A burned-out waterfront mansion in Dundarave must be demolished, West Vancouver council has ordered.
The home at 2668 Bellevue Ave. was heavily damaged by fire in July 2015. Since then, it has been the subject of numerous complaints about being a safety hazard, a draw for trespassers and mischief, and an eyesore.
In December 2020, council ordered the owners to demolish the remnants of the structure, but the Community Charter allows owners who have been handed a remediation order by a municipality to formally request a reconsideration. That request came before council Monday night.
An engineering consultant hired by the owners wrote to the district formally requesting the order to demolish be withheld until the owners’ application for a new building permit were also ready.
Demolishing the structure would be unsafe if it left “unsupported soil” at the site, they reasoned.
But West Vancouver staff say the owners would not be allowed to keep the property in an unsafe condition.
“Staff agree there cannot be a hole or unsupported soil at the site after demolition. The district's bylaws contemplate that, and the building bylaw therefore requires that the site be backfilled, along with other safety requirements,” said Mark Chan, the district’s director of corporate services.
If an owner fails to comply with a remedial action order from council, the municipality may seek a court order allowing them to do the work themselves and add the bill onto the owner’s property taxes.
Further complicating the matter, the Bellevue home’s owners have been in litigation with one another over the future of the property.
Council voted unanimously to reaffirm the original order
The fire was deemed “suspicious” by West Vancouver police, although no arrests were ever made.