Caledon scores legal win over land use by trucking company

The Court of Appeal of Ontario has dismissed an appeal from landowners using a property for a commercial trucking enterprise in the Town of Caledon and ordered them to pay the town $15,000 in costs.

Pritpal and Gurpreet Chahal had appealed a 2022 ruling by the Superior Court of Justice that enforced the town’s various orders regarding use of the property at 12850 Centreville Creek Road.

Mark Sraga, Caledon’s director — building and municipal law enforcement services, told, “It’s a great decision and another clear indication that the courts are in agreement with our interpretation of the town’s zoning bylaw and our enforcement approach.”

The Superior Court of Justice had ruled that the property was being used as a trucking and transportation business and a fueling station, repair station, and general junk yard as well, in the town that sits atop the Region of Peel, widely regarded as Ontario’s trucking heartland.

Meanwhile, the town successfully prosecuted another trucking operator, 12501058 Canada Inc., resulting in a $45,000 fine and a prohibition order in February.

According to a news release, after another attempt to delay the hearing was denied, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice heard the trial. In exchange for a guilty plea, the prosecution offered a reduced charge of $25,000.

Zoning bylaws

Counsel for the defence declined this offer and proceeded to trial, resulting in a conviction where 12501058 Canada Inc. was found guilty of using 14455 Dixie Road contrary to the town’s zoning bylaws.

The defendants were handed a prohibition order – which mandates illegal operations must cease on the property – and a $45,000 fine.

“We are pleased the courts are recognizing the bylaw violations occurring in Caledon and imposing the appropriate penalties,” Alexis Alyea, manager of legal and court services, said in a news release. “Our prosecution team will continue to work diligently to keep Caledon a safe and beautiful community.”

This investigation began in November of 2021 when a resident submitted a complaint to the town’s municipal law enforcement team. “We remain committed to reducing illegal trucking in Caledon and we will continue to prosecute illegal trucking operators who attempt to evade our bylaws,” Mayor Annette Groves said in the February release.