This case could be interesting to watch due to the players and big numbers involved. First Baptist Church, Westbank, and $20 million.
The “Court of Revision” (City Council) will sit on Thursday, October 19, at 2 pm, to hear an appeal by the First Baptist Church of Vancouver under the 2017 Land Assessment Averaging By-law. No further details on the appeal or posted on the agenda as of today, but a quick search on the City website (VANMAP, for assessed values) suggests what might be involved.
First Baptist Church is showing as the owner of two lots (both with address at 1019 Nelson) adjacent to the church property (969 Burrard). It appears that the BC Assessment (done by the provincial body, independent of the City of Vancouver) values show an increase in value for 1019 Nelson from 2016 to 2017.
|Previous Year Land Value($)||Current Year Land Value($)||Increase|
It appears First Baptist is appealing for land averaging in order to reduce the tax bill, due to a 737% jump, worth over $20 million, in the assessed property value. Ultimately, this is probably for the benefit of Westbank’s bottom line.
At a Public Hearing held on July 18 and 25, 2017, Westbank (CEO Ian Gillespie) partnered with the First Baptist Church on Burrard and Nelson and succeeded in what was a controversial application, with City Council approving rezoning for a 57-storey luxury condo and other components (eviction of renters in low-cost rental buildings, some social housing, heritage restoration of the church, etc.). Westbank is currently conducting a saturation branding/marketing campaign (#fightforbeauty). There was a lot of media coverage about this rezoning. For one interesting angle, see “Even before Public Hearing for Burrard & Nelson project (1st Baptist Church) Westbank offers VIP access and is marketing luxury condo globally” (CityHallWatch, July 25, 2017).
From the official agenda for October 19:
COURT OF REVISION
2017 Land Averaging Appeal
On Thursday, October 19, 2017, Council will sit as a Court of Revision in the Council Chamber to hear an appeal pursuant to Section 9 of By-Law No. 11759, the 2017 Land Assessment Averaging By-law, for the following property: