A Board of Governors agenda item released today indicates that, despite vocal opposition from some residents at the nearby Promontory high-rise, plans to build a 15-bed hospice on the UBC campus will go ahead at its current location across from Thunderbird Stadium.
Many residents of the nearby complex, where 2-bedroom condominiums sell for almost $1 million, are new Chinese immigrants, and have voiced their opinion that having “people dying next door” violates cultural taboos. The University Neighborhood Association (UNA), which represents those living in market housing on campus, had lent support to the Promontory residents’ opposition of the hospice. The hospice, a joint venture between the UBC Faculty of Medicine and the Order of St. John, is to be operated the the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and will serve as a research and teaching facility for end-of-life care.
The Board’s Property and Planning committee has made some small concessions, such as requesting tree screening and a roof treatment that blocks the Hospice as much as possible from the nearby highrise. They also pledge to continue outreach services with the University Neighborhood Association and SUCCESS, a Vancouver immigrant services group. However, the university’s commitment to the current site is reflected by the inclusion of the following direction, “Work with UBC Properties to identify other housing opportunities on campus for residents of the adjacent building who wish to move.” The message is clear: any Promontory resident that still objects to the hospice should move.