Initial Consultation: 2195 Gordon Avenue

July 11 project update

In July, the District will be proceeding with the demolition of the two vacant buildings located at 2195 Gordon Avenue. The buildings have been vacant for some time and the Fire Chief has recommended that they be removed for public safety reasons.

Please note that the demolition does not mean that the District’s housing proposal for the site has been approved. That process is continuing, as directed by Council at the April 29 Council meeting. The direction to staff was to proceed to a rezoning application for Council consideration that will include further public consultation both at the pre-application and application stages. The buildings will have to be removed regardless of the outcome of that process as they are beyond useful life, have current deficiencies and as mentioned above, need to be removed for public safety reasons.

Work is expected to start in July and take approximately three months to complete.

May 3 project update

At the April 29 Council Meeting, Staff reported back to Council on the results of the Initial Public Consultation and sought direction on next steps. A copy of the Council Report and powerpoint presentation considered at the April 29 meeting is available in the “Document Library” below.

After considering the results of the Initial Public Consultation (including survey responses and correspondence) and comments from the public made at the Council Meeting (see Document Library), Council voted unanimously to continue moving the project forward. In particular, Council authorized Staff to prepare and submit a rezoning application with the following parameters:

  • three building configuration similar to the proposed Option A but with two 6 storey buildings, and 8 storeys (with the 8th storey set back) on the southern-most building;
  • Floor Area Ratio of approximately 2.8;
  • 217 units total comprised of 167 units below market rental (77%), and 50 units strata condominium (23%);
  • rents at an average of 70% of market rent for comparable new units in West Vancouver;
  • rental units income targeted towards moderate-income people, including workers and families in West Vancouver;
  • Adult Day Centre of 3,000 sf with 1,000 sf outdoor space on the ground floor of one of the rental buildings (subject to confirmation that the District will not be responsible for any capital and operating costs);
  • a variety of unit sizes: studio; one-bedroom; two-bedroom; and three-bedroom (with the precise mix to be determined); and
  • approximate revenue objective of $26,000,000.

Council also directed Staff to proceed generally with the process outlined in the Council Report and approved funding of up to $100,000 for this next phase of work up to submission and consideration of a rezoning application. This will include further public consultation both at the early “pre-application” stage and also during the rezoning process (which would include a public hearing and statutory notification process).

April 16 project update

The survey closed on April 15. Thank you for providing your feedback.

Staff are now compiling the results from the initial public consultation and they will be presented at the April 29 Council Meeting which starts at 6 pm in the Municipal Hall Council Chamber.

Emails and letters on this proposal can continue to be sent to Mayor and Council (mayorandcouncil@westvancouver.ca or 750-17th Street, West Vancouver, BC, V7V 3T3) even after April 15. Any emails and letters received up to noon on the day of the Council Meeting will also be provided to Council at the Council Meeting for their consideration.

As mentioned previously, if you would like to meet with District staff to discuss this proposal or ask questions, please contact Jenn Suggitt at jsuggitt@westvancouver.ca or 604-921-2939 to arrange a meeting time.

March 14 project update

The District has been conducting initial public consultation on the District’s proposal for its site at 2195 Gordon Avenue since early February.

Staff are currently anticipating reporting back to Council with the results of the public consultation in around late April/early May.

With this anticipated timeline, the District is able to extend the public consultation period, and the District’s survey deadline is being extended to remain open until Monday, April 15 at 4:30 p.m.

Emails and letters on this proposal can continue to be sent to Mayor and Council (mayorandcouncil@westvancouver.ca or 750-17th Street, West Vancouver, BC, V7V 3T3) even after April 15. Any emails and letters received up to noon on the day of the Council Meeting will also be provided to Council at the Council Meeting for their consideration.

Council has directed that this initial public consultation take place on the District’s proposal. Council and staff welcome all input on this project, including about the proposal itself, or other potential ideas, considerations and uses for the site.

As mentioned previously, if you would like to meet with District staff to discuss this proposal or ask questions, please contact Jenn Suggitt at jsuggitt@westvancouver.ca or 604-921-2939 to arrange a meeting time.

About this project

In 2014, the District acquired the site at 2195 Gordon Avenue for $16 million. The site is 76,500 square feet (or 1.76 acres) and is directly north of the West Vancouver Community Centre and south of Pauline Johnson Elementary School. Council is proposing to use the site to create housing, increase rental supply and improve affordability while generating $20 million in revenue, and with no ongoing cost to the District. To achieve this, the District would long term lease / sell the site to a third party that would then construct the buildings, operate the rental component, and long term lease / sell the strata condominium units.

The purpose of this initial phase

Council has requested that staff proceed with public consultation on the proposed use and two possible building forms. Staff will gather preliminary feedback from this phase and report back to Council in spring 2019.


The proposed use

To address housing affordability and balance revenue needs for other District public projects, the District is proposing to use this property to create:

  • 170 below market rental units to be operated by an independent third party with no ongoing cost to the District
  • rents at an average of 70% of market rent for comparable new units in West Vancouver, that are income targeted for moderate-income people, including families with children in West Vancouver schools, and moderate-income people who work in West Vancouver
  • 30 strata condominium units
  • a range of units from studios to 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units
  • $20 million in revenue (to recover the initial purchase price of $16 million plus a reasonable return)

Two Possible Building Forms

Council has identified two possible building forms (based on a density of 2.6 Floor Space Ratio) to try and balance the footprint of the building within the property:

  • Option A with three six-storey buildings

Aerial View Looking from South West

Aerial View Looking from South East

  • Option B with one six-storey building and one seven-storey building

Aerial View Looking South West

Aerial View Looking South East


Initial Consultation Meetings

The public consultation will take place from February 7 to April 15, 2019.

As the project is still in its early stages, the District will be holding the following Initial Consultation Meetings to hear what the community thinks about the project:

Thursday, February 7, 3–7 p.m.
West Vancouver Community Centre, Lalji Family Atrium
2121 Marine Drive

Tuesday, February 19, 5–8:30 p.m.
Seniors’ Activity Centre, Arts Room
695 21st Street

Wednesday, February 20
West Vancouver Community Centre
2121 Marine Drive

  • 5–7 p.m. | Lalji Family Atrium
  • 7–9 p.m. | Cedar Room (third floor), Q & A session

All three of the Initial Consultation Meetings will have the same format, with the exception of the Q & A session from 7-9 p.m. on February 20, 2019.

