Fairways 303 171 Street Surrey 22 townhomes backing on Peace Portal Golf Course by Zenterra Developments

February 24th, 2018

Zenterra?s Fairways plays off golf course

Michael Bernard
The Vancouver Sun

Fairways – South Surrey

Project Address: 303 – 171 St., Surrey

Project Scope: A boutique-style development of 22 townhomes in four wood-frame buildings backing on to Peace Portal Golf Course. Designed to attract the downsizing market, the three- and four-bedroom homes range from 1,430 to 2,110 square feet. Prices for three-bedroom units start at $679,990 and four-bedrooms start from $769,990. Close to Morgan Crossing shopping centre, Grandview Aquatic Centre and 35 minutes to YVR

Developer: Zenterra Developments Ltd.

Architect: Bernard Decosse Architect Inc.

Interior designer: Zenterra Design Department

Sales centre: 2280 163 St., Surrey

Centre hours: noon — 5 p.m., daily

Sales contact: Bryanna Christopherson

Sales phone: 604-560-0272

Website: http://www.zenterra.ca/fairways

Occupancy: Fall 2018

Zenterra Developments has made its mark with the young crowd, selling its acclaimed SOHO and SOHO 2 new townhomes largely to an under-40 crowd. Now it is turning its attention to older and more affluent downsizers with its Fairways project of 22 townhomes backing on to the popular Peace Portal Golf Course.

“We’re looking at a different demographic than SOHO because Fairways is going to appeal to people in their sixties,” said Bryanna Christopherson, Zenterra’s sales manager. While the younger buyers were thrilled with the rooftop patios among the 230 homes in SOHO and SOHO 2, she said, “older buyers wondered to sales staff, ‘How am I going to walk all my barbecue stuff up there?’”

Christopherson noted that there is a give and take with the Fairways design. While the homes in four buildings at Fairways don’t have rooftop patios, they have more space on the upper level because no space is sacrificed to stairs needed to reach the roof. That allowed the architects to dedicate more space to elements such as walk-in closets, which SOHO homes don’t have, she said.

Also appealing to the downsizers is the more intimate boutique size of the development and the privacy created by a determined effort to retain as many old-growth trees as possible and locating it adjacent to a golf course, she said.

Having a back yard that looks on to the golf course will prove very popular with the older buyers, she said. “People are willing to pay for that because they want the privacy they had coming from a single-family home.

“Many just can’t give up what they are used to, but Fairways makes it easier for a lot of people who are taking that step of downsizing by having so much privacy.”

Fairways is located a little more distant from Morgan Crossing shopping compared with earlier Zenterra projects, making it a drive rather than a walk for residents. Fairways is situated about 12 minutes drive from Morgan Crossing, eight minutes from White Rock’s beach and restaurants and two minutes from the Peace Arch border crossing.

Inside the SOHO and SOHO 2 show homes, similar to what Zenterra is building at the Fairways, the level of finishings in everything from the mouldings and flooring to the premium appliances speaks to Zenterra’s lengthy record of industry awards over the last few years. SOHO, for instance, has been nominated for Best Multi-Family Home Development of the Year and Residential Community of the Year at next month’s Georgie Awards, the development industry’s version of the Oscars.

Architect Bernard Decosse, whose firm designed Fairways, described the project as somewhat more traditional with its use of brick, shingle sidewalls, pitched roofs and brackets and Craftsman pillars, making it attractive to the older demographic.

“It’s a much more traditional expression (than SOHO), but still I think a reasonably crisp looking product,” he said. “The units are very generous in size. And fortunately we were able to save a good number of trees and that creates a situation where it looks like the project has been there for a while.”

Eight of the 10 models available have double garages, while two smaller designs have tandem garages. Some models come with the kitchen at one end of the living space with adjacent dining and living spaces, while others have the kitchen located in the centre with dining and living on each side.

