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5665 Westport Rd.

A Sustainable Approach to Modern Living

Public Engagement

AMA has a long track record of participatory planning work and community engagement. We understand development issues, and the effects poor quality development can have on communities. That's why we take great pride in engaging with community stakeholders from the beginning of the design process. We call this our "grass roots" approach. This approach allows us to fully appreciate the specific opportunities and constraints a particular development will have on its surrounding environment as they relate to the neighbouring residents.
We'd like to design this project in co-operation with the existing community to ensure the most liveable and appropriate development for all parties; maximizing the project potential.

The Proposal

The concept for this proposal is centered around providing much needed “missing middle” housing as identified in West Vancouver’s New Official Community Plan (OCP) through ground-oriented, infill housing. The proposal includes developing 9 infill homes on the property. This proposal comes under the OCP 2.1.7 policy.

In an effort to accommodate a diverse range of residents, a variety of housing typologies are being offered: 1 uphill duplex, 2 downhill duplexes, and a triplex well-suited for families, multigenerational families or empty nesters, all targeted to increase missing middle housing opportunities for local residents. 

This development will also create opportunities for social interaction and connectedness and feel part of a community while regenerating the neighbourhood. A communal BBQ garden area is anticipated to promote this within the site. 

Site Area: 67,823 sq ft.

Height: 3 Storeys (32.8' approx) (10m) 

Density: 0.25 FSR (lower than permitted for a single family dwelling) 

Site Coverage: 14% 

 

Setbacks: 

Front yard: 9.1m (29.86')

Side yards: 2.4m (7.87') 

Rear yard: 27.2m (89.23')

 

3 Duplex: 6 Homes 

Triplex: 3 Homes 

Total Number of Homes: 9 

Vehicle Parking: 17 Parking Spaces plus 3 visitor stalls located in front of the Triplex

Site Plans & Community

The need for this type of housing in West Vancouver: This proposal under the policy 2.1.7 seeks to respond to the housing needs of the broader West Vancouver Community, as identified in the new OCP. The new OCP (June 25, 2018) recognizes that West Vancouver is the only municipality in the Lower Mainland that has a declining population – many are being forced to move out, and very few have opportunity to move to, or move back. Too many large sites with significant potential are not being utilized such as this one, and could assist moderate income earners, empty nesters and young families looking to establish themselves in West Vancouver. This project, through market strata, is a starting point to address this serious deficit of "missing middle" housing affecting our community.

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Looking North
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Looking South

Proposed Floor Plans

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Due to the site’s severe grade-change and the surrounding vegetation, the development will not have any significant impact on the views of properties located on any side of the site. 
The nine proposed infill residences will be difficult to see from anywhere, and in particular from Westport Road, given the existing landscape and the proposed tree retention and planting program.
Tree retention is proposed around the perimeter of the site to reduce impact to neighbours and retain their privacy. Existing trees within the site will also be retained surrounding the new infill.

Duplex 1

Number of Units: 2

Unit Types: 2 x (3 Bed + 2 Bath + 1 WC)

Unit A:

Ground Level: 28 sf

Level 2: 924 sf

Level 3: 787 sf

Gross Floor Area: 1739 sf

Unit B:

Ground Level: 28 sf

Level 2: 924 sf

Level 3: 787 sf

Gross Floor Area: 1739 sf

Duplex 2

Number of Units: 2

Unit Types: 2 x (3 Bed + 2 Bath + 1 WC)


Unit A:

Ground Level: 548 sf

Level 2: 924 sf

Level 3: 787sf

Gross Floor Area: 2259 sf

Unit B:

Ground Level: 469 sf

Level 2: 945 sf

Level 3: 787sf

Gross Floor Area: 2201 sf

Duplex 3

Number of Units: 2

Unit Types: 2 x (3 Bed + 2 Bath + 1 WC)


Unit A:

Ground Level: 98 sf

Level 2: 866 sf

Level 3: 737 sf

Gross Floor Area: 1701 sf

Unit B:

Ground Level: 96 sf

Level 2: 840 sf

Level 3: 723 sf

Gross Floor Area: 1659 sf

Triplex

Design Development

Number of Units: 3

Unit Types: 3 x (3 Bed + 2 Bath + 1 WC)


Unit A:

Ground Level: 156 sf

Level 2: 693 sf

Level 3: 788sf

Gross Floor Area: 1637 sf

Unit B:

Ground Level: 413 sf

Level 2: 869 sf

Level 3: 741sf

Gross Floor Area: 2023 sf

Unit C:

Ground Level: 451 sf

Level 2: 910 sf

Level 3: 772sf

Gross Floor Area: 2133 sf

West Coast Modern Movement

The fathers of the West Coast Modern - Arthur Erikson, Ron Thom, Barry Downs and Fred Hollingsworth. The work of these architects defined an entire movement with an architecture that took a modernist approach to living, responded to regional climatic conditions and utilized local materials. It would seem appropriate that the proposed infill homes be architecturally influenced by the West Coast Modern Movement.

