Lake Country wins land use case

Company was using residentially zoned property for recreational activities, according to court

The District of Lake Country has won a contentious court case.

The Supreme Court of B.C. has decided in favour of the municipality over land use along Wood Lake.

“Land use management is a key function of municipal government. We are pleased that the court has upheld the zoning bylaw,” said Mark Koch, director of planning and development.

The district sought an injunction restricting a company – a group of families who parked RVs on the property – from continuing its current use of property located on Wood Lake since the use did not comply with the existing or previous zoning bylaw.

In his reasons for judgment Justice Al Betton concluded that under the current zoning bylaw, the only possible principal use is single-dwelling  housing, and it was clear the land was not used in that fashion.

The respondents submitted that their use should be characterized as accessory to the principal use.

“It is not possible for a use to be a secondary or accessory use when it is the only use of the property,” said Betton.

The district applied to the court to require the company to make application for development permits, but Betton determined there was no need to address that issue.

Bylaw enforcement follow-up will be undertaken by the district.

“The bylaws and regulatory tools local government has ensure that building and structures are constructed in a manner which meet minimum life, fire, environmental and health safety requirements, and that incompatible land uses have appropriate separation,” said Koch.

 

 

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