JDAP to make decision on Port Rockingham Marina after City of Rockingham finds ‘compromise’ to parking concerns
City of Rockingham has given its backing to the proposed Port Rockingham Marina after councillors supported a “compromise” motion at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Concerns over a parking shortfall jeopardised City support for the proposal, with the original officer’s report recommending the planning and engineering services committee reject the application.
The City’s main fear centred on the proponent’s planned building of just 135 parking spaces of a required minimum 613 spaces. The committee instead adopted a motion to support the marina application subject to 29 conditions being met, including the proponent making a cash-in-lieu payment to make up for the parking shortfall, and waste management and other approvals being to the City’s satisfaction.
On Tuesday night however, councillors unanimously supported councillor Chris Elliott’s alternate motion, which would allow the City to show it was “100 per cent” in favour of the marina development but also cognizant of the parking issue.
Cr Elliott’s motion proposed to vary the City’s Community Plan Strategy - Rockingham Strategic Metropolitan Centre Public Parking so a cash-in-lieu payment only be provided for 60 per cent - or 368 bays - of the parking required for the development.
The 60 per cent required was similar to that applied to previous developments in the foreshore area and would remove the potential for council to set an undesirable precedent for the proponents of future developments to avoid paying large cash-in-lieu payments.
The alternate motion was also framed to allow the proponent, subject to agreement with the City, the chance to build a 368-bay parking facility on City-managed land, to the specifications and satisfaction of the City.
During public question time, a member representing the proponent said a cash-in-lieu payment could be as much as $16 million, which would put the development at risk. He added the developer would be prepared to build a multi-decked parking facility on City land.
“The council is unanimous in its support of this marina and this (motion) shows that strong support,” Cr Elliott said.
“A marina will strongly complement the foreshore redevelopment... the developer has said it could build decked parking cheaper than the City could build it for.”
Cr Lee Downham said forcing the proponent to make a cash-in-lieu payment could be a “development arrester” and called the motion a “good compromise”.
“If we put the burden of paying extra money on the developer for the parking we could see proponents of future ideas say no. This is a good compromise because we want this development to go ahead and it secures parking,” he said.
Cr Joy Stewart did not vote on the motion after declaring a financial interest, as she lives within close proximity to the development, which could potentially have a positive effect on the value of her property. Remaining councillors all voted in favour of the alternate motion.
The South-West Metropolitan Joint Development Assessment Panel will now make a decision on the marina’s approval on September 7.
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