Small Group Sessions

In addition to the Initial Consultation Meetings listed above, we are also offering an opportunity to meet with District staff in small group sessions to ask questions and learn more about the project.

If you would like to meet with staff in a small group setting, please contact Jenn Suggitt at 604-921-2939 or jsuggitt@westvancouver.ca.

Pop-up sessions

District staff are hosting several pop-up information sessions. Follow @WestVanDistrict on Facebook and Twitter to get notified when they are happening.


Thank you for completing the survey

The survey closed on Monday, April 15 at 4:30 p.m.

Thank you for providing meaningful input on various aspects of the project.

Consultation Meeting Boards


July 11 project update

In July, the District will be proceeding with the demolition of the two vacant buildings located at 2195 Gordon Avenue. The buildings have been vacant for some time and the Fire Chief has recommended that they be removed for public safety reasons.

Please note that the demolition does not mean that the District’s housing proposal for the site has been approved. That process is continuing, as directed by Council at the April 29 Council meeting. The direction to staff was to proceed to a rezoning application for Council consideration that will include further public consultation both at the pre-application and application stages. The buildings will have to be removed regardless of the outcome of that process as they are beyond useful life, have current deficiencies and as mentioned above, need to be removed for public safety reasons.

Work is expected to start in July and take approximately three months to complete.

May 3 project update

At the April 29 Council Meeting, Staff reported back to Council on the results of the Initial Public Consultation and sought direction on next steps. A copy of the Council Report and powerpoint presentation considered at the April 29 meeting is available in the “Document Library” below.

After considering the results of the Initial Public Consultation (including survey responses and correspondence) and comments from the public made at the Council Meeting (see Document Library), Council voted unanimously to continue moving the project forward. In particular, Council authorized Staff to prepare and submit a rezoning application with the following parameters:

  • three building configuration similar to the proposed Option A but with two 6 storey buildings, and 8 storeys (with the 8th storey set back) on the southern-most building;
  • Floor Area Ratio of approximately 2.8;
  • 217 units total comprised of 167 units below market rental (77%), and 50 units strata condominium (23%);
  • rents at an average of 70% of market rent for comparable new units in West Vancouver;
  • rental units income targeted towards moderate-income people, including workers and families in West Vancouver;
  • Adult Day Centre of 3,000 sf with 1,000 sf outdoor space on the ground floor of one of the rental buildings (subject to confirmation that the District will not be responsible for any capital and operating costs);
  • a variety of unit sizes: studio; one-bedroom; two-bedroom; and three-bedroom (with the precise mix to be determined); and
  • approximate revenue objective of $26,000,000.

Council also directed Staff to proceed generally with the process outlined in the Council Report and approved funding of up to $100,000 for this next phase of work up to submission and consideration of a rezoning application. This will include further public consultation both at the early “pre-application” stage and also during the rezoning process (which would include a public hearing and statutory notification process).

April 16 project update

The survey closed on April 15. Thank you for providing your feedback.

Staff are now compiling the results from the initial public consultation and they will be presented at the April 29 Council Meeting which starts at 6 pm in the Municipal Hall Council Chamber.

Emails and letters on this proposal can continue to be sent to Mayor and Council (mayorandcouncil@westvancouver.ca or 750-17th Street, West Vancouver, BC, V7V 3T3) even after April 15. Any emails and letters received up to noon on the day of the Council Meeting will also be provided to Council at the Council Meeting for their consideration.

As mentioned previously, if you would like to meet with District staff to discuss this proposal or ask questions, please contact Jenn Suggitt at jsuggitt@westvancouver.ca or 604-921-2939 to arrange a meeting time.

March 14 project update

The District has been conducting initial public consultation on the District’s proposal for its site at 2195 Gordon Avenue since early February.

Staff are currently anticipating reporting back to Council with the results of the public consultation in around late April/early May.

With this anticipated timeline, the District is able to extend the public consultation period, and the District’s survey deadline is being extended to remain open until Monday, April 15 at 4:30 p.m.

Emails and letters on this proposal can continue to be sent to Mayor and Council (mayorandcouncil@westvancouver.ca or 750-17th Street, West Vancouver, BC, V7V 3T3) even after April 15. Any emails and letters received up to noon on the day of the Council Meeting will also be provided to Council at the Council Meeting for their consideration.

Council has directed that this initial public consultation take place on the District’s proposal. Council and staff welcome all input on this project, including about the proposal itself, or other potential ideas, considerations and uses for the site.

As mentioned previously, if you would like to meet with District staff to discuss this proposal or ask questions, please contact Jenn Suggitt at jsuggitt@westvancouver.ca or 604-921-2939 to arrange a meeting time.

About this project

In 2014, the District acquired the site at 2195 Gordon Avenue for $16 million. The site is 76,500 square feet (or 1.76 acres) and is directly north of the West Vancouver Community Centre and south of Pauline Johnson Elementary School. Council is proposing to use the site to create housing, increase rental supply and improve affordability while generating $20 million in revenue, and with no ongoing cost to the District. To achieve this, the District would long term lease / sell the site to a third party that would then construct the buildings, operate the rental component, and long term lease / sell the strata condominium units.

The purpose of this initial phase

Council has requested that staff proceed with public consultation on the proposed use and two possible building forms. Staff will gather preliminary feedback from this phase and report back to Council in spring 2019.


The proposed use

To address housing affordability and balance revenue needs for other District public projects, the District is proposing to use this property to create:

  • 170 below market rental units to be operated by an independent third party with no ongoing cost to the District
  • rents at an average of 70% of market rent for comparable new units in West Vancouver, that are income targeted for moderate-income people, including families with children in West Vancouver schools, and moderate-income people who work in West Vancouver
  • 30 strata condominium units
  • a range of units from studios to 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units
  • $20 million in revenue (to recover the initial purchase price of $16 million plus a reasonable return)

Two Possible Building Forms

Council has identified two possible building forms (based on a density of 2.6 Floor Space Ratio) to try and balance the footprint of the building within the property:

  • Option A with three six-storey buildings

Aerial View Looking from South West

Aerial View Looking from South East

  • Option B with one six-storey building and one seven-storey building

Aerial View Looking South West

Aerial View Looking South East


Initial Consultation Meetings

The public consultation will take place from February 7 to April 15, 2019.

