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Central Saanich residents appeal Vantreight development to top court

Jan 28 2012

A Central Saanich group is asking the highest court in Canada to rule on a council decision to allow a housing development on land owned by the Vantreight family.

The Residents and Ratepayers of Central Saanich Society has filed for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. It wants the court to overturn lower-court decisions that said it was not for the courts to interfere with an elected council's "reasonable interpretation" of an official community plan.

The group had argued that approval of the 57-lot subdivision on 13 hectares just off Wallace Drive by farm owner Ian Vantreight contravened the community plan. The appeal is being funded by West Coast Environmental Law.

The Supreme Court of Canada hears cases that it deems have a national interest or implications. Firstly, the applicant files for leave to appeal. The court looks at the appeals and decides which cases it will hear.

Ratepayers president Ian Cameron said the last time the Supreme Court of Canada considered such an issue was in 1990. Since then, community plans have become more sophisticated and detailed, and there have been conflicting decision in different provinces, Cameron said.

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