Vancouver History that was demolished on March 4th, 2014 to make room for “Dorothies”

This  is an obituary for the house 2820 West 41st Avenue in Vancouver.

We have lost a big CHUNK of Vancouver’s History for another History to be placed in it’s place. There is something morally wrong with this! Where were all you Heritage conversationalists with your lists, votes, politicians, and army of city planers and developers from the City of Vancouver? ( Neighbours had only 2 days notice from the City to do anything before demolition began. )

OBITUARY for 104 years old Vancouver Historical house.

Address: 2820 West 41st Avenue
Built: 1910.
Sold: on February 20th, 2014
Status: DEMOLISHED on March 4th, 2014

First Owner: Herbert Beeman, Broker, Loan Manager for Ceperley Rounsefell Co. Ltd., Accountant for the Board of Trade, City Clerk, Author of “Some Adventures of Mr. Surelock Keys” sold in aid of the Organ Fund of St. Mary’s Church.

From 1954 to 2011 this property belonged to long-time CBC Radio and TV staffer Tom Robinson and his wife Jacquelyn.  They had daughter Sal and son Tom Jr. Robinson. The Robinson home and lavish  garden at 2820 West 41st Avenue was the location of the annual CBC 20 Year Association Garden Party up until 2010.  

Tom had trained as a teacher but decided after a year that it was not his calling. Instead he took his love of words and authoritative voice to radio station CKWX. There he found both his career and his wife-to-be. Tom moved to CBC as duty announcer and was the first on-camera news reader when television came to town. In 1958 he was appointed Chief Announcer and he remained with CBC until his retirement in 1984. His on-air celebrity led to his involvement in several areas of community affairs. In 1961, as a member of Vancouver’s 75th Anniversary Committee, Tom designed the medals struck for presentation during the celebrations. His membership in the Vancouver Numismatic Society spanned four decades. Tom was called upon to be master of many ceremonies. In 1967 he presided over the dedication of the Museum/Planetarium site in Vanier Park and in 1968 he presided over the opening. He hosted the Brock House Summer Fair for many years. A very proud moment came in 1993 when Tom’s name was inscribed in Vancouver’s Civic Merit Book, in recognition of his 30 years of service with the Vancouver Remembrance Day Observance Committee. He went on to serve another ten years and was Master of Ceremonies at the Cenotaph every November 11 from 1963 to 2002. He received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002. (Find more about Mr. Robinson’s long and interesting life –read here). 

Tom and Jacquelyn spent innumerable hours tending their spectacular garden. Next to the house there was an in home bakery brick oven , gorgeous garden at the front with delightful flowers and  beautiful garden oasis at the back with big glass green house.

Tom passed away in 2010 and Jacquelyn in 2011.

Old House 2820 W 41st. build  in 1910! Is Gone

The  House 2820 W 41st. build in 1910! Is Gone on March 4th, 2014

The property was sold in 2011 and after that house has changed hands several times  through China, until a month ago (February 20th, 2014)  the property was bought privately for $2.85 million by Trasolini-Chetner Construction Development. This developer worked out a deal with the city . Then on March 4th, 2014 they started demolition to make room  for the “Dorothies” and feature eight-unit townhouses project on this lot under HRA protection.  Now  they ( TC’s developers) can start build their two new Dream FAMILY homes for 4,500-sq.-ft each where poor “Dorothies” were, waiting for slater since December 2012 and March 2013 . 

Information from : Vancouver Vanishes –  Facebook page ,  NorthWest Broadcasters  – Recent News,  and Legacy. com

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Wake up neighbours! Or it will be too late…

The moving day has came and went. The move was quick and some what short. But the affect of  electricity being shut off not according to their schedule that was send out in the letter , was  too early and hooked  back on was  about one and half hour late.  For many neighbours this was a big surprise.  And shut off it self was MASSIVE.  Apparently,  the contractors of Arctic Arrows failed to inform many people in a big radius  of the “IMPROVEMENTS” that they  were about to make on MacDonald Street on March 17th by shutting off power between 9 am-12 pm… People were cold ,  hungry and unprepared for such thing for hours.  Shaw people too had no idea what to shut off for several hours. I witness this chaos through  my window. Luckily, TELUS was prepared ahead of time. What a full programmed circus with Grand Parade.

Citylet #2

After all was done and the houses  sat on their , apparently, temporary place, as the city’s letter  from February 27th stated , we got another  post card from the City from March 14th. This post card now tells us that TC has applied to the City for permission to retain 2 heritage ‘B’ listed  buildings and a construction of 2 more infill building on the site . This total of 8 dwelling units on a lot for single dwelling zoning of RS-5 without rezoning the lot . ( Just think for a moment what is going on!)

