9 things Byron council is going to consider this week
LIVE music could soon be back on the streets of Byron Bay; lifting longstanding restrictions on busking will be one of many items considered at Byron Shire Council’s planning meeting on Thursday.
We’ve taken a look at some of the significant matters on the agenda:
1. BUSKING COULD RETURN SOON
THE streets of Byron Bay have been unusually quiet since busking was temporarily banned back in March as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was originally a three-month change to help stop the spread of the virus in the town, but that was later extended.
Mayor Simon Richardson will seek to allow buskers, tarot card and palm readers, fortune tellers and other similar activities in the streets from December 14.
When the restriction was due to expire at the end of July, there were community concerns about the potential spread of the virus due to people congregating in public places, Cr Richardson said in information attached to his mayoral minute.
“The public health orders then restricted outdoor gatherings to no more than 20 in a public place,” he said.
“At the request of the NSW Police, council resolved to further extend the suspension on the use of public spaces for busking until the public health order restrictions changed.”
At its July 30 extraordinary meeting the council voted to extend the current suspension on busking and similar activities until January 2021.
“This extended suspension was put in place to assist the police in keeping outdoor gathering numbers restricted and social distancing requirements met in Byron Shire,” Cr Richardson said.
“Since July: state borders have started to reopen, various iterations of public health orders have been put in place to relax gatherings and COVID case numbers have not been an issue for Byron Shire as a result.
“Byron Shire, like most other local areas, is now moving into a recovery phase for business and community post COVID.
“Events and activations of spaces and places is one way to do this.
“In recognition of the role that buskers and other space activators can play in bringing vibrancy to towns and villages, a lifting of the current suspension is proposed from mid-December.”
Buskers and other “space activators” will still need a current permit issued by council and will need to adhere to COVID Safe practices.
2. BEACH EROSION
A REPORT from the Clarkes and Main Beach Reserves Inter-Agency Meeting will go before the meeting.
The council resolved to convene an urgent meeting between all land managers of the beach reserves to discuss the impact of coastal processes on the beach and adjoining land and explore potential options at its September 25 meeting.
“The current erosion trend at The Pass, Clarkes Beach and Main Beach has been evident since approximately 2016,” staff said in the report.
“Staff have been collaborating with technical staff from Department of Primary Industry and Environment (DPIE) – Environment, Energy and Sciences on the issue and it appears that this current erosion trend (as based on visual assessment) is a result of a distinct lack of sand in the eastern precinct of Byron Bay.
“However, the effects of these large swell events have not yet been correlated against nearshore and beach profiles.
The council, Crown Lands, Reflections Holiday Parks, the Department of Primary Industries, National Parks and Wildlife Services and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment met via Zoom on October 14.
The council report sets out current and proposed management actions.
3. BOARDING HOUSE PETITION
A PETITION opposing a mixed-use development proposal for Brunswick Heads has been included in the council agenda.
A proposal for a $6.3 million development comprising a general store or cafe, co-working space, eight shop top dwellings and a 39-room boarding house at 94 Kingsford Drive was lodged with the council by Oniva Pty Ltd on November 5.
The development, if approved, would fall under the banner of The Kollective and would be known as The Corso.
A petition letter bearing 100 signatures will go before the council.
The council’s staff have recommended that the petition be noted and referred to the Director Sustainable Environment and Economy.
4. SALTWATER CREEK PRECINCT
The council will consider preparing an amended planning proposal for an area on the southern edge of Mullumbimby.
The council’s staff have recommended an amended proposal be prepared for the council-owned Lot 22 (156 Stuart Street), one of four blocks of land within the area known as the Saltwater Creek Precinct.
If this occurs, the new planning proposal would then need to be sent to the Minister for Planning for Gateway determination.
Some key points:
- The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment issued Gateway Determination on May 30, 2018.
- That original planning proposal was placed on public exhibition from October 31 to December 12, 2018.
- An independently-chaired public hearing into the proposal was held on February 6, 2019.
- After receiving a report following public exhibition, the council decided to prepare a further flood study and structure plan.
According to a staff report that will go before this week’s meeting, Lot 22 is 19.2 hectares and contains the Mullumbimby community gardens, although there is no proposal to rezone or reclassify that area.
