The Development Appeal Board’s confirmation of the Development Officer’s approval of a development permit was allowed as the City, without bad faith or obfuscation, misled the public with respect to the implementation of the amendment to a zoning bylaw

28. December 2004 0

Administrative law – Municipalities – Planning and zoning – Decisions of administrative tribunals – Public interest – Judicial review – Procedural requirements and fairness – Standard of review – Reasonableness simpliciter

Boyd v. Yellowknife (City), [2004] N.W.T.J. No. 49, Northwest Territories Supreme Court, August 20, 2004, Lutz J.

The Appellant appealed the Development Appeal Board’s decision confirming the decision of the Development Officer approving a development permit respecting development of undeveloped raw lands located within the City of Yellowknife. The Appellant contended that the Development Officer exceeded his authority by initiating changes to the development scheme after the public meeting.

The court held that the standard of review in this case was that of reasonableness simpliciter. With respect to the proposal, a meeting was held on June 16 where the public was allowed to express their views. However, the proper interpretation or feeling of the Board was never left with the persons who attended the meeting, and the City subsequently admitted that an amendment to the zoning bylaw was required to deal with a parks/recreation modification. The City could not relocate the park in the development without an amendment, and the City left the distinct impression with the public at the meeting that nothing more, and certainly no public input, was required to adjust the current plan to accommodate full development as submitted to the public at the meeting. The impression clearly left with the public was that all relevant matters would be discussed at the meeting. The court noted the public could only expect forthrightness. While not finding bad faith or obfuscation on behalf of the City, the court held that there was a misunderstanding arising from the meeting. Accordingly, the appeal was allowed, and the matter was referred back to the Development Appeal Board.

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