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 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…)
Local Governments, Administrative Tribunals, and the Ongoing Dispute Over the Trans Mountain Pipeline
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…)
Math and Materiality: Challenging Election Results – Duperron v. School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)
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…)
Local governments that are involved in or have incorporated societies should be aware that the new Societies Act, SBC 2015, c. 18 comes into force on November 28, 2016. The new Act modernizes how societies are established and governed, bringing them more closely into line with for-profit business corporations. (more…)
In September 2015 we posted a summary of the tax sale provisions of the Local Government Act. Because of the coming into force of the revised Local Government Act earlier this year, we are reproducing that article in full, with the section references updated to the Local Government Act, S.B.C. 2015, c. 1.
The tax sale provisions of Part 16, Division 7 of the Local Government Act (“LGA”) provide municipalities with the ultimate property tax collection tool – a forced sale of the property that is subject to tax. As the saying goes, you can’t fight City Hall! (more…)