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POWERS OF MUNICIPALITY - Business licensing and regulation - Issuing

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 @ 7:09 AM  


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Application by Fire & Flower for leave to appeal a decision of the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board dismissing its appeal from a decision of a Development Officer denying the applicant a development permit for a Cannabis Retail Sales operation. The applicant and others applied for a permit. The applications were made via email. The emails received first in time were considered first. All the applications were received a matter of seconds apart. The applicant’s application was considered third. Because the applicant’s proposed location was between the stores of the two applicants whose permit applications were received before that of the applicant, the applicant could not satisfy the distance requirement between cannabis stores and its permit was thus refused. The applicant then challenged the decision to grant the other two permits. The applicant argued leave to appeal should be granted on whether the procedure chosen and applied by the Development Officer to process applications for permits was unlawful because it was based on an improper delegation of discretion and whether the procedure designed and used was unfair to the applicant in its nature and was carried out unfairly to the applicant. The Appeal Board also found no basis for concluding that the process adopted by the Development Authority was not reasonably or fairly implemented or that the application of the prior permit applicant was wrongly considered before the application of the appellant.

HELD: Application dismissed. Permission to appeal on any grounds related to the validity of s 11.1(3) of the Zoning Bylaw was denied. There was nothing inadequate or incomplete about the process of seeking a declaration in the Court of Queen’s Bench about a bylaw. The Appeal Board was well within the scope of reasonableness in terms of how it interpreted the exchanges of e-mails and other circumstances in reaching its conclusion that the process was carried out with sufficient fairness. It was not arguable that the Appeal Board erred in law or jurisdiction in its conclusion that the process was even-handed in its design and execution. No grounds of appeal related to fairness were made out and permission to appeal was denied on those.

Fire & Flower Inc. v. Edmonton (City), [2019] A.J. No. 896, Alberta Court of Appeal, J. Watson J.A., July 8, 2019. Digest No. TLD-August19019007