Four-bedroom models all have a bedroom on the ground entry level adjacent to the garage with the remaining three bedrooms on the third level. In the three-bedroom model, all three bedrooms are located on the top level. All homes have two balconies situated off each end of the second level.

All homes feature durable wide-plank laminate flooring with ultra plush carpeting on upper floors, stairs, hallways, bedrooms and flex rooms.

Kitchens come in either a galley style or L-shape and have premium Jenn-Air appliances including 36-inch counter-depth refrigerators, 30-inch five-burner gas cooktops and dishwashers.

Tandem-garage homes come with a 30-inch Jenn-Air wall oven, while double-garage homes have a five-burner gas range with convection oven. All homes have AEG pull-out range hoods and KitchenAid microwaves.

Another feature that particularly appeals to older, more affluent buyers is the provision of forced air natural gas heating, with the built-in ductwork allowing for optional air conditioning, said Christopherson.

The master ensuite bathroom has double porcelain under-mount sinks, floor-to-ceiling Italian style porcelain tiles and a frameless glass shower. Kohler plumbing fixtures and Navien on-demand hot water heaters are standard.

Interior designer Gene Guindon said he tried two different styles for the Fairways’ show homes.

“For our larger unit, we went with a more executive refined look with a colour palette of khaki neutrals and navy blues. It’s exciting to have velvets back in fashion, so we have sprinkled luxurious velvet touches throughout. In the expansive kitchen island, we used navy blue velvet Etta stools to set off our whole look.

 “In our second, inside unit townhome, we decided to showcase a younger more urban theme. I had in mind a cool Gastown artist loft.  I really wanted to show how flexible a space Zenterra has created.

“Zenterra is a cool and creative developer, so I wanted to make sure this place was cool. The space really feels full of light, and the volume of space really felt loft-like to me, therefore we rolled with it.”
Guindon said space is a luxury in the region, and a real pleasure for designers to work with.

“Well-designed and laid out floor plans are so much easier to decorate, you don’t have size constraints to hamper the design process.  Also, leaving some breathing room around furniture really adds the volume of luxury that has been lost almost everywhere else.”

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Metro Vancouver directors torn on controversial Hazelmere development in south Surrey

February 24th, 2018

Metro directors are torn on controversial plan for south Surrey housing

Larry Pynn
The Vancouver Sun

A planned residential development in rural Hazelmere in south Surrey was described Friday as both a dangerous land-use precedent and a boost to young farmers and the local environment.

The Metro Vancouver regional board ultimately decided that residents should have a say at a public hearing before a final decision is made on the project.

Regional staff had recommended against the City of Surrey’s request to amend the Metro 2040: Shaping our Future land-use designation map in order to accommodate the development proposal.

The amendment would create a “23.7-hectare non-contiguous extension” of the Metro 2040 Urban Containment Boundary, and redesignate lands from Metro 2040 Rural to General Urban.

The plan for a 145-lot single-family residential subdivision, housing about 450 residents, would require extending regional sewer lines to the site, which is part of the Hazelmere golf course development. 

“The proposed amendment challenges the most fundamental elements of Metro 2040 – containing urban sprawl, focusing urban growth to support complete communities, and efficient transportation and infrastructure investments,” the staff report read.

“In addition, approval would set a clear precedent regarding the permeability of the urban containment boundary, and likely trigger additional land development speculation in the rural areas of southeastern Surrey and other similar areas of the region.”

But the majority of regional directors felt the public should have a say in the project through a public hearing and believed the project had some merit, because it also puts about 1.5 hectares back into the agricultural land reserve, provides opportunities for young farmers on otherwise fallow lands, improves irrigation and drainage, and offers a superior alternative to septic fields. 

The Semiahmoo First Nation, which stands to gain financially from the development, recommended approval.

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner noted that her council had dealt with development applications for the property three times in as many years and that “on balance” supported the latest proposal.

