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North Van seeks injunction to force senior out of path of $198M highway upgrade
The District of North Vancouver is seeking an injunction against a local senior it says is holding up a $198 million highway project by refusing to leave her old home.
The house at 750 Forsman Ave. is the last one sitting in the path of the Lower Lynn Interchange Project, and the district gave Juanna Hanlon until March 31 to vacate the property so it could be bulldozed.
But more than six weeks after the deadline came and went, the senior said she still needs several more months to clear out her belongings and find somewhere else to live.
"It's not that I haven't been trying to get out," Hanlon told CTV News Friday. "I really do not know what physical time it's going to take to be out completely."
The district said it first notified Hanlon it needed the property in April 2018. After failing to negotiate a voluntary sale, the government expropriated Hanlon's home in November and paid her $2 million.
Lawyer Paul Hildebrand, who is representing the District of North Vancouver in its injunction application, said now that her deadline to vacate the property has passed, she is "essentially a trespasser or squatter."
He also noted Hanlon owns five other properties in the province, and is not suffering financial hardship.
The Expropriation Act allows governments to seize private property under certain circumstances, provided it pays the owner market value. But Hanlon argues she was underpaid.
"The property was listed and has a value of over $3 million. That is contentious because I need that money to get a home to properly be able to move forward," she said.
The District of North Vancouver told CTV News the opposite is true, and that it paid "in excess of the home's market value, which was determined by a professional third party appraiser."
Officials are growing desperate to get Hanlon out, and have even offered to fund moving and temporary storage fees if she agrees to leave immediately.
"This improvement project will positively impact the lives of thousands of people each day," a district spokesperson said in an email. "In a project of this magnitude there are significant risks to the completion timeline and costs to the taxpayer resulting from work stoppage or work delay."
Friday afternoon, a judge extended the hearing to reconvene Tuesday morning.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Nafeesa Karim