Next 6 point form tells us what will be there and 2 more sentences on welcoming our COMMENTS by April 11,2014  , a link.  Or this link http://former.vancouver.ca/devapps/2814w14th/index.htm ( it is right ignore reverse numbers .Yes, they were in the rush and put 14th instead of 41st– it is a mistake, but it get you to the right palace ) to development application No DE417732 – ( which was’t there on Friday, March 14th) . 

How is this sits with you? I personally feel SICK!

**** Everything more or less is predetermined. No one have even bothered to consult  a public of this multi townhouses project that has been brewing for 3 months and now just dumped on us. 

Apparently,  this is what a reporter said form CBC in the article from March 2014: ”

Twin ‘Dorothy’ houses together again”  –  … the move began Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. PT after three months of planning… 

**** We all need to respond  to this project and  we have less then 3 weeks to do it . We were kept in the dark for 3 month at the same time behind our back without our input designs were made about our NEIGHBOURHOOD where we all live! It is a  shame and a crime! We live in CANADA not 3rd world country!!!

**** This development will drastically change the face of this neighbourhood in short time.  This development it is a foot in the door  and  then there will be no return. NO to Townhouses complex for 8 families on one LOT that is zoned for RS-5 ( single dwelling ) !

**** Also by reading  more about   “Dorothies” (houses) in several places  we came upon to these remarks by  :

Huffington Post B.C “….The homes were last sold for just over $2 million each, and the owner, Trasolini Chetner Corporation, has applied for a permit to knock them down and rebuild….    City planners had face-to-face meetings with the owner to try and convince them to keep the homes in place, but they declined…… “

“Vancouver Sun “ – Both homes were slated for demolition last year, when developer Trasolini Chetner purchased the houses for $1.95 million apiece and announced plans for two new 4,500-sq.-ft. homes. But there was a public backlash, and the houses were on Vancouver’s heritage registry, which offered them some protection. So the developer worked out a deal with the city to move the Two Dorothies to the new site….

“…..We worked with the city and came up with a project under the Heritage Revitalization Agreement program,” explains developer Rob Chetner. “We’re going to put a garden suite down on the lower level. The top two floors we’ll maintain intact as one townhouse unit. In the back and behind the Dorothies we’re going to build two infill homes that will be a side-by-side duplex……”

CBC – ” Threatened once again with imminent demolition, a group of Vancouver business people saw value in their heritage designation and decided the houses might work in a nearby townhouse project, Chetner said.”

Glob and Mail  –  “ …A compromise was found: New homes would be build on 43rd Avenue, while the Dorothies would be moved to a site on 41st Avenue, where the developer would be permitted to place eight housing units instead of the original six…”

**** There were plans for six housing units on one lot? When was that? A month ago the house that was demolished was occupied by a family with young children !!!

What is going on in the city lately – it was  Marpole, Okridge and now Kerrisdale?

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Morning news

Today a very strange letter came from “Arctic arrow ” ( read by clicking on the link or see it here) – stating that they will shut the power to houses because they will be doing some IMPROVEMENTS to power lines on and  BC HYDRO thanks us for cooperation . The time is March 17th from 9 am -12 noon.

City's signCoincidentally the City’s truck came by and started to put NO STOPING sign along MacDonald Street from W 41st to W43rd up to the houses. The signs have marking “NO STOPING”on March 17th from 8 am to noon. I was told to call 311 to find out of what is going on.

On the moveAnd I bet,  if you really want to know for sure – call Nickel Bros ( House Moving Ltd. of Greater Vancouver) to really find out if this is for main PARADE that will happen at this time for the move of  Dorothies houses.

I wish that we ,  people who live in this neighbourhood would be better informed of what is going on. Not second guessing all the time.  And we would of appreciated a note dropped about the move of the Houses by TC.  Not all this tight lip and fast moving project –  rather than a strange letter of a power being  shut off by sub-contractor.

Don’t you think?

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Big Day!

The big moving day for two Houses ( from Heritage B list ) from West 43rd Ave is approaching very fast. (To read more see post from March 10th  “Dear Neighbour”). The anticipated moving date is – March 17th.

One funny thing is  –  as of today , March 12th, there is no permits of any kind displayed on City’s web for all these three properties or for the closure of the streets, or any notices related to the project. This was point out to me by knowledgeable people that know a thing or two as architects …

Sign TCSimply because of the nature of this particular project does not required  a permit for houses to be placed to a new location or rezoning for that matter , apparently !? That means no public opinion matters . Here is the link to City’s of Vancouver web where all permit applications are displayed  for public knowledge http://former.vancouver.ca/devapps/ or you can go from this page: https://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/find-a-development-application-or-permit.aspx

And here is the letter from TC of justifying the situation ( PDF 2-Dorothies-Press-Release) but the only way to find this out is to go on their web site or visit the site with 2 houses on West 43rd Ave.  Funny , ah?…

“What we will wake up to tomorrow ?”

