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…)
The Village of Chase recently defeated a challenge to the validity of its Property Maintenance Bylaw by local business owners in Chase Discount Auto Sales Ltd. v Waugh, 2018 BCSC 2014. Mr. Justice Grauer of the B.C. Supreme Court dismissed the judicial review petition of the business owners and helpfully summarized the relationship between the bylaw powers and remedial action requirement authority of local governments provided by the Community Charter, SBC 2003, c. 26. (more…)
In Romegioli v. Langley (Township) 2018 BCSC 1867, the B.C. Supreme Court recently had opportunity to judicially review the decision of a bylaw adjudicator upholding over 500 bylaw infraction notices (with associated fees and costs of approximately $270,000) that had been issued to the petitioner, Mr. Romegioli, relating to the operation of a cannabis dispensary. The dispensary caught the attention of Langley for breaches of multiple bylaws relating to operations, renovations and signage.
In 1139652 B.C. Ltd. v Whistler (Resort Municipality), 2018 BCSC 1806, the B.C. Supreme Court recently reviewed a decision of the resort municipality of Whistler denying a property owner’s application for a Development Variance Permit (DVP). The Court upheld the decision, finding that it was reasonable.
In Compagna v. Nanaimo (City), 2018 BCCA 396, the British Columbia Court of Appeal has confirmed an earlier B.C. Supreme Court decision that recognized a building inspector’s discretion to request additional geotechnical reports following subdivision approval, at the building permit stage, as being consistent with the intent of section 56 of the Community Charter. Section 56 is a mechanism that local government building inspectors can use to require a geotechnical engineering report when a building or structure is proposed on hazardous lands, for example land at risk of landslide or flooding. The purpose of requiring such a report is to determine the suitability of the lands for the proposed building or structure and to obtain professional recommendations for conditions necessary to ensure the safe use of the land.
In Columbia Shuswap (Regional District) v Jones, 2018 BCSC 1776 the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) recently obtained a judgment from the B.C. Supreme Court granting declaratory and injunctive relief against property owners in a case involving a zoning bylaw enforcement and “home occupation” matter. (more…)
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.