Other legal comments

While the City downplays the impact of the Justice McEwan ruling, independent legal experts are singing a very different tune. An analysis published online by the law firm McMillan has this to say (excerpts only):

“Developers and their lenders must now be aware of the risk that their development, even if it is under construction and being sold, could be stopped in its tracks in the event that any public hearing for rezoning or development permits have not been carried out adequately by the municipality.”
(Damon Chisholm, Amanda Magee of law firm McMillan, Feb 2015)


“The result of this decision on future public hearings and development permit processes is that the City:

  • must provide intelligible and understandable information to the public to allow for scrutiny and consideration;
  • must provide the public with a fair opportunity to communicate with City Council about the advantages and disadvantages of the proposal; and
  • must scrupulously consider the input from the public and cannot arrive at a pre-ordained conclusion.”

And …

  • Pursuant to REDMA a developer must file a new disclosure statement for their project when there has been a material change. The quashing of a development permit would constitute such a material change which would give purchasers under the original disclosure statement the right to rescind their purchases.”

Read the full text here: http://www.mcmillan.ca/Recent-BC-Decision-Quashes-Rezoning-and-Land-Swap

The above excerpts are from the “Real Estate Bulletin” jointly written by Damon Chisholm in the firm’s Vancouver office and a member of its Commercial Real Estate and Finance Services Groups, and by student-at-law Amanda Magee. This is essential reading for anyone interested in this case and its implications.

For more discussion about how the media and City staff are covering the Court decision, see our post “Shockwaves from Supreme Court decision on New Yaletown public hearing: McMillan law firm bulletin reveals new realization in government and development industry?” (CityHallWatch, 20-Feb-2015):


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