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Dear Neighbours

Hello, and welcome to the site. I guess you become curries after reading a letter I have delivered with my kids at your door.

Old House 2820 W 41st. build  in 1910! Is Gone

Old House 2820 W 41st. build in 1910! Is Gone

You are all aware now of a new development  on the site  2820 West 41st Avenue. The information came by the letter from the City of Vancouver on February on 28th , 2014 . Soon to West 41st location will move   TWO heritage “B’ houses  ( A.K.A. the “Dorothies”)  from  2827 West 43rd Avenue and 2837 West 43rd to be relocated and stored on it. The BIG move for these houses is scheduled for March 17th, 2014.  ( What is heritage “B” list? Read HERE)

All these THREE  properties are owned by developer of TC Company( Trasolini Chetner Construction and Development)  – Peter Chetner-  and he has a bit different story about “storing ” the houses.

Sad Dorothies on 43rd ready to move away to a unknown future

Sad Dorothies on 43rd ready to move away to a unknown future

They are planning to build a townhouse complex with the two heritage “B” houses up in front and two more additional houses  build at the back for a total of 4 houses and 8 families on  ONE lot.(  See plans here  )

A letter was given out by workres of TC company on March 3rd , 2014,  to only a small handful of neighbours that developer felt will be affected by this project says: ” This particular project will see a beautiful new 8-Unit Townhouse Development constructed in your neighbourhood. Our anticipated commencement  date is February 18, 2014 and we hope to have townhouses significantly complete by spring of 2015.

In order to have these townhouse complex fully built, the developer( we hope!)  has to go through  a public hearing for rezoning . At this point our neighbourhood block is zoned for one single Family dwelling ( single-family residential) “ See  RS-5 PDF here″ .

Why are these House coming to West 41st?

Unfortunately,  the developer, Rob Chetner of Trasolini Chetner Construction and Development made a choice of purchasing  two properties on 43rd Avenue mentioned above with intention  to demolish the houses. Even though he had knowledge that these  houses  are on  heritage “B” list. City was not approving his application for demolition for several months and was pushing him to find a solution for renovation with incentives or relocation of the houses. (Read the page Articles /” Dorothies face demolition“.)

There is more information from another  package that, again, only a handful of neighbours were granted to have,  states: “Once it was made known to the new owners that these two homes are in fact designated as Registered Heritages homes, combined with the public outcry that ensued about their imminent demise, the owners, together with a local developer (Trasolini Chetner Constriction + Development) and with the encouragement from the City of Vancouver, set out to pursue a viable option that would see these two Heritage homes – retained and restored.”

( I’m thankful to my neighbours who showed me all their packages and papers they got about this project )

What is it to us? Maybe the value of our properties will go up some, but on the downside it will increase traffic flow more than we have already on the street. Noise and car fumes will increase significantly, especially for neighbouring properties who have borders with or next door to a proposed parking lot. Yes, a parking lot for 8 units.   Also the lane will go further west with any new development, and specially will go fast  if rezoning will be change to multi family dwelling  with parking lots. This development  will drastically change our neighbourhood and future of our neighbourhood too. Just think,   what can happen if your neighbour will choose to sell their property  and developer gets his hand with rezone for multi complex units…? It will be easy to obtain , because of one is next door.   You can see all lanes devisions  already on the public VanMap that is on the City of Vancouver’s website. Here is link to see our block . http://vanmapp.vancouver.ca/pubvanmap_net/default.aspx 

What should we do? Dig up the letter that City of Vancouver send you about a week ago and write your conserns. Write your  letter to the City of Vancouver  about  The Development  Application number DE417687. ( See this page to find who to send ) 

 If you feel the way we do:

  • Disbelieved of what we have learned on our own in last 7 days;
  • Uninformed , ignored and belittled as property owners and neighbours by the TC contractor company and city of Vancouver with misleading  information ;
  • And if you feel firmly against the 8-families townhouse complex next-door in our neighbourhood –

 I encourage you to WRITE  YOUR letter to the City of Vancouver!

And please consider to sign your name on a petition against the rezoning  when the rezoning application  will be open for the public,  if  it will be . I also have learned that TC and City of Vancouver may have “bend the rules” so that there will be NO public hearing!

If any one would like to help me on organizing petition, maybe doing translations of a petition to other languages  or helping in gathering signatures, please contact me at ashatan123 { @} gmail{ dot} com    and I will contact you.

WE as PUBLIC  NEED to BE INFORMED of these developments. Not put in front of the FACT. 

Thank you!

Yours ,  Natasha Kovalchuk 

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