Sarah Rush of Friends of Hazelmere-Campbell Valley spoke against the development, warning “this fits the definition of urban sprawl” and “there is no public (transit) … and unlikely there ever will be.”

Richmond councillor and long-time farming advocate Harold Steves feared the development would only fuel further speculation on farmland in the surrounding area.

Nathan Hildebrand, representing the land owner, Hazelmere Golf and Tennis Club, insisted the residential development “will complete the ultimate vision for this golf-course community” and noted that the land is not within the agricultural land reserve.

Vancouver councillor Andrea Reimer said she is torn on the issue and voted against the development at the committee level, but ultimately decided to support putting the matter to the public. “It’s a very challenging issue that would benefit from a full public hearing … before coming to a decision.”

An amendment bylaw will come back to the regional board before a public hearing being held.

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

10-year ‘tax holiday’ for buyers at Customs House draws fire

February 23rd, 2018

‘Tax holiday’ for condo buyers

Bill Cleverley
Times Colonist

Custom House in Victoria is being renovated into a luxury condominium project by developer Stan Sipos at an estimated cost of $28.1 million

Customs House on Government Street near Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Photograph By ADRIAN LAM, Times Colonist

Two Victoria councillors are crying foul over a city decision to give a 10-year “tax holiday” to people buying units in Customs House — a development that they say is being marketed as one of the priciest luxury condo projects downtown Victoria has ever seen.

“This development is being marketed as the most expensive and most luxurious condos in Victoria,” said Coun. Jeremy Loveday.

“I’m happy to see this project moving forward in terms of the revitalization of this building, but I don’t think the city or everyday taxpayers should be subsidizing some of the most wealthy through this tax credit.”

Condominiums in the project adjacent to the Inner Harbour on Government and Wharf streets have been reported to be selling for $800,000 to more than $10 million. Units currently on the Multiple Listing Service are priced between $1.6 million and $3.09 million.

Loveday was supported by Coun. Ben Isitt, who wanted to ensure short-term vacation rentals would not be permitted in the new condominiums. “I have zero interest in giving a 10-year tax holiday to a ghost hotel,” Isitt said.

The 10-year tax break, which ultimately won city council approval, is to offset the $6.5-million cost of seismic upgrading of the 1914 heritage-designated Customs House. It is being renovated by developer Stan Sipos at an estimated cost of $28.1 million.

Some councillors said that Customs House met the seismic program criteria, was vetted by the Victoria Civic Heritage Trust and, therefore, should be approved.

“I did not support it [the development] from a land-use and planning point of view, but in terms of fairness I have to support what’s before us today because it meets the requirements of our current program,” said Coun. Pam Madoff, noting that the objective of the tax program is to “stabilize our heritage buildings.”

“If we started to only give tax incentive to buildings that were being retrofitted for a particular type of accommodation, it’s the buildings that suffer,” Madoff said.

Coun. Geoff Young said it’s not a matter of if, but when a major earthquake will occur.

“At that time, every building that is vulnerable will be lost and that includes a lot of our heritage building stock,” he said.

“We all know the negative economic ramifications of that.”

Coun. Chris Coleman said it’s unfair to call what is actually a program of tax deferral a “tax holiday.”

“What happens with this program is the improvements are made, the seismic capacity is increased and the tax then goes up in year 11 when they start paying,” Coleman said.

“Part of the genius of this whole process is by year 18, I believe, the taxpayer is more than made whole and we end up making more money on the future benefit.”

The estimated value of the tax exemption will be $5.4 million over the 10 years, which is less than the $6.5-million cost of seismic upgrading, city staff say.

The tax break is applicable to the Customs House portion of the development, in which about 22 condominium units are to be built. It does not apply to the addition which is replacing the 1957 Federal Building.

The city’s tax incentive program was initiated in 1998 to assist heritage-designated building owners with the cost of seismic upgrading to help encourage converting the upper floors of downtown heritage buildings for residential use.

