The Quebec Court of Appeal has upheld a 2017 ruling over a sprawling wooded area in Montreal’s West Island.
In a unanimous decision, the province’s top court ruled that the City of Beaconsfield respected the procedures for the protection of Angell Woods.
“I am very satisfied with this decision of the highest instance,” said Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle in a statement issued on Monday. “It confirms the city acts in the best interests of its citizens.”
Yale Properties, which owns part of the land, accused the city of abuse of power before the Quebec Superior Court over the handling of the lush forest.
In August 2017, Justice Johanne Mainville ruled it was the right of the city to be able to safeguard ecosystems and wetlands based on environmental reasons.
However, Mainville ruled in favour of the real estate company when it came to people trespassing on the part of the land owned by Yale Properties.
The company then brought its case to the Court of Appeal. The company argued the city maintained an interim bylaw that prevented it from developing the area it owns.
Quebec Court of Appeal justices Geneviève Marcotte, Mark Schrager and Clément Samson rejected the company’s appeal in a ruling issued on Feb. 22.
The ruling upheld the legality of the bylaw, pointing to an absence of acquired rights by the developers.
WATCH: The City of Montreal buys a portion of Angell Woods
It also pointed out that Yale Properties had not sought damages in its appeal.
“In the absence of a claim for damages, it is also unnecessary to respond to the appellant’s arguments with respect to the respondent’s actions that would constitute a disguised expropriation of her property,” the ruling said.
“The judge dealt with these arguments and rejected them. These are questions of fact or mixed questions of law and fact in respect of which the trial judge made no error that could lead to an appellate intervention.”
Yale Properties declined to comment on the ruling.
—With files from Global’s Tim Sargeant and Dan Spector
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