As the project is still in its early stages, the District will be holding the following Initial Consultation Meetings to hear what the community thinks about the project:

Thursday, February 7, 3–7 p.m.
West Vancouver Community Centre, Lalji Family Atrium
2121 Marine Drive

Tuesday, February 19, 5–8:30 p.m.
Seniors’ Activity Centre, Arts Room
695 21st Street

Wednesday, February 20
West Vancouver Community Centre
2121 Marine Drive

  • 5–7 p.m. | Lalji Family Atrium
  • 7–9 p.m. | Cedar Room (third floor), Q & A session

All three of the Initial Consultation Meetings will have the same format, with the exception of the Q & A session from 7-9 p.m. on February 20, 2019.

Small Group Sessions

In addition to the Initial Consultation Meetings listed above, we are also offering an opportunity to meet with District staff in small group sessions to ask questions and learn more about the project.

If you would like to meet with staff in a small group setting, please contact Jenn Suggitt at 604-921-2939 or jsuggitt@westvancouver.ca.

Pop-up sessions

District staff are hosting several pop-up information sessions. Follow @WestVanDistrict on Facebook and Twitter to get notified when they are happening.


Thank you for completing the survey

The survey closed on Monday, April 15 at 4:30 p.m.

Thank you for providing meaningful input on various aspects of the project.

Consultation Meeting Boards


Personal information entered in this form is collected pursuant to section 26(c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the purpose of augmenting and diversifying civic engagement (your username, question, and the District’s response to your question will be made public).  If you have any questions about the collection and use of this information please contact Legislative Services, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday excluding statutory holidays, at 604-921-3497 at Municipal Hall, 750 17th Street, West Vancouver BC V7V 3T3.

Q&A

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  • Further to my work/live/play question -- Given the need to reduce greenhouse gases: 1. What is the District's plan for economic sustainability? 2. What are your place-based economic vitality initiatives? (West Vancouverites working, living and spending in West Vancouver -- intra-West Vancouver flow of traffic and $$$.) 3. What initiatives are in place with the Squamish nation to jointly foster the development of place-based economic vitality strategies? 4. Why is the growth strategy for the District focused on an extra-West Vancouver flow of traffic and $$$. (i.e. non-West Vancouverites working, playing and spending in West Vancouver?)

    RSteele asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your questions.  You have raised a number of important and broad reaching questions.  Those questions relate more to general community / long term planning and policy, than to this particular project team.  Our Staff in Planning & Development Services would be pleased to follow up with you on your questions.  We would be grateful if you would contact 604 925 7055 so our Planning staff can connect with you. 

  • BC Statistics forecasts consistent slow GROWTH for West Vancouver, not a decline. 2018 population estimate is 44,886. Cities with open spaces, high quality of life and low/no growth have been proven to have the most positive economic indicators, according to urban planning experts Paul Gottlieb and Eben Fodor. https://www.governing.com/topics/urban/gov-population-city-growth-thriving.html 1. Why is the district promoting a growth development policy when studies have proven that no growth/slow growth have the best economic indicators? 2. Have West Vancouverites been surveyed to provide input on their vision for the District? (i.e. growth vs no/slow growth?) 3. If yes, how many were surveyed? Is it a representative/unbiased sample? 4. Has the District researched potential "best practices" for urban development, similar to Boulder, CO, Santa Barbara, CA, and Eugene, Oregon?

    RSteele asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your questions.  You have raised a number of important and broad reaching questions.  Those questions relate more to general community / long term planning and policy, than to this particular project team.  Our Staff in Planning & Development Services would be pleased to follow up with you on your questions.  We would be grateful if you would contact 604 925 7055 so our Planning staff can connect with you. 

  • Does the District have a plan in place that will meet the needs of ALL of our aging seniors so that they will not be forced to leave their community in their most vulnerable years? Is there enough capacity being planned for assisted living, day care, senior housing and low-income senior housing? If no, why is this site not being developed for its intended use of CD5?

    RSteele asked 6 months ago

    You have asked if the District has a plan that will “meet the needs of ALL of our aging seniors so that they will not be forced to leave their community”.  The District has an Official Community Plan (OCP) that provides overall policy guidance for the District.  The OCP includes information about demographic issues, projections of future needs including housing, and policies to address those needs.  While the OCP provides overall policy guidance, it does not spell out specifically how each member of a population segment (such as seniors or others) will be housed in West Vancouver. 

    The OCP does reiterate your concern about the increasing seniors’ population, and the need for dedicated seniors’ housing.  The OCP also recognizes that there are other demographic imbalances in West Vancouver.  For example, page 9 of the OCP states that: 

    More than one in four residents (28%) is over the age of 65, 27% of whom are living alone; 7% of our population are empty nesters between the ages of 55 and 64; Younger families with children and parents between 35 to 54 account for 14% of the population, down from 21% in 2011; There is a “missing generation” of younger adults without children between the ages of 25 and 34, accounting for only 2% of the population; The share of children under the age of 14 has fallen from 30% of the population in 1961 to 14% in 2016; The average household size is declining and is lower than the regional average; and West Vancouver is the only municipality in the region with a declining population, losing 0.5% between 2011 and 2016 while the region grew by 6.5%.”

    The District recognizes the above multiple demographic challenges of an increasing seniors’ population, a decreasing population of younger adults and children, and our community’s decreasing population overall. 

    You have asked why the site is not being developed for seniors housing only (as opposed to the rental units being proposed for moderate income people, including families and workers).  In summary, while the District recognizes the need for seniors’ housing, the District also recognizes that the District needs to do its part to address the decreasing population of younger families and children.  While the District already has over 1,500 dedicated housing units for seniors and 55+ living (with 40% of those within a 500 metre radius of the site at 2195 Gordon Avenue), the District does not currently have housing dedicated for moderate income people (including families and workers in West Vancouver) of the type proposed for 2195 Gordon Avenue.  Council’s proposal to target moderate income people for the rental units seeks to address this demographic challenge, and achieve additional balance in the neighbourhood. 

