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#19197
LORNE PARK OWNERS' illegal wetland barrier DRAGS POA into guilty plea: HAVER v CVC Authority 2021/03/13 20:10  
Not legal advice

( Disclaimer for those with short memories of Hurricane Hazel in the same vicinity, the Conservation Authority protections & approval process try to address flooding, habitat damage & other adverse impacts from willy-nilly unregulated riparian change & wetland damage. My current & former Building Schemes & a cottage we once owned, were models of healthy natural watersides. "Hardened" watersides can worsen flooding & destroy habitats. )

ONCA Ontario's Court of Appeal has drop-kicked out the door a claim by a pair of owners at a venerable high-end Lake Ontario area community in western GTA.

That's after awarding $ 20 K in legal costs against them and repeating the denial of INTERVENOR status for them to try to pre-empt the dismantling of a certain illegal wetlands barrier which they had the chutzpah to construct in 2016 on the common lands of their community property.

Not at canlii.org : the texts of the judicial backstories including their POA Property Owners Association PLEADING GUILTY - NO CONTEST - to a Provincial Offence of violating Ontario's Conservation Authorities Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.27 (“Act”) and prescribed O. Reg. 160/06 !

The held-factuals repeated in ONCA's decision include that :

1- in 2016 the barrier-erectors claim to have been authorized by their POA's ( then- ) President. ( Judging from thousands of comments over the years by U.S. POA & condo owners, this ain't so unusual if - IF - - if it actually happened. Crazy S**t is common in the Building Scheme universe. )

2 - WITHOUT GETTING THE REQUIRED approval of the Credit Valley Conservation Authority they not only constructed the buckshee wetlands barrier, but DID SO ON THE COMMON LANDS of the Lorne Park Estates Association ! ( a clever risk ? : let the community's prestige shelter this & maybe even keep it repaired in future in the absence of documentation . . . )

3 - Whether next detected by Authority staff or reported by the public or justifiably-outraged Lorne Park owners, the unauthorized barrier resulted in the Association being charged and in 2019 pleading guilty to a Provincial Offence ! ( it's an absolute or strict liability, whichever )

4 - AS PENALTY the Authority & the POA agreed on the light penalty of the illegal barrier being removed.

5 - However in THREE legal venues these barrier erectors have had the chutzpah to keep demanding INTERVENOR STATUS in order to try to halt the dismantling of their buckshee barrier on common lands !

6 - ONCA's decision is mercifully silent as WHAT other POA owners think about the damaging optics & having to fund the joint rearguard action to defend the light penalty. Are other POA owners dancing for joy about this expensive mess ? Who will pay for the barrier's removal & site restoration ? If it's not done, what will be the outcome for the POA, its merciful sentence having been to remove the illegal barrier ?

Is this a genuine cautionary tale about volunteer skillsets ? Or about chutzpah ?

PS. In 1913 a dispute about 'what is common land ? ' ( http://canlii.ca/t/gw647 later upheld on appeal ) at this same venerable Lorne Park community, was an early indicator of the superstardom of Ontario's first & maybe only Building Scheme judicial superstar the late Mr Justice William Edward Middleton ( 1860-1948 ). This enormously courteous & insightful jurist is the subject of a 1988 biography by a later appellate judge ( a book still available from the Law Society of Ontario's affiliated Osgoode Society ).

Haver et al v C.V.C.A. Credit Valley Conservation Authority & Lorne Park Estates Assn issued March 12/21 https://canlii.ca/t/jdpdx
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