Public Interest, Private Property
334 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Jul 2016
Release Date:15 Dec 2015
Release Date:15 Dec 2015
Release Date:15 Dec 2015

Public Interest, Private Property

Law and Planning Policy in Canada

UBC Press

At a time when pollution, urban sprawl, and condo booms are leading municipal governments to adopt prescriptive laws and regulations, this book lays the groundwork for a more informed debate between those trying to preserve private property rights and those trying to assert public interests.

Rather than asking whether community interests should prevail over the rights of private property owners, Public Interest, Private Property delves into the heart of the argument to ask key questions. Under what conditions should public interests take precedence? And when they do, in what manner should they be limited?

Drawing on case studies from across Canada, the contributors examine the tensions surrounding expropriation, smart growth, tree bylaws, green development, and municipal water provision. They also explore frustrations arising from the perceived loss of procedural rights in urban-planning decision making, the absence of a clear definition of “public interest,” and the ambiguity surrounding the controls property owners have within a public-planning system.

The book will be of interest to policy makers and planners and to students and scholars in law, planning, geography, and sociology.

This collection accomplishes its goal, filling the gap in Canadian academic literature in the context of balancing private property rights and the public interest in urban planning … the problems identified in [Public Interest, Private Property] could have continuing relevance for future urban planning and legislation across Canada. Matthew Barnes, Saskatchewan Law Review
While these topics may seem familiar, the common thread – thinking deeply about private property rights – sets this collection apart and makes it an engaging read. The introduction alone would be worthwhile reading for any property law or planning law curriculum ... One of the reasons the book works so well is that at the heart of the collection is a shared belief among the writers in the value of dialogue as well as a desire to avoid artificially amplifying the public-private rights divide that can stunt public conversation of property rights. Michael Connell, WeirFoulds LLP, Canadian Law Library Review
The intersection of private and public property interests is at the heart of modern municipal government, especially its planning authority. This important book explores aspects of this fascinating issue from a variety of perspectives. David Miller, mayor of Toronto, 2003-10

Anneke Smit is an associate professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor. Her research focuses primarily on questions of competing (public-private and private-private) rights in property and the law and lived experiences of forced displacement. She is the author of The Property Rights of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons: Beyond Restitution.

Marcia Valiante is a professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor. Her research covers a range of issues in Canadian and international environmental law and policy, with a particular focus on the Great Lakes and water law.

Contributors: Deborah Curran, Pierre Filion, Jane Matthews Glenn, Harvey M. Jacobs, Anna Kramer, Eran S. Kaplinsky, Stanley M. Makuch, Ian Mathany, Stephen F. Waqué, Bruce Ziff

Introduction / Marcia Valiante and Anneke Smit

Part 1: Contextualizing Canadian Private Property and Public Planning

1 Private Property in Historical and Global Contexts and Its Lessons for Planning / Harvey M. Jacobs

2 Bumble Bees Cannot Fly, and Restrictive Covenants Cannot Run / Bruce Ziff

Part 2: Public Interest, Participation, and Planning Law

3 The Disappearance of Planning Law in Ontario / Stanley M. Makuch

4 In Search of the “Public Interest” in Ontario Planning Decisions / Marcia Valiante

Part 3: Recent Shifts in Canadian Urban Planning and Private Property

5 Transforming Toronto: Implementation and Impacts of Metropolitan-Scale Plans / Pierre Filion and Anna Kramer

6 Green Development: New Entanglements of Property, Planning, and the Public Interest / Deborah Curran

Part 4: Private Property, Natural Resources, and Planning

7 Private Tree Protection Bylaws: In the Public Interest? / Eran S. Kaplinsky

8 Planning for Potable Water: Public Interest and Property Rights / Jane Matthews Glenn

Part 5: Issues in Canadian Expropriation Law and Practice

9 Expropriation: The Raw Edge of the Conflict between Public and Private Interests / Stephen F. Waqué and Ian Mathany

10 Making Up for the Loss of “Home”: Compensation in Residential Property Expropriation / Anneke Smit


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