A Legal Gamble Lost: False Creek Residents Association v Assessor of Area 9

  • Sarah McCalla
Keywords: Property Valuation, Community Amenity Contribution Agreement, Local Residents Groups, Urban Development


In August 2013, the BC Property Assessment Appeal Board valued nine-and-a-half acres of south-facing waterfront property in Vancouver, one of North America’s most expensive cities, at one dollar.  This case study reviews the controversial False Creek Residents Association v Assessor of Area 09 decision, the first to consider the interaction between two important legal forums: a twenty year old contractual community amenity contribution commitment to develop the lot into a park and the administrative property assessment appeal process chosen as the legal arena. In its narrow result, the decision could amount to a significant reduction in tax liability for developers across the province. More broadly, it highlights the ubiquitous role of local residents groups in the development process and the fine line between legal gamble and political success.

Author Biography

Sarah McCalla

Sarah McCalla is a recent graduate of UBC’s Faculty of Law.  She will be clerking with the BC Supreme Court in 2014-2015 and articling with Bull, Housser & Tupper LLP in 2015.

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