Election 2014: Serena Oh running for mayor in Langley Township

Township of Langley: She ensures there will be a vote for Langley Township mayor on Nov. 15.

There will be no elections by acclamation in Langley Township.

The Langley Township mayoralty campaign became a two-way race on Monday, when Serena Yeong Oh filed papers to run against incumbent Jack Froese.

Oh, a Murrayville resident, could not be reached for comment by The Times’ press deadline on Wednesday.

According to Dr. Paul Yang, who signed the nomination papers for Oh, she is the same person who was involved in a two-year-long court fight with the city of Burnaby over a secondary suite which began in 2008.

Oh, a realtor with more than 15 years experience, had refused to allow a Burnaby inspector to enter a property she owned to investigate a complaint of an illegal suite.

No secondary suites are allowed anywhere in Burnaby except for in-law suites, which must by occupied by a relative.

After Oh refused access on two occasions, the city got a court order to do so.

When city officials confirmed the suite was built without permits and contravened the zoning bylaw, they ordered her to remove a wall, sink and stove in November 2009.

The matter went all the way to the B.C. Court of Appeal in 2010, with Oh arguing she was denied a fair trial due to factors such as language problems, self-representation and not having enough time to prepare.

She lost.

The appeal court justices said the documents she prepared for the case did not reveal difficulties with the use of English language.

The court proceedings were not of a complex nature “and the appellant, as a realtor, could be expected to be aware that zoning bylaws impose limitations on the use of property.”

In January 2010, after meeting with city council, Oh wrote to the city saying “I am in critical moment financially. One, my property is on judgment. Two, heavy debt. Three, virtually no income for two years.”

According to an online profile, a “Serena Oh” stopped being a realtor in 2012.

The profile said she was “looking for new opportunities at Langley, B.C.”

Yang said Oh moved to Langley in the last “two or three” years.

— with files from Black Press

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