1. The desire to bring nature into the built form by utlizing large areas of glazing to capitalize on the views and surrounding forests.

2. The use of natural materials including glass, stone and exposed wood allows buildings to blend into their environments.

3. Large outdoor areas that allow a flowing extension of indoor living spaces to the surrounding natural environment.

4. Horizontal elements such as exposed wood beams and cantilevers that intentionally juxtapose the verticality of mature trees and sloped topography

The Three Pillars of Sustainability

Social Sustainability

Social Sustainability

The project offers a diverse mix of unit types suitable for young families, empty-nesters, seniors and the disabled through the option of an in-house elevator as shown in Duplex 1. We've prioritized design strategies that promote social interaction and healthy lifestyles connected with nature. A communal BBQ area is anticipated to provide such interaction. The project will support community building by allowing residents to both raise their families and age in place, in close proximity to parks, schools, shopping and community amenities.

Vital Signs

Commissioned by the West Vancouver Foundation, the Vital Signs Report measures community vitality and well-being. Combining quality of life indicators with explanations, comparisons and examples, Vital Signs creates a snapshot of the community and the people who live here, providing a tool for discussion, planning and action. The 2019 Vital Signs report breaks down what is happening in West Vancouver in 10 different areas, such as Learning, Safety, Environment, and Health and Wellness.

Housing Diversity and Attainability

Belonging, Inclusion & Diversity

Adequate and affordable housing is fundamental to not just individual health and well-being, but also to the health and well-being of the whole community. It is a key factor in determining whether West Vancouver is a place where everyone feels they can contribute and belong. When housing affordability and availability become a significant challenge for so many, it adversely affects the diversity and resilience of community in the broadest sense. Negative effects of inadequate and unaffordable housing include: an increase in the number of people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness; local employers are unable to attract workers; increased traffic congestion due to workers commuting to. theNorth Shore, long-time residents leave the community; and greater isolation for some of our seniors whose families can no longer live in reasonable proximity.

How can we use new developments to tackle these issues?

A community includes more than the people who live there - it is also made up of the people who teach us, protect us, transport us, deliver our mail and serve our coffee, as well as family members and others who care for us, and visitors who are here to study, work, or explore. A welcoming and inclusive community fosters belonging for everyone by embracing diversity in all its forms, and by creating the conditions for connections among people, and with place. While West Vancouver's cultural diversity has increased, age and socioeconomic diversity have decreased, and there are fewer young people and families, plus a shrinking middle class. Belonging and diversity are further challenged by an aging population, limited suitable housing options, and young people who don't see a place for themselves in the community.

Health & Wellness

West Vancouver residents enjoy a good health overall and a long life expectancy, largely due to health determinants such as high income and education levels, healthy behaviours, good access to health services and social supports, and a clean environment. However, the convergence of factors such as an aging population, less affordable and suitable housing, increased demands on health and social supports, and a largely non-resident workforce suggests a decline in health and wellness in the future.

-Create housing close to transit - within walking distance of 750m.
-Promote social interaction through resident gathering space.
-Provide opportunities to "age in place" fostering a sense of community and belonging.
-Identify opportunities to create residential density through sensitive infill.
-Use "Missing Middle" concepts to ensure new developments respect the character and scale of exisiting neighbourhoods.
-Create a diversity of housing options suitable for young professionals, families, seniors and the disabled.
-Provide opportunities for both rental and home ownership, benefiting residents at various stages of life.

Official Community Plan (OCP)

An Official Community Plan (OCP) is a local government bylaw that provides objectives and policies to guide decisions on planning and land use management within the area governed by the plan. The District of West Vancouver unanimously supported a new OCP (June 25, 2018) with a strong directive in their new polices to allow for smaller, more affordable infill homes under policy 2.1.7, which is what this proposal is responding to. 

West Vancouver has the highest average housing costs for both homeowners and tenants. The median household income in our community—the highest in the region—is only half that required to finance the average apartment and roughly one-sixth that required to finance the average single-family home. With the region’s lowest rental vacancy rate (0.4% in 2017) it is difficult to find rental accommodation in West Vancouver. This constrained supply results in higher overall rental costs than in other Metro Vancouver municipalities. These issues are exacerbated by the limited housing diversity in our community. Nearly two- thirds of our housing stock is single-family dwellings, with apartment options mostly limited to aging buildings constructed in the 1960s and 1970s. The result is that there are not enough options for seniors to downsize, adult children to stay close to their families, or young families to move into West Vancouver.

