Nova Scotia

Timeline: Northwest Arm right-of-way battle

A dispute over a right-of-way to a home along Northwest Arm dates back decades.

A dispute over a right-of-way to a home along Northwest Arm dates back decades. Here's the timeline:

1966: court extinguishes a right of way behind the Sutherland property at 9 Milton Dr. across lands owned by Russell Finley, now owned by Marterra Inc., leaving the home with access for persons, animals and vehicles via a public footpath along Northwest Arm.  

1997: Harold Sutherland petitioned regional council under the Private Ways Act after his neighbours, Dr. Charles and Marie Cron, denied access to an ambulance.

1998: after Harold Sutherland dies, his daughter, Susan, reapplies.

1998: the commissioner appointed under the Private Ways Act discovers the infilled lands where the right of way would be located were actually owned by the Crown under the direct control of the Halifax Port Authority

2000: the port authority grants Susan Sutherland a 10 year licence for a three-metre wide right-of-way adjacent to the public foot for $1 a year. The licence expired on April 30, 2010.

Jan. 2010: the Crons secure title of the infilled lands from the federal minister of transportation.

April 13, 2010: Susan Sutherland receives a letter from the Crons asserting ownership of the land. The gravel road is covered with dirt and planted with rose bushes.

Oct. 2010: the Crons file an application in court to quash the Private Ways Act.

Dec. 2010: the application by the Crons is dismissed

March 2011: Susan Sutherland petitions regional council under the Private Ways Act.This time council adds the provision that before a commissioner is engaged, an agreement has to be reached with the petitioner to cover expenses associated with the arbitrators.

Nov. 27, 2013: report of the commissioner laying out the location of the private way access across the property of 5 Milton Dr. (the Crons) to 9 Milton Dr. (Sutherland property).  An offer of compensation is made and refused.

Sept. 23, 2014: three-person arbitration panel convenes a hearing.

Nov. 17, 2014: report from the arbitration panel outlines the compensation award: $45,800 for the value of the land used for the right-of-way, $95,000 for the loss of value to the property plus disbursements, legal and expert fees. Total award: $168,477.15

March 24, 2015: staff report to Halifax regional council includes the bill for arbitration: $61,583.52 

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