    Having said the above, the District is currently conducting initial public consultation, and in our survey we are specifically asking people which groups they suggest for the rental housing units.  We encourage you to complete a survey with your comments about the need for seniors’ housing before April 15 so that Council can consider your views when deciding the next steps for this site. 

  • Was a business case developed for this project? If yes, 1. Did the business case evaluate all options for use of the land? 2. Did the business case include decision and financial models?

    RSteele asked 6 months ago

    The District worked with an independent financial analyst, Mr. Jay Wollenberg of Wollenberg Munro Consulting Inc. 

    The District considered, among other things: the estimated values of the property with different potential uses; the District’s preferred return on investment; the level of rents in West Vancouver; the level of rents that could be sustained by an operator of below-market rental housing; and the likely financial return for the District’s proposed use. 

  • Has the District considered a work/live/play option for the site, which could be targeted at the tech/creative/green sectors?

    RSteele asked 6 months ago

    The District did consider other uses including office or commercial use, but ultimately considered that housing affordability was the more pressing need for our community at this time.  

    West Vancouver has among the highest housing prices and rents in Canada, and people are leaving our community.  Council heard substantial feedback from the community about the need for more affordable housing during last year’s Official Community Plan (OCP) process, and during the election.  

    District policies including the OCP also clearly identify the need for improving housing affordability.  Accordingly, Council decided to consult the community on a proposed use that focussed on increasing rental housing while also providing some strata condominiums to balance policy and revenue needs.  

    Further, if a portion of the site was dedicated to office or commercial use, given the remaining size of the site, this would have reduced substantially the number of additional housing units that could be provided to meet Council’s objectives.

  • Why is the building height being restricted to 6 or 7 stories? As this is very valuable land, why not build higher buildings to create more units? Noting that option B has a 7-story building, why not make all buildings in both options 7 stories high? PeterS

    pscholefield asked 6 months ago

    The building height is not restricted to 6 or 7 stories. The District has proposed two possible building forms (Option A and Option B) for the purpose of public consultation.  

    The District is specifically seeking feedback in its survey on whether the public prefers:  Option A (three six-storey buildings); Option B (one six-storey and one seven-storey building); buildings that are higher and narrower which will mean more open space at the ground level; or buildings that are lower and wider which will mean less open space at the ground level.  

    The survey also asks whether the public prefers:  the District’s proposal of 200 housing units; more than 200 housing units (more density to increase housing supply and revenue); or less than 200 housing units (less density even if it means there will be less housing supply and revenue).  

    We encourage the public to complete the survey by April 15 so Council can consider your feedback as part of the public consultation. 

  • Can you please explain the current zoning for this property and the nature of the covenant registered against this property?

    Bob77 asked 6 months ago

    The property is currently zoned Comprehensive Development Zone 5 (CD5).  The permitted uses are: assisted living; community care; medical and therapeutic uses and adult day care; public or non-profit community service organization.  If, following Council’s consideration of the results of this initial public consultation, Council decides to proceed with the proposed use, the District would need to conduct a rezoning process for the site.  Any rezoning would require a future public consultation process which would include a public hearing and statutory notification process. 

    There is currently a covenant registered against the property in favour of the District providing that the owner of the property “shall not permit the Lands or any part thereof be used for any purpose except for the purpose of a health care facility or such community use as may be consented to in writing by the Municipality”. As the District now owns the property, the District is both the grantor and grantee of the covenant, and has the ability to discharge the covenant.  The District considered discharging the covenant earlier, but did not do that because this project is still in initial public consultation, and Council has not yet made a definitive decision on the future of the site.  If, after Council considers the results of the initial public consultation, this project proceeds as proposed and if the property is rezoned, the District would look to discharge the covenant in the future. 

  • Could you provide details of other real estate owned by District of West Vancouver that could be developed for housing and provide details of size, appraised value and possible value if zoned for housing. Please also describe current use and whether there are any plans for use of the land. In making this decision important to have a strategic plan in place for use of all Municipal lands to ensure each is used for most appropriate and best use.

    Politics asked 6 months ago

    This question asking for details of “all other real estate owned by the District that could be developed for housing” is difficult to answer in this Q&A section of the website, particularly when asking for the additional “details of size, appraised value and possible value if zoned for housing”, and “current use and whether there are any plans for use of the land”.  It would be more efficient to discuss this in a meeting.  

    If you would like to meet, please send an email to mchan@westvancouver.ca or jsuggitt@westvancouver.ca.


  • The public consultation survey process for the B-LINE is flawed. Anyone from anywhere can walk into WV City Hall and grab as many paper surveys as they wish -- no ID or proof of residence or business address required, go home, and fill 10, 20, 50, or 100 with his or her end goal in mind. This survey is open to fraud and abuse. The results will thus be invalid. I think the public consultation survey process for 2195 Gordon is the same and is similarly open to abuse and fraud. How can you ensure that this is not happening now for 2195 Gordon?

    Gale L asked 6 months ago

    The District acknowledges that the survey process is self-selecting, and that it is not like a telephone survey conducted by an independent third party on a random basis.  In this type of survey there is the potential for someone to collect more than one copy of the survey, and there is also the possibility of someone collecting a survey and photocopying it.  In West Vancouver, where we have over one quarter of our population over 65, some people prefer hard copy surveys rather than online surveys that require registration.  It has not been the District’s practice to require identification checking and verification before being able to collect a paper survey for public consultation.  When compiling the surveys, staff do look for signs of clear duplication; however, in West Vancouver, it has not been our practice to police these types of surveys or require identity checks before handing a resident a paper survey.  Further, staff will be clear when reporting the results back to Council that this is a self-selecting survey with both online and hard copy surveys so that Council can consider the results with the above information in mind.

