RDOS clerical error resulted in two lawsuits over Osoyoos Lake property - InfoNews

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RDOS clerical error resulted in two lawsuits over Osoyoos Lake property

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen was not held responsible for negligence and misfeasance regarding the mistaken zoning of an Osoyoos Lake property in a B.C. Supreme Court ruling recently.
May 15, 2020 - 7:30 AM

A clerical error involving zoning of an Osoyoos Lake property resulted in two lawsuits against the regional district in British Columbia Supreme Court.

The problem began in 2005 when incorrect zoning information regarding a property located at 2815 85 Street in Osoyoos was inserted into a Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen database.

The error changed the property’s zoning from a large holdings designation, which allowed a single house on the property to RM1, allowing the building of multiple structures on the property.

The problem wasn't discovered until after the property was sold a developer submitted a development plan under the zoning they thought they bought. The regional district instituted a bylaw to change the zoning back to large holdings in July, 2014. It was sold again and another developer picked up the plan and the lawsuit.

The plaintiff was unable to gain approval for the subdivision before a one year grace period had expired.

The plaintiff alleged approval for the subdivision couldn’t be obtained because the regional district imposed “impossible and unlawful conditions" and sued the regional district alleging misfeasance and general negligence in public office.

But in a ruling handed down in British Columbia Supreme Court  May 13, Justice Christopher Giaschi ruled in favour of the regional district, dismissing the two actions against the regional district, largely on technical difficulties with the case.

The judge ruled the plaintiff’s interest in the property was as a trust property, and beneficiaries of a trust had no standing to bring the claims advanced, except for negligent representation.

However, the judge further ruled the regional district was not negligent in the matter.

The judge also dismissed the misfeasance claim because the plaintiffs failed to include the individuals alleged to have acted improperly as defendants.

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