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Tomshak case goes back to Alberta Board
November 8, 2004

An interesting highway widening case has been sent back to the Alberta Land Compensation Board for re-hearing.

This case was originally heard by the Board in 2002 (reported as [2003] EXLAW 5). It involved the expropriation of narrow strips of land from two legal parcels of agricultural land owned by Franklin and Joan Moller. The property is located adjacent to Highway 2 near Grande Prairie. The Mollers' compensation claim was heard at the same time as similar claims advanced by six other property owners.

The Claimants presented a claim for market value of the land taken based upon recent sales of small parcels. The Ministry of Transportation's case was based upon the en bloc or underlying value of the parent parcel from which the land was taken. The Board rejected the Claimant's approach and awarded $16,711 to the Mollers for the 21.7 acres of land taken. The award was based upon the en bloc value.

The Mollers appealed to the Alberta Court of Appeal. The Court released its decision on October 28th ([2004] EXLAW 14). The court's reasons are brief. Although the appeal was allowed the Court did not comment upon the merits of either approach to valuation. Instead the Court simply referred the matter back to the Board for re-hearing and provided some guidelines for the Board's consideration.

The Claimants were represented on the appeal by Darryl Carter and the Ministry was represented by Lionel Whittaker.

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