Agenda Index City of Vancouver



Date: June 6, 2000


Author/Local: LChallis/7135

  RTS No. 01525

CC File No. 5304-1

  Council: June 20, 2000

TO: Vancouver City Council

FROM: Director of Current Planning

SUBJECT: CD-1 Rezoning - 1055 West 41st Avenue (Louis Brier Home and Hospital)




… Oakridge Langara Policy Statement (OLPS), approved July 25, 1995;
… Oakridge Langara Public Benefit Strategy, approved June 13, 1996;
… Oakridge Langara Development Cost Levy By-law, adopted September 25, 1996; and
… Special Needs Residential Facility Guidelines (adopted in February 1992) which are intended to ensure that a special needs residential facility is compatible with the surrounding neighbourhood.


This report assesses an application to permit an expansion of the existing Louis Brier Home and Hospital. A proposed three-storey addition on the west side of the site would contain:

… 20 multi-level care beds (Special Needs Residential Facility - Community Care -Class B); and
… 40 residential units (Special Needs Residential Facility - Congregate Housing).

The proposal meets all the parameters set out in the OLPS. Location of the additional density along the western side of the site is not ideal but it utilizes a vacant portion of the site, avoiding demolition of part of the existing facility and dislocation of some of the facility's current residents. The applicant has endeavored to address neighbours' concerns but there are still outstanding issues which need to be addressed at the development application stage. It is highly likely that a number of individuals will still speak in opposition to the rezoning at the Public Hearing because concerns about continued expansion of the institution remain unresolved. A group of residents have also raised issues about the OLPS and lack of input from those living just outside the study area.

The Director of Current Planning recommends that the application be referred to Public Hearing, and that it be approved, subject to conditions. The General Manager of Engineering Services further recommends an additional condition to seek a dedication along Oak Street.


In 1963, subdivision of Shaughnessy Golf Course occurred making provision for a private hospital site. In December 1967, a development permit was issued to construct a one-storey private hospital and personal care home. In 1976, Council approved an amendment to the Zoning and Development By-law to allow the Director of Planning to consider additions which exceeded 30 percent of the area of an existing building. This by-law amendmentallowed a development permit to be issued to add a one-storey east wing which increased the building's size by over 31 percent.

In October 1982, staff recommended refusal of a development application to permit a two-storey addition to the west side of the site, underground parking and a second storey addition to the existing west wing. However, Council approved the application subject to further review of the traffic on Osler Street, ingress and egress being from 41st Avenue and provision of a landscape buffer to protect the neighbourhood to the west. Staff met with the applicant and neighbourhood representatives between June 1983 and January 1984 to see that concerns were addressed. In January 1985, a development permit was issued. The development permit was extended for almost three years but the expansion ultimately did not proceed.

In September 1988, a new application was received to add a second storey addition to the existing one-storey building and surface parking along the west side of the site. The development permit was approved in March 1989 and the addition was built. Two subsequent development permits were issued in 1993 and 1994 for interior and exterior alterations.

During the processing of these development permits, neighbourhood concerns have included:

… traffic and parking impacts;
… lack of compatibility with the adjacent residential area;
… loss of landscaping; and
… devaluation of property values.


Use: The application proposes an expansion of the existing Louis Brier Home and Hospital (LBHH) to provide an additional 20 multi-level care beds and 40 congregate housing units. The care beds would help reduce the long waiting list for the facility. The congregate housing would offer a continuum of care by acting as a bridge between independent housing and multi-level care. The congregate units are also expected to serve some people on the waiting list who must move from their home because they cannot manage without some support services but do not yet require the level of care provided by the multi-level care facility. Staff support the uses which will increase housing opportunities for the City's aging population.

Density: The application proposes an overall density of 0.90 FSR (floor space ratio) with all the new development located on the west side of the site. The OLPS supports the proposed density for the expansion of institutional and residential uses on this site. Some residents in the neighbourhood to the west of the site are concerned because they were not specifically consulted about the Oakridge Langara policies which apply to this site.

Staff and the residential neighbourhood to the west would have preferred to see the additional density located along Oak Street where it would have less impact. However, the applicant has not pursued redevelopment along Oak Street because:

… the building on the east side (Oak Street) of the site has recently been upgraded for extended care;
… adding development above the building on the east side would trigger non-combustible construction and seismic upgrading to the existing building;
… development on the west side of the site would be less disruptive to the facility's residents;
… the proposed development would not result in temporary downsizing or relocating any of the current residents; and
… development on the parking lot (vacant land) would be less costly than adding development to the built areas of the site.

