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PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT - Municipal or community plan - Relationship to zoning bylaws

Tuesday, April 03, 2018 @ 8:24 AM  

Lexis Advance® Quicklaw®
Appeal by the Caring Citizens of Vancouver Society from the rejection of its challenge to a City of Vancouver bylaw. In 2017, the City adopted a bylaw that amended an existing zoning and development bylaw. The amendment permitted the Director of Planning to relax the zoning bylaw to permit low-cost housing development for individuals receiving assistance. Two months later, the Director exercised his discretion to permit the construction of temporary modular housing in the City's Marpole neighbourhood for use as social housing. The Director bypassed any public hearing process in respect of the applicable zoning bylaw and issued a development permit authorizing the construction and operation of the housing. The appellant filed a petition for judicial review that sought, among other things, to have the bylaw declared invalid and the development permit quashed. The chambers judge rejected the contention that s. 565A of the Vancouver Charter could not be construed in a way that allowed delegation of powers with the practical effect of amending the zoning bylaw by changing the uses to which land could be put. The chambers judge also rejected the contention that the City gave inadequate notice of the effect and purpose of the bylaw. The Society appealed.

HELD: Appeal dismissed. The appellant’s position that the power of relaxation under s. 565A(e) of the Charter did not extend to the provisions of zoning bylaws relating to use was not accepted. It was unnecessary to determine whether the power of relaxation permitted any previously prohibited use, as the temporary modular social housing was sufficiently similar to one of the conditional approval uses previously specified. The notice of the hearing in respect of the bylaw stated that the proposed amendment was to relax the zoning provisions to provide for low cost housing. This was sufficient to put the public on notice in respect of the exercise of the power of relaxation to permit social housing in certain areas.

Caring Citizens of Vancouver Society v. Vancouver (City), [2018] B.C.J. No. 400, British Columbia Court of Appeal, P.D. Lowry, D.F. Tysoe and P.M. Willcock JJ.A., March 9, 2018. Digest No. TLD-April22018003