Court of Appeal upholds Positive Angell Woods Conservation Decision

Court of Appeal upholds Positive Angell Woods Conservation Decision
On February 27, the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled on the Yale Properties vs City of Beaconsfield and APAW case.
You will recall that in 2017, the Quebec Superior Court, by way of a 2 week trial, had looked at all the facts surrounding the City of Beaconsfield’s numerous attempts to rezone the Woods in light of pressure from APAW and other citizens. The trial court had concluded that the Angell Woods file had been very difficult for the City, but that ultimately Beaconsfield had done nothing wrong in deciding NOT to proceed with a development zoning plan for the Woods. The court found that there had been no “collusion” with APAW and that the City had done its democratic job in sorting out the will of its community, all in good faith. The land-owner who had originally sued, Yale Properties, appealed this decision.
The Court of Appeal, in a 12 page judgment, completely agreed with the lower court decision and validated the conclusions of the trial judge. The Court noted that not only has Beaconsfield taken steps to protect Angell Woods, but so have the City of Montreal and the Montreal Agglomeration Council. It is time to move on and look forward.
The Court found that the Yale Properties real estate company has no “grandfather rights” to develop; all the appropriate democratic and urban planning steps were taken to protect the Woods in accordance with the law.
Hopefully this decision will encourage Yale Properties to follow the lead of all the other Angell Woods landowners and sell its land for fair value to the government authorities. Yale Properties has been until now the last holdout in this collective project. Now that the court has decided on its development rights, it should be clear that the highest and best use for their lot is as a conservation area for the benefit of Montreal Island residents.

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