A lawsuit launched by the Neskonlith Indian Band against the City of Salmon Arm and Salmon Arm Shopping Centres Inc. that focuses in part on the Hazardous Areas Development Permit appears stalled in the courts.
The Neskonlith are challenging the Hazardous Areas Development Permit because of concerns about flooding, as well as citing lack of consultation by the city.
Co-counsel for the Neskonlith, Nicole Schabas, says the city has not filed a response to the Neskonlith petition in B.C. Supreme Court, something that ought to have been done within 21 days of the July 28 petition being filed.
“They’re trying to push ahead with a development our expert says is a flood hazard. Not just a flood risk, a flood hazard. The city should take that into account,” Schabas said.
A court date was set for this week to address timing issues.
Carl Bannister, the city’s chief administrative officer, said such delays are not uncommon.
“In this particular case, it’s complicated by the fact the nature of the petition from the lawyer for the Neskonlith Band really goes beyond development permit issues and it speaks to aboriginal claims and these types of issues.”
He said there are several reasons for delays, one of which could be SmartCentres’ new development permit, as well as the province’s involvement in the court action because of the aboriginal title issues.