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City of Kelowna, mayor being sued over redevelopment of old RCMP property

The suit was filed in Vancouver Supreme Court on Feb. 1, 2024
Centurion Appelt (350 Doyle Avenue) and 350 Doyle Avenue Holdings Inc. filed the suit in Vancouver Supreme Court on Feb. 1, 2024 over the redevelopment of the former RCMP site in Kelowna. (Contributed photo)

The City of Kelowna and Mayor Tom Dyas are named in a lawsuit concerning the redevelopment of the former RCMP detachment site.

Centurion Appelt (350 Doyle Avenue) and 350 Doyle Avenue Holdings Inc. filed the suit in Vancouver Supreme Court on Feb. 1, 2024.

It claims “unlawful attempts by the city’s recently elected mayor and council to delay and/or stop the project for improper reasons.”

Court documents state those reasons include, but are not limited to, Mayor Dyas’ political objectives and vision for the property, appeasing the Kelowna Legacy Group (KLG), and the city’s desire as the owner of the property to reacquire the lease at a discounted price and pursue other development opportunities.

The plaintiff cites “misfeasance in public office” as the legal basis of its claim, stating current city council and Mayor Dyas were motivated to stop the project for unlawful or improper reasons.

The claim alleges that following a municipal election on October 15, 2022, and after the developer had spent millions of dollars and several years advancing the project, the city began taking various actions to stall the project and then revoked development permits on Aug. 14, 2023.

READ MORE: Developer to challenge action after Kelowna council pulls contentious permit

Council included in that decision an invitation to the developer to reapply for a permit.

The action followed a staff report outlining concerns that several speakers at a public hearing on the project were paid a per diem for their appearance.

READ MORE: Dollars given to supporters of Doyle development at Kelowna public hearing

In the claim, it states that the developer believed that providing the per diem reimbursements would enable students to participate in the public hearing and provide compensation for the time they would spend attending information sessions and preparing speaking notes.

“The developer did not authorize and never would have authorized, payments to students to change their independently held views.”

A previous civil claim was filed by 350 Doyle Avenue Holdings against the City of Kelowna on Sep. 8, 2023 over the revocation of the development permits.

READ MORE: Lawsuit launched after permits pulled following ‘tainted’ Kelowna council meeting

In the claim filed Feb. 1, the developer is seeking damages for loss and delay of profit, increased project costs, legal fees, and unspecified special damages.

None of the allegations have been tried in court.

READ MORE: Kelowna Legacy Group doubles down on doubling of downtown tower

Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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