Administrative law – Decisions of administrative tribunals – Subdivision and Development Appeal Board – Judicial review – Bias – Jurisdiction of court
McCauley Community League v. Edmonton (City),  A.J. No. 1077, 2012 ABCA 314, Alberta Court of Appeal, October 30, 2012, J.E.L. Côté J.A.
The applicant, the McCauley Community League, applied for leave to appeal from a decision of the Edmonton Subdivision and Development Appeal Board. The Board confirmed a development permit to build a multi-story building intended primarily to house aboriginal people with addictions and medical problems. The applicant argued that the building provided medical services, which was something for which the land upon which it would be constructed did not permit, as it had been zoned for apartments. The applicant further argued that, while the community plan encouraged the use of the land for family living and for uses including low-income and special needs housing, the proposed building did not satisfy the plan. The applicant noted that the care services offered to the residents of the proposed building were not an accessory use but were the primary purpose for development, however the Board found otherwise. The applicant also challenged the decision on the basis of bias as a panel member of the Board had previously ruled on a similar case.
The Court of Appeal dismissed the application.
The Court held that there was no significant evidence to suggest bias by the panel member, and there was no suggestion of any animus against the applicant. The Court also held that, as the remaining issues raised by the applicant did not raise questions of law alone, the Court lacked expertise and jurisdiction to set aside the Board’s findings.
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