A neighbour of West Vancouver's Collingwood School who has complained about the impact of traffic and school construction on his Glenmore neighbourhood has lost a bid to force the municipality limit the number of students allowed at the private school.
Andrzej Lepiarczyk filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court asking a judge to force the District of West Vancouver to make the school abide by the original 600-student limit in the zoning for the school's Morven campus.
Lepiarczyk was among a number of Glenmore residents who raised concerns about traffic volume, parking and construction associated with the school over several years.
"All parties agree that in 2007 the
school had significantly more students than the District of West Vancouver's zoning restrictions allowed," wrote Justice Heather Holmes in her decision of Aug. 14. School officials acknowledged at one time there were 718 students enrolled, wrote Holmes.
Grade 7 students were later moved to the school's Wentworth campus, bringing numbers at the Morven site down - most recently to 568 students.
In the meantime, after discussions with the school, the District of West Vancouver changed its bylaws to allow a maximum of 600 students at the Morven campus, provided the school operated as a "combined" elementary/secondary school.
In court, Lepiarczyk argued the school is not really a "combined" school, because it takes students in grades 8 through 12 - and therefore should be considered a secondary school, subject to tighter enrolment restrictions.
But the judge noted district bylaws define "secondary school" as grades 9 through 12.
The judge also rejected Lepiarczyk's request to toss out West Vancouver's decision to grant the school at permissive tax exemption. Lepiarczyk argued the district had not given enough public notice before making the decision. But the judge noted under the Community Charter, public notice is not required for the granting of tax exemptions for private schools.
Earlier this month, Lepiarczyk went public with complaints the district has not been enforcing rules requiring construction trucks working on the school not stop in front of neighbours' homes.
Construction of a new 75,347-square-foot wing to the school with 150 underground parking spaces started in June 2012 on the Morven Drive campus.
District of West Vancouver spokeswoman Donna Power said recently the bylaw department has had a strong presence on the site and issues tickets to truck drivers whenever there has been a violation.
But Lepiarczyk said the tickets have done little to deter the trucks from continually stopping on the street.
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