  • Where are you getting your numbers from? Suites in the Grosvenor sold as follows: 312 - 898 ft2 1.3M Dec. 2018 ($1476/sq. ft) 213 -1074 ft2 $1.2M Aug, 2018 ($1098 sq. ft) 603 - 837 ft2 $1.07M Nov. 2018 ($1284 sq. ft) Amenities include: automation technology, automated shades, hardwood oak flooring, quartz countertops, huge balconies, air conditioning, wall mounted toilet, in floor heating,Miele, Wolf and Sub-zero appliances, spa like bathroom with Italian marble slab wall, private gated two car garage with adjoining huge storage room, best amenities, lounge, fully equipped fitness center and yoga studio. , 24/7 concierge team. Is below market housing going to be comparable to high end developments? Your estimation of $1.8M for a 1200 sq. ft unit works out to $1500. sq. ft, or even more! Perhaps more modest accommodation is in order. It would certainly reduce the price point for rents.

    sleidl asked 6 months ago

    The District has retained an independent financial/economic consultant named Jay Wollenberg of Wollenberg Munro Consulting Inc.  The District does not intend to provide amenities similar to those in the Grosvenor building in the below-market rental units.  The District’s intent is to maintain quality, but reduce the construction cost, so that the overall affordability to the renter is maximized.  I am not clear on the source of your information with respect to “Your estimation of $1.8M for a 1200 sq. ft unit…”.

  • What did Council pay for this land?What is the current market value of the land? Ie. What would be the net profit to the district if it was sold at market value? What price will this land be sold to a developer for the purposes council intends? Therefore how much capital gain does the district loose by not selling it at market value? Does it not make more financial sense to create low income housing in less prime real estate area? Eg where the new cypress park estates is being designed? (The project where there is a mix of housing.. not sure if I have the name correct). Ensure there is good public transport north-south.

    Jack asked 6 months ago

    The District acquired the site in 2014 for $16.07 million.  The site is currently assessed at $25.298 million per BC Assessment.  The District is proposing a use that is intended to balance policy, housing and financial objectives by creating 170 below market rental units (at 70% of market rent), 30 strata condominiums and generating $20 million in revenue.  If the District were to focus only on financial return, this would mean the District would use the site 100% for strata condominiums, which with the current design could potentially generate in the region of $80 million revenue but without delivering on the District’s policy and housing affordability objectives.  Other District sites such as those in the Cypress Village area could also be good candidates for rental or below market rental housing; however, that area is currently undeveloped and there are no surrounding services, buildings or transit. 

  • What price will these units be rented out for? Ie in order to qualify to rent one of these units, what would the household income requirement be? What controls would be in place (if sold) that it continues to be priced for the lower income individuals/families?

    Jack asked 6 months ago

    Examples of the proposed rents and the types of household incomes corresponding to those rents are shown in the “Consultation Meeting Boards” linked to the Document Library on the right hand side of this page.  Controls to ensure the appropriate users are renting the below-market rental units would be incorporated through a legal housing agreement entered into between the District and the developer.  If the site is long-term leased, additional controls could also be incorporated into the long term lease agreement. 

  • Why are you limiting the survey questions, which pre-suppose West Vancouver taxpayers are in agreement with the project as presented? For example, why were survey questions such as these not included: Please indicate your agreement with the following statements (1=strongly disagree to 5=strongly agree) 1. The land should not be sold. 2. The land should be sold for its full value of $80M to offset future infrastructure costs. 3. The land should be developed as an open space. 4. The zoning (senior housing and senior care facilities) should not be changed. 5. The structure should not exceed four stories. 6. West Vancouver should provide subsidized rental housing for: a. West Vancouver teachers b. West Vancouver firefighters c. West Vancouver police officers d. West Vancouver municipal workers e. Senior citizens who live in West Vancouver f. Moderate income families

    RSteele asked 6 months ago

    The survey provides both multiple choice and open-ended questions to gather feedback from the public.  For example, the survey includes space for people to write their comments about other factors the District should consider, and asks people to provide other comments they may have about the project.  This information will be reported back to Council as results of the initial consultation, and there will certainly be more consultation to follow if this project proceeds.   

    The intent of the survey is to ask the public what they think of the District’s proposal, while at the same time providing open-ended questions to allow other comments for Council’s consideration.  We believe the survey as drafted would allow the types of comments in this question to be collected and reported to Council. 

    If you feel the survey does not provide sufficient space for you to share your views with Council, we welcome your feedback by email to mayorandcouncil@westvancouver.ca or by letter to Mayor & Council, 750-17th Street, West Vancouver, V7V 3T3.  All of the input will be provided to Council for their consideration. 

  • If West Van taxpayers are going to give $64 million of value ($80 million market value less $16 million purchase cost) to the 170+ proposed residents of this development, what are the specific eligibility criteria for applicants? For example how many years would be their past West Van residency requirement, what maximum income and net asset test, what age, would smokers & pets be allowed

    Bob77 asked 6 months ago

    This project is in its early stages, and Council has put forward a proposal for initial public consultation.  Council’s intent is to target moderate income people, including families and workers in West Vancouver for the rental housing.  The District is conducting initial consultation on this intent, and is also asking the public what other groups they would suggest for the rental housing units.  Due to the early stage of this project, detailed matters such as “specific eligibility criteria for applicants… how many years would be their past West Van residency requirement, what maximum income and net asset test, what age, would smokers & pets be allowed” have not been determined.  If this project proceeds, Council can direct staff to prepare the precise rules and qualification criteria as part of the next steps.  There would also be further public input opportunities at that stage.  At this early stage, Council is seeking public input on this intent, and is also asking whether the public suggests other groups for the target market.

  • If this is truly an "Initial" Consultation why are there no plans for full and proper Community consultation when more facts are known? This Survey is biased. The survey assumes that the proposed use of the site ($64 million of value) for subsidized housing is the best use for this unique and valuable property and does not consider or contemplate other potential uses of the land or use of potential sales proceeds if sold. There has been no consultation with the community re alternate uses of the site or alternative sites in West Vancouver such as Rogers Creek or Cypress Road or Klee Wyck. This makes the survey biased in favour of a single outcome.

    Bob77 asked 6 months ago

    he survey provides both multiple choice and open-ended questions to gather feedback from the public.  The survey includes space for people to write their comments about other factors the District should consider, and asks people to provide other comments they may have about the project.  This information will be reported back to Council as results of the initial consultation, and there certainly will be more consultation to follow if this project proceeds. 

    If you feel the survey does not provide sufficient space for you to share your views with Council, we welcome your feedback by email to mayorandcouncil@westvancouver.ca or by letter to Mayor & Council, 750-17th Street, West Vancouver, V7V 3T3.  All of the input will be provided to Council for their consideration.  

