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05Jul
2011

Court of Appeal Scuttles Riparian Area “Variance” Procedure

The B.C. Court of Appeal has held, in a unanimous judgment in Yanke v. Salmon Arm (City), that a hardship-based “variance” process that the Ministry of Environment and Fisheries and Oceans Canada have been using to authorize development in streamside protection and enhancement areas, lacks any legal foundation. The decision will be of significant interest to local governments that are subject to s. 12 of the Fish Protection Act and have been struggling to deal with the redevelopment of riparian properties that are wholly or partially within SPEAS identified by qualified environmental professionals following the methodology prescribed by the Riparian Areas Regulation.

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