Maple Pool Court Judgment

March 18, 2014

In a recent judgment, The Honourable Mr. Justice Baird of the Supreme Court of British Columbia granted the application of two residents of the Maple Pool Campground as parties to an existing court action between the City of Courtenay and Jin Lin, the owner of Maple Pool.

Members of Courtenay City Council considered the matter at an In-Camera session on March 17. Council will meet again to discuss the City’s next steps in the coming weeks, and to consider the City’s options.

The motivation behind the City of Courtenay’s court action against the Lins has been twofold: first, to protect the safety of the Maple Pool residents in an area prone to flooding and previous evacuations; and second, to protect Courtenay taxpayers from the potential future liability that could occur from not enforcing City bylaws, whether at Maple Pool or elsewhere.

As stated previously, since 2011 the City has been open to working with the Lins and their representatives to explore possible solutions to resolve the Maple Pool issue outside of the courts, such as through a rezoning application. During this time the City has agreed to suspend the legal proceedings on three separate occasions for several months each time.

Additionally, in a February 17, 2014 Council motion, Council resolved that, regardless of the results of the court action, the City would “seek a court order that provides a reasonable amount of time for the property owner to address non-compliance issues and for any residents who may be impacted to find alternative housing.”

Housing solutions are the top strategic priority for the remainder of the Council term, and finding a resolution to the Maple Pool issue is second only to the supportive housing project on Braidwood Road.

While this recent court judgment does not directly affect the main court case – whether or not the City is entitled to enforce its zoning bylaw in a floodplain – Courtenay Council will carefully consider the implications and ramifications of all possible outcomes, and will continue to work towards finding a satisfactory resolution to this issue.