  • To place this $80 million asset in context, overall 2019 property taxes are going up 5.1%  (includes $7 million land sale) and water / garbage fees are going up 10%.  In 2020-21, there is a $15 million shortfall in funding the maintenance and replacement of DVW assets. How will this be funded? Should DWV be subsidizing 170+ people with $64 million of value when Property Taxes will have to increase significantly to fund DWV budget shortfall and higher Translink taxes?

    Bob77 asked 6 months ago

    You are correct that the District, like many other municipalities, faces increasing costs and financial challenges, and the District has limited funding options.  Council wants to ensure that it optimizes the overall “value” (financial and otherwise) of this taxpayer-owned asset at 2195 Gordon Avenue, and that is why Council is asking in the first question of its survey whether the public prefers:  the District’s proposal generating $20 million with 170 below market rental units and 30 strata condominiums; more below-market rental units even if that means less revenue; more affordable housing by setting rents below 70% of market rent; or increasing revenue for other District needs by building more strata condominiums.  Council wants to hear what the public thinks is the best use of this site. 

  • Can you please specify precisely the rules and qualification criteria. A private business would have a very clear idea of its target market before undertaking such a large decision.

    William asked 6 months ago

    This project is in its early stages, and Council has put forward a proposal for initial public consultation.  Council’s intent is to target moderate income people, including families and workers in West Vancouver for the rental housing.  The District is conducting initial consultation on this intent, and is also asking the public what other groups they would suggest for the rental housing units.  Due to the early stage of this project, the precise “rules and qualification criteria” have not been determined.  If this project proceeds, Council can direct staff to prepare the precise rules and qualification criteria as part of the next steps.  There would also be further public input opportunities at that stage.  At this early stage, Council is seeking public input on this intent, and whether the public suggests other groups for the target market.

  • In calculating the affordability income levels that woukd qualify for the proposed subsidized rental housing did you take account of the fact that the 30% subsidy would likely be a taxable benefit to those renting the apartments?

    Politics asked 6 months ago

    We will double check this position with the Canada Revenue Agency; however, our understanding is that taxable benefits for accommodation less than market value apply where an employer provides an employee with below market accommodation.  So a member of the public renting the below market rental units at 2195 Gordon Avenue would not be subject to additional tax based on this type of taxable benefit. 

    Further, the District is proposing to sell or long term lease the site to a developer to construct, and operate, possibly with a non-profit organization, so even if a municipal employee lived in the rental housing, we do not believe this would be considered District employer/employee housing.

    For clarity, as stated previously, this project does not reserve or provide any priority to District employees for the proposed rental units. 

  • Why the rush- with the B Line taking up all the oxygen and energy of our Citizens battling against our own Mayor and Council please let’s delay decision here till citizens have mire time to review. This is a huge financial decision.

    Politics asked 7 months ago

    With respect to the question “Why the rush”, the District has owned the property for almost five years.  After purchasing the property in 2014, the District allowed Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCHA) to remain in occupation to provide adult day care services.  After VCHA relocated, the site has been largely unused and generating no return (financial or otherwise).  The buildings are also at end of useful life.  Council would like to see this taxpayer owned property put to use to address policy, housing and financial objectives.  Council heard strong messages from the public during the election and Official Community Plan process about the need to take action now to address housing affordability in our community.

    The District publicly announced this proposal several months ago at the September 17, 2018, Council Meeting.  We have been engaging in public consultation from February 7 until April 15, and we have communicated broadly this timeframe to the public, including at our public meetings, group meetings, on our website, in our online survey, and in our hardcopy surveys and other public materials. 

    The project is currently in its initial consultation phase.  This is not a rezoning application and no detailed architectural drawings have been prepared.  Council has identified an option for public consultation.  If and when the project proceeds there would be an additional public consultation process that would also include a rezoning application.  The rezoning application would include, among other things, a public hearing and statutory notification process.

    Finally, Council still has the option to direct more public consultation after staff report back with the results of this initial consultation.  Council can then decide whether to:  proceed as proposed; take a different approach; or conduct more public consultation.

  • In my view the consultation period needs to be extended on the Gordon Avenue project. I am strongly against the municipality subsidizing rents at a cost to the taxpayers in West Vancouver many of whom are struggling to cover their own market costs. Maximize the revenue to the community and build what is suitable in such a prime location - market seniors housing or market condos.

    Jon asked 6 months ago

    Thank you for your comment.  This will be included in our summary of the public consultation results.

  • I have heard that there is a covenant that Kiwanis had on the site that it was to be used for seniors housing? Is that true? If it is true how do you plan to remove the covenant?

    Politics asked 6 months ago

    There is currently a covenant registered against the property in favour of the District providing that the owner of the Property “shall not permit the Lands or any part thereof be used for any purpose except for the purpose of a health care facility or such community use as may be consented to in writing by the Municipality”.  As the District owns the Property, the District is both the grantor and grantee of the covenant, and has the ability to discharge the covenant.  The District considered discharging the covenant earlier, but did not do that because this project is still in its early days, and Council has not yet made a definitive decision.  If this project proceeds as proposed, the District would look to discharge the covenant in the future if a rezoning for multi-family residential use is approved. 

  • What surveys have you done of employees of District of West Vancouver and other major employers to determine if they would have an interest in occupying such subsidized rental housing ? Woukd those interested have the necessary qualifying income?

    Politics asked 6 months ago

    The District has not conducted surveys of District employees and other major employers to “determine if they would have an interest in occupying” the rental housing.  The District is conducting public consultation currently on the proposal.  During the public consultation, staff have been speaking/corresponding with workers, employers and others.  Staff will report back to Council with a summary of the results of the public consultation, including the online and hardcopy surveys.  It is worth mentioning the proposed below market rents are similar to the CMHC average rents for West Vancouver, and that West Vancouver has one of the lowest vacancy rates at 0.6%, when a healthy vacancy rate is considered to be 2% to 3%. 

    In terms of District employees, as mentioned in these answers, a very low percentage of staff who work for the District of West Vancouver, West Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services and West Vancouver Police Department live within West Vancouver, but again I wish to emphasize that this rental housing is not reserved for municipal, Fire or Police staff.

