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Condo residents claim new building on Seymour unreasonably close

WATCH:  Residents of a Vancouver highrise are feeling like their personal space is being invaded by the building next door. Ted Chernecki has the latest.

Damien Loft and Patricia O’Connor have seen their southeast view from their condo on 933 Seymour Street change drastically since they moved in five years ago.

What was once an expansive view of several buildings in the area has turned into a tiny crack, no more than a few feet wide, surrounded by scaffolding.

A new tower at 999 Seymour was originally approved in 2008, but construction didn’t begin until three years ago. The buildings are so close that workers have to stand on the balcony at 993 Seymour to finish work on 999 Seymour.

“They claim they have permission from our landlord. We said we disagree [they] have authority to grant you occupation of our balcony,” said Loft.
“Why they ever built a a wall so close to us that they actually had to access somebody else’s balcony to complete the project, [I’m] not sure about that,” said O’Connor.

Townline, the construction company working on the project, says it has written approval from the strata council and the unit’s landlord to use the balcony.

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But it’s not the view, or the privacy concerns that worry Loft and O’Connor the most. It’s the dust.

“I actually think the health issues are of graver concerns long-term,” said Loft.

“Townline have simply told us all along that they abide by the highest and best safety practices. That hasn’t been our experience, and we’ve got dust lining our apartment.”

They say the dust contains silica, which can create health hazards. When grinding the concrete, construction workers taped a thin clear plastic sheet over the door.

Both Loft and O’Connor say it has been ineffective, and want remediation. More than that, they want a return to normalcy.

“We just want our place back. We just want to be able to use our balcony, not be afraid that people will come on it and trespass, not be afraid that they’re going to turn it into a worksite,” said O’Connor.