The sites that make up the Saltwater Creek Precinct “are identified in the draft Residential Strategy as investigation areas for future housing, and have been subject to an early implementation initiative that aims to incorporate affordable housing outcomes as a component of any future development”, council staff said in the report.
The planning proposal essentially seeks to rezone about 22 hectares from Public Recreation to General Residential zoning to make way for “residential development with an emphasis on affordable and diverse housing”.
It also seeks to include provisions that would “encourage diverse and affordable housing on this and other key sites to be identified”.
5. JONSON ST CAR PARK
PLANNING changes which would allow a car park to be built at the southern end of Jonson St will be considered.
The council received a planning proposal on July 20 this year, seeking to amend the Byron Local Environmental Plan to permit a car park at 158 Jonson St, Byron Bay.
The triangle-shaped land was owned by the state rail authority but sold to a private company for about $1.8 million in October, 2017.
According to a council report, the land contains coastal wetland and is currently industrially-zoned as a rail corridor.
The council’s staff have recommended the planning proposal be finalised and forwarded to the state planning department for consideration.
6. MULTI-DWELLING PROPOSAL, OCEAN SHORES
COUNCILLORS will consider an application for a seven-unit development at 8 Kumbellin Glen in Ocean Shores.
The council’s staff have recommended the DA be approved, subject to deferred commencement conditions involving significant changes.
The DA seeks approval of the demolition of an existing house and construction of a multi-dwelling development including seven units.
Each proposed new unit would contain three stories and two bedrooms.
The site is currently zoned as Low Density Residential.
According to the council report, submissions received from the community raised concerns with the proposed density and built form, claiming “the proposal far exceeds the existing and expected residential density within the low density residential zone and that the bulk of the building is out of character with the streetscape”.
The proposed building exceeds building height limits and is “deficient of communal landscaping area” with part of that area “not accessible to all residents” while there are manoeuvrability and potentially safety issues with parking, the council’s staff said in the report.
“Reducing the development by one dwelling unit and separating those remaining into two detached buildings would more accurately reflect the desired and existing built form of the low density environment, ensure the site is capable of accommodating the required communal landscaped areas and provide better vehicular manoeuvring for carparking,” staff said in the report.
7. CHANGES TO APPROVED DA
The developer of an approved mixed use development in the Byron Bay CBD is seeking approval for changes to the development plans.
The council approved a DA for two levels of underground carparking, retail, commercial and cafe spaces on the ground level and 28 shop top housing units across three separate lots on the corner of Jonson and Browning Sts on May 21 this year.
The developer has now sought consent for changes to the approved plans, including that they:
- Modify the layout of the approved basement carpark
- Raise the ground floor level of the building by 300mm to account for the finished levels of the adjoining bypass roundabout
- Make minor internal modifications to the approved building
- Modify the roof
- Make minor amendments to various conditions of consent.
The council’s staff have recommended the modifications be approved.
8. HOLIDAY LETTING
The ongoing debate on how to manage short term rental accommodation in the shire will be back before the council.
Councillors voted to prepare and submit a planning proposal to the state planning department at the February, 2020 planning meeting.
The planning department confirmed it would prepare a framework document to help the council understand the scope of that request.
It is understood the council was asked to prepare an economic analysis into its proposal.
The council’s staff have recommended, in their report, that councillors agree to amend the proposal “to include precinct areas that permit non-hosted STRA for 365 days in those areas that have already been taken up almost exclusively for STRA” while implementing a 90-day cap in other areas.
The current proposal seeks to impose a 90-day cap across the board.
9. TREE, VEGETATION MANAGEMENT
Councillors will consider whether to endorse the draft Development Control Plan’s chapter related to tree and management vegetation.
“Given the recent gazetting of our environmental zones (E2 and E3) Council is now required to declare such vegetation within a Development Control Plan (DCP) and administer its management through a tree removal permit system,” the council’s staff said in the report.
“As a result, DCP 2014 Chapter B2 Tree and Vegetation Management has been updated to include the information now required under the Vegetation SEPP.”
If endorsed, the draft changes will be placed on public exhibition for 28 days.