Key OCP Actions

As a land use planning document, the OCP is legislatively required to guide housing development throughout a community. To address the needs of the present and future generations in our community, this OCP seeks to: 

- regenerate our primarily detached, single-family home oriented neighbourhoods with sensitive infill options, such as smaller houses on smaller lots, coach houses and duplexes; 

- expand "missing middle" housing options, like triplex, townhouse and mixed-use, in locations close to transit, shops, and amenities; 

- respect our neighbourhood character and encourage long-term protection of valued heritage properties with stronger incentives;  

- strengthen our centres and key corridors through local area plans, with separate, detailed and collaborative planning processes to determine area-specific visions, objectives and suitable built-form, heights and densities; and 

- advance housing affordability, accessibility and sustainability through available policy levers. 

Together, these combined OCP actions seek to fill missing gaps for housing and housing choices in existing neighbourhoods and centres, and to provide for more and ongoing seniors and rental housing options. 

Consider proposals within neighbourhoods for site-specific zoning changes that are not otherwise supported by policies in this plan only in limited circumstances by: 

a. Reporting to Council after preliminary application review to allow an early opportunity for public input; 

b. Considering sites or assembles that present a degree of physical separatrion from adjoining single-family dwellings (e.g., adjacent to a green belt, grade change, park, school, or existing multi-family site); 

c. Requiring demonstration of minimal impact to access, traffic, parking and public views in the neighbourhood; 

d. Restricting to one or more of a range of low-rise housing types including duplexes, triplexes, rowhouses, townhouses, seniors, rental and apartment buildings to a maximum of three storeys 

e. Reviewing form and character to support siting and designs that respond and contribute to neighbourhood context and character; and 

f. Ensuring information meetings with public notification prior to formal Council consideration in accordance with District procedures.

Summary

Sensitive Infill:

The proposal will introduce a triplex (3 units) and 3 duplexes (6 units) within the 67,823sf site. These thoughtfully-sized homes will provide a liveable space that is in keeping with the character of Lower Caulfield, while also offering a more affordable option in the area, in comparison to existing single family homes, and newer multi-family stock. With comparable product in West Vancouver ranging from $1.4M to $6.9M, the development proposed for 5665 Westport Road will be an exciting addition to the Caufield area at an attractive, more affordable price point.

Housing for Families:

All homes will have 3 bedrooms suitable for families, with 4 of the units having the potential of lock-off suites for rental, primary care givers or the opportunity for multi-generational living. The opportunity for in-house elevators also provides 'age in place' options.

Affordable & Rental Housing:

This project responds to the well documented need for more affordable and rental housing options in West Vancouver, with a focus on providing housing opportunities for moderate income earners ($80K-$150K), empty nesters and young families. This project is a starting point in an effort to fill that deficit in the local housing market – as identified in the OCP, and through the West Vancouver Community Foundation’s Vital Signs work.

Sustainability:

Utilizing the most up to date sustainable practices (eg, on-site stormwater detention exploring Geothermal systems, proximity to nature and close proximity to community amenities).

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Meet the Team

AMA is an award-winning firm, experienced in a broad spectrum of architectural, urban design, and community planning projects. At AMA, fresh ideas are paired with technical skill, to produce award-winning results. Our multi-disciplinary team of architects, technicians and interior designers, finds thoughtful solutions to clients' needs, using sustainable building practices and "Building Information Modeling" (3D modeling).  Principals, Tim and Francois, challenge the team with interesting projects from micro- breweries & distilleries, to co-housing, sensitive heritage restorations, large scale resorts and floating homes - the more unique and technically challenging- the better! Aesthetically speaking, AMA takes a holistic approach to every project, with site-specific architecture that seamlessly relates the interior and exterior realms, and brings the client's vision from abstraction to final completion. Our strengths are in quality of service and the form and function of the resulting architecture, regardless of budget.

GD Nielsen Homes is an award-winning custom home builder founded locally in 1986. In addition to the numerous homes we have built for local families, we have also built a reputation for quality and integrity. We have developed processes that are environmentally responsible and resource efficient that continue to set new industry standards. Over the past 30+ years, we have been focused on improving our craftsmanship by working with expert partners, our passionate team and employing innovative solutions. Our belief is that the homes we build are integral to the homeowners lifestyle, so our process begins with discovering the possibilities and ends when we exceed expectations.

Development Application Process

Development Application Process

Contact Us

By taking the time to contribute to a public discourse surrounding this project, you are helping us guide the design process and assisting us in shaping the potential redevelopment of your community.

 

Please take a moment to send us your comments. You can also email us directly at: 5665westport@gmail.com or call us at 604-926-4211

Tell us a little about yourself. (Check all applicable)
This preliminary proposal includes 9 infill, multi-family strata homes targeting downsizers and families. Do you agree that this is appropriate housing for the property?
Would you like to be contacted for future updates?

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