South Granville hospice fights proposed development

A South Granville hospice is opposing a rezoning application made under a city policy meant to encourage affordable housing.

The Vancouver Hospice Society says it’s concerned about the magnitude of a proposed rental project next door at 4575 Granville St. where there is already a two-storey, single-family house. The site is south of Connaught Drive and West 29th Avenue on the west side of Granville.

Simin Tabrizi, the hospice’s executive director, said the height of the two buildings would block the view of sky and trees from the hospice’s common areas.

“It will cast a big shadow on the hospice that we carefully designed to optimize use by families and patients,” she said Monday. “The magnitude of the density and the scale of the buildings are concerns.”

She said the hospice is also worried about noise during two years of construction disturbing hospice residents and increased congestion in the back lane that is only the width of one vehicle.

What’s also jeopardized, she said, with taller buildings next door, is privacy for loved ones saying their last goodbyes as bodies are taken away in hearses from the rear of the hospice.

“The building and the balconies that are proposed have a completely open view of the back parking space where the bodies are removed,” she said. “Right now there is quiet solitude for people to say their final goodbyes. That will be completely obliterated. We are very, very concerned.”

The hospice at 4615 Granville was purpose-built to care for the dying. It opened four years ago. About 150 people a year die in the hospice’s eight beds.

Ironically, when the society was developing its plans, some residents opposed having a hospice as a neighbour.

“We have managed over the years to develop excellent relationships with our neighbours,” Tabrizi said. “Our neighbours have become our supporters. We receive regular donations from neighbours who see this as a community asset.”

Tabrizi said many hospice supporters and volunteers will be letting the city know how they feel about the rezoning application at an open house Thursday at Shaughnessy Heights United Church.

The hospice has started an online petition against the rezoning.

W. Neil Robertson is principal architect with the architectural firm Stuart Howard Architects Inc., which is acting on behalf of its client. Robertson said the applicant approached his firm to rezone the lot for rental under the city’s Affordable …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun – Business

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