11 Appeal: Rev. Current L. & L. Reform 39 (2006)
In Good Faith to Whom - An Analysis of Judicial Deference to Municipal Authority and the Dispute over the Arbutus Corridor

handle is hein.journals/appeal11 and id is 41 raw text is: APPEAL *   VOLUME II *   2006

Ryan Goldvine
I recall drivng across the Arbutus Coriidor daily on my way to
school and being stopped by the familiar lights and sounds of a
train crossing. Yometimes it would be ony for a moment, and other
times I might be wailng for what seemed like an hour. I later
remember wondering (while really knowing) why the trains never
passed by that crossing at 16th Avenue anymore. I also recall
wondering how such an odd-shapedpiece of land might be developed
after it was no longer used   or rail-perhaps it would remain
undeveloped and be used as bike trails, or perhaps it would be a
stretch of very narrow houses and shops. Ft never occurred to me
that these musings mght be the subject of consideration by our
nation's highest court ofappeal, the Supreme Court of Canada.
The legislature of British Columbia has empowered municipalities with
broad powers of discretion over land use planning. Since these powers
could be seen to conflict with the rights of landowners, these
discretionary powers must often be enforced by the courts. While
there is a general presumption in favour of the courts deferring to
municipal authority, the courts can intervene and review municipal
actions where they are outside the authority of the municipal
government or where      the   actions  are  marked   by  patent
unreasonableness. Where the courts draw the line between deference
and intervention has been debated over many years, but continues to
lack the clarity the courts insist it has. Recently, the British Columbia
Court of Appeal overturned a lower court decision that struck out a
by-law restricting development on private land owned by Canadian

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