A letter to ADRA from a frustrated West Van resident – Don Smith
The site in question is an 8,000 sq. ft. duplex lot that is zoned RD1. This zoning restricts the size of the building to a maximum of 4,000 sq. ft., a maximum height of 25 ft., and minimum setbacks from the front, back and side lot lines.
The proposed development – pictured here as it would face on to Bellevue Avenue – is nothing short of monstrous. At 103 ft. in height, it is more than four times the height of the existing duplex and the existing permitted building height. In fact, the proposed development adheres to none of the existing zoning requirements for the site.
The proposed building would contain seven full floor units, that can be expected to sell for $4 million to $5 million per unit, or possibly more.
2204 Bellevue is immediately across the street from our building, Bellevue Place, at 2203 Bellevue Avenue. Bellevue Place is home to 55 families, most of whom will be impacted by the proposed building. Many of us will be severely impacted, as the proposed building will be right in front of our south-facing living rooms.
Many of our neighbours will also be negatively impacted, including the 36 residents of 2187 Bellevue and the east-facing residents of 2222 Bellevue (the “Pink Palace”).
To date, the development application has received Council approval to proceed to public consultation (June 2020). In lieu of public consultation and because of Covid-19, the developer hosted a website for two weeks (April 2021). It is our understanding that the next step is for District staff to prepare a report for Council and recommend either that the application proceeds or be rejected.
In our opinion, it is imperative that the proposal be rejected.
- It is inappropriate to consider any form of redevelopment of this lot (other than within the existing RD1 duplex zoning) until the Ambleside Town Centre Local Area Plan is completed and adopted. Spot zoning in the middle of an established neighbourhood in advance of the Ambleside LAP makes no sense.
- There is no support for this development in the neighbourhood. To the best of our knowledge, everyone in the immediate neighbourhood is opposed to this development.
- The developer is marketing this building on the basis of it being built of mass timber and being state-of-the-art in terms of environmental performance. However, this “greenwashing” should in no way be an excuse for a building that is grossly oversized for the lot and completely out of character for the neighbourhood.
- There are no other buildings in the surrounding neighbourhood that are this high on such a small lot. The surrounding neighbourhood is primarily taller buildings on large lots and 2- or 3-storey buildings on smaller lots.
We and all of the residents in our immediate neighbourhood would appreciate ADRA’s support in opposing this proposal.
We do not believe that there are many other West Vancouver residents who would tolerate having a 103 ft. high “monster home” built right in front of their home on a site currently zoned for a maximum height of 25 ft.