Members’ FAQ

How much independence will the co-op have once we’ve paid off the mortgage?

Our resulting governance structure will be something like the following, with each higher level able to overrule decisions of those below it:

  1. Law, including the Co-op Act, as interpreted by the courts
  1. Co-op Rules and Occupancy Agreement as interpreted by the courts
  1. Co-op Rules, Policies etc. as interpreted by a General Meeting
  1. Co-op Rules, Policies etc. as interpreted by the Board of Directors
  1. Committee Policies etc. as interpreted by respective committees
  1. What its okay to do at View Court, as understood by members

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Why did View Court decide to approve by resolution for Primary and Associate memberships rather than all members being Primary members?

In the Rules of View Court Co-op, Rules 2.2 and  3.1, pp 3 and 4 in the Rules, that an associate member is to make “a payment equal to the purchase price of one fully paid share” (2.2), and “There shall be no joint membership” (3.1).

Regarding the rights of associate members, this does not include the right of possession of a unit if the principal (“full” member is not a Rules category) if the principal member ceases their membership. The associate member’s membership is dependent upon the principal member’s membership in the Co-op. See Rule 4.2 in the Withdrawal from Membership rules.

Part of the original rationale for not having “associate” members be automatically “entitled” to full “principle” membership, should the principle member leave/die, etc, was to allow the Board to review the associate’s participation record, and involvement in the Co-op PRIOR to accepting an application for “principle” membership. This would ensure that the associate was committed to, and aware of their responsibilities on an on-going basis.

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Why do members need to purchase liability and content insurance?

As of January 2011, CHFCanada no longer covers the liability insurance for members. Members must individually purchase liability and content insurance as per Occupancy Agreement 12.2.  A member cannot just purchase liability insurance without purchasing content insurance.  Members are required to provide proof of insurance (policy number) to the Board each year as well as prior to moving into View Court as a new member.  The board will require proof (insurance number and expiry date) at the beginning of each year.

Consequences of for refusing to purchase liability insurance may result in termination.

The required amount for insurance is one million dollars ($1 million) which includes standard fire and comprehensive insurance.  The cost of insurance is approximately $280 – $300/yr which includes the approximate $48/yr for liability insurance (2010)

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As we are no longer under a mortgage agreement with CHMC do we need to continue with having an auditor review our financial statements each AGM?

In 2006 we paid off our mortgage and at the 2006 AGM we agreed by resolution to continue with what we call a “financial review” and previously known as audit.  “Marsh and Marsh” continued this practice with Brenda Marsh as the CEO.  In 2011 the company was passed onto their children and the company became “Marsh and Marsh and Co” and at the 2010 AGM we agreed by resolution to continue with the new company. Common practice has been to pass by resolution at each AGM that we will continue with a financial review with Marsh and Marsh and Co unless some other company is preferred.

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Why are the hallway fans blowing cold air into the halls during the winter?

The fan in the halls are a very basic fan system that draws outside air from the roof into the halls.  They were once thought to be a fire regulation necessity for creating positive pressure in the halls and negative pressure in the suites so that

air will flow into the suites under members doors.  In the event of a fire inside a suite, the fire would not spread into the halls to other suites as fast as if there was a positive pressure in the suites and a negative pressure in the halls.  Our Maintenance Co-ordiator Dan has informed me that the fans are merely a means of bringing fresh air into the halls.  The east and west fan switches are located on the north end of the third floor halls behind the pictures.  They are often turned on because the upper floors are warm during the summer or members want fresh air in the winter when windows are closed.

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What would it take to just rebuild a new View Court on our property?

According to the planning department at City Hall, I was told that our current RT-6 zoning by-laws were constructed well before our buildings were built and therefore our 13000 sq foot combined lots (2617/2619 Ontario st and 12 West 10th Ave) are well over built.  If we were to consider rebuilding in the future we would only be permitted to have 8 units on our combined two properties.  As well, we would only be permitted to build up to 35′ in height, which we are currently but only 2.5 floors of suites.  The planner stated we would likely have to build two separate buildings each with 4 units in it only two floors high.

In terms of variances, our RT-6 zone is quite restrictive and our

properties are considered heritage even though our buildings are not designated as such. (Sept 8. 2011 – Jamie)

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What will happen to our building in an earthquake?

Our Geology: We are told by local geology maps that our building is on solid surficial geology called “Vashon Drift and Capilano sedidment ” Glacial drift of minor flow till, glaciolfluvial sand and gravel stony silt underlain with glaciomarine stony lag deposits.  Bedrock is within 10m of the surface and so it is believed that our proximity to bedrock is best in the event of an earthquake.

Flooding: We are at approximately 40m elevation on a north facing gradual slope so there is no concern for flooding and low concern for land slides.

Our structure: The apartment block is constructed of old growth, likely Douglas Fir wood frame and three layers of brick (two layers of white thick inner brick and one layer of brownstone exterior brick).  According to some members, our internal north south hallway walls carry the weight through to the support beams in the east and west basements.  East west walls extending across the width of suites are also considered to be support walls.  The ground floor suites over the boiler room have 2×6″ boards laminated but this is not extended to the south side of the building.  The concrete foundation in some sections of the basement is considered by some of our contractors to be quite solid. The house is constructed of poured concrete brick.  I am told that in the event of an earthquake (depending on size) our wood frame structure will sway but likely remain standing.  We will likely loose our exterior facing brick. The gas valves will likely be covered by brick which may hinder the manual shut off process conducted by some lucky members.  Our gas water heater may fall causing a fire unless strapped to adjacent walls and the floor.

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Why do we not have tubs removed in order to reglaze them?

