The BC Supreme Court recently dismissed an action brought against the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (the “RDOS”) by a land owner and developer seeking lost profits and other damages relating to the alleged frustration of his attempts to move forward with a planned large-scale development. Jeff Locke and Josh Krusell of Stewart McDannold Stewart successfully defended the RDOS in this proceeding. The developer’s claim largely related to the decision of the RDOS Board to down-zone the subject property after it was discovered that the property had been inadvertently up-zoned years earlier. (more…)
Damages Claim Relating to a Zoning Error Dismissed for Failing to Establish a Private Law Duty of Care Where Only a Public Duty Existed
Court Finds that Zoning Bylaw is Consistent with Official Community Plan and Denies Challenge Brought by Community Association against High-density Development
The B.C. Supreme Court recently dismissed a judicial review petition challenging the validity of a Town of Gibsons zoning bylaw amendment on grounds that it conflicted with the Official Community Plan (OCP) by allowing for a new high-density residential development in Gibsons. (more…)
Last year, the Supreme Court of Canada in the decision of Canada (Minister of Immigration) v Vavilov, 2019 SCC 65 (“Vavilov”), revised the test for determining the applicable standard of review in judicial review decisions. Following Vavilov, the default standard of review is reasonableness, subject to a few very specific exceptions. For a more detailed analysis of Vavilov see a summary of the decision previously published on our website here.
As most types of local government decisions do not fall into the limited exceptions, we have been waiting to see how the new judicial review test and framework will play out in the context of local government decisions. We recently provided analysis of a local government judicial review in the post-Vavilov world conducted by the BC Supreme Court, which can be found here. (more…)
Recently, in Nelson v British Columbia (Environment), 2020 BCSC 479 (“Nelson”), the BC Supreme Court examined and ultimately approved a broad exclusion of liability clause contained in a restrictive covenant registered on title to property pursuant to section 219 of the Land Title Act, RSBC 1996, c. 250 (the “LTA”).
Under the LTA, an Approving Officer may, as a condition of approving a subdivision, require that a restrictive covenant be registered on title to the lands being subdivided “if the approving officer considers that the land is, or could reasonably be expected to be, subject to flooding, erosion, land slip or avalanche”. Under the LTA, such covenants may contain terms “of a negative or positive nature”. The LTA also makes express provision for the inclusion of indemnity provisions whereby the subdividing party, and the successors in title to that party, may be obliged to indemnify the subdividing authority for matters addressed in the covenant. (more…)
Vavilov in Action: New Test and Framework for Standard of Review applied in Local Government Context
As addressed in a previous post, in December 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) v. Vavilov, 2019 SCC 65 [Vavilov] which introduced a new test for the determination of the applicable standard of review of administrative decisions and revised the framework for conducting reasonableness review. (more…)
Twenty years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada declared in the case of Nanaimo (City) v. Rascal Trucking Ltd.1, that the question of whether a local government was acting within the scope of its authority should be determined on the standard of correctness. Subsequently, the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed that such a question “will always be reviewed on a standard of correctness”.2
On July 15, 2019, sections of Bill 22, Civil Resolution Tribunal Amendment Act, British Columbia, 2018, c.17 came into force and amended the Civil Resolution Tribunal Act, SBC 2012, c.25 (the “CRTA“) and the Societies Act, SBC 2015, c.18 (the “Societies Act“). The amendments provide the Civil Resolution Tribunal (the “CRT“) with jurisdiction to resolve disputes over certain claims under the Societies Act.
Societies should be aware of these amendments because members may apply to the CRT in order to challenge a society’s interpretation or application of the Societies Act as well as certain actions, threatened actions or decisions of a society. Also, citizens may apply to the CRT in order to challenge a society’s decision or interpretation of provisions respecting access to records or financial statements.
In 2018, the City of Victoria successfully defended a petition brought by the Canadian Plastic Bag Association to quash the City of Victoria’s Checkout Bag Regulation Bylaw which prohibited businesses from providing customers with single-use plastic checkout bags. The Supreme Court determined that the Bylaw was a regulation of business and even though it may have incidental effects on the protection of the environment, that did not affect the validity of the Bylaw.
Local Government Officials and the Duty of Care: The BC Court of Appeal Reverses the BC Supreme Court Decision in Wu v. Vancouver (City)
By its January 21, 2019 decision in Wu. V. Vancouver (City), 2019 BCCA 23, the BC Court of Appeal has overturned the 2017 decision of the BC Supreme Court in the case of Wu v. Vancouver (City), 2017 BCSC 2072 and has made important findings as it relates to the limits of legal duties owed by public bodies such as local governments, and the liability to which they may be exposed. (more…)
In two recent decisions, Saanich (District) v Brett, 2018 BCSC 1648 (“Saanich”) and Nanaimo (City) v Courtoreille, 2018 BCSC 1629 (“Nanaimo”), the BC Supreme Court considered local government applications to the Court for pre-trial injunctions to terminate unauthorized homeless encampments. Generally, these cases represent examples of the Court undertaking a balancing of the homeless population’s need for shelter and against the nature of these encampments within the context of the duties and authority of public authorities to reasonably manage lands falling within their jurisdiction. (more…)