Legal Threat Gives Campground Plan 2nd Life

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February 4, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

The company wanting to develop an RV campground in Fanny Bay on the east coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia is being offered another chance to secure permission.

River Dam Holdings had its development permit application for land at Holiday Road rejected by the Comox Valley Regional District last summer after neighbors urged directors to toss the plan, the Comox Valley Echo reported.

They did so at the third time of discussing the issue, despite planning staff advising the land was properly zoned for tourist-commercial development. Staff recommended the application be approved with conditions.

For the company, Amandio Santos called in lawyers, who wrote to the regional district to draw attention to case law suggesting directors might find themselves "guilty of the tort of abuse of public office" if they vote on a zoning matter ignoring mandatory provisions, after having been advised in advance that in doing so would be illegal.

There has been no public comment from any of the directors on the issue, but at Tuesday's (Feb. 1) regional district board meeting a procedural exception was a granted to River Dam Holdings.

Normally, after receiving a rejection notice, an applicant cannot reapply for permission for a project for 12 months.

But the board has now agreed River Dam "can make a new development permit application for a proposed RV campground that will be substantially similar to an application that was refused by the CVRD board."

In a written report, chief administrative officer Debra Oakman said the recommendation from staff to offer the company another opportunity had been prepared in accordance with advice from the authority's own legal counsel. It was passed without comment.

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