UBID drops legal action against School District 71

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A legal claim filed by the Union Bay Improvement District against School District 71 has been dropped, as agreed by the two sides.

“We have worked out a solution to allow them to discontinue their action against us,” SD71 secretary-treasurer Russell Horswill said.

At issue was land the UBID had purchased from SD71. The property contains a Crown grant restriction preventing it from being bought or sold because its use is limited for educational purposes.

The UBID purchased the land for $675,000 in 2007. It was assessed at about $1.3 million.

“We had initially intended it to be an administration building and eventually the site of a new firehall,” UBID chair Carol Molstad said. “We tried for five years to have that (limited use) notation removed. That seriously affected our investment, and the value of the property was compromised.

“We initiated the legal action when it became apparent that it was not possible to have that notation removed,” she added.

The property is an amalgamation of three parcels. The school district acquired about an acre along with a building through a Crown grant in 1949, and an adjacent one-acre lot from Canadian Collieries.

In 1977, it added the third parcel in an exchange with a developer.

SD71 will re-purchase the building and property, which houses the UBID office.

The office will be relocated to another location that has yet to be determined.

The UBID is continuing with its second claim against Margot Rutherford, who was its notary public before the sale of the property was finalized in October, 2007.