Staff recognize the advantage of developing a portion of the site which will not require demolition of portions of the existing facility and dislocation of its residents, and for this reason support the general location of the development as proposed.

Although the current proposal would use up almost all the density recommended for the site in the OLPS, the local community is concerned that, in the future, the facility will seek additional density to redevelop the Oak Street portion of the site. The applicant has indicated that it is not the intention to expand beyond the floor area recommended in the OLPS.

Height: The OLPS recommends a maximum height limit of 9.14 m (30 ft.) along the western side of the site (Osler Street) and a maximum height of 12.19 m (40 ft.) on the eastern side of the site (Oak Street). Initially, the application proposed a building of 10.7 m (35 ft.) along Osler Street; however, in response to staff and neighbourhood concerns about compatibility, the building height has been reduced to 9.2 m (30 ft.) which is consistent with the height permitted in RS-5. The RS-5 also permits a maximum height of 10.7 m (35 ft.) for development which includes pitched roofs but limits the height to two and a half storeys. Although the proposed building is three storeys in height, Planning staff find this acceptable because the building includes pitched roofs as an element to improve the development's compatibility with the adjacent residential area and has integrated the third storey into the roof form to lower the building height and reduce the impact of the third storey.

Form of Development: Generally, staff support the proposed form of development with further changes recommended to reduce the massing and improve its residential character. Making the building appear as two buildings will make it less institutional in appearance. However, it is difficult for the proposed building to conform to a more residential building form because these facilities typically require a larger floorplate for efficient operation. The proposal has already included some residential elements such as dormers, pitched roofs and landscaping in an effort to foster a residential character. Staff have recommended further refinements as specified as design development conditions in Appendix B.

Setbacks: Since originally proposed, the building setback along Osler Street has been increased to a minimum depth of 5.4 m (18 ft.) near the centre of the building to 8.6 m (28.5 ft.) at the north end of the site. Although staff are satisfied with the northerly setback which is equal to the front yard depth of the neighbouring house to the north, a minimum setback of 6.0 m (20 ft.) along Osler Street is recommended. This setback is consistent with the minimum depth requirement for most multiple dwellings built in the city.

Staff consider the proposed 7.6 m (25 ft.) setback along 41st Avenue as supportable, as it is compatible with the typical setback for residential properties along 41st Avenue.

Traffic and Parking: Many of the neighbourhood's concerns about this project (outlined in Appendix D) are related to existing traffic and parking impacts, which they expect to increase significantly. The application included a comprehensive parking and traffic study which documents current and expected parking and traffic impacts. The study indicates that the proposed off-street parking would exceed the demand, there will likely remain an element of on-street parking (on 41st Avenue and on Osler Street) and the traffic impact is expected to be quite minor.

To address residents' concerns, the applicant has proposed that a member of Louis BrierHome and Hospital staff would be appointed to serve as a Neighbourhood Traffic Coordinator to work with the community to resolve parking and traffic issues. As well, this person would take the lead role at LBHH to encourage staff to reduce automobile travel by promoting alternative modes such as transit, cycling and car-pooling. Staff support this proposal which is consistent with our efforts to encourage institutional facilities to better manage their transportation needs and improve their relations with surrounding neighbours.
Even with this initiative, staff expect there will continue to be traffic and parking concerns from the local residents if the principal access to the congregate housing facility is located on Osler Street. Therefore, staff recommend as a design development condition that the principal entrance be relocated to the 41st Avenue entry court. All that would remain on Osler would be the required fire exit.

A parking requirement of one parking space for every four care beds and one space for every two congregate housing units is recommended which is consistent with the parking standard applied to similar uses in the city. To further address the neighbourhood's parking concerns, the applicant has proposed 113 parking spaces (equivalent to approximately one space for every 2.45 care beds and congregate housing units) which is well in excess of the proposed requirement and exceeds the site's current parking ratio of one space for every 2.6 care beds.

