Major victory for environmental protection in Sutton
The Court of Appeal has unanimously sided with a citizens’ group from Sutton opposed to amendments to the city’s zoning by-laws enacted to facilitate real estate development, most notably in high altitude sectors.
The Court of Appeal concluded that the first instance judge erred in finding that Sutton was allowed to change these by-laws by using the amendment procedure created by the Act respecting land use planning and development. It rather found that these changes could only be made in the context of a review of the city’s entire urban plan and, for this reason, that the adopted by-laws were null and void. The Court highlighted that the method chosen by the city had compromised citizen participation in the process through, among other things, its great complexity and the thousands of referenda that citizens opposed to the project would have had to initiate. Finally, the Court also found that this same complexity violated the Act respecting land use planning and development’s procedural safeguards, and that this violation also rendered the by-laws null and void.
We are very happy for our clients who showed great determination throughout a host of actions that were an expression of their sense of civic duty.
Click here to read the Court of Appeal’s decision.