West Vancouver seniors complain about new 3-storey rental building amid housing crisis

Click to play video: 'West Vancouver’s first major rental housing project in 40 years upsets neighbours'
West Vancouver’s first major rental housing project in 40 years upsets neighbours
WATCH ABOVE: West Vancouver residents are voicing their opposition to the first significant rental housing development there in 40 years. Grace Ke has the details – Nov 28, 2016

A small group of West Vancouver residents are complaining a new three-storey rental building will impede on their lifestyle.

“Their windows are going to be looking into my windows,” said Margaret Smith, a resident in a neighbouring building on Bellevue and 21st Street, which she says is home to mostly seniors.

“We had a beautiful green space. I just can’t see why they need 41 units to go in on this corner,” Irene McGowen, another residents, added. “The traffic is horrendous here.”

The seaside area in West Vancouver sits between Ambleside and Dundarave and is populated by dozens of mid-rise apartment buildings built in the latter half of the 20th century.

The benchmark price for a home in the district is the most expensive in Canada at $2,654,700. The rental vacancy rate is at only 0.5 per cent, the second-lowest in Metro Vancouver.

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Hollyburn Properties’ proposed development would add much needed purpose-built rental stock to the area. It’s planning on building 41 rental units in two new buildings: one is a three-storey building on top of an underground parking garage and the other is a three-and-a-half-storey building on some current green space.

“West Vancouver has had 20 units [of rental apartments] built in the last 40 years,” David Sander, director of Hollyburn Properties, said. “There is a huge need for this.”

But despite the paramount need for more housing stock in West Vancouver, these residents can’t understand why the unused land should be developed.

“They’re getting very greedy, and actually really spoiling the area,” McGowen said.

Residents in her building have written letters to the city and spoken to the developers, but the Hollyburn Properties says it expects the project will be passed.



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