The City of Coquitlam has won out in a lawsuit over the development of a property in North Coquitlam going back a decade.
A Supreme Court Judge in New Westminster sided with the city in a suit that involved a property at 1430 Pipeline Rd.
According to court documents, Rodney Dick alleged he purchased the property in October 2003 and excavated 2,000-plus dump truck loads of material in a month, for the purpose of building a driveway.
The suit was filed back in June 2010 by the plaintiff, while a decision in the case was made public on Sept. 16.
In court documents, Dick acknowledged he received a stop work order for unauthorized
activity and as of the date of statement of claim, did not have access to his property.
The plaintiff also acknowledged he applied for a conservation permit to allow for the preparation to build a house, but was denied due to the amount of material to be removed from the site.
In the statement of claim, Dick indicated he wanted a right to re-grade his property and alleged the city refused him the right for seven years and has been collecting taxes for the 3.76 acre-property.
Dick was seeking compensation for the years of delays caused to his company and equipment and for loss of business, along with damages. In his statement of claim, he acknowledged that without a permit the city forbids the right to move soil material exceeding 5,000 cubic metres per year, but said has every legal right to make the most of his property within the standards set by city bylaws.
In a statement of defence, the city denied any liability and stated it had established a policy with respect to the approval of building development and subdivision of the property.
The response noted the city "at all times followed its policy and exercised all reasonable care, skill and diligence, followed all established and required standards, practices and procedures, and complied with all applicable standard statutory requirements, building codes and bylaws." The city also alleged that if Dick suffered loss it was as a result of failure to comply with all statutory and bylaw requirements.
And Justice John Truscott agreed with the city.
In his 49-page decision, the justice suggested Dick may be "understandably frustrated" with the bylaw requirements, "but he must realize and accept that his property sits in a municipality with bylaws authorized by the provincial government, and not in unorganized territory out in the hinterlands somewhere."
The judge went on to write at no point in time has the City said that no development on his property will be allowed.
"To the contrary. It has spent a great deal of time and effort in trying to make Mr. Dick understand what he needed to do to obtain permit approval," Truscott wrote.
The judge said there is no evidence that the City ever acted in bad faith toward Dick nor did the approving officer dealing with his subdivision applications.
The judge also ordered Dick to pay for the city's expenses in the lawsuit.
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