We would love to share the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding our Church Property Redevelopment Project
Last Update: July 25, 2022
1. CPR Mandate
Q: What is the mandate of the Church Property Redevelopment (CPR) Committee?
A: The main mandate of the CPR Committee is to formulate a redevelopment plan for the three lots adjacent to the church building. As our work progress we realized that the three houses and the church building must be included in the overall plan. Our mandate does not include relocating to another site, forming a mission church, etc.
2. Why Rebuild
Q: Why do we need to rebuild? Why can’t we renovate it instead?
A: The church building is 68 years old as it was built by the Fraserview Mennonite Brethren Church in 1954. It is showing signs of significant wear and tear. It will not be cost effective if the building is being renovated instead due to the costs of upgrading the building to conform to the current City of Vancouver Bylaws. Additionally, we will lose the equivalent of at least one lot to make room for more park space in conformance to the City bylaws.
3. Renovate Instead?
Q: Exactly what needs to be done if we were to just renovate the building according to the latest City bylaws and building codes?
A: According to the Vancouver Building By-Laws (VBBL Section 11.2), “an alteration to an existing building shall trigger upgrading of the existing building to meet the following objectives:
a) all unsafe conditions shall be corrected to an acceptable level,
b) all new materials and construction work shall comply with this By-law
c) the building shall be upgraded to an acceptable level of
a. fire, life and health safety,
b. structural safety,
c. non-structural safety,
d. accessibility for persons with disabilities, and
e. energy and water efficiency
d) any significant extension of the design life of an existing building beyond its original design life shall require upgrading to an acceptable level, …”
Therefore, it can be seen that the costs of renovating the existing building will be significant, and at the end of the renovation, we still have the same building that cannot meet the space requirements for our ministries.
4. Just A New Wing?
A: No. The three houses are considered as parts of the main building. If we were to develop the three houses, the main church building will need to be brought up to the current City Codes.
Q: Why can’t we just develop the three houses into an Educational Wing for the church?
Q: Can we subdivide the 7 lots and build on the remaining land?
A: The Committee has evaluated this option and has recommended against it. Subdivision requires application to the City of Vancouver and it has no guarantee that the City will approve it. Additionally, when the parcel of land is subdivided, the money gained from the sale may be the same as the cost of building a two-level underground parking on a smaller footprint.
6. Church Mission
Q: How is the consideration of a new building connected with VCBC’s vision?
A: The church building is just a property. However, a newer, bigger, and better designed property can facilitate the operation of our various ministry programs. We can bless our neighbours through these ministries and other outreach activities.
7. A Smaller Redesign?
Q: Have we ever thought of redesigning the existing building to maintain both the broadcast of services/activities via the web and in-person instead of trying to build oversized, over-expensive
A: As one might have realized that the current Audio-Visual area was expanded during COVID lock-down. This was done to accommodate newer and modern equipment amenable to broadcasting worship services online. However, the online service only allows the church to reach a wider audience. This does not solve our needs for more space for fellowship meetings, and children and youth programs. Moreover, our existing building structure does not make our building easily accessible to the elderlies and people with mobility challenges.
8. Financial Feasibility
Q: Don’t assume a new building will produce a revitalized congregation. Do we have enough people to serve, are we financially sound to readily take on a bigger property?
A: Having a new building doesn’t necessarily equate to a revitalized congregation. We need to rely on our Heavenly Father for His provision. History has shown us that our God is gracious, ever abundance in His giving. Based on the size of the congregation and the resources we had at the time when we
purchased the initial building on Gladstone Street and our current building, if it was not the grace of God we could never have imagined that we moved into these properties free of mortgages.
9. Space during Rebuilding
Q: When we rebuild on this existing site, where will we meet as a congregation? Is this part of the CPR's mandate too?
A: The mandate of the CPR Committee is to formulate a redevelopment plan for the 7 lots occupied by the church building and three houses located north of the building. The Committee is recommending redeveloping rather than renovating the church building. Regardless of how VCBC members decide on the Committee’s proposal, CPR will dissolve after the vote. New committees need to be created to handle the outcome of the decision.
10. Other Cost Options
Q: We understand that the cost of renovation will be high and we will end up with the same building size. What would be the approximate cost if we renovate? Maybe we can stay in this small footprint with renovation and look at renting satellite sites to expand our ministry.
A: We do not have an estimate on the costs of renovation. Our architect has advised us that the costs of renovation will be “similar” to rebuilding given the list of things we need to do in order to meet the City bylaws. The CPR Committee does not want to spend large sum of money to hire an engineer to provide us an estimate for renovation.