Although initially we explored having the tubs reglazed off-site this was unsatisfactory for several reasons:

– Increased cost ($400 on site as opposed to $1300 off site),

– The difficulty of moving the heavy cast iron tubs without damage to the walls of the building or to those moving the tub

– Difficulties with plumbing hook-up after the tub was reinstalled (with our old plumbing and the awkwardness of moving the tub it was difficult to get the tub in the exact location for a proper fit between the drain and the plumbing)

– A longer time without tub access for the member whose tub was being reglazed

Additionally, I think it was briefly suggested that another option is to replace our cast iron tubs with fibreglass ones that won’t ever need reglazing – most folks seemed to want to retain the heritage look and function of our current tubs.

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Are we required to have range hood fans over our stoves?

Communications between Board and City of Vancouver inspector

The code requires a range hood to be provided in a dwelling unit; however, if the existing unit does not contain a hood, and perhaps not mandated at that time.  The provision of the range hood is not required as it does not create further non-conformance.  Conversely, in the case of a new kitchen being created then that kitchen will be required to provided.

I have also confirmed this point with one of our Building Code Specialist and agreed with this code application.

I trust this will assist you further.

Regards, Matthew

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Matthew Lam 
Project Coordinator III 
Processing Centre – Building Branch 
Development Services 
City of Vancouver

(604) 871-6562

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What do the items on our Co-operators Insurance mean (for our building) and do we need all of them?

According to The Co-operators insurance. Most of the line items in the coverage summary are part of a package negotiated for all housing co-ops. Some things that don’t apply to us, such as paving endorsement, are part of the package and cannot be removed.

Of note:

– Housing charges are listed at a replacement value of $548,200 for 2 years – which would cover our this year housing charges of $269,346/year.and a 3.5% increase next year.

– Flood coverage includes sewer back-up, and has a $10,000 deductible.

– The seemingly-unlikely items under Crime coverage are part of the package.

– Boiler equipment breakdown coverage has a $1000 deductible.

– Non-owned auto – means additional vehicle insurance coverage for co-op members or volunteers driving non-co-op owned vehicles on co-op business.

– D&O means Directors and Officers – so we’re covered.

– Coho Management – the last item – refers to coverage for Coho while doing work for us – it’s included in the package at no extra cost.

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How much insulation is on our roof?

Notes from email correspondence:

The RSI value of 4.44 equals to an R value of 25.2. At the time of the assessment I was given the information that the insulation consists of

6-8’’ EPS which rates with an R value of 3.8 to 4.4 per inch (CHBA Builder’s Manual) meaning the insulation value ranges from 22.8 to 35.2. I

worked with a value on the conservative side.****

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Happy New Year!!****

All the best,****


** **

*Torsten Ely, Dipl.-Ing.***

*Senior Building Energy Analyst*

*Thermographer, Level II ASNT*

*Certified Energy Advisor (New & Existing Homes)*

*“Energy efficiency is the greatest form of new energy we have.”*

** **

*City Green Solutions*****

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Can I use a proxy vote at a General Meeting I can’t attend?

This is not covered in our Rules or Policy. I’ve never heard of us allowing them previously. Given that we have historically demanded GM attendance for elections to the Board and to be accepted as a new member, my guess is no, but policy may be needed?

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How much notice is needed for a motion at a General Meeting?

It depends on the type of motion (called resolutions to recognize their significance at GMs). All motions should be carefully prepared, circulated and have emerged from prior discussion at the Committee/Board level so that their implications have been well considered by all members before the meeting. However…

Ordinary Resolutions (R.15.1) are motions that change policy and anything that doesn’t contradict the Rules or Occupancy Agreement. They can be introduced at a General Meeting without notice. However, motions with significant implications or minimal preparation may well not be allowed by the Chair if s/he thinks they deserve more discussion or should have gone through the committee/Board process. Further, the meeting may vote to overrule the wisdom of the Chair.

Special Resolutions are more powerful and change the Memorandum of Association (R.28.1), Rules (R.28.1) or Occupancy Agreement (O.A.28.02). These resolutions (motions) need 14 days notice to all members as with the General meeting itself (R.14.8 & 14.10). These resolutions also have to be registered with the Corporate Registrar before they are effective.

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How can I call a special general meeting to discuss an issue and decide on it?

Well, this is an important matter that should be discussed with the Board first. But, if you think it is important enough to ask all members to attend a special meeting to make a decision, the Board needs the names, addresses and signatures of 7 (based on 35 members) members attached to the motion they wish to be passed.

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If we have our own noise policies, does that stop us going to the police?

Laws of any sort will always take precedence over policy. If you have been the victim of a criminal act – the appropriate response is to call the police. However, if it is not a crime but is inteferring with your “quiet or peaceful enjoyment” of your home (See the Occupancy Agreement 8.02 Good Neighbour provision) you can follow our internal Dispute Resolution process (Rule 25). Policy is the way we interpret provisions in law, rules and occupancy agreements, it can’t contradict them.

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How does my committee get new policy adopted?

  1. The Committee passes the policy, records it in their minutes, with reference to any impact on existing committee policy and brings it to the attention of the Board;
  1. The Board approves it after ensuring that it meshes with other existing policy, the rules, values and mission then brings it to the general membership; and
  1. The General Membership meeting approves it after having had an opportunity to review and discuss the implications of the change.

The format should include:

Purpose of the policy (a statement of why you need a policy in this area and what you hope to achieve by adopting one)

Policy (a simple, clear and concise statement of the policy)

Procedures needed to carry out the policy (for example, with the assigned chair, co-chair, and secretary positions we created the procedure that all committees would assign these positions as the first order of business after each AGM. Or, like a list of tools for the maintenance policy or a registration form for the pet policy)

See the CHF BC website on Good Policy

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