B.C. Supreme Court ruling closes Curtis Road as access road to UBC Okanagan

In long running court case, UBCO students and staff told they can't use a private easement

An overhead map of the area to the west of the UBCO campus.

A B.C. Supreme Court decision has closed down a cycling route to UBC Okanagan along a portion of Curtis Road that has been the focus of a long-running court case.

On Sept. 7, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Christopher Hinkson reinstated an order that suspends the use of an easement on Curtis Road by cyclists and pedestrians who have classes or employment within UBCO’s health sciences centre of creative and critical thinking buildings.

The ruling upheld a previous ruling that stated the easement being used by cyclists and pedestrians was a private easement to be used only by residents in a 10-lot subdivision.

In his ruling, Hinkson said “the number of pedestrians and cyclists using the easement had not declined as hoped for….it has increased,” he wrote. “The (university) has not taken the reasonable steps to ensure that the easement was not used in the manner prohibited (under the earlier ruling) as it had done nothing more than request that students and employees…refrain from using Curtis Road for any reason.”

In effect, the ruling means there is no longer public access to the UBCO from the Curtis Road side.

At UBCO, the university has now installed signage that instructs users that the easement has been closed.

UBCO university relations director Bud Mortenson says the university disputes the fact that use of the easement had been increasing and maintains that usage was down this year over the past several years.

Mortenson also says a major construction project planned for this fall that will lengthen John Hindle Road past the Glenmore Landfill and connect with Highway 97 would have forced the closure of the easement when construction began.

“We had informed the court that our intent was to close the access upon the start of construction of John Hindle Drive,” said Mortenson. “So this ruling moved the closure ahead a few weeks. Ultimately by sometime in October this access would have been closed anyway.”

The court ruling, at least for now, puts to bed an issue that goes back to before the university was even constructed. The easement was created in 1982. By 2002 students began using the easement to access the campus and in 2009 a gate was constructed that closed down access to the easement.

Court cases followed with several rulings in the past years, culminating with Justin Hinkson’s ruling last Wednesday.

Mortenson says construction of the John Hindle Drive will go a long ways towards having better access to the campus for students and staff without having to use the private property.

“With the John Hindle project, a multi-use paved pathway will be built so that once the project is complete there will be a major new, safe, public multi-use pathway east and west between Glenmore road and the highway. It will be a significant improvement.”

Mortenson added that the university has not decided whether it will appeal the latest court decision as it is still in the early days since the decision.

Just Posted

UBCO Heat teams unable to secure any wins against Mount Royal Cougars

The mens and womens volleyball and basketball teams went 0-4, but all have rematches Saturday night

Rockets held scoreless in loss against Red Deer

Rockets will look for some points in final game of road trip against Edmonton

New maintenance crew to look after Okanagan Connector

Acciona Infrastructure Maintenance Inc. will replace Argo Road Maintenance Inc. in 2019

New Lake Country arts council to request funds from district

The arts council will ask the district for $8,000 from 2019 to 2021

Your guide to winter light ups around the Okanagan

From Vernon to Summerland, with a stop in Kelowna, we’ve found some activities for you to enjoy

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read