  • What surveys have you conducted of major employers in West Vancouver ( including District of West Vancouver ) to determine what types of jobs and at what salary levels they are struggling to fill? Can you please share the results.

    Politics asked 6 months ago

    The District has not conducted “surveys of major employers in West Vancouver… to determine what types of jobs and at what salary levels they are struggling to fill”.  The District is conducting public consultation currently on the proposal.  During the public consultation, staff have been speaking/corresponding with workers, employers and others.  Staff will report back to Council with a summary of the results of the public consultation, including the online and hardcopy surveys.

    Even if Council decides to proceed, there would still need to be a further public consultation process to rezone the site (which would include a public hearing and statutory notification).  Additional work would also need to be done to confirm the proposed rents, and details of the target market for the rental units.

  • What are the staff vacancies at District of West Vancouver that remain unfilled for more than 6 months on positions that would earn more than $50,000- same question for those positions that would earn under $50,000 - in other words are we unable to attract employees and if so is it those earning over or under $50,000?

    Politics asked 6 months ago

    There is some information circulating about the project that assumes this development would only be for municipal staff.  Please note that this project is not reserved for municipal staff.  The below market rental housing is proposed to be income-targeted for moderate income people, including families and workers in West Vancouver.  Municipal staff, fire and police staff have no priority for the rental units, and there are no rental units reserved for them.  With respect to the specific request, there are a number of factors that can lead to why a staff vacancy at the District could remain unfilled for 6 months.  Each case is specific.  Further, this project is not reserved for municipal staff.  Stats Canada statistics show that the percentage of people between 25 to 44 in West Vancouver is 16% compared to the Metro Vancouver region of 28%; and West Vancouver only has 2% of its population aged between 25 to 34 without children, which is significantly lower than the region.  In terms of District employees, as mentioned in these answers, a very low percentage of staff who work for the District of West Vancouver, West Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services and West Vancouver Police Department live within West Vancouver, but again I wish to emphasize that this rental housing is not reserved for municipal, Fire or Police staff.

  • What process did Staff and Council go through to determine with no Community Consultation that subsidized housing for the missing middle was the best use of this valuable property? What other uses of the $64 million were considered, what were the pros and cons of each to arrive at what seems like a foregone conclusion? Please share this analysis with the Community.

    Politics asked 6 months ago

    This is not a “foregone conclusion”.  The District is currently conducting community and public consultation on this proposal.  The project is in the initial consultation phase.  Council has identified one possible way to address the District’s policy and demographic challenges.  Council has directed that public consultation take place on the proposal so that staff can report back to Council with the findings, and decide whether to:  1. proceed as proposed; 2. take a different approach; or 3. conduct more public consultation.  Several options are available, and no final decisions have been made. 

    Even if Council decided to proceed after staff report back on the public consultation, there would still need to be a further public consultation process to rezone the site (which would include a public hearing and statutory notification).

    Other uses for the property were considered including more/less rental units; higher/lower rents; more/less strata condominiums; capped equity; co-op; low-income housing; seniors’ housing; etc.  The District is currently conducting community and public consultation on this proposal.  The District’s survey specifically asks in its first question whether the public prefers:  (1) the District’s proposal; (2) more below-market rental units; (3) more affordable housing by setting the rents below 70% of market rent; or (4) increasing revenue by building more strata condominiums. 

    In terms of “other uses” and all of the “pros and cons”, there are numerous potential “other uses”, and each other use has its own several pros and cons.  If you would like to go through these in detail, please contact Jenn Suggitt at 604-921-2939 so we can arrange an in-person meeting to discuss further. 

  • Please confirm my math is correct- we bought the property for $16 million and market value if sold as strata condominiums is $80 million- so an unrealized gain of $64 million. So the plan is to subsidize people working in West Vancouver that earn between $50,000 ( Studio) and $125,000? So with an unrealized gain if $64 million and 170 subsidized units that is essentially a subsidy of $376,000 per unit. What am I missing?

    Politics asked 6 months ago

    The District purchased the property in 2014 for $16.07 million.  If the District were to focus entirely and only on financial return and sold the site for 100% strata condominiums, the revenue would be in the region of $80 million

    The District’s proposal seeks to balance policy, housing and financial objectives by creating 170 below market rental units, and 30 strata condominiums while generating $20 million in revenue.  The potentially foregone revenue when comparing the 100% strata condominium scenario with the District’s proposal is $60 million (i.e. $80 million less $20 million).

    The below market rental units are proposed to be income-targeted for moderate income people, including workers and families in West Vancouver.  The general range of household incomes for these rents is around $49,000 to $126,000.  The amount of potentially foregone revenue when comparing the 100% strata condominium scenario to the District’s proposal is $60 million.  $60 million divided by 170 (i.e. the proposed number of below market rental units) equals approximately $353,000.  (If the calculation is based on $80 million less the purchase price of $16 million, your arithmetic is correct in that $64 million divided by 170 (i.e. the proposed number of below market rental units) equals approximately $376,000.)

    We wish to clarify that if Council decided to pursue this scenario, there would be foregone revenue, but there would not be any ongoing subsidy by the District.  The District’s financial risk would cease once the site is sold/long term leased to a developer/operator.  At that point, financial risk associated with operating the below market rental would transfer to the developer/operator to cover any potential operating shortfalls or losses.

    It is worth noting that if Council decides to long term lease the site, the District and community would get the property back upon expiry of the long term lease in, say, 60 years.  Council and the community can then have the site back, to decide what is the best use for the site again for the community overall at that time.

    Please note that we are specifically consulting the community about this topic.  The District’s survey specifically asks in the first question whether the public prefers:  the District’s proposal; more below-market rental units; more affordable housing by setting the rents below 70% of market rent; or increasing revenue by building more strata condominiums. 

  • Has this development been considered a potential model for sustainable development (LEED certification, car-sharing, etc)? Or would the consideration of environmental sustainability be negative vis-a-vis the financial model?

    durutticolumn asked 7 months ago

    The project is currently in the initial consultation phase.  The details of whether the project will have LEED certification, car sharing, green roofs, photovoltaic panels, or other green building measures have not yet been determined at this time.  Our understanding is that LEED certification, car sharing, etc are quite common these days, and so we believe these elements could be accommodated without significantly impacting the financial returns.  The specifics of these types of decisions would be made later in the process, if and when the project proceeds to the rezoning stage.

