A distinctive Vancouver mansion seen in many films and TV shows could be converted into a long-term care facility for seniors.
The owners of Casa Mia at 1920 S.W. Marine Drive have applied to rezone the property, but the plan has been met with major neighbourhood opposition.
Built in 1932, the three-level, eight-bedroom Spanish Revival home features intricate woodwork, vaulted ceilings, and a dance floor, along with a theatre, four-car garage, and outdoor swimming pool.
Casa Mia's ornate features and lush backdrop have made the home popular with Hollywood movies and TV shows that film in Vancouver. Most recently, it was used as interiors for the Grey mansion in "Fifty Shades Of Grey," which finished shooting in the city last month. The movie, starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, is slated to be released next year.
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Maureen McIntosh and Lynne Aarvold of The Care Group, which operates other complexes in B.C., want to build a 23,000 square-foot, two-storey building where 62 residents would live. It would be connected to the main mansion, which would be retained as a communal living space.
The large rooms and open spaces work well for people who use wheelchairs and walkers, spokesman Gavin McIntosh told CBC News.
The seniors home proposal includes preserving Casa Mia as a designated heritage building; the 21,000-square-foot mansion is not currently protected by any designation. The Care Group's plan warns that the house could be potentially demolished and subdivided by developers.
The Southlands Community Association is among those who oppose the project because it is too big and out of character for the neighbourhood. The group filed a court injunction to delay a public hearing set for Thursday, alleging procedural irregularities and unfairness in the hearing date, reported The Vancouver Sun.
However, the public hearing has been postponed until city staff and the Casa Mia's owners can finalize a legal agreement on the heritage designation, said a news release from the City of Vancouver on Wednesday.
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