The owner of a trucking company who has been parking his vehicles on his residential property admitted during court testimony Tuesday he no longer has the paperwork supporting his claim that he is legally permitted to do so.
John Christenson maintained the use was "grandfathered" when he bought 2957 Andres Road in 1987 but when he went to retrieve a document saying as much from a local law firm, he was told it was no longer in storage because more than nine years had elapsed.
Christenson and common law wife Donna Waldner are the subject of legal action brought on by the city for a refusal to remove the trucks and trailers from two adjacent properties at 2957 and 2971 Andres Road, off Ospika Boulevard in the Peden Hill area.
It is also claimed the units are being worked on at the site, an allegation Christenson denies, saying he stopped the practice some years ago when a bylaw enforcement officer told him it was not allowed. He now uses a shop on the Hart Highway, the court was told.
Christenson said he bought the property at 2957 Andres after being told at city hall that parking the truck and two trailers he owned at the time was permitted at the location.
But under cross-examination Thursday, Christenson admitted that when he bought 2971 Andres in 2004, the lawyer handling that transaction told him the grandfathered provision applied to 2957 could not be extended to the second property.
Christenson also agreed with city lawyer Mitch Hogue's assertion that when he originally went to city hall to see if the use was permitted at 2957 Andres, it was in reference to the one tractor and two trailers he owned at the time and that the number parked on the property has since grown.
"You've just been taking a chance since then," Hogue said.
"Yes, [and] I haven't had no complaints," Christenson said.
Asked earlier about a neighbour's complaint about noise from the location, Christenson suggested the source of the trouble may actually be city workers unloading supplies used in a nearby water pumping station.
City bylaw enforcement officers have dealt with Christenson off and on over the years but the matter came to a head in the time since a neighbour lodged a complaint in mid-January 2011.
On Monday, a bylaw enforcement officer went through photographs and video he took of the site up to as recently as late last month. The images showed as many as four tractor units and as many trailers parked on the site and a suggestion that mechanics have been working on the units.
The city is seeking court orders requiring Christenson to cease the activities.
The trial before B.C. Supreme Court Justice Ron Tindale continues today.