The latest in the long-standing saga of the Falcon Ridge apartment project made its way back to the Supreme Court of Yukon this week.
The developer is asking the court for permission to finish constructing a smaller version of the apartment building that was halted last winter.
In January, Justice Ron Veale ruled the developer had not obtained the proper consent needed to build.
He ordered the construction to stop and nothing new be built without the consent of all the unit owners.
Back in Veale’s courtroom this week, the developer, a numbered company run by Brian Little, asked the judge to consider new plans.
The developer now wants to build an 18-unit structure instead of the 24-unit building they originally planned for along with five separate homes, lawyer Daniel Bennett said.
The developer claims to have consent from the owners of 44 of the 88 homes in Falcon Ridge.
Four of those units are owned by Little and 11 are still owned by the numbered company, the court heard.
Some of the owners chose to spend the day in the courtroom gallery. A few took the chance to speak directly to Veale.
Rick Karp was one of the first people to buy a condo in Falcon Ridge back in 2005.
He urged the judge to allow the building to move forward. He said it is important for the litigation to end so that money can be spent on other things.
Karp insists that when he purchased his unit he was aware that an apartment building on the land in question was a possibility.
Others had strong feelings about tearing down the skeleton of the unfinished building.
Fabian Glyka told the court he had a choice of lots when he bought his home a few years ago.
Had he known that there was going to be an apartment building across from his home he may have built somewhere else, he said.
He told Veale no one ever told him about an apartment building.
Grant Zazula told the court he has felt intentionally confused and deceived by the developer.
He expressed concerns about what will happen to property values if the building is completed.
The area already struggles with parking and an apartment building would increase traffic, he said.
Zazula said he doesn’t trust the developer to look out for his best interests, and he believes the building should be taken down.
The board’s lawyer, Jim Tucker, said there is no application to have the building torn down.
That piece of property belongs to the developer and is theirs to do with as they wish – as long as they follow the rules, he said.
The only time the board may step in is if the unfinished property becomes unsafe. That may mean seeking a court order to take it down, he said.
He questioned whether the consents the developer claims to have gathered were done in accordance with the territory’s regulations.
After listening to a full day of arguments between the two sides, Veale asked for input on his authority in the matter.
If he does not agree with the developer’s plan, Veale asked whether he would have the legal ability to order some other form of housing be built on that particular plot of land.
Both lawyers agreed that is a possibility.
This is not the end of the case.
Today, both sides will argue over claims by the board that it’s owed about $2 million from the developer in fees and interest.
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