November 14, 2017 8:50 pm
Updated: November 14, 2017 8:52 pm

City to review whether Casa Mia, iconic Vancouver mansion, can become a seniors’ facility

A rendering of what the entrance to Casa Mia would look like if another building was added to the property, allowing it to become a seniors' care facility.

City of Vancouver

Vancouver city council is set to review a re-zoning application that could redevelop Casa Mia, an iconic property, into a seniors’ care facility.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is working with the Care Group to see the historic Spanish-style mansion re-zoned to add an additional three-storey building and to allow the entire structure to be used as a 90-bed care facility for seniors.

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The mansion at 1920 Southwest Marine Drive, which is more than 22,000 square feet in size, was built in 1932.

The proposal doesn’t exactly enjoy universal support.

Vancouver newspaper executive David Radler wrote to council opposing the project, arguing the redevelopment would allow “one of the last upper-scale residential areas of the city close to the airport to be commercialized,” and thus scare off corporate workers.

READ MORE: Casa Mia: Vancouver residents fight plan to turn historic mansion into seniors’ hospice

Regardless of the opposition, the facility is something that is badly needed on the city’s west side, said BC Care Providers Association CEO Daniel Fontaine.

“What we’re experiencing is a population that’s aging very rapidly and I don’t know where people think all these seniors are going to live,” Fontaine said.

Another care facility that was proposed in Dunbar was cancelled after neighbours opposed it a few years ago.

A rendering of the proposed seniors care development at Casa Mia.

City of Vancouver

It’s something Fontaine doesn’t want to see repeated.

“If you’re a senior, if you’re a child of an elderly parent and you’re trying to find a place for them to stay and they live on the west side they shouldn’t have to move to Langley and Mission, they should be able to live and age in their community,” he said.

Council is set to review the re-zoning application at a public hearing on Tuesday.

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