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Vernon property owner sues city over refusal to issue business licence

The civil claim says the city failed to provide written reasons as to why it refused to issue the licence
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A Vernon property owner filed a civil claim against the City of Vernon over its refusa lto issue a business licence Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023. (Google Street View)

The City of Vernon is facing a lawsuit over its refusal to issue a business licence to a property owner.

And Yuri Bos, in a civil claim filed in BC Supreme Court in Kelowna on Nov. 14, says the city has not given a reason for the refusal.

Bos is seeking a judicial review of whether the city has failed to provide a meaningful determination on a business licence and permit application.

The properties the petitioner was seeking a business licence for are located at 4600 and 4604 34th Street. The two parcels near Highway 97 are zoned community commercial.

Bos signed a 10-year offer to lease agreement with BigSteelBox, a storage company, in April 2021. BigSteelBox already owns and operates out of the neighbouring property.

BigSteelBox engaged with the City of Vernon to acquire the relevant permits and licences to use Bos’s properties, but according to the claim, the city wouldn’t authorize the company to use the properties for the proposed use of an outdoor storage facility, which is allowed under the current zoning. Because of this, the company terminated its agreement with Bos in June 2021.

Bos went on to make his own permit application with the city in November 2022. Months of correspondence between Bos and the city ensued, and in May 2023, Bos received word from a city clerk that a business licence had been issued for one of the properties, but not the other.

According to the claim, Bos has been unsuccessful in finding a new tenant.

Bos is suing the city for lost income of $2,749.75 per month since July 2021, totalling a loss of income of just over $74,000, plus lost property tax payments that would have been paid by BigSteelBox.

Bos is seeking a declaration that the city is unlawfully refusing to issue the licence.

His suit is seeking $74,243.25 plus GST for the lost income and $36,569.82 for lost rent, plus interests and costs.

The suit argues the city is breaching the Community Charter for its “unreasonable” refusal to provide written reasons for not issuing the licence.

The city has 21 days to respond to the claim.

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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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