03/07/2013 11:54 EST | Updated 05/07/2013 05:12 EDT

Vancouver Condo Owners: A Failure To Communicate


I don't understand Vancouver condo owners. I just don't. Now, this is a broad, sweeping generalization but most of them, from what I can tell, are completely contrary creatures. Potentially even, dare I say, a little bit nutsy. They have strange habits that leave me in danger of having a permanent mark on my forehead from repeatedly slapping myself from hearing about their latest actions and escapades.

This isn't because they've invested vast sums of money in what could easily buy entire houses elsewhere in North America. It's not because they are immune to the charm of having the Seawall, Main Street, or Mount Pleasant on their doorstop.

I think what befuddles me me about them is they just don't know what they f%&king want. They have moved in from other suburbs, cities and countries to take up residence in areas of vibrance only to do strange things, like complain about their immediate surroundings.

I know this might sound strange. I know that if I were going to have a serious financial commitment over the course of years I might be persuaded to do some research on the area, but it would seem that many people who buy/live in these condos are outraged to find it either too noisy or -- wait for it -- too quiet.

I know, I know. I'm shaking my head too. I'm trying to understand the mentality behind this. But here are some examples.

Richards On Richards, The Cobalt, Boss, and dozens of other venues in downtown Vancouver closed their doors or were in danger of having to close them, because of the area being too noisy for residents. I never went to college, but if I'm looking at my prospective home and I notice a nightclub across the street, it might cross my mind to ask if it will be noisy, or should I sign the papers and just invest in ear plugs.

The Biltmore Cabaret continues to have this kind of problem. Their regular Sunday night burlesque dance party has fielded complaints if the music goes til 1:02 a.m. I can only imagine some irate yuppie with their finger poised on speed dial waiting for the clock hands to pass to call and vocalize a lament about how the neighbourhood noise level isn't being respected. I know. I kind of want to smack them, too.

On the other end of the spectrum, we have people who find it too quiet such as False Creek residents including Laura MacCormack who are protesting the conversion of a building into the Kearney Funeral Home. For real. Because condo owners are now concerned that the proximity of a funeral home, of all things, is going to bring their property values down.

Residents who are against the funeral home, which is poised to go into a heritage site that has stood empty for years, have a range of complaints such as it will lower property value, make a nightmare of parking, and damage the neighbourhood's morale. Being a commercially zoned site, Kearney didn't have to seek permission from area residents. And according to BC Assessment, the funeral home's presence shouldn't have any negative effect on area properties future marketability.

I have, in my mind, come up with a solution that I think is fair: for those seeking to live in a vibrant area, live over a busy bar and nightclub to be part of Vancouver's local colour.

Those who want a quiet space that doesn't have loud noise after 7 p.m., I invite to move next to Kearney in the Cambie and 2nd area -- I hear some folks might be looking to sell their condos now. Failing that, there is a large urban sprawl called the Fraser Valley. I hear it's pretty quiet there.

B.C.'s Most Expensive Condos (December 2012)