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Municipal Law - MUNICIPAL BOARDS AND TRIBUNALS - Jurisdiction - Planning and development - Variances and adjustments - Practice and procedure

Thursday, December 01, 2016 @ 7:00 PM  

Application by Boll and Pipistrel Aircraft Canada for permission to appeal decisions by the Woodlands County Municipal Planning Commission and Woodlands County Subdivision and Development Appeal Board. The applicants sought a development permit to construct a hangar on private lands adjacent to an airport within an airport service district. The Commission approved the permit, but refused to accept a variance of setback requirements to the extent sought by the applicants. The Appeal Board approved the Commission’s decision. The applicants sought leave to appeal. They submitted that the Board and County improperly exercised its jurisdiction by passing and interpreting bylaws related to the regulation of aeronautics, a federal matter.

HELD: Application dismissed. The Board’s decision upholding the setback variance could not be regarded as a nullity. There was no challenge to the bylaw before the Board, and it had no power to declare the bylaw invalid. The Board had no alternative but to determine the issue in adherence with the bylaw. It was inappropriate for the Court of Appeal to address the issue of the lawfulness of planning regulation in the vicinity of an airport based on the record before it. Such matters were properly the subject of a constitutional challenge by interested parties. The applicants failed to raise a question of law or jurisdiction of sufficient importance and with a reasonable chance of success.