North Van senior taken to court as district says she’s holding up freeway project
Work on a major North Vancouver highway expansion has hit a literal roadblock, and the District of North Vancouver is taking a local homeowner to court over it.
Juanna Hanlon’s home lies in the path of the nearly $200-million Lower Lynn Highway Interchange Project, and the district expropriated the property last November.
But the 64-year-old, who has lived in the home at 740 East Forsman for several decades, says the district underpaid her for the land — and hasn’t given her enough time to move out.
It hasn’t stopped work on the project, though, which is ongoing just metres from the house.
“There’s reasons why I’m still here, which are valid,” Hanlon told Global News.
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“It’s hard to move and to prepare papers, especially when you don’t know what’s expected of you in the court or which forms to use… It’s pretty complicated for the lay person.”
Hanlon said she’s had trouble getting legal advice, and is facing challenges storing her property and dealing with the logistics of moving her entire life.
She also says she feels shortchanged.
“Absolutely. There’s the factor that I want the judge to look at, which is that my property is worth more, substantially more than I was provided for it.”
But the district tells a different story.
In a statement to Global News, a spokesperson said Hanlon had been given four months notice to vacate the property.
“The District paid the property owner a sum in excess of the appraised market value of the property, including amounts for the property owner’s legal, moving and other costs,” it said.
“She has not left and has provided no assurance when she is leaving. Thus we are now before the court requesting eviction, as the project cannot continue with this level of uncertainty.”
According to court documents, she was expected to vacate the property by March 31, and crews need to demolish the home in order to move forward.
The district added that because of the scale of the project, continued delays could affect the timeline of the highway upgrade, and leave taxpayers on the hook for work stoppages.
Hanlon is slated to appear in B.C. Supreme Court on Friday, where she will argue for an extension on her eviction.
-With files form Catherine Urquhart
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.