Earlier this fall, the edge of the Nanny Goat Hill between Upper Lorne Place and (upper) and (lower) Primrose was chewed out and footings installed. Some previous posts showed details of the lot, and then the first floor foam block foundation system: http://westsideaction.wordpress.com/2010/06/27/cliff-becomes-hole/, and athttp://westsideaction.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/lego-build-a-house/ and at http://westsideaction.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/bumpy-stairs/ and at http://westsideaction.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/nanny-goat-hill-infill/ and at http://westsideaction.wordpress.com/2010/05/22/stairway-to-development/
The bottom two floors, (the lower Primrose levels) are foam+concrete walls. The third floor is level with Upper Lorne, and will have the garage level opening off that street. The fourth floor (when viewed from Primrose) aka the second floor (when viewed from Upper Lorne) will be half interior space and half roof deck. I’ll post pictures of that later this week.
The developer had wished to have the bottom floor have an access off the staircase landing(see picture above, where the property is owner is shown just a few steps below the landing in question). There used to be a landing and separate bridge or stairs to the house at the bottom of the cliff, for about 50 years. However, when the City rebuilt the stairs a few years ago (and accidentally located them partially on the private property of the lot now being built on rather than entirely on the public street right of way) they removed the landing access and denied the new house access too. This is rather curious, as the stairs are a public sidewalk, the precedent was there, and throughout many other countries it is common to have house accesses off public stair-streets. Instead, the new house will have to install a private staircase parallel to the public one to reach the same sidewalk on (lower) Primrose. Don’t worry, though, it’s called planning. Actually, I suspect the lawyers got involved here: if the house had access from the stairs, could the city ever remove the stairs? You can imagine the debates at city hall. Pardon me whilst I dig out my belly button lint.
The ground floor of the house is being outfitted as a studio: a large room, kitchenette, bathroom, and exterior entrance. Sounds like a planning dodge to me, rather like all those condo apts with and 8×10 “study” that gets around the codes that prevent it from being called a “bedroom”.
The garage and front door to the house will be from Upper Lorne, to the third floor level of the house (although it will look like the ground floor from that street). Between the house and the street will be a 20′ deep crack, showing the “cliff face” as excavated. The house has several large windows facing into this crack, presumably they will let in as much light as side windows do elsewhere in the neighborhood when adjacent houses are just a few feet away.