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Langley dinged $1.5M for overpass impact 0

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

The 204 Street overpass hinders the visibility of businesses next to it, a judge ruled recently.
(GOOGLE STREETVIEW)

The 204 Street overpass hinders the visibility of businesses next to it, a judge ruled recently. (GOOGLE STREETVIEW)

The City of Langley has been ordered to pay a landowner $1.54 million for negative impacts on businesses caused by its 204 Street overpass.

The city expropriated land from Rockcliffe Estates Ltd. in 2005 to build the overpass, and had earlier paid more than $800,000 for the land’s loss of value. But the finished overpass now restricts access and visibility to Rockcliffe’s property, further reducing the value, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled.

The two affected properties adjacent to the Langley Bypass and the 204 Street overpass had housed a number of businesses, including Scan Designs, Cloverdale Concrete Form Rentals, Don’s Truck Sales and Travelhome Vacations International.

Justice Bruce Greyell, who ordered the city to pay the additional sum, said the changes meant there were now fewer entrances in the property.

Additionally, vehicles were restricted to right turns when going into or out of the property. Scan’s building is also partially blocked from view by the overpass.

For cars going eastbound on Langley Bypass, for example, the turn restriction means they now need to overshoot the property, then “find a convenient place to turn around and head back in a westerly direction.”

Similarly, westbound drivers need to cut through a heavily used merge lane, which the judge called a “daunting prospect” during busy times of the day.

“There were many significant issues caused by the construction of the overpass which impacted Rockcliffe and its tenants,” Greyell.

“Rockcliffe could only assess such impact following construction of the overpass and did not know what affect the impact of the taking would have on the lease renewals with its tenants.”

The intention of Rockcliffe, the court noted, had always been to redevelop the property in the future.

 

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