kick Off” Survey



Should the Township launch an “OCP Kick Off Survey” asking respondents to provide some basic demographic information about themselves, their community priorities, and preferences on how they would like to participate in the review process?



That the Committee of the Whole receive Staff Report No. DEV-15-049 for information, provide any additional direction to staff as the COTW considers advisable, and direct staff to launch the review of the Official Community Plan with an online and paper-based survey.




 The process of updating the Official Community Plan (OCP) is identified in Council’s Strategic Priorities 2015 - 2019. A Project Charter for the OCP Review was presented to Council on September 28, 2015 where the following motions carried:

“That Council:

1)                     adopt the Official Community Plan project charter (Schedule "A") and instruct staff to begin the review of the Official Community Plan;

2)                     authorize the Mayor to send a letter to all of the stakeholders identified in Schedule "B" indicating that Council has commenced a review of its Official Community Plan and inviting them to indicate whether or not they wish to actively participate in the review; and

3)                     authorize staff to draft an on-line/paper kick-off survey for Council's review;
all as outlined in staff report DEV-15-043.”


The purpose of this report is to provide a draft of the “OCP Kick Off Survey”, attached as Appendix A, for review and comment prior to distribution.


The survey was designed to achieve three primary objectives:

1.                     To identify several key community priorities that will be the focus of future community engagement opportunities (5 questions);

2.                     To assist with the planning of future communication and engagement strategies to be used during the OCP Review process (4 questions); and

3.                     To understand respondent demographics to help with identifying community priorities and engagement preferences of different population groups (5 questions).


The timeline for Phase 1 - OCP Review activities are outlined in Table 1 below.


Table 1: Phase 1 - OCP Review Project Timelines (October 2015 - December 2015)



Launch Website (

Week of October 12th

OCP Kick Off Survey

October 19, 2015 - November 30, 2015

Analyze Survey Results

December 2015

Draft Phase 2 - Community Engagement Strategy

December 2015

Report to COTW - survey results & Phase 2

January 2016

Phase  2 - Community Engagement Strategy

January 2016 - June 2016




The three issues concerning the “OCP Kick Off Survey” are achieving a significant response rate; ensuring that the survey responses received provide a fair representation of Esquimalt’s diverse population; and solving challenges associated with the use of paper-based surveys.


Response Rate & Representation of Population


The goal of the “OCP Kick Off Survey” is to receive a significant response rate that also provides a fair representation of Esquimalt’s diverse population groups (e.g. youth and seniors; families and single-member households; etc.). In an effort to meet these goals, the survey will be advertised in a number of online and print communication channels as well as offering an online and paper-based version of the survey. The advertising and distribution of the “OCP Kick Off Survey” are outlined in Table 2 below.


Table 2: Advertisement and Distribution of OCP Kick Off Survey (Fall 2015)





News Release

Facebook - Government Organization Page

Community Newsletter

Facebook - Ad

Information Display in municipal buildings 


Information Display at local businesses*

Email to stakeholder contact list

Ad in local newspaper*


*Options that may be implemented if response levels are below targeted goal and/or if time allows


Staff will continuously monitor the response rate and population distribution of respondents and will react accordingly in an attempt to engage under-represented population groups. Staff recommends offering a prize draw as a way to encourage participation.


Printed Survey Challenges


There are many challenges with the administration of paper-based surveys that are self-completed by the respondent. The biggest concern is the possibility of encountering response errors which has the potential to spoil a question. An example of a response error is when a respondent selects more responses than instructed. The advantage of using online surveying tools (such as Fluid Survey) is the ability to limit response errors by setting up parameters that limit the number responses that may be selected.


For instance, there is one survey question that asks respondents to select their top 5 community priorities. In the case of a paper-based survey, if a respondent were to select more than 5 responses (or all available options) it would not be possible for staff to identify which were the respondent’s top 5 priorities.


There are two possible options for trying to solve the challenge of over-selected responses:

1.                     Skip the question entirely and not count any of the responses similarly to a spoiled election ballots (impact: some priorities may be under-represented); or

2.                     Enter the first 5 selected responses in the order they appear (impact: some priorities may be over-represented based on sequence).


Staff recommends option 1, that the question be skipped entirely and counted as an error. To minimize the likelihood of encountering response errors, the instructions will be modified on the paper-based survey asking that priorities be ranked from 1 to 5 (however there would not be any ranking in the online survey or in the final survey results).


If the preference was to go with Option 2 and count the first 5 selected responses, staff would have to manually randomize the responses to try and mitigate an order bias.  Option 2 would therefore require a significant amount of staff time in the preparation, distribution and processing of randomized paper-based surveys.




1.                     That the Committee of the Whole receive Staff Report No. DEV-15-049 for information, provide any additional direction to staff as the COTW considers advisable, and direct staff to launch the review of the Official Community Plan with an online and paper-based survey.

2.                     That the COTW provide alternative direction to staff.

3.                     That the COTW request further information from staff.