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Rainbow Park expropriation going back to court March 21

Resort Municipality of Whistler wants to reverse dismissal of an appeal



The expropriation of Rainbow Park is going back to the courts on March 21.

George MacIntosh, a Vancouver-based attorney acting on behalf of the Saxton family that used to own the property where Rainbow Park is located, confirmed on Monday that the Resort Municipality of Whistler would go to the B.C. Court of Appeal to review the dismissal of an appeal that the court assumed was abandoned.

"The first judge dismissed the appeal, and Rainbow or the Saxtons are arguing for that dismissal to be upheld," MacIntosh told Pique .

The issues around Rainbow Park stretch back to 1987, when the municipality moved to expropriate a property owned by the Saxton family of North Vancouver.

Expropriation occurs when a government takes possession of private land for public use - in this case, 108 acres on the shore of Alta Lake that has since become a popular recreation area for tourists and Whistler residents.

The municipality paid the Saxton family $367,000 for the property back then and the owners later sued, arguing that the property was worth more than they were paid. Justice Elaine Adair of the Supreme Court of B.C. agreed, saying the property was actually worth $1.3 million.

The municipality is thus on the hook for $1 million and perhaps more due to interest accrued over time. If it can reverse the dismissal of its appeal, the municipality can then appeal that award in the courts.




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