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Neighbour outcry sends West Van ‘memory care’ residence back for revision
A new 75,000-square-foot seniors “memory care” residence on the corner of Taylor Way and Keith Road is on hold until the developer makes changes to please nearby neighbours.
After several homeowners close to the project told West Vancouver council on Monday of their objections to Maison Seniors’ Living, members voted unanimously to send the application back to Milliken Developments to be revised.
In addition to a community consultation meeting held in May, Milliken Developments must further consult the public before council will consider an Official Community Plan amendment and rezoning on the two large lots, 825 Taylor Way and 707 Keith Road.
Many of the seniors living at the 110-bed, private-pay assisted-living residence would be memory impaired, often suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. All-inclusive living would start at $5,500 a month.
Among other changes, the developer must increase the amount of green space, reexamine tree retention with invasive species in mind and create a “cohesive architecture with more variety to the massing and materiality.” And, an important step for neighbours, re-look at the number of parking spaces and how the project will affect traffic.
“…This is a big intrusion on the area residents as far as their property values. The development will impact their area, there’s no doubt about it,” said Coun. Bill Soprovich.
“I think this should be stopped in its tracks right now tonight,” he added as applause broke out from the crowd at the meeting.
But Dan Milliken, from Milliken Development, said neighbours wouldn’t be as affected because the slope of the lot allows for just one and a half storeys to be above grade, even though the rear portion is three-storeys. The building, he added, would be shielded with “extensive” landscaping, including $400,000 worth of 25- to 30-foot mature trees. In addition, screens on the building’s windows would be closed during the evening to allow to additional privacy.
In response to concern about the number of parking stalls, Milliken said the building’s 40 parking spots will be enough for staff. Residents won’t drive and would not be allowed to keep cars on site.
Around 50 staff would work during peak daytime hours and this would decline to around four at night.
“Our staff… 90 per cent of them don’t own cars. It’s the nature of the employees typically that we will hire for the bulk of jobs. Most of them will take transit.”
Coun. Mary-Ann Booth pointed out the district has a higher proportion of seniors than many other communities in B.C.
“There is no doubt in my mind that there is need for this type of housing in West Vancouver,” she said. “And we are talking about housing. I know it’s been called a commercial enterprise but the bottom line is we are talking about homes.”
Other council members were concerned about a possible alternative to the seniors complex — five single-family lots with 5,000-square-foot homes on each.
Mayor Michael Smith, however, summed up many concerns of homeowners who spoke earlier.
“I don’t think this council, or any other council, has the right to negatively impact people’s property values…,” he said. “Most people’s net worth it tied up in their home, and you make a big investment in that home in West Vancouver.”