Agenda Index City of Vancouver


Date: September 29, 1997

Dept. File No. 97-0061-39

CC File No. 5106

TO: Vancouver City Council

FROM: Director of Legal Services and

Manager of Facilities Development

SUBJECT:Legal Services - Expansion of Office Space in Former VanCity Building


THAT Council approve the expansion of the Legal Services Department by approximately 900 square feet on the 4th Floor of the former VanCity Building and authorize a budget of $50,000.00 to facilitate such expansion; source of funding to be the 1997 Capital Budget for City Hall office renovation.


The General Manager of Corporate Services RECOMMENDS approval of the foregoing.


There is no applicable Council policy.


The purpose of this report is to recommend that the office of Legal Services be expanded by approximately 900 square feet on the fourth floor, former VanCity Building, such space being available due to the reduced area being leased by Roger Romses Architect, a tenant on the fourth floor, former VanCity Building. The space is adjacent to the offices currently occupied by Legal Services.


Effective July 1, 1997, Roger Romses Architect reduced the space they lease on the fourth floor, former VanCity Building, by approximately 900 square feet. This space is along the north side of the former VanCity Building and is adjacent to the existing Legal Services offices.

On November 28, 1996, Council approved the hiring of an additional lawyer in the Legal Services Department, together with a one-half support staff position to address enforcement issues. Legal Services also has one support staff position that is vacant and funded. Currently, there are no offices available for the additional lawyer, nor is there any space available for the support staff positions. While the anticipated additional workload for enforcement has been slow to develop, it is now increasing. Accordingly, it is the intention of the Legal Services Department to fill these positions in the near future and the lack of physical space will cause considerable difficulty.

Further, it is necessary for Legal Services to frequently obtain the services of temporary clerical staff to assist in legal matters. At present, there is no space available for such additional staff to work.

It is also a requirement that Legal Services have documentation in the office for review on a number of lengthy matters (for both litigation and solicitor files). The storage facilities available in the Legal Services office were greatly reduced in the move from the East Wing to the former VanCity Building in February, 1996. Further storage facilities are currently being utilized on the main floor of the East Wing and it would be advantageous to have these files moved to our location. Accordingly, additional space is required to keep required records on-site in the Legal Services Department.

Lawyers frequently require the use of space in the office for preparation of materials relating to trials or specific projects. Since the Legal Services Department moved to the former VanCity Building, the meeting room (in the reception area), the boardroom and the library are used by Legal Services staff and others on an ongoing basis and such facilities are not available for use by any one lawyer or staff member for extended periods of time.

Accordingly, since the additional space adjacent to the Legal Services Department has become available, Legal Services would like to expand its current office (approximately 7,400 square feet) to accommodate three (3) additional offices for use by lawyers, one (1) support staff office, two (2) support staff work stations and one (1) file room as shown on Appendix A.

The detailed design of the subject expansion of Legal Services into the space being given up by Roger Romses Architect in the former VanCity Building (Appendix A) has indicated that the cost to renovate the subject space, including a demising wall, would be approximately $50,000.00. This price includes two computer work stations.

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