British Columbia

Monster home size limits sought in West Vancouver

West Vancouver is known for big, beautiful homes, but the district worries the influx of mega homes has become detrimental to the area.

Size limits would vary by neighbourhood, says Bob Sokol with District of West Vancouver

Dozens came to long public hearing at West Vancouver city hall 1:20

West Vancouver is known for big, beautiful homes, but some people feel that the homes are getting monster-sized.

Dozens turned out for a lengthy public hearing at West Vancouver city hall on Monday night to address proposals for tackling an influx of mega homes it says has become detrimental to the area.

Councillors decided to move forward with a public input process, but voted not to ask staff to draft any changes to bylaws at this point. 

"It's not only a question of the size,"  Bob Sokol, the director of Planning and Land Development Permits, told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff, ahead of the meeting.

"I think it's even more people are concerned about the amount of site grading, excavation, modification, tree removal, retaining walls. It's kind of the whole packaging that is impacting our community and raising concerns for residents."

Sokol said property owners arecurrently  allowed to build homes up to a third of the size of their lot with some exemptions including basements, garages and accessory buildings.

City staff have recommended new rules, including neighbourhood-based limits on the maximum size of a building.

The rules would take the minimum lot size for the area, and cap new homes at 1.5 times the size of the house that would be allowed on that smallest lot.

"The size of the house that would be allowed in Ambleside, where you have 5,000 and 6,000-square-foot lots would be smaller than what would be allowed in Altamont or Glenmore where the lot sizes are bigger," said Sokol.

To hear the full interview with Bob Sokol, click the audio labelled: West Vancouver seeks limits on monster homes.



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