Homeowner claims Maple Ridge property value affected by weed plant across street

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      Thomas McLennan’s property in Maple Ridge was assessed at $453,000.

      McLennan didn’t agree.

      He argued that a figure of $409,320 is a fairer assessment for his property, which is a single-family home on a 0.3-hectare lot.

      With a lower figure, McLennan gets to pay less tax.

      So McLennan took his case before the Property Assessment Appeal Board.

      His main contention: the medical cannabis plant across the street had diminished the value of his property.

      As recounted by the board in a decision released Tuesday (September 12), McLennan cited “noise, light, and odor pollution coming from the facility as well as deep well problems”. 

      “He further says there have been inequitable increases in value over the years, which have resulted in significant property tax increases,” according panel chair Dave Lee.

      However, McLennan failed to convince the board to overturn the $453,000 assessment of his property at 9897 272 Street.

      “The Appellant presents no sales information that would be useful in determining the market value of the Property,” according Lee’s ruling.

      Lee recounted that McLennan argued that he has “no intention of selling and his assessment should not be influenced by the sales of neighbouring properties”.

      “This is an incorrect interpretation of the Assessment Act requirements that all properties in the province are valued at their actual value (market value) unless specifically exempted from this provision,” Lee’s ruling stated. “It is the comparable sales in the area which provide the best evidence of a reasonable range of value for the Property.  Whether or not the Appellant wishes to sell the Property is not relevant in determining the Property’s value.”

      Meanwhile, the Fraser Valley assessor’s office submitted three sales of residences across the street from the property and backing onto the weed plant.

      On the basis on these comparable sales, the board determined that the “actual value… of the Property as of July 1, 2017 to be at least $453,000”.

      The ruling did not identify the medical pot plant.