Since it was introduced, the program has created 694 residential units in 43 buildings, city staff say.

Glacier Community Media © Copyright 2013-2018

ADDITIONAL PROPERTY TAX FOR FOREIGN ENTITIES AND TAXABLE TRUSTEES

February 22nd, 2018

other

  1.    Has gone from 15% to 20%, effective today.
    2.    Contracts written before Feb. 20, 2018 with a closing on or before May, 2018 are exempted, but only for Capital Regional District, Fraser Valley Regional District, Regional District of Central Okanagan or Nanaimo Regional District. Note this exemption does not apply in Greater Vancouver.
    3.    Transfers pursuant to court order, order nisi of foreclosure, separation agreement, transfer from personal rep of deceased’s estate to beneficiary or transfer to surviving joint tenant are also exempt, provided the triggering event occurred before Feb. 20, 2018.
    4.    This tax applies to the Capital Regional District, Fraser Valley Regional District, Regional District of Central Okanagan, Nanaimo Regional District and Greater Vancouver. The areas for each region can be found at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/taxes/property-taxes/property-transfer-tax/understand/additional-property-transfer-tax/bc-areas
    5.    Only on residential property; if property is farmland or commercial with a residential component, tax applies on the residential component.
    6.    Exemption for BC Provincial Nominee Program still applies.

    SPECULATION TAX

    1.    Tax is meant to target foreign and domestic homeowners who do not pay income tax in B.C.
    2.    Tax will apply to same areas as foreign buyers tax apart from Okanagan, where it only applies to Kelowna and West Kelowna.
    3.    Starts in 2018 at $5.00 per $1,000.00 of assessed value, goes up to $20 in 2019.
    4.    Not sure how this will affect vacation homes, nor when this tax is payable.

    PROPERTY TRANSFER TAX

    1.    Tax rises from 3% to 5% on value of homes over $3,000,000.00.
    2.    Remains at 1% on first $200,000.00, 2% on amounts between $200,000.00 and $2,000,000; 3% on amounts between $2,000,000.00 and $3,000,000.00 and 5% on amounts over $3,000,000.00.

    PRE-SALE CONDO ASSIGNMENTS

    1.    Developers will collect and report information about pre-sale condo purchases; nothing else in budget about pre-sale contracts or assignments that we have seen.

    B.C. HOME OWNER SECOND MORTGAGES  

    1.    This program is now cancelled – don’t think it was used much anyway.

Confusion beclouds B.C. housing market

February 22nd, 2018

Dirk Meissner
REP

Real estate experts say the British Columbia government started to build a strong foundation for more affordable housing in Tuesday’s budget, but opinion varies on the expected outcomes.

Finance Minister Carole James is trying to ease the province’s housing crisis by introducing a new tax on property speculators, expanding and increasing a tax on foreign homebuyers and spending $6 billion to build affordable housing over the next decade.

James said she expects to see property values start to drop as her budget measures kick in.

“We’re an amazing province,” she said Wednesday after speaking to the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce. “There’s no question people are going to want to live in B.C. But we need to see a moderation and my hope is, by addressing both supply and demand, you’ll see more supply in the market that will ease some of the cost pressures and you’ll see a moderation.”

Cameron Muir, chief economist at the Real Estate Board of B.C., said plans to help build 114,000 affordable housing units will offer much needed supply for rental and low-income properties.

But he said a tremendous undersupply of available homes in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna, coupled with B.C.’s strong economy, will keep home prices from dropping.

“In terms of market impacts, it may be great to raise tax revenue, but this is not going to have a demonstrable impact on housing markets,” said Muir. “The chief culprit of rising home prices is the inability to supply the housing market in a timely fashion.”

Tom Davidoff of the University of British Columbia’s Sauder school of business said he hopes the speculation tax will help make the lower end of the market more affordable, particularly for condos.

The levy will be introduced this fall, targeting foreign and domestic homeowners who do not pay income tax in B.C., including those who leave homes vacant.

