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Municipal Law - Municipal boards and tribunals - Jurisdiction - Planning and development - Development permits - Variances and adjustments

Thursday, January 26, 2017 @ 7:00 PM  

Application by White for permission to appeal a decision of the Okotoks Subdivision Appeal Board. The Town Planning Commission approved a development permit for a 32-unit attached residential development in the Residential Mixed Dwelling District. The proposed development included deck projections and cantilever projections of a size considerably greater than the 20 per cent variance contemplated in the Town Land Use Bylaw. It also involved the construction of three storey buildings while the Bylaw set a maximum of two storeys for buildings in the zone. White owned land adjacent to the development. The Board dismissed his appeal from the issuance of the permit. The Board was satisfied that the decks and cantilevers would not differ substantially from the development expected and intended in the zone, commenting that it had not heard evidence suggesting that the variances would interfere with the amenities of the neighbourhood or materially interfere with neighbouring properties. The Board noted that the maximum building height under the Bylaw was not exceeded by the development, and that this was more important than the number of storeys involved. The Board agreed with the Town that the development provide adequate parking and superior landscaping than that called for under the Bylaw, justifying a variance with respect to density.

HELD: Application allowed. White raised an arguable question of law with respect to whether the Board had jurisdiction to grant variances to density, building height and projections of such magnitude. Permission to appeal on the question of the adequacy of the Board’s reasons was also granted, given the connection between this issue and the first proposed ground of appeal.