Local governments that have zoning regulations in effect over properties adjoining a body of water need to be aware of the British Columbia Supreme Court’s October 1, 2018 decision in Fonseca v Gabriola Island Trust Committee, 2018 BCSC 1684.
At issue in the case was a zoning bylaw of the Local Trust Committee that required that all buildings and structures be sited a minimum of 30 metres from the natural boundary of the sea or other body of water. (more…)
In The Corporation of the City of Victoria v. Zimmerman, 2018 BCSC 321, the City of Victoria obtained a statutory injunction to restrain the permanent moorage of boats in the Gorge Waterway, on the grounds that permanent moorage of boats contravened the City’s zoning bylaw.
The respondents challenged the validity of the zoning bylaw, arguing that restricting moorage encroached upon the federal jurisdiction over navigation and shipping under the Constitution Act. In other words, they argued that the City’s zoning bylaw was venturing in unnavigable waters, jurisdictionally.
In Wu v. Vancouver (City) 2017 BCSC 2072, Madam Justice Murray of the BC Supreme Court held that the City of Vancouver owed a duty of care to the plaintiffs, the purchasers of a home in the Shaughnessy area, who had applied for a development permit for the demolition of an existing house and construction of a new house. According to the decision, the City owed the plaintiffs a duty to make a final decision on their permit application, in accordance with the applicable statutory framework, within a reasonable time. Madam Justice Murray concluded that the City was negligent in this case since it acted in bad faith and failed to conduct itself in accordance with the standard of a reasonably competent municipality when dealing with the plaintiffs’ application. (more…)
Here is a link to our post from last year concerning the annual municipal tax sale:
The Annual Tax Sale Approaches!
The Building Act General Regulation was amended in February of this year and again in April, and the changes further clarify the impact that the Building Act will have on local government jurisdiction. (more…)
Administrative tribunals are decision-making bodies that are part of the system of justice in Canada, and the decisions they make can have significant impacts on local governments. The British Columbia Court of Appeal’s recent ruling, Burnaby (City) v Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC, 2017 BCCA 132, confirms that, when interpreting and applying their enabling statutes, certain administrative tribunals can make orders that, in effect, prevent local governments from enforcing their own bylaws. (more…)
In the case of Abbotsford (City) v. Mary Jane’s Glass & Gifts Ltd., the Supreme Court of British Columbia granted two declarations sought by the City of Abbotsford, and ruled that the operators of Mary Jane’s Glass & Gifts Ltd. were in breach of the City of Abbotsford’s Business License Bylaw and Zoning Bylaw.
Further, the Court found that the City’s Business License and Zoning Bylaws are constitutionally valid and do not unjustly infringe Section 7 (life, liberty and security of person) or Section 15 (equality rights) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The decision in this case is not surprising. It confirms the basic assumption that storefronts selling marihuana for any purpose are illegal. The federal laws in place related to access to marihuana for medical purposes do not authorize retail marihuana dispensaries. (more…)
In reasons released January 5, 2017, Justice Rogers of the BC Supreme Court found that a failure by a School District to hold a second advance poll in a school trustee by-election did not materially affect the outcome of the election. (more…)
The lakes, rivers and ocean shores of British Columbia are undoubtedly beautiful but the complex regulatory and legal regime that governs these bodies of water can create real uncertainty for local governments seeking to understand the extent to which they may exercise their zoning powers over land covered by water and structures erected within water. (more…)
In a recent decision, the BC Supreme Court confirmed that on-going development projects commenced before the enactment of an Official Community Plan are not exempt from the requirements of that OCP, nor will they be protected by the “legal non-conforming” provisions of the Local Government Act.
The case of Columbia Shuswap (Regional District) v Darnell, 2016 BCSC 1674 (“Darnell”) concerns the developer of a lakefront property. In 2005, the developer undertook a project to restore a field on the property, which entailed placing large amounts of fill within 30 meters of the lake. (more…)