Picktons lose appeal to have notorious property rezoned as farmland

The Canadian Press

November 27, 2008

VANCOUVER, B.C. The Pickton family has lost a legal bid to change the zoning classification of the notorious pig farm where Robert Pickton killed six women.

Pickton, his brother David and sister Linda Wright asked the Supreme Court of British Columbia to review a decision that reclassified the land as residential - significantly increasing property taxes.

A property assessment review panel ruled in 2003 that the land should be classified as residential and not a mix of residential and light industry, which it had been classified before.

The Picktons wanted the value of the land to be set at less than $1 million, but the panel instead assessed it as residential land with a value of more than $4 million in 2004.

The family argued that those earlier decisions failed to acknowledge that the land was off-limits from February 2002 until about December 2003 as police searched the property for evidence against Pickton.

But B.C. Supreme Court Judge Austin Cullen says the Picktons failed to appeal the earlier decision - which was held up by an appeal panel - and never offered any evidence to suggest the assessment was unreasonable.

Robert Pickton was sentenced last December to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years after he was convicted of six counts of second-degree murder.

He was convicted of killing Sereena Abotsway, Mona Wilson, Andrea Joesbury, Brenda Wolfe, Georgina Papin and Marnie Frey.

Pickton's appeal of the six convictions is due to start next March.

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