Board affirms $11 million value of custom-built Vancouver home with elevator, sweeping ocean views

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      The view from Ronald Roadburg’s waterfront home must be really impressive.

      Even the chair of a provincial board that reviewed and confirmed the $11.048 million valuation of the custom-built Vancouver property seemed awed.

      “The waterfront residence offers what I would characterize based on the photographs in evidence, stunning unobstructed views of Burrard Inlet, English Bay, the downtown Vancouver skyline and the North Shore mountains,” Kenneth Wm. Thornicroft, a panel chair with the B.C. Property Assessment Appeal Board, wrote in his decision and order.

      Thornicroft was ruling on an appeal filed by Roadburg about the 2019 valuation of the 3333 Point Grey Road property.

      A property assessment review panel fixed the actual or fair market value of the property at $11.048 million.

      The value is broken down into $9.3 million for the land, and $1.748 million for improvements.

      But while Roadburg concedes that while the property is “considered to be valued at market levels”, it is “felt to be inequitably assessed for 2019”. 

      According to Thornicroft, the homeowner argued that assessed value should be reduced by 25 percent.

      Thornicroft believes that $8.28 million is the equitable assessment of his home.

      The property is in the Kitsilano neighbourhood, which the panel chair described as “one of the most expensive areas of Vancouver, with most of the homes assessed in the $9 to $14 million range”.

      “As one might expect for a custom built home, the finish quality is high and the renovation maximized view corridors; for example, there are several floor to ceiling windows and a custom-built glass and steel elevator,” Thornicroft noted.

      The house has three levels, a multi-car garage, and four decks, the largest of which is 500 square feet.

      Roadburg identified four residences within one block of his home as comparable properties.

      The owner then came up with an average square foot assessment of land and improvements for the four comparable properties.

      Applying the average values, Roadburg arrived at these numbers: $7.2 million for land, and $1.083 million for improvements, for a total of $8.28 million.

      However, Thornicroft noted that Roadburg “did not account for differences in view corridors and zoning among the five properties”.

      The panel chair observed that the first and second comparable properties do “not have the unobstructed wide view corridors that are present with the Appellant’s property”.

      Regarding the classification of the properties, the second, third and fourth comparable residences are zoned for townhouses only.

      Roadburg’s property is zoned as single-family residence, which permits a “variety of other residential uses such as secondary suites and two-family dwellings”.

      “Thus, the redevelopment potential of these three lots is significantly restricted relative to the Appellant’s property,” Thornicroft explained.

      Meanwhile, the first comparable property is also zoned the same as Roadburg’s, which is single-family residence.

      However, this property was previously listed for sale as an opportunity to either renovate or rebuild, “suggesting that the property was essentially being marketed for land value only”.

      “The existing residence is about 20 years older, and about 24% smaller than the Appellant’s residence and, that being the case, it reasonably follows that the Appellant’s residence would be assessed at a much higher value,” Thornicroft wrote.

      Thornicroft also noted that Roadburg made a “critical omission” in his presentation of the four comparable properties.

      According to the panel chair, Roadburg has “has not provided any information to show that the assessments for these four homes reflect only 75% of their fair market value (which, in turn, might justify an downward “equity” adjustment for the Appellant’s assessment)”.