BRITISH COLUMBIA
07/07/2014 01:10 EDT | Updated 09/06/2014 05:59 EDT

Woman wins long-running wrangle over $5.4-million West Vancouver waterfront home

VANCOUVER - A wrecking ball will not be swinging over parts of an exclusive West Vancouver, B.C., home assessed at $5.4-million after its owner went to court to prove you can fight city hall.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has dismissed a petition from the District of West Vancouver and instead ruled in favour of homeowner Jie Liu in her battle to keep a carport, family room and landscaping built before she bought the waterfront property in 2011.

The encroachments, on an undeveloped road allowance, were discovered many years before Liu bought the home but legal action did not begin until last October, when the district asked the court to order demolition of all the structures.

Justice Glen Parrett has ruled that the district has not provided any paperwork related to the encroachments and has failed to prove they are unauthorized or unlawful.

He also notes that West Vancouver has issued tax notices for the disputed land to Liu and the home's previous owners, and those taxes have always been paid.

Parrett says not only are the home renovations and landscaping now covered by an easement for the life of the buildings, West Vancouver must also pay Liu for her legal bills and court costs related to the dispute.