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Vancouver neighbours' lawsuit over a lost view goes to court next month

West Side woman sued neighbour for $1,000 per day for putting up a 'privacy wall'
The neighbours live at 1082 West 8th Avenue and share a roof deck, according to the lawsuit

Two West Side Vancouver neighbours' dispute over an alleged lost view is set to be heard in court Nov. 29, according to a notice of application filed last week.

Plaintiff Naomi Arbabi had sued neighbour Colleen McLelland for $30,000 for the first month following a "privacy wall" on Sept. 5 being erected around McLelland's strata unit. Arbabi's lawsuit then sought McLelland to pay $1,000 for each additional day that the wall stayed in place.

McLelland is seeking to strike Arbabi's Oct. 5 notice of civil claim against her, and she has said in court documents that she did not make the decision to take down or reinstall a privacy wall next to her unit. The re-installation, instead, was done by the strata council, she notes in her notice of application.

The court date is at 800 Smithe Street and is to involve McLelland making an application to the presiding judge or master, according to the notice of application.

The two neighbours live at 1080 West 8th Avenue. 

"This motion-to-strike application concerns a privacy divider that was re-installed by Strata Corp. Strata Plan VR 1542," McLelland's notice of application states.

"The privacy divider was re-installed by strata on the limited common property of the applicant Colleen McLelland."

McLelland's notice of application says that the "original divider was removed and disposed of by the owner of strata lot 27, Unit 303, without strata approval. This owner's strata lot borders the limited common property of Colleen McLelland's, but he is not a party to this litigation."

The court filing adds that "by removing the divider, the owner of Unit 303 made significant changes to the limited common property of both strata lots 26 and 27, that were not authorized by strata. Accordingly, the changes were not taken to a vote by the other owners or registered with the land titles office."

Arbabi owns Unit 304, which borders the limited common property of Unit 303, but does not border common property of Unit 302, which is where McLelland lives, according to the notice of application. 

"Strata wrote to Naomi Arbabi on Sept. 5, 2023 (the document was incorrectly dated Feb. 5, 2023), and stated that it was abiding by the letter of the Strata Act as advised by counsel in first replacing the divider and then ensuring that the owners of 303/304/305 understood there was a Strata Act procedure to replace the original with an alternative," McLelland said in her notice of application.

McLelland is not a member of the strata council, according to her notice of application.

McLelland in her notice of application calls Arbabi's lawsuit's arguments "pseudolegal," and she is seeking "substantial indemnity costs" from Arbabi. 

Arbabi's original notice of civil claim listed the defendant as "the woman: colleen mclelland," in small letters, and the plaintiff as "the woman: naomi arbabi," which is unusual wording and capitalization for lawsuits. Throughout that lawsuit, she uses a lower-case "i" to refer to herself. 

None of the allegations in McClelland's notice of application, or Arbabi's notice of civil claim has been proven in court.

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