By a 2-1 vote, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeals has ruled in favour of Jono Developments’ appeal of the St. Patrick’s Alexandra decision.
There’s a long and tortured history to this issue, which can be summed up as follows:
September, 2000: HRM council adopts surplus school procedure, requiring that such school sites first be offered to community groups. The procedure says the city will determine if any community group’s proposal is worthy; if so, the community group would acquire the property, if not, the property would then be put on the open market. The procedure is immediately forgotten, and never applied.
March, 2008: the Halifax Regional School Board declares St. Patrick’s Alexandra Elementary School surplus, with the school to close at the end of the 2011 school year.
June 28, 2011: HRM takes possession of the school and issues a Request For Proposal looking for potential buyers of the site.
September 1, 2011: HRM takes possession of the school.
Fall, 2011: JONO Developments, two other developers, and three non-profit groups submit proposals.
November 21, 2011: HRM staff write a report to council recommending sale of the school site to Jono.
December 13, 2011: HRM council votes to approve the sale to Jono.
Late December, 2011: Community groups learn of the 2000 procedure for surplus schools.
January 9, 2012: Sale of the school is executed.
January 10, 2012: At an emergency meeting, HRM council votes to rescind its December 13, 2011 approval of the sale.
January 19, 2012: A staff report concedes that the sale violated the 2000 policy.
January 24, 2012: HRM council passes a resolution to approve the school as surplus, repeals the 2000 procedure, and agrees to the sale of the school to Jono.
January 31, 2012: HRM passed a motion to repeal the 2000 procedure and approves the sale to Jono for $3 million.
February 1, 2012: The community groups file suit, asking for a judicial review and stay of the sale. A judge issues the stay, pending a hearing.
September 24, 2012: Justice David MacAdam rules in the community groups’ favour, quashes the sale.
Late 2012: Jono appeals MacAdam’s ruling.
May 14, 2014: The Court of Appeals hears Jono’s appeal of MacAdam’s decision.
Today’s decision reverses MacAdam’s ruling, and reinstates the sale of the school to Jono at the agreed upon $3 million price.