Court of Appeal upholds $10,000 penalty against Vernon development - InfoNews

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Court of Appeal upholds $10,000 penalty against Vernon development

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December 04, 2018 - 11:24 AM

VERNON - A Vernon developer thought they'd get a head start on their construction site; now they're facing a steep bill for their efforts.

Apartments Legacy One contested a $10,000 additional fee from the City of Vernon in Supreme Court last year. After having their petition struck down, they moved their case to the B.C. Court of Appeal, which upheld the Supreme Court ruling last week. Legacy will have to pay the extra fee on top of their regular costs.

Legacy was looking to build an apartment building in Vernon with 96,000 square feet of floor space at 5000 24 St. According to a court document, in August 2016, Legacy submitted a "Building Permit Application for Complex Building" to the City of Vernon. The City noted how the application lacked certain relevant details, such as engineering requirements.

The court document states that Stephen Olsson, a City building inspector, visited the Legacy work site on Oct. 31. He noted that wooden forms for the building's concrete foundation were being installed, despite Legacy's lack of a permit. Olsson issued a stop work order on the site.

Legacy submitted a "Building Permit Application" for its foundation. According to the court document, Olsson visited the site on Nov. 24 and Dec. 7, and both times he saw more work being done. On Dec. 8 an additional fee of $10,000 was added to the building permit for violating the stop work order.

Legacy contested the extra fee, stating that installing forms for foundation does not require a permit. The chambers judge in the Supreme Court of B.C. disagreed and dismissed their petition.

The B.C. Court of Appeal followed suit on Nov. 29, upholding the Supreme Court's decision. In the court document, Justice Frankel outlined how the City acted in good faith and he stated that installing forms technically counts as construction.

With the additional $10,000 stop work penalty, Legacy's building permit fee totals $962,011.47.


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