Brissenden Park: Proposed Funding Strategy for expanding public parkland on the waterfront

The District has developed a proposed funding strategy to acquire the last two houses on Argyle Avenue for public parkland and is looking for your input.

The municipally owned lands at 2519 and 2539 Rosebery Avenue (also referred to as Brissenden Park), have been identified as a possible option to sell or long-term lease to fund the purchase of these last two privately-held properties at 1444 and 1448 Argyle Avenue.

The property known as Brissenden Park has not been generally used as a public park, nor has it been dedicated as a park. It is zoned for single-family residential use and is and would continue to be governed by the District’s Interim Tree Bylaw, in the same way the bylaw applies to any other residential property in West Vancouver (other than Development Permit areas).  

In order to consider whether to proceed with this funding proposal, from February to mid-March the District conducted public consultation on the proposed funding strategy, as well as neighbourhood consultation on the potential future use of the municipally owned lands at 2519 and 2539 Rosebery Avenue.

Background

Ambleside Waterfront Concept Plan

On June 13, 2016, West Vancouver Council endorsed the Ambleside Waterfront Concept Plan and specifically directed staff to “acquire the remaining two houses on Argyle Avenue”. These are the last two of 32 houses on the Argyle waterfront to be acquired for public park use pursuant to the Argyle acquisition policy which started in the mid-1970s. The intent of the Argyle acquisition policy was re-affirmed by Council in 1988, 2008, 2013 and 2016.  

Acquisition of the two privately-held properties at 1444 and 1448 Argyle Avenue would allow the District to increase green and public spaces on the waterfront, and expand the foreshore path.

Brissenden Park

Brissenden Park is comprised of two lots at 2519 and 2539 Rosebery Avenue, which are immediately south of the Upper Levels Highway. Brissenden Park has not been generally used as a public park and has not been dedicated as a park. There is a single family house on the property that is occupied by a caretaker.

The property and house were donated to the District by Mr and Mrs Brissenden in 1990, with the stipulation that the land is used for public park purposes.

These lands have been identified as a possible option to sell or long-term lease to fund the purchase of the two Argyle properties. Various funding options have been considered and the District believes this is the most efficient use of the community’s assets, and best serves the overall community interest.

The proposed funding strategy also creates an opportunity to recognize the contribution of the Brissendens by naming the area around the two Argyle properties after the Brissendens, and installing a commemorative plaque to explain the Brissendens’ initial and ultimate contribution to the community.

1444 and 1448 Argyle Avenue

These properties are the last two of 32 houses on the Argyle waterfront to be acquired for public park use.

Public purchase will complete the Argyle acquisition policy started in the mid-1970s.

The approximate cost to acquire both houses is in the region of $10 million.

2519 and 2539 Rosebery Avenue

Two lots and a house at 2519 and 2539 Rosebery Avenue, immediately south of the Upper Levels Highway were generously donated to the District by Mr. and Mrs. Brissenden in 1990. 

A legal trust was created stipulating that the property be used and maintained for public park purposes.  If this proposed funding strategy were to proceed, the District would need to apply to Court to vary the terms of the legal trust.

While referred to as “Brissenden Park”, the property has not generally been used as a public park, nor has it been dedicated as park.

The land consists of approximately 2.4 acres with one house on the property.

The land is governed by the District’s Interim Tree Bylaw which would both protect trees from being cut, and also allow development within the Permitted Building Envelope, driveway area and accessory building area.

It is zoned RS3 – Residential Single Family and is in an area of single-family houses.  Any other use would require a separate statutory public rezoning process and a separate public consultation process.

The house at Brissenden Park was built in 1948 and is classified as a secondary heritage building in the book, West Vancouver Survey of Significant Architecture.

Council Reports

Report to Council presented at the January 9, 2017, Council Meeting

  • In summary, this report introduced the Brissenden Park initiative and recommended that the District conduct public consultation.  Council passed the recommended motion to conduct public consultation.

Report to Council to be presented at the June 19, 2017, Council Meeting

  • In summary, this report sets out the results of the public consultation and recommends that Council commence a Court application to vary the terms of the trust regarding Brissenden Park as set out in the report.
     
Public Consultation

The District carried out public consultation on the Brissenden Park initiative from around the beginning of February to mid-March 2017. 

Two public information meetings were held on February 7 and 8, 2017 and staff also met with interested residents. 

Information was provided at the public information meetings through information boards, and staff from an interdepartmental team.  Hard copy surveys and online surveys were used to gather public input. 

The results of the public consultation are set out in the Council report which will be considered at the upcoming June 19 Council Meeting.

Report to Council to be presented at the June 19, 2017, Council Meeting

 

Next Steps

At the June 19 Council Meeting, Council considered the Council report dated June 5, 2017, the results of the public consultation, and all submissions including those made up to the June 19, Council Meeting.

Council then resolved to commence a Court application to vary the terms of the trust with respect to Brissenden Park in order to: retain the northern approximate 50% of the property as park, and allow disposition of the southern approximate 50% of the property; and use all proceeds of disposition to purchase the waterfront properties on Argyle Avenue. Council further resolved that the name "Brissenden Park" be retained at the existing location, and that the District further recognize the contribution of the Brissendens by naming the area of the Argyle properties "Brissenden Waterfront Park", and by installing signage and plaques at both the existing Brissenden Park and at the future Brissenden Waterfront Park.

The District has now filed the Court application to vary the terms of the trust with respect to Brissenden Park. A copy of the petition for the Court application is at:

Filed Petition to the Court

The supporting affidavits are available upon request.

The next step is to set a date for the hearing of the Court application. The District will publish the date of the hearing on this page once the hearing date has been set. The hearing would be open to the public to attend.

CONTACT

Kristi Merilees
Manager, Community Relations

604-925-7008

Email

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