The City of White Rock expropriated this lot, at the northeast corner of Johnston Road and Russell Avenue, from Imperial Oil last year. It’s now the subject of a civil suit. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Imperial Oil files suit over White Rock expropriation

City ‘significantly undervalued’ former gas-station site: claim

Imperial Oil Limited is suing the City of White Rock for compensation in connection with the expropriation of an uptown lot eyed for the city’s ‘Town Square’ park.

In a claim filed May 28 in B.C. Supreme Court, Imperial Oil says the city “mistakenly relied on an appraisal report that undervalued the Lands” when it paid $4,868,100 for the 1510 Johnston Rd. property.

READ MORE: City to expropriate site for ‘Town Square’

“The Payment tendered to the Plaintiff is insufficient to meet the requirement under the Act to compensate the Plaintiff for the Expropriation of the Lands,” the claim states.

The City of White Rock started expropriation proceedings in April 2018, following a council decision made during a closed meeting and made public later the same day.

The property, approximately 14,420 square feet at the northeast corner of Russell Avenue and Johnston Road – south of the Playhouse – is the site of a former gas station, but has been vacant for more than two decades.

It was used as a pay-parking lot to raise funds for local Rotary Club projects for over a decade, and now offers three hours free parking.

At the time the expropriation plan was announced, then-mayor Wayne Baldwin said it was consistent with the city’s Town Centre Urban Design Plan created in 2011, and that the acquisition “is an investment which will benefit generations to come.”

In the civil claim, Imperial Oil notes the “highest and best use for the Lands was high to medium density multi-unit residential development with commercial use at grade as part of a land assembly calculated to maximize potential density.”

“At all material times, the market value of the Lands was substantially higher than the Payment tendered by the Defendant.”

The lot is the same area where drilling work in January of 2018 frustrated merchants.

At that time, an Imperial Oil spokesperson confirmed the work was “to collect additional environmental data associated with a former service station.”

According to the civil claim, Imperial Oil is seeking relief including a declaration for compensation due, a judgment for the difference determined “to be due and owing” and interest from June 12, 2018.

The City of White Rock has not yet filed a response.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Surrey soccer team wins national title for teammate Bassi, killed in car crash last spring

‘It meant the world to us to win it for him,’ says team manager/coach

RCMP shoot dog in South Surrey after it charges officer

Member of the public not seriously injured after dog bite

South Surrey mother leads team of women to build homes in El Salvador

Kelley McNamara and her daughter are to help build a dozen homes in three days

Donation allows Peace Arch Hospital to buy new ventilator

TB Vets donate $73,000 to hospital foundation

Paul Bennett honoured at Peace Arch Hospital Foundation awards

Cloverdale man, murdered in June 2018, was one of a number of people to be honoured

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Most Read