In the 2018 tax year, the rate will be $5 per $1,000 of a property’s assessed value. Next year, the rate will rise to $20 per $1,000 of assessed value. It will initially apply to Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, the Victoria area, the Nanaimo Regional District, Kelowna and West Kelowna.

A non-refundable income tax credit will also be introduced to offset the new levy, providing relief for people who do not qualify for an exemption but who pay income taxes in B.C.

The tax makes a lot of economic sense, Davidoff said, because B.C. has high income and sales taxes but low property taxes, which encourages vacationers to buy property and makes life more expensive for workers.

“That is the worst possible idea in a market like Vancouver where you have a tremendous amenity level and it’s so hard to build,” he said. “We’re such a draw for people who don’t want to work here, but do want a lovely vacation home.”

People who are affected by the new levy might sell their properties, freeing up housing for locals, he said.

One issue the budget didn’t directly address is zoning, Davidoff said, adding that the taxes on speculation and foreign buyers might provide some indirect help because they will “bash” the high end of the real estate market. That encourages people to push for changes in zoning density to keep their property values up, he explained.

“The property they own is going to be worth a lot less than it was before this tax. When you have new zoning, there’s a trade off your property becomes more valuable because you can put greater density on it, but you don’t like what’s happening to your neighbourhood,” Davidoff said.

He said the changes make it more attractive for people to subdivide a single luxury property into five or six moderately priced properties.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd

Vancouver approves two new rental housing buildings

February 22nd, 2018

Steve Randall
REP

The City of Vancouver has approved two new desperately needed rental housing developments.

The approval of the rezoning of two 100% rental buildings Tuesday comes at a time when the city’s rental vacancies are below 1%, pressuring rents and creating extra challenges for those renters trying to save for homeownership.

The new buildings – on Main Street and West King Edward Avenue – will add a combined 88 units to the rental market, adding to the 181 already approved this year.

“Over the last year, we’ve approved more than 3,000 new homes—rental, social, and supportive housing—for people who live and work in our city,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We’re working hard to deliver more affordable homes for local residents by introducing Canada’s first Empty Homes Tax, implementing new regulations on short-term rentals, and providing temporary modular housing for our most vulnerable residents. Our housing agency VAHA is building more below-market housing than any other developer in Vancouver.”

The Mayor said that no other Canadian city is doing more to tackle the affordable housing issue than Vancouver.

Copyright © 2018 Key Media Pty Ltd

Main & Twentieth 209 East 20th Avenue 42 homes in a 4 storey mid rise by Landa Global Properties

February 22nd, 2018

New condos on former Mount Pleasant coffee shop site now up for pre-sale

Stephanie Ip
The Vancouver Sun

Condos that will soon sit on the Mount Pleasant lot where Bean Around The World used to be are now for sale — which you can afford if you give up about 200,000 lattes or have $800,000 kicking around.

The development at Main Street and East 20th Avenue in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant — named Main & Twentieth — is being marketed to pre-registered prospective buyers, and a quick glance at the floor plans and their prices is enough to make most people do a spit take.

Previously, the lot was home to Bean Around The World, where it had operated for the last 16 years. The coffee shop closed last summer to make way for Landa Global to begin construction on the development, after it had purchased the land for about $11.4 million back in 2015.

Suites range from one-bedrooms to two-bedroom and flex suites, with some laid out in a split-level loft style, and they won’t come cheap. According to a recent survey, there were no new condos available in 2017 in Vancouver for under $500,000.

But if you had double that amount, you might be able to move into one of 42 homes being constructed at 209 East 20th Ave., where residential suites will sit atop commercial units at street level.

A one-bedroom loft measuring between 620 and 647 square feet, with just under 300 sq. ft. of outdoor space, begins at $799,900. Meanwhile, two-bedroom suites measuring between 713 and 942 sq. ft., with anywhere from 64 to 658 sq. ft. of outdoor space, start at $945,900.

