P&E COMMITTEE AGENDA
                                    FEBRUARY 27, 1997

                           ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT

                                         Date:  February 12, 1997
                                         CC File No. 2701-1        

 TO:       Standing Committee on Planning and Environment

 FROM:     City Building Inspector

 SUBJECT:  Warning to Prospective Purchasers of  Individual Strata Lots at
           1238 Seymour Street  (Strata Lots 1-223, Strata Plan LMS2446,
           District Lot 541)


      THAT the City Clerk be directed to file a 336D Notice against the
      Certificate of Title to the specific strata lots outlined in Appendix
      A of this report, in order to warn prospective purchasers that there
      is a contravention of the Zoning and Development and Vancouver
      Building By-laws related to these individual strata lots.


      The General Manager of Community Services RECOMMENDS approval of the


 The Vancouver Charter, Section 336D, provides a mechanism whereby the City
 of Vancouver can warn prospective purchasers of contravention of City
 By-laws relating to land or a building or structure:

 (a)  to be a contravention of a By-law or regulation relating to the
      construction or safety of buildings or structures; or

 (b)  as a result of that condition, a building or structure is unsafe or
      is unlikely to be useable for its expected purpose during its normal
      lifetime; or

 (c)  the contravention is of a nature that a purchaser, unaware of the
      contravention, would suffer a significant loss of expense if the
      By-laws were enforced against him;

 he may recommend to City Council that a resolution be considered, pursuant
 to Section 336D (2), directing the City Clerk to file a notice against the

 title to the property in the Land Title Office.


 This is a twenty-two storey residential building of non-combustible
 construction. The 143 suites on floors 1 to 11 have 17 foot ceilings. All
 of these suites obtained a Development Permit and a Building Permit to add
 mezzanines. However, 4 of the suites have not yet constructed the approved
 mezzanines. The approved size of these mezzanines is not to exceed 40% of
 the area of the main floor of each suite. All suites contained enclosed
 balconies that were excluded from floor space ratio. Before construction
 of the approved mezzanines, all suites had a restrictive covenant
 registered against them. When permits were obtained, all but five of the
 covenants were removed.

 Inspection after occupancy approval revealed that work was being carried
 out throughout the 1st to 11th floors without permit or approval.

 The work carried out consists of:

      1.   Removal of the patio doors to the balconies

      2.   Additions to the mezzanines

      3.   Construction of closets

      4.   Removal of guard rails

      5.   Installation of spiral stairs

      6.   Removal of interior walls

      7.   Electrical work


 1.   The construction of the additions to the mezzanines is of combustible
      construction. This is not permitted in a non-combustible building

      pursuant to the Vancouver Building By-law. There are concerns as well
      over the structural integrity of some of the additions due to
      overspanning and loading.

 2.   As a result of the additions, there is inadequate sprinkler coverage
      and some existing sprinkler heads have been covered by closets or

 3.   Some of the stairs in the suites have been replaced by spiral stairs.
      These spiral stairs do not meet the required width or rise and run of
      the Building By-law.

 4.   Because the electrical work was done without permit and has been
      covered without inspection, we are unsure as to its safety.

 5.   There are breaches in the fire separations between some suites that
      reduces the effectiveness of the fire separation and could result in
      fire spreading from one suite to another.

 6.   The additions to mezzanines and removal of balcony doors has
      increased the floor space ratios of the suites. The floor space ratio
      was at a maximum when the 40% mezzanines were approved.


 Staff from Permits and Licenses and Planning have met with Strata owners
 on two occasions. The purpose of the meetings was to clarify the issues
 and outline the process that the City would be taking to have the building
 brought back into compliance. The owners were advised that the City's
 first priority was to have the potentially unsafe conditions rectified.
 This will require in particular, the removal of all combustible materials
 i.e additions to mezzanine areas and correction of sprinkler and
 electrical deficiencies.

 With respect to the floor space issues, the strata owners have been
 advised of their options to purchase up to 6,000 square feet through the
 Heritage density transfer process or to apply for rezoning if the desired
 additional floor space exceeds 6,000 square feet.

 City staff confirmed that enforcement of the floor space ratio issues
 would be held in abeyance if an application for Development Permit or
 Rezoning was submitted and in process.

 The owners were also advised that although there is an avenue of appeal
 through the Board of Variance, a previous appeal on this issue was

 They were further notified that this report would be coming before Council
 to request the filing of a 336D Notice against the respective titles to
 their suites.

 The filing of these notices will ensure that any prospective purchaser is
 made aware that there are violations of the Zoning and Development and
 Vancouver Building By-laws in the specific suites outlined in Appendix A
 attached, that if enforced against him would cause him to suffer
 significant loss or expense.

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