The following letter features in the agenda papers for Tuesday night:

Of concern is the recommendation – once again to merely ‘receive’ and ‘note’ the letter, which will then disappear into the ether no doubt and not be heard of again. Council is duty bound to do far more. Residents are entitled to be provided with solid ‘evidence’ for the proposed changes. For example: has there been a traffic count taken in the past few years? If so, when was this done and what are the results? If in the past there was the decision to erect a ‘no standing zone’ outside 86-90 Mitchell Street, what was the reason and what is the reason now for proposing to change this? And the $64 dollar question of course is that council’s policy is to conduct surveys of local residents before the implementation of changes. Will these 40 residents now be listened to?

The crucial question is- will council now turn all our local streets into parking areas given its statement in the Transport Strategy that they will explor(e) the reinstatement of lost street parking where required. And if council is determined to introduce parking overlays that reduce even further the ‘standards’ set out in Clause 52.06, then should residents expect more and more parking overflow from the commercial centres into their streets?

We urge all readers to take careful note of the following from the Integrated Transport Strategy.

This makes it absolutely clear that council’s intention is to:

  • Reduce the required parking provisions for ‘office space’.
  • ‘Site specific conditions’ can only mean more ad-hoc decision making – especially for restaurants
  • ‘maximise the use of existing (car parking) spaces’, can only augur more of the Mitchell Street example
  • ‘Shared parking’ translates into less car parking spaces provided by developers and residents parking in multi-level car parks largely paid for by ratepayers.

Finally, the Mitchell Street example is the perfect illustration of council’s disastrous planning. Next to a heritage area, and within a flooding zone, Mitchell and its surrounding streets were zoned RGZ in 2013 – ie 4 storeys. Now 5 years later, council is attempting to undo the damage it has created. Too late we say!!!!!! The draft structure plan now wants the WESTERN side of Mitchell street reduced to 2 storey height limit (ie NRZ) and six properties on the EASTERN side of Mitchell Street, reduced to 3 storeys (ie GRZ).  But given what has already happened, and what will still happen until council achieves the gazetting of its amendments, this is literally pie in the sky planning. The horse has already bolted. Yet council has known this for years and nothing was done!

Here is the current state of affairs in Mitchell and Robert Streets. The yellow markings indicate developments granted permits.

The tally thus far is –

77 Mitchell – 3 storey, 7 units

82-84-  4 storey, 23 units

79-83 – 4 storey, 41 units

77 Robert Street, -7 units

Residents of local streets anywhere within cooee of our activity centres have much to fear we forecast!