Design to make Visual

BC actual estate: Burnaby authorized to maintain property facts hidden

The town explained revealing the house information would give neighbouring homeowners a “virtual roadmap” demonstrating in which a land assembly is prepared, top house owners to request price ranges a great deal higher than marketplace price.

A B.C. Supreme Court docket judge has dominated the Metropolis of Burnaby can continue to keep 421 of the qualities it owns a secret.

The City of Burnaby won its scenario to continue to keep all those attributes hidden against the B.C. Details and Privacy Commissioner and community resident David Hayre earlier this month.

Hayre had asked for a checklist of all the qualities owned by the Metropolis of Burnaby in January 2020.

His liberty of facts request returned a list of 2,314 houses, nevertheless, the road addresses or parcel identification information on one more 421 attributes had been redacted.

The town mentioned the withheld real estate info was associated to its strategies for upcoming advancement jobs, including active land assemblies.

It argued if the qualities have been disclosed, it would “harm (the City’s) capability to negotiate the purchase of these targeted homes at reasonable current market value.”

The town stated home house owners would refuse to provide or request costs a lot greater than market worth, as experienced occurred at minimum 27 occasions in advance of. (An affidavit included “one severe example” in which the metropolis offered to buy land for an overpass challenge and pump station for $10.8 million. When the owner grew to become mindful of the city’s intention, he counteroffered at $66.9 million.)

Nonetheless, an Office environment of Facts and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) choice ruled the town had to disclose the 421 attributes, as the adjudicator did not see “how progress recognize of the City’s interest would alter the negotiations involving the City and the property operator.”

The city appealed to B.C. Supreme Court for a evaluation of the determination.

Judge Shelley Fitzpatrick found the OIPC ruling “unreasonable” and quashed the OIPC decision.

Fitzpatrick observed the town proved a “reasonable expectation of probable harm” from disclosing the homes.

She said awareness of the withheld attributes would not only give a property owner “advance notice” about the city’s fascination in buying their residence, but also expose the city’s plans of a very likely land assembly, as properly as how considerably alongside the metropolis was in its land acquisition aims.

The metropolis explained that disclosing the residence info would provide homeowners of neighbouring lands with a “virtual roadmap” that would display “with a superior degree of certainty,” in accordance to the decide, where by a land assembly is prepared and how vital a residence is to the land assembly bundle, supplying leverage in negotiations.

“If a house owner gets to be armed with that expertise,” Fitzpatrick claimed in her determination, “the City’s evidence founded that there was substantially much more possibility that a residence operator may possibly check with for an increased sale rate or refuse to provide at all.”

“In addition, the ‘disclosure to the world’ would also inevitably raise the danger of other 3rd parties coming into the fray to invest in the remaining homes in the however uncompleted land assembly, trying to get to purchase ‘leverage’ in relation to the Metropolis as a usually means for financial gain.”

The city said if it is not able to purchase the properties necessary for its land assemblies, it “may not be equipped to” enhance small-money rental housing in the metropolis, insert new construction positions, or improve parkland.

Fitzpatrick additional if the town weren’t a community body, it would not be needed to disclose its programs in real estate negotiations mainly because the other side would likely use the information and facts to their own reward and the city’s detriment.

The judge’s selection is final, and the matter will not return to the OIPC.