The December Fremantle Council meeting was no where near as long as last month’s marathon. There was nevertheless some important items on the agenda especially around the key Freo Council objective of providing more diverse and affordable housing in Fremantle. In addition to the Kim Beazley School site and Sale of 50 Pakenham Street items described below, the Council agreed to re-advertise the Burt Street affordable housing site. All these together should see a substantial increase in affordable housing in the next few years.
Residential structure plan adopted for White Gum Valley development
Council has adopted a structure plan for a residential development on the Former Kim Beazley School site in White Gum Valley.
Following a period of public consultation it was found that there were community concerns around loss of existing trees, additional traffic and the proposed density and building height.
Council has now resolved that a number of modifications will be made prior to referral of the plan to the Western Australian Planning Commission for final approval. These modifications include adding areas of R35, R40, R60 and R80 density codings and the requirement for a local planning policy to guide future development.
The proposed White Gum Valley former Kim Beazley school site Local Structure Plan (LSP) has been prepared to guide and facilitate the subdivision and development of the former Kim Beazley School site.
The proposed structure plan was advertised from Tuesday 2 September 2013 to Friday 18 October 2013 (46 days) for public comment. The public consultation period also included a community information session, which was attended by approximately 30 community members. An additional presentation and a community information session were held after the public consultation period. At the completion of the public comment period the City had received 161 submissions on the structure plan.
Sale of 50 Pakenham Street
Council has accepted a tender received from Yolk Property group for the purchase of 50 Pakenham Street, Fremantle for the purpose of development.
The purchase price will be $3m and will be subject to a number of conditions including the lodgement of a development application within 180 days of the bid acceptance and the commencement of development within two years of the development approval.
There is also a condition that the development of the site includes a residential component. Within this residential component a minimum of four dwellings will be reserved for social/low-income housing or a demonstration by the developer of innovation in affordable and diverse housing.
The 2012/13 adopted budget provided for the sale of Car Park 7 located at 50 Pakenham Street, Fremantle on the corner of Bannister Street for redevelopment.
The proposed sale (by tender) was based on similar terms to the sale of the City’s Point Street property in late 2012 where the conditions of sale focussed on timing of development stages to ensure the property is not held for speculation rather than developed.
Six tenders were received at the close of the tender deadline with five of the six bids received above the reserve price adopted from an independent market sales valuation.
The preferred tender was from Yolk Property Group. Yolk provided the highest bid price and demonstrated innovative design in affordable housing to substantiate their offer.
Supporting arts in Fremantle
Council has agreed to engage an Arts Development and Liaison Officer who will assist local artists and art organisations with funding, grants and sponsorship to help develop good ideas in to arts projects.
Council has also set aside up to $30 000 for seed funding of a yet to be determined significant local art project.
The City will evaluate these actions and outcomes of this initiative with a report to be delivered to council in 12 months time.
Fremantle has long been associated with and has a reputation as a place for the arts, with a history of craftsmanship and artisan products. The City is home to many local and state-wide arts organisations, businesses and individuals who make significant contributions to the sector. Arguably, this association is the essence of Fremantle and a key attractor for tourists, visitors and residents alike.
In the 2013/2014 budget, the City allocated an additional $100 000 to strengthen the local arts sector. This funding is in addition to the operational budget of the Fremantle Arts Centre, festival program, arts grants program and the implementation of the cultural development strategy. It is an acknowledgement of the inherent value of the arts to Fremantle as a community and as a destination for tourists and visitors.
An engagement process was undertaken by the City to develop a set of recommendations to guide decisions on the expenditure of the funds to achieve the best impact for the arts sector. Representatives of the local sector across not -for -profit organisations, local creative businesses and practicing artists were consulted to understand the strengths and challenges and gather ideas into how this funding could best be spent.
New alfresco dining laws to help Fremantle businesses
To provide greater flexibility for operators of alfresco dining areas in Fremantle, council has adopted the draft City of Fremantle Alfresco Dining Local Law to replace the existing outdoor eating laws.
Some of the key changes include:
– the definition of ‘eating house’ replaced with ‘food business’. This now encompasses licensed premises which were not previously captured under the previous definition
– removal of the complicated Gross Rentable Value (GRV) fee structure which is replaced by a simple fee structure based on the square metreage of the alfresco area
– appeal provisions for applicants
– the removal of unnecessarily onerous procedural paperwork such as application requirements and licence pro forma.
The City will shortly advertise the draft local law and invite public submissions.
The Local Government Act requires the City to undertake a review of its local laws every eight years. Following a review of laws relating to outdoor eating areas, the City identified the need to amend the laws to enable greater flexibility for food business and licensed premises operators.
In considering the content of a revised local law, the City sought to achieve the following objectives:
– Greater flexibility for proprietors with regard to responsible consumption of alcohol in alfresco areas
– A simplified fee structure and licensing process
– Alignment of the terms and definitions of the local law with other relevant legislation (e.g. the Food Act, the Local Government Act and the Liquor Control Act)
– Modified infringement penalties for offences under the local laws.
The City has prepared a modern and relevant local law that seeks to achieve greater flexibility for business proprietors as well as simplifying the approvals and compliance procedures for City officers. The City considers the proposed local law to represent best practice for the management of City-owned/managed space for dining and other compatible uses.
DISCLAIMER – The above newsletter is a summarised version of council meetings designed to convey the key components of council decisions. For more detail and for exact wording on any of the above items the City strongly recommends readers download a full copy of the minutes of this meeting. Minutes can be found in the Agenda and Minutes section of the City’s website