Let’s take a look at some of the floor plans for available suites, shall we?

Unit 210 is a two-bedroom and flex-space suite which also has two bathrooms spread over 747 sq. ft. of indoor space, with 67 sq. ft. of outdoor space. This suite will cost you $968,900.

Floor plans for Main & Twentieth courtesy of Landa Global Properties.

Unit 201 is a two-bedroom and flex-space suite with two bathrooms spread over 769 sq. ft. of indoor space, with 114 sq. ft. of outdoor space. This suite will cost you $1.01 million.

Floor plans for Main & Twentieth courtesy of Landa Global Properties.

Unit 212 is a two-bedroom and flex-space suite which also has two bathrooms spread over 804 sq. ft. of indoor space, with 243 sq. ft. of outdoor space. This suite will cost you $1.1 million.

Floor plans for Main & Twentieth courtesy of Landa Global Properties.

Unit PH7 is a two-bedroom and flex-space suite which also has two bathrooms spread over 757 sq. ft. of indoor space, with 69 sq. ft. of outdoor space. This suite will cost you $1.02 million.

Floor plans for Main & Twentieth courtesy of Landa Global Properties.

There will be 42 suites in total, set around an open-air courtyard that allows for windows on both sides of each suite.

The expected completion date of the project is winter 2019.

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Musqueam development Area D, bounded by University Boulevard, Acadia, Agronomy and Toronto roads and Wesbrook Mall

February 22nd, 2018

Musqueam development will double population of University Endowment Lands

Susan Lazaruk
The Vancouver Sun

Massive development by the Musqueam First Nation near the University of B.C. will almost double the population of the University Endowment Lands, and the province is developing the area’s neighbourhood plan to prepare for the influx of new residents.

And the endowment lands’ administration and some residents say this could be the start of densification of the land called Area D, which an elected council member predicts will transform the village into another concrete-and-glass neighbourhood like Yaletown.

A reconciliation deal returned 22 acres of a forested area of the endowment lands to the band, and the Musqueam were granted a zoning exemption from the four-storey building limit. That allowed the band to build residential towers as high as 18 storeys, and Mojan Nozari, a member of the Community Advisory Council for Area D, said she fears that’ll also change University Hill, where she’s lived since 2001.

“I believe it opens the gate for other owners to build higher-density developments,” she said. “It’s going to become a city, it’s not going to be a university village anymore. There is no way we can escape it.”

The province is calling for urban-planning or architecture firms to bid for a proposal to help develop Area D, bounded by University Boulevard, Acadia, Agronomy and Toronto roads and Wesbrook Mall, and home to almost three-quarters of the endowment lands’ 3,000 residents. Most live in multi-family units, including rentals.

The Musqueam’s planned 10-year development, which will add 1.2 million square feet of residential and 30,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, is expected to grow the endowment lands’ population by another 2,500 residents. The endowment lands are an unincorporated community, meaning it has no municipal council, and is directly governed by the province through the Municipal Affairs and Housing Ministry.

The ministry is appealing to professional planners for help in developing a neighbourhood plan to “guide future development, revitalize the sense of community and improve the sense of community,” and transit, ministry staff said in an email. It gives endowment lands’ residents input to “provide guidance for future development proposals.” The ministry’s call for proposals says the winning bid will help “review the structure of land-use regulation” and “identify regulatory options” for redevelopment proposals.

The endowment lands’ administration office didn’t return a request for comment.

But the latest endowment lands’ community newsletter called University Hill Connections, said the endowment lands “can also expect pressure to redevelop other portions of the multi-family neighbourhood (Area D) in the near future.” It said it also means residents can expect a rise in their taxes, now about 20- to 30-per-cent lower than Vancouver’s.

The newsletter says rising real-estate prices and speculation, Area D’s aging infrastructure and the Musqueam redevelopment, as well as a push for increased density across Metro Vancouver, are putting development pressures on Area D.

