District of North Van seeks court order to force resident to move

Woman's refusal to leave stands in way of highway project, municipality alleges

A North Vancouver woman whose home sits smack in the middle of the Lower Lynn Highway Interchange project is begging for one more month before being forced to move out of her house before construction crews move in.

The District of North Vancouver is going to court this Friday to ask for an injunction forcing Juanna Patricia Hanlon to move out of her home at 750 Forsman Ave., which the municipality has already expropriated to make way for the highway project.

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According to affidavits filed in the case by the municipality, the District of North Vancouver expropriated the property in November 2018 for $1.575 million and gave Hanlon until March 31 to get out.

But Hanlon has refused to leave, according to the district.

Janine Ryder, manager of real estate for the district, wrote in an affidavit that she’s spoken to Hanlon and “she has made several statements to me to the effect that she is continuing to use the property as a residence and has not vacated the property.”

Now the municipality says time’s up.

Hanlon’s refusal to leave is standing in the path of progress on the highway project, according to a senior project manager.

If the house isn’t demolished by Monday, May 20, “there is a potential risk of delay in the project and there is a serious risk of delay if the house is not demolished prior to May 27,” wrote Mike Farynuk, of MSF Consulting Services, a senior project supervisor, in a court affidavit.

750 Forsman
The property at 750 Forsman Ave. photo Kevin Hill, North Shore News

Because of project timelines, “a delay of a few weeks at this stage could lead to a delay of approximately six months in the final completion date, which could in turn result in significant delay costs to the project,” wrote Farynuk.

But Hanlon’s lawyer has accused the district of trying to bulldoze his client.

“Frankly our client feels that she is being beaten up upon by a large powerful bully,” wrote Hanlon’s lawyer Julian Porritt in a letter to the district, included in an affidavit. Hanlon said the government’s refusal to allow Hanlon more time to move out is having “a significant detrimental emotional and physical impact on our client.”

Porritt wrote that Hanlon is in the process of disputing the market value paid for her property. She has owned the property for decades and has a large number of possessions stored there including a “massive” quantity of paperwork that she has to go through, but can’t afford to hire someone to do it for her, he wrote.

Porritt added in his letter that Hanlon is offended some officials have referred to her as a hoarder.

“Our client is already in a fragile and distressed state of mind because her home is being taken away from her and all of her possessions and records are being placed in jeopardy,” he wrote. “She is asking at the human level and is hoping for a non bureaucratic/human response that will allow her to stay in her home a bit longer and organize her departure in a way that she can live with. The present time line is simply too hard.”

So far, however, the district has been unmoved by those pleas.

“It is unfortunate that your client must move,” wrote Ryder in an affidavit, “however this highway project cannot be delayed.”

The injunction application is scheduled to be heard in B.C. Supreme Court Friday morning.

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