Monster homes of West Vancouver irk neighbours

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West Vancouver is known for its selection of mega-mansions with stunning views and voluptuous properties, but the size of some houses are getting on the nerves of neighbours. These homes have been callously renamed “monster homes” and  The District of West Vancouver plans to address the problem Monday night.

Homeowners are distressed by the unsightly construction happening in their neighbourhoods, where small older homes are torn down and rebuilt into giant homes filling the maximum lot space allowed.

Currently, property owners are able to build their homes up to a third of their lot size, but garages, basements and accessory buildings are not included in this restriction.

In a January 29 report, the West Vancouver council noted there were significant issues with new single family housing construction in terms of size, siting, massing, grading and landscaping. The report will be discussed in tonight’s meeting and Councillors hope an agreement will be made to limit floor area in some residential zones based on minimum lot size.

In a 2013 study, the District found that 63 per cent of residents felt that new houses being built were too big and 66 per cent were concerned about lengthy construction disruptions in their neighbourhood.

79 per cent of residents supported new regulations in designing buildings that fit within a property’s natural features and requires minimal site modifications.

Tonight’s meeting will recommend that amendments to Zoning Bylaw No.4662, 2010 are prepared to address maximum floor areas in single family dwellings.

The size of these monster homes is also often an aesthetic issue with neighbours. Buildings are erected right up against property lines, looking over other neighbours’ yards and eliminating privacy. Properties are often built up on higher land than their next door neighbours to take advantage of view opportunities.

Some of West Vancouver’s largest properties range from 10,000 sq. ft. to almost 16,000 sq. ft.

monster home

Image: screen capture via Google Maps

mansion

Image: Screen capture via Google Maps

 

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Jill Slattery Jill Slattery was born and raised in Vancouver, where she also earned an Arts degree from UBC in English and Creative Writing. She is an avid TV-watcher and a shameless Taylor Swift fangirl. Jill is a Staff Writer at Vancity Buzz. Contact her at jill@vancitybuzz.com
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