The applicant has also proposed alterations to improve the operation and reduce the impacts of the loading area which will continue to be accessed from Osler Street. The proposed changes would free up more open pavement area within the loading area which would assist truck manoeuvring. The facility will also request that their suppliers use only small delivery vehicles. Staff expect that the Neighbourhood Traffic Coordinator would also have the responsibility of ensuring that the loading area operates effectively.

Landscape: The OLPS recommends protection of Louis Brier Home and Hospital's perimeter trees. The proposal retains or relocates most of the significant trees on the site, including portions of a large, 2.0 to 3.0 m (6 to 10 ft.) high cedar hedge along the west side of the property. The hedge currently provides a buffer between the surface parking lot and the adjacent residential area. The application proposes to retain sections of the hedge which will not affect lighting, visibility and security for the new units. Staff and the Urban Design Panel recognize that the hedge is a significant landscape feature of the site and staff support the applicant's retention of the hedge. Currently, the applicant has retained the hedge next to the larger open spaces. Staff recommend as a condition of approval that portions of the hedge be retained in locations that do not screen the site's open space from public view. Staff also expect that the hedge would provide a buffer between adjacent houses and the proposed addition.

Engineering Services has recommended, as an additional condition of rezoning approval [Appendix B: Condition (c)(v)], dedication of a portion of the site along Oak Street for thelong-term planning of Oak Street. To prevent the loss of trees along Oak Street, Engineering Services also proposes a right-of-way through the site to allow for relocation of the sidewalk. The OLPS identifies these trees as significant private site vegetation which should be protected. Landscape staff expect that future road widening and sidewalk relocation would result in the removal of some trees and damage to a significant number of the trees currently located adjacent the existing sidewalk.

Engineering Services has reviewed the dedication and right-of-way requirements on Oak Street and Planning's landscape assessment of the impact of widening on the trees along Oak Street. Engineering agrees that any construction will affect the health of the trees yet wishes to retain the ability to widen the road in the future if the opportunity presents itself by seeking the dedication and right-of-way at this time. Recognizing City Council's wish to protect the trees, Engineering does not intend to do any road construction at this time. The Planning Department is very concerned about the mature trees but recognizes that any future widening will be subject to a Council decision. The protection of the trees will be a part of any future consideration, pursuant to the Oakridge Langara Policy Statement (OLPS).

Public Process: The local community has been quite concerned that this rezoning proposal has been guided by the OLPS to which they felt they provided minimal input. Staff acknowledge that, in hindsight, the neighbourhood should have been consulted during the OLPS with respect to policies which apply to this site. However, it is normal with community planning programs that residents outside of a study area may be affected by policies adopted for sites within the study area. Although the OLPS suggests there be additional density on the site, the policies are meant to provide a framework for Council and the community to guide rezoning decisions in the area. The policy notes that density targets for specific sites are meant to guide the direction of large site rezonings and that more specific policies can be proposed once detailed proposals are submitted by applicants for public response. The rezoning process provides the community with the opportunity to raise their concerns.

The OLPS density targets for specific sites assume an acceptable form of development which is sympathetic with the existing neighbourhood and minimizes community impacts. While it is unfortunate that residents in the immediate surrounding area were not directly involved in the formulation of the OLPS, staff believe that the rezoning proposal meets the standards for acceptance, notwithstanding the Policy Statement.

Although some community members feel that the City does not listen to their concerns and in the past has approved expansion of LBHH despite community objections, records show that staff have invested considerable time in meetings with the community to achieve development on this site that responds to neighbours' concerns.

The community has been given a number of opportunities to comment on the application during processing. In addition to the standard notification letter and rezoning signs which invite members of the public to comment on an application, the applicant held an open house and staff held two public meetings. The public meetings were well attended and raised many of the issues that this report has tried to address. Staff have received 189 letters and e-mails of support for the proposal and numerous individuals spoke in support at the public meetings. Nevertheless, there continues to be a number of individuals who remain opposed to the proposed expansion of the facility. There are 31 letters in opposition to the rezoning on file.

The following highlights the principal issues. A summary response from staff is indicated in italics:

(i) the scale, massing and neighbourliness of the building:

(ii) the building's location on the west side of the site:

(iii) traffic and parking impacts on Osler Street and neighbouring streets:

(iv) loss of open space and landscaping:

(v) negative impacts on property values:

(vi) expectation of further expansion in the future:

Overall, staff feel that the majority of the community's issues have been sufficiently addressed by this rezoning proposal.


