BC Supreme Court Justice Sewell decided that the Director of Planning has the power to change land use if “enforcement would result in unnecessary hardship.”
Although to us laypersons, it seems most unreasonable to see one of Canada’s wealthiest private companies enduring ‘hardship’ if not allowed to sell condos on park-zoned land, by the Standard of Review in judicial review applications, Justice Sewell determined Mr. Jackson’s granting hardship status was reasonable.
No public hearing is required; no Council approval is required. If Vancouverites want more public accountability, the wording of the bylaw must be amended. Read more at F.C.R.A False Creek Residents Association v. Vancouver (City), 2014 BCSC 1674—2014/09/03
Justice Sewell also accepted the position put forward by the City and Concord Pacific that the park delivery was not imminent.
In that light, using the park-zoned land for commercial purposes was not contrary to the public interest. Of course, we, as representative of the public would disagree.
In losing the Judicial Review Battle of False Creek, we have not given up. The FCRA will continue to fight for green space in our community; for public waterfront access; and for honouring the zoning of lot 9 as park and recreation.
We will continue to shine green lights in our windows calling for the City of Vancouver and Concord Pacific to fulfill a decades-old contractual obligation to complete Creekside Park and the Seawall.
Buy a bulb, turn it on nightly, remind the City of Vancouver that we expect the park to be a park, and not the site of more towers.