Thursday, October 5, 2017

Major Rush Mews: another West Vancouver Heritage Revitalization Proposal

At a time when many West Vancouver heritage and character homes are being demolished to make way for large new houses, earlier this year I purchased another heritage house in Ambleside, West Vancouver. My goal is to save it from the wrecking ball by obtaining approval from West Van council for a Heritage Revitalization Agreement which would conserve the 1923 Rush House, and allow three more units on the large (almost double) corner lot.

A Garden Suite, would be created on the lower level of Rush House. Two infill cottages would be built on the southern half of the site. The resulting FAR would be 0.67 plus basements; not at all high by Vancouver standards, but high by West Vancouver standards where the single family FAR is 0.35 plus basement.

The application is going to West Vancouver Council on October 16th, for approval to refer to a Public Hearing on November 20th. Since the project was initiated by some of the neighbours who wanted to see the house conserved, I am optimistic it will be referred to Public Hearing. However, I still expect opposition from those who might worry about an almost doubling of the FAR and a precedent for further densification of the neighbourhood.
artist's illustration looking north across the lane.
Details of the application including the zoning rationale, Heritage Conservation Plans prepared by Donald Luxton & Associates, and plans by Formwerks can be found on the District's excellent major projects website at
artist's illustration looking west from 12th Street
I welcome any comments, especially from those interested in heritage conservation and 'missing middle' housing, and those worried about the loss of character in single family neighbourhoods.
And if you are so inclined, do sent a note to the Mayor and Council and share your views. You can do it easily from the District website.