Habitat for birds included in proposed Kerrisdale character home conversion in Vancouver

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      When done with nature in mind, residential landscaping produces a healthy environment.

      It provides not only an outdoor oasis for residents.

      Landscaping also creates an ecosystem for other creatures.

      In a proposed development in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood of Vancouver, birds are of particular importance for the project.

      The landscaping plan for 7061 Cyrpress Street includes a bird-friendly design to serve as a “habitat” for winged creatures.

      The plan intends to introduce new trees and a mix of native shrubs, ground covers, and perennial flowering plants.

      The laurel hedge, which produces fruits for the birds, will be retained in front of the property.

      The design also includes features like trellises with vines, creating a “more lovable environment to attract birds”.

      The bird-friendly design is part of the overall landscaping concept, which is intended to “recreate an Edwardian garden”.

      Edwardian gardens are famous as lush botanical displays.

      Plants at the site will include roses as well as bird-friendly lavender.

      The plan was prepared by Lu Xu, principal of Royal Pacific Landing Ltd., which specializes in residential landscape design and building service.

      The landscaping design is part of the development application submitted by Formwerks Architectural Inc.

      The proposed development aims to convert the character home into four new dwellings.

      The project also includes a new residence at the back of the lot, for a total of five homes.

      A design rationale prepared by James Bussey of Formwerks states that the plan involves the retention of the character home’s external façade, roof massing, and some exterior details.

      A previous sale listing by the Faith Wilson Group indicated that the 7061 Cypress Street home has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

      The 3,602-square-foot home sits on an 8,580-square-foot lot, according to the former listing.

      The City of Vancouver defines a character house as a home built before 1940.

      These homes are considered to have heritage character, but these are not listed in the Vancouver Heritage Register.

      In October 2017, city council approved incentives for the retention of character homes as well as opportunities to convert these into multiple dwellings and add infill homes.

      A staff report to council at the time estimated that there are over 15,000 pre-1940 homes in areas zoned for single-family houses in the city.

      According to the report, 80 percent of these homes “possess character merit”.

      This meant that about 12,000 dwelings in single-family-home znes may qualify for city incentives.

      “With the character incentives, the potential exists for hundreds of new units to be added as additional suites and laneway homes (including possible strata laneway/infill homes) as part of a character home retention project,” according to the staff report.