The advisory council approved the province’s call for proposals to develop a neighbourhood plan for Area D, said Justin LeBlanc, also an elected member of the advisory council for Area D. He said he supports the Musqueam’s right to develop their land as they choose to.

Residents will have a say on the future development of Area D and that doesn’t necessarily mean highrises, he said. “I’m not sure if the Musqueam development opens the door to denser or more development. Right now we have set limits for density.”

He said he wouldn’t oppose increased density as long as it included plans for affordable housing and rental accommodations.

LeBlanc, a scientist who attended UBC but who no longer works on campus, rents a suite above the shops in the village, which he says are “80-per-cent fast-food.” He said he would like to see fewer restaurants that rely on single-use, disposal-serving dishes, better waste disposal and improved bike lanes addressed in the neighbourhood plan.

Other residents’ concerns noted in a questionnaire include the increased demolition of older homes to be replaced by those of a West Coast contemporary design, the number of vacant homes, overgrown hedges, camper vans parked in residential areas, garbage and noise. Respondents in areas A, B and C, which are mostly single-family dwellings, weren’t concerned about density.

But Nozari, who owns a townhouse next to the Musqueam development, said she doesn’t welcome skyscrapers and more neighbours.

“I moved here because I liked living in nature and in a low-density neighbourhood,” she said. “I have the horizon and I can easily see the trees.”

She said she foresees traffic jams, insufficient parking and the lack of transit for residents in the university’s off-hours.

“I’m planning to move,” said Nozari, who works in architectural design. “Why should I drive all the way to my job downtown when this neighbourhood is going to look like it does downtown? That’s not what UBC should be.”

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Legal pot sparks bylaw issues

February 22nd, 2018

Make sure you understand what can and cannot be enforced

Tony Gioventu
The Province

Dear Tony:

Our strata council is getting a lot of pressure from our owners to adopt a bylaw that prohibits the use of marijuana and growing of plants. Owners are concerned this is just going to make our property the local grower and the value of our properties is going to fall.

Several owners have already complained about the smell of marijuana in the building from several smokers. We had to eradicate a grow op back in 2004, costing our strata over $75,000 in damages that we never recovered. 

What our council is struggling with is how far can we go with our bylaws? Do the federal and provincial laws override our ability to control what happens in our building?

Denise M., Parksville

Dear Denise: 

Federal legislation determines what substance may be possessed and consumed, the quantity of what may be possessed by individuals and if permitted, how it is grown, managed, regulated and taxed.

Each province then has the jurisdiction to determine how the distribution will be managed, who will manage the distribution and the controls placed on distribution. We may also find there are local government bylaws that will set apart specific zoning or regulations for the facilities that will grow marijuana and how local businesses market and distribute the products. 

Strata corporations are essentially private property. You cannot prohibit anyone from consuming marijuana as it comes in many forms that pose no nuisance to the community; however, in most strata corporations, the main issue is smoking. 

Smoke is a serious nuisance in many multi-family buildings as the smoke often migrates to other strata lots or common property and may contaminate those areas. While each strata lot is within its own climate or space, multi-family buildings such as apartment, connected townhouse or highrise-style buildings are rarely airtight.

Any neighbouring smoking or consumption that requires some sort of combustion will migrate to other strata lots. Your strata corporation is permitted to adopt a bylaw that regulates nuisance, such as smoking or noise.

The Schedule of Standard Bylaws already has a nuisance bylaw that can be enforced and your strata may adopt a bylaw that simply prohibits smoking of any substance within strata lots and on any common property. Those bylaws will continue to be enforceable. 

Your strata corporation is not permitted to prohibit or restrict the use of substances or plants that fall under the classification of medical purposes. If an owner or occupant requires the medical use of marijuana, the strata corporation is permitted to request valid documentation to grant the exemption. This is both for the protection of the strata corporation and the related strata lot.