  • If the target of the subsidized rental housing are teachers, firemen, policeman and other municipal employees have you surveyed them to see the level of interest? If not why not?

    Politics asked 7 months ago

    As mentioned below, the rental units are not reserved for Police, Fire or Municipal employees. 

  • Would seniors who have been long time residents be entitled to apply for the subsidized housing ?

    Politics asked 7 months ago

    As the rental units are proposed to be income-targeted for moderate income people, seniors would be eligible to apply for the below market rental housing.

  • Explain why low income seniors and many property taxpayers should end up subsidizing housing for Municipal Employees who likely earn more than them? Over 50% of Municipal employees earn more than $100,000 per year ( and fire and police earn close to that number) and that does not include the value of health, dental and pension benefits?

    Politics asked 7 months ago

    As mentioned above, the rental units are not reserved for Police, Fire or Municipal employees. 

    Council is proposing to use this District-owned site to address policy, housing and financial objectives.  The District is proposing to sell or long term lease the site to a developer to construct the building, who could partner with a non-profit organization to operate the rental component.  There would be no ongoing subsidy required by the District, although there could be foregone revenue in the sense that the District could earn more revenue if it chose to build 100% strata condominiums.

  • How do you plan to determine who would qualify for such subsidized rental housing and how would you evict them if they no longer qualify? I have heard these units would be reserved for Police, Fire , Municipal employees? Is that correct?

    Politics asked 7 months ago

    Council would set the parameters for who would qualify for the below market rental housing, and would likely require both asset and income testing.  The District would long term lease or sell the land to a developer which would construct the building(s).  The developer or a non-profit organization would operate the rental component.  This would reduce the risk to the taxpayer.  The operator of the rental units would determine who qualifies according to Council’s established parameters, and the operator would deal with any evictions, if necessary, in accordance with applicable laws. 

    The rental units are not reserved for Police, Fire or Municipal employees.  The rental units are income-targeted for moderate income people, including workers and families in West Vancouver.

  • If you assume that we are going to offer subsidized rental housing as suggested are their any grants from Federal and Provincial Governments? Dies the responsibility for providing such housing not rest with the Federal and Municipal Governments?

    Politics asked 7 months ago

    Some grants are available but they require a different mix of housing, including rental units that are substantially below the proposed rents.  The District is proposing below market rental units at 70% of market rent targeted for moderate income people including families and workers in West Vancouver.  For example, some grants offered by BC Housing require that 20% of the rental units must be rented at “deep subsidy rates”, which are significantly below the proposed 70% of market rent.  Council’s view is that given the current state of housing affordability, the District needs to do its part also to address our community’s significant challenges.

  • Please outline the financial implications to West Vancouver of each alternative you outlined in the survey. Please outline clearly up front gain or loss and ongoing revenues and costs of each alternative

    Politics asked 7 months ago

    There is a question in the survey that, in summary, asks whether the public prefers:  (1) the District’s proposal; (2) more below market rental units; (3) rents below 70% of market rent; or (4) more strata condominiums.  The District’s proposal would generate $20 million in revenue and deliver other policy and housing objectives. 

    The financial return for the other options generally ranges from $0 revenue to an upper range of $80 million if the project were 100% strata condominiums.  If, for example, Council decided to build entirely below market rent, and at less than 70% of market rent, the revenue would in fact be negative (meaning that the land would generate no revenue, and the District would need to pay a developer to construct and operate the rental units).  The amount of “gain or loss” depends on the degree to which the above options are employed.

  • Please outline major capital expenditures facing West Vancouver in the next decade to maintain our current facilities? What other projects are on drawing board that need funds in next decade and anticipated capital commitment.

    Politics asked 7 months ago

    It is agreed that the District has substantial financial needs now and into the future, and that the District is facing funding challenges.  The proposal for public consultation is intended to balance policy, housing and revenue needs by creating 170 below market rental units, 30 strata condominiums and generating $20 million in revenue. 

    While the District recently implemented an annual asset levy, the District is facing a shortfall in annual asset maintenance and replacement.  Further, the District’s asset levy is intended to cover existing assets, but does not cover the replacement of major buildings and facilities. 

    The specific list of major capital projects to be constructed in the next decade is a Council decision that has not yet been made.  Having said that, major future capital projects that do not yet have dedicated financial reserves include replacement of aging buildings such as the Ice Arena, Seniors’ Activity Centre, District Operations Centre, West Vancouver Art Museum, etc.  The approximate cost is unclear at this time, but could be in excess of $200 million.  While various funding sources (such as Community Amenity Contributions, Development Cost Charges, grants, etc) may be available, it is acknowledged that the District is facing a funding shortfall and does not currently have dedicated reserves for these specific purposes.

  • If West Vancouver sold the property for highest and best use what would sales proceeds be? What would profit be to Municipality?

    Politics asked 7 months ago

    The District is proposing a use that is intended to balance policy, housing and financial objectives by creating 170 below market housing units, 30 strata condominiums and generating $20 million in revenue.  If the District were to focus solely on financial return, this would mean the District would use the site 100% for strata condominiums, potentially generating in the region of $80 million revenue but without delivering on the District’s social and housing objectives.  The District purchased the property in 2014 for $16.07 million.

  • Has the District considered a model where individuals that work locally can qualify to purchase units at an affordable price point but with a capped upside? This would provide a win-win in that these owners would remain in the District longer as important human capital for our police, fire, and schools but also become part of the community.

    durutticolumn asked 7 months ago

    Yes, the District considered this type of “capped equity” model for this site.  In summary, because West Vancouver apartment prices are among the highest in Canada (around $1,800,000 for a new 1,200 sf apartment), if the District were to, for example, sell a $1,800,000 apartment at a 20% discount from market price, the discounted price would still be over $1,400,000.  At that high price, Council and the District were concerned that this would not be a meaningful effort to improving housing affordability in our community.  There might also be concerns about whether the District should be assisting those who can already afford to purchase a $1,000,000 plus apartment on their own.  Council and the District are therefore proposing to address housing affordability, and the lack of rental housing in our community by proposing 170 below market rental units, with rents averaging 70% of market rent for new units.