Chocolate Mousse Kitchenware’s Swan Song – Christmas Animation 2018 and the West End Community Plan

After 33 years in business as a beloved local shop in Vancouver’s West End, Chocolate Mousse Kitchenware (1553 Robson Street) is being forced to close due to an enormous increase in property taxes on the retail space it leases, as a result of the dramatic increase in property values resulting from the West End Community Plan (WECP) adopted in 2013 by City Council.

Related article: Taxed to death: How Vancouver’s small businesses are falling victim to soaring property tax (Chocolate Mousse Kitchenware faces closure after a 92-per-cent rate increase, the latest in a line of long-established businesses set to shut shop) by Jan Zeschky, Westender, 14-Dec-2017.
https://www.vancourier.com/news/taxed-to-death-how-vancouver-s-small-businesses-are-falling-victim-to-soaring-property-tax-1.23121997

This site was rezoned as a part of mass rezoning in parts of the West End in January 2014 by the Vision Vancouver dominated City Council in line with the new WECP, allowing a significant increase in the permitted building height. At that point, the then landlord made a huge windfall profit when it sold the property to 1135952 B.C. Ltd., Inc. The final approval for the current owner VivaGrand Developments (the North American office of Xiangli, based in China) to build a 28-storey tower (1555 Robson Street – DP-2018-00589) is now set for the City of Vancouver’s three-person internal Development Permit Board, slated for 3 pm, January 7, 2019. (There never was a public hearing, but concerned citizens can register and speak to the DPB.)

Christmas message from owners:
We have installed our 23rd animated Christmas window. It is of course our Swan Song. Short of a miracle this will be our last Christmas. Now more than ever we need your support to get us to the end of our lease. If you haven’t shopped yet, we would love to see you, and if you have shopped, thank you… and we’d love to see you again. We would like to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas.
Karen & Jane and our lovely staff
The Chocolate Mousse Kitchenware

****************
Lyrics:
“IT’S A SWANDERFUL LIFE”

Chocolate Mousse Animated Christmas Window, December 2018

Some things in life are bad.
They can make you really mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
The property tax jumped 400 percent.
It’s even higher than the rent.
But cheer up because next year it gets worse.

And…
Always look on the bright side of life
da doot, da doot da doot da doo
Always look on the light side of life
da doot, da doot da doot da doo

The Mousse has been hard hit
any way you look at it.
The Community Plan was just bad luck.
So debt and a lake of tears
is the reward after 33 years
’cause greed and speculation ran amok.

And…
Always look on the bright side of life
da doot, da doot da doot da doo
Always look on the light side of life
da doot, da doot da doot da doo

We’d like a tax rebate
but the city’s inanimate.
Council drags its feet with apathy.
For Vancouver small business the fact is
nothing’s sure but death by taxes.
Thank goodness for customer loyalty!

And…
Always look on the bright side of life
da doot, da doot da doot da doo
Always look on the light side of life
da doot, da doot da doot da doo

The tax is more than we can afford.
There’s been no help from the landlord.
Time’s running out, it’s nearly too late.
If the city won’t change its tax laws
the only hope left is Santa Claus
or in the New Year we’ll be forced to liquidate.

So…
Always look on the bright side of life
da doot, da doot da doot da doo
Always look on the light side of life
da doot, da doot da doot da doo

Always look on the bright side of life
da doot, da doot da doot da doo
Always look on the light side of life
da doot, da doot da doot da doo

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