Manitoba

Winnipeg remains in contempt of court over Parker Lands development

The City of Winnipeg has now been in contempt of a court order for more than a year over an application for development of 47 acres known as the Parker Lands. The courts have once again ordered the city to hear the developer's plan.

Judge orders city to hear development plan and zoning application again

A judge has ordered the city to pay double a developer's legal costs in the latest skirmish over the Parker Lands development. (CBC News Graphics)

The City of Winnipeg has now been in contempt of a court order for more than a year over an application for development of 47 acres known as the Parker Lands.

Queen's Bench Justice Candace Grammond on Monday again ordered the city to hold meetings of the standing policy committee for property and development to consider developer Andrew Marquess's development and zoning applications.

Marquess has been trying for years to get approval for a development called Fulton Grove planned for 47 acres of land in Fort Garry, near the recently opened second leg of the southwest rapid transit corridor.

On Aug. 6, 2019, Grammond ruled that the city had intentionally violated her order to hold a public meeting on the development and found the city in contempt of court.

Last May, the city's property, planning and development committee and the executive policy committee voted against the development plan.

Marquess's lawyer, Dave Hill, vowed at the time to go back to court, saying the contempt order issued by the court meant the city should have held public hearings on the applications.

Developer Andrew Marquess, left, and his lawyer Dave Hill have won another round in the legal battle over the Parker Lands development. (Bartley Kives/CBC)

Grammond agreed with Hill in the decision delivered Monday.

"I am exercising my discretion and order that the SPC [standing policy committee] hold a fresh public meeting to consider the secondary plan application, pursuant to the non-statutory (policy) approach, followed by a fresh public hearing to consider the zoning application," her decision says.

Grammond also ordered the city to pay Marquess's legal fees, as she has in previous orders. In this case, the city must pay twice the costs.

"Enhanced costs are appropriate, however, because of the respondents' unresponsive and at times unco-operative conduct in this litigation, as described in these reasons. Accordingly, the respondents shall pay to the applicants double costs on a Class 4 basis," Grammond wrote in her decision.

The judge gave the city 30 days to pay up, saying the city has been slow to send a cheque for previous cost orders.

Marquess is battling the city in a separate court case alleging abuse of power during the process. He's seeking at least $30 million in damages for lost revenue due to delays of the Parker Lands development.

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