Staff support the proposed rezoning which provides additional housing opportunities for seniors. The proposed expansion is generally compatible with the adjacent residential neighbourhood. The Director of Current Planning recommends that the application be referred to Public Hearing, subject to the proposed conditions of approval (a) to (c)(iv) presented in Appendix B. The Manager of Engineering Services recommends an additional condition (c)(v) to seek dedication along Oak Street.

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Parking and Loading




(a) THAT the proposed form of development be approved by Council in principle, generally as prepared by Neale Staniszkis Doll Adams Architects, and stamped "Received City Planning Department, December 22, 1999", provided that the Director of Planning may allow minor alterations to this form of development when approving the detailed scheme of development as outlined in (b) below.

(b) THAT, prior to approval by Council of the form of development, the applicant shall obtain approval of a development application by the Director of Planning, who shall have particular regard to the following:

(c) THAT, prior to enactment of the CD-1 By-law, the registered owner shall, at no cost to the City:

Where the Director of Legal Services deems appropriate, the preceding agreements are to be drawn, not only as personal covenants of the property owner, but also as Covenants pursuant to Section 219 of the Land Title Act.

Such agreements are to be registered in the appropriate Land Title Office, with priority over such other liens, charges and encumbrances effecting the subject site as is considered advisable by the Director of Legal Services, and otherwise to the satisfaction of the Director of Legal Services prior to enactment of the by-law; provided, however, the Director of Legal Services may, in her sole discretion and on terms she considers advisable, accept tendering of the preceding agreements for registration in the appropriate Land Title Office, to the satisfaction of the Director of Legal Services, prior to enactment of the by-law.

The Preceding agreements shall provide security to the City including indemnities, warranties, equitable charges, letters of credit and withholding of permits, as deemed necessary by and in a form satisfactory to the Director of Legal Services.

The timing of all required payments shall be determined by the appropriate City official having responsibility for each particular agreement, who may consult other City officials and City Council.



Site, Surrounding Zoning and Development: The site consists of one legal parcel with an area of 16 180 mū (174,165 sq.ft.) and is bounded by Oak Street to the east, West 41st Avenue to the south, Osler Street to the west and a lane and abutting development to the north. The site has a frontage of 142.7 m (468 ft.) and a depth of 110.2 m (362 ft.) and slopes down slightly from west to east by about 3.5 m (11.5 ft.) along 41st Avenue. The site is presently occupied by the existing Louis Brier Home and Hospital (LBHH), a one to two-storey multi-level care facility with surface parking for 82 vehicles (along Osler Street). The 217-bed multi-level care facility provides kosher meals and other services for members of the Jewish faith. LBHH has a waiting list of over 140 people who wait up to two years for a bed.

Lands to the south, west and northwest of the site are zoned RS-5 and developed with 2 to 2‡-storey single family homes. North of the site is zoned CD-1 and developed with two-storey multiple dwellings at a density of 0.60 FSR (the Shawn Oaks complex). The northeast and southwest corners of Oak Street and 41st Avenue are zoned C-1 and developed with gasoline service stations. East of the site, across Oak Street was zoned CD-1 in 1996 for multiple dwelling and accessible units, at a density of 1.55 FSR. The southeast corner of Oak Street and 41st Avenue is zoned CD-1 and is being redeveloped with a 5-storey mixed use building (Lubavitch Centre and residential uses) at a density of 1.98 FSR.

Proposed Development: The proposed rezoning would allow a three-storey addition to the west side of the LBHH. The application proposes 20 multi-level care beds on the north half of the main floor of the addition and 40 congregate housing units on the second and third floors. The congregate units would include a mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. The dining and common amenity areas for the congregate units would be located on the south half of the main floor.

One level of underground parking would provide 106 parking spaces, and seven existing surface parking spaces would be retained. Access to the underground parking would continue to be from West 41st Avenue. Service and loading access would continue to be from Osler Street.

The proposed congregate housing generally conforms to the draft congregate housing guidelines which staff have been preparing, in terms of unit size and common area. However, the proposal should include more storage and laundry facilities and meet fire and safety concerns, as recommended in the proposed conditions of approval (Appendix B).

Use: The OLPS supports the proposed expansion of institutional uses on this site. The proposed care beds and congregate units both increase the housing options available to seniors.

