March 3, 2023
For Immediate Release
Hammer Head Equities Inc. v. Rossland (City)
Rossland, BC – The City of Rossland confirms that it will not be appealing the decision issued on January 16, 2023, by Justice Lyster of the BC Supreme Court concerning the five lawsuits brought against the City by four companies associated with Warren Hamm.
“We accept the decision of the BC Supreme Court and will not be appealing it,” said Mayor Andy Morel. “We will comply with the court’s orders and work to continue to ensure that our community’s bylaws are applied fairly and transparently. When the majority of Council members made the decision to not issue the development permits, Council believed it to be in the best interest of our community to ensure that our natural resources are protected for future generations.”
The lawsuits involved the decision by the City’s previous Council to not issue Development Permits to the companies for tree removal and the challenge to the application of the City’s Tree Management Bylaw No. 2769. Justice Lyster found that the former Council acted in bad faith in enacting the Bylaw and that the decision to not issue the Development Permits was not legally valid under the City’s Official Community Plan. The finding of bad faith was made in the context of administrative law principles and was related to Council’s efforts to address the tree cutting proposed by the companies.
As a result of the court’s decision, Justice Lyster set aside the refusals of the Development Permit applications and ordered the City to issue the Development Permits at issue. Additionally, the judge declared that work performed by the companies under the Development Permits will be governed by the City’s previous Tree Management Bylaw (Bylaw No. 2389) for a period of 24 months after the date of the court’s decision.