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Gateway Program Expropriations - Surrey, BC

I am looking for a referral to a lawyer in Vancouver, British Columbia who could advise me if I have a case.

At issue is that our property in Surrey British Columbia has been expropriated for what we believe is less than fair compensation.

The property has been held by our firm since 1978. The district of Surrey changed the zoning of the properties along the proposed new highway route from residential to I4 Special Industry Zone over 20 years ago which made it impossible to sell and likely impossible to develop the property.

Under the I4 Special Industry Zone, Site coverage became limited to 10%, Minimum Yard Requirements were increased to 50 feet on front, side, and rear when an individual lot was 50 x 100 feet. Minimum lot dimensions became 5 Acres with a minimum frontage of 500 feet. It may have been impossible to assemble the required 5 Acres as one would need in excess of 43 lots to do that, and I do not believe there were that many per block.

Any other property within one hour's drive, and in an urban area would fetch at least twice the sum offered in compensation. The compensation offered is based upon appraisals per square foot for what these "lockup zoned" properties have sold for in the last several years. Such sales would represent desperate fire sales as there was no use that could be contemplated without land assembly as mentioned earlier.

Our position put forward to the Gateway Program, was that we would accept a land exchange of ANY serviced urban property of equal size within 1 hours drive, or alternatively the value of properties within several hundred meters that were not subject to the onerous "lockup zoning"

Thank you for any suggestions or referrals you may provide.

If you had property expropriated under the same conditions, I would be interested in co operating legally