There are also sound economic arguments for expanding the uses on this site, in that facilities such as the kitchen and laundry and the staffing for these services can be shared throughout the site. This will reduce the potential construction and operating costs associated with the new care beds and congregate units.

The facility is also consistent with the Special Needs Residential Facility Guidelines which seek to ensure that Special Needs Residential Facilities are compatible with the surrounding neighbourhood. The Guidelines also recommend that in a predominantly residential area there should be at least 200 m (656 ft.) between Special Needs Residential Facilities (SNRF), although multi-level care and congregate housing are normally excepted from this criteria.

Although LBHH is a Jewish facility, it is a government-funded facility that is open to and occupied by residents that are not of the Jewish faith. The congregate housing facility willnot receive any government funding therefore its building and operation must be paid for by funding-raising and the future residents. Access to the congregate housing units will be available to anyone who wants to live in the facility, although first choice will go to people who donate to the development. This will include local residents, if they choose to contribute to the cost of expansion.

Utilities and Servicing: Engineering staff have reviewed the site's servicing needs and determined that the water system may require upgrading to meet the fire protection demands of the proposal. The developer would have to pay this cost. No sewer system upgrading is necessary.

In addition, Engineering staff are asking for hydro servicing information to determine if any new overhead hydro wires are necessary to provide service for the development and will assess the impact of new wires on the neighbourhood. Engineering's Utilities Branch is trying to reduce the impact of this kind of overhead servicing by requiring the development to take service from a location which results in less overhead wires being installed in the neighbourhood.

Public Benefit: Real Estate Services reviewed the pro forma for the proposed development and concluded that the project would generate insufficient revenue to be able to make a Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) contribution. A Development Cost Levy (DCL) of $34.98 per mū ($3.25 per sq. ft.) will be payable at the building permit stage.

Environmental Implications The proposed rezoning neither contributes to nor detracts from the objective of reducing atmospheric pollution.

Social Implications The proposal would increase the range of housing opportunities available to seniors.

There are no implications with respect to the Vancouver Children's Policy or Statement of Children's Entitlements.



Public Input: On January 14, 1999, a rezoning information sign was posted on the site and a notification letter was sent to 436 nearby property owners. On February 24, 1999, theapplicant sponsored an Open House at LBHH which was attended by about a dozen local residents. On May 25, 1999, staff held a public meeting to address issues raised by concerned neighbours. Over 60 local residents, along with the applicant, consultants and other representatives for LBHH, attended this meeting.

On May 10, 2000, staff held a second public meeting to present our tentative conclusions on the rezoning proposal and to hear the community's response. More than 130 members of the public attended the meeting. At the request of the South Shaughnessy Neighbourhood Association, a third public meeting is expected before a Public Hearing.
Since receiving the original application, staff have received fifteen telephone calls, 220 letters (including emails), and six visits to City Hall. Many of the letters (189) were from friends and relatives of LBHH residents and other individuals expressing support for the proposed rezoning and noting the need for expansion of the facility. Thirty-one letters were from local residents who were opposed to the proposal. The opposition was based on the following concerns:

Comments of the City Engineer: The City Engineer has no objection to the proposed rezoning, provided that the applicant complies with conditions as shown in Appendix B.

Urban Design Panel Comment: The Urban Design Panel reviewed the original proposal on April 8, 1998, and offered the following comments:

Comments of the Applicant: The applicant has been provided with a copy of this report and has provided the following comments:




Street Address 1055 West 41st Avenue
Legal Description Lot 29, Block 915, DL 526, Plan 11811
Applicant/Architect Neale Staniszkis Doll Adams Architects
Property Owner/Developer Louis Brier Home and Hospital


SITE AREA 16 180 mū (174,166 sq.ft.)

to be determined

16 180 mū (174,166 sq.ft.)


USES One-family dwellings, plus two-family dwellings, MCDs, multiple dwellings and Special Needs Residential Facilities (SNRF) under certain conditions. SNRF - Community Care -Class B, SNRF -Congregate Housing  
MAXIMUM HEIGHT 10.7 m (35 ft.) under certain conditions 9.2 m (30 ft.)  
SETBACK   5.4 m (18 ft.) along Osler Street

6.0 m (20 ft.) along Osler Street

PARKING SPACES Per Parking By-law 113 parking spaces  

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