The nature of bylaws for strata corporations raises an ongoing question for strata councils to consider. Is your smoking or nuisance bylaw enforceable? Strata corporations and managers are constantly borrowing bylaws from each other and tweaking them to apply to their own needs, but the limitations or changes they are adding to make them acceptable to their owners often render them unenforceable.

Even with enforceable bylaws, strata councils are still failing to follow the basic steps of bylaw enforcement, resulting in long costly battles between owners and their neighbours.  Spring seminars and workshops are an excellent opportunity for your strata council to refresh its knowledge of bylaw enforcement and application. Go to www.choa.bc.ca for a scheduled session in your area of B.C.           

© 2018 Postmedia Network Inc.

Hillside East 900 homes in two towers at Concord Brentwood 4880 and 4890 Lougheed Highway Burnaby by Concord Pacific Developments

February 22nd, 2018

Hillside East noteworthy for its indoor-outdoor design

Mary Frances Hill
The Province

Concord Brentwood – Hillside East

What: A total of 900 units in two concrete buildings of 55 and 45 storeys each, set in Concord’s 26-acre parkside community in the emerging Brentwood town centre neighbourhood.

Where: 4880 & 4890 Lougheed Highway, Burnaby

Residence sizes and prices: Homes range from a 545- square-foot one-bedroom with balconies measuring between 158 and 276 square feet, from high $500,000s; two-bedroom from $750,000s; two-bedroom-and-den from $840,000s; two-bedroom-and-den and three-bedroom homes from the Sky Collection (floor 44 and up) start at $1.19 million

Developer and builder: Concord Pacific Developments Inc.

Sales centre address: 4750 Kingsway, Burnaby

Sales centre hours: 11:30 a.m. — 5:30 p.m., daily

When Olivia Lam and her team of designers at Liv Interiors were given a chance to design the interiors of homes with retractable doors — seamlessly opening up the living space to the outdoors — they knew it was an opportunity they couldn’t pass up.

The “convertible living balconies” at Hillside East, a two-tower addition to Burnaby’s huge Concord Brentwood project, are creating a buzz among visitors, Lam says, adding she wasn’t surprised at the positive response.

“We really love the fact that the project’s emphasis on indoor-outdoor living is getting noticed,” says the principal of Liv Interiors.

The capacity of the sliding retractable doors to open the home up to the balcony space “is a very attractive design feature, and one that we believe homeowners will really love and embrace.”

The transition from indoor to outdoor is seamless: The threshold floor level between the open-concept space and the balcony has been removed, allowing occupants to transition smoothly to enjoy fresh air.

This feature is not new to luxury homes, and furniture designers have responded to the demand for attractive furnishings and materials that can adapt to indoor and outdoor living.
“Gone are the days when outdoor furniture was big, bulky and relegated to the outdoors only,” says Lam. “Today’s more modern and more refined outdoor furniture can often be seen inside homes, offices and other interior public spaces.”

Lam says she’d advise Hillside East homeowners to bring decor often used indoors to the outside area, and vice versa.

 “When bringing the outside in, having greenery inside the home allows for a visual connection to the outdoors. Take some interior home elements outside … light fixtures, tableware and decorative accessories like trays and candles.”

Area rugs, furniture and decorative cushions in similar colours, pattern, style or form can harmonize the colour scheme, she adds.

“We also suggest homeowners keep the areas by the sliding doors as clear and uncluttered as possible. Eradicating visual barriers helps to open up the views and creates a better connection between indoor and outdoor spaces.”
Meantime, Lam and her team used large-format porcelain tiles in the kitchen and bathrooms of Hillside East. She prefers the material to the pricier marble, as porcelain is lightweight and resistant to scratches and extreme temperatures.

The Liv Interiors team also made custom closets fashioned in a millwork wood finish. “Instead of selecting a specific brand and having them design the closets for us, we design each closet in-house with full functionality mind.”

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