Petition to lower height limits

Proposed rezonng to R60-3 stories shaded red

Victory…..for now

The Busselton Council voted unanimously October 27, 2021 to approve Councillor Riccelli’s amendment that re-zones the lots along Geographe Bay Road to R60 (three storeys) from R80 (four storeys). This now goes to the State planning authority for its sign off. We should know within 60 days if it gets approval. In the meantime we are waiting for a Supreme Court decision regarding the four story apartment complex planned at Seymour Park.  If that challenge succeeds the height limit will be set at two storeys within 150 meters of the high waterline.

The council did not support the planning department’s recommendations apart from including the two lots on Lorna Street that are part of the apartment complex under construction. This may put at risk the state approval. However the motion was approved unanimously and the community submissions were unaanimously in support, so it is hoped this will have an influence on the decision making. The final decision is up to the planning minister.

Peter Kyle, on behalf of Dunsborough2030, addressed council and explained that if they went along with most of the Planning Department’s recommendations it would undermine the objectives of the amendment and in effect create a new amenedment that would impact all of Busselton. It would also negate any positive outcome from the pending Supreme Court decision.

Tony Sharp, on behalf of the DPA, which initiated the petition that kicked off the rezoning campaign, outlined the strong level of support for this amendment in the community.

At the Council Oct 13, 2021 meeting, it was decided to postpone a final vote on the rezoning amendment for two weeks. This was in light of a number of modifications recommended by city planners that would have impacted the effectiveness of the amendment. Prior to that, on October 8, 2021, the JDAP decision in regard to the conflict between the R Codes and Local Planning Scheme 4.8.1-limiting building height to 9m within 150m of the waterline was challenged in the W.A. Supreme Court. (This decision allowed a four storey building adjacent to Seymour Park.) However the City’s proposed modifications to the amendment could make the outcome irrelevant for this part of the foreshore as 4.8.1 would not apply in R60 areas.

There was unanimous community support for the amendment in the City’s Yoursay survey in September on the rezoning of land facing the foreshore at the end of Dunn Bay Road. There were 98 in support. Only the lawyers for the developer of the four storey apartment complex were against it.

Councillor Sue Riccelli’s motion to rezone R80 lots to R60 was passed unanimously by council February 10. This will now work its way through the system and eventually, we hope, be signed off by the Planning Minister in the next 6 months or so. Although it does not have legal status until then, it can come into play when planning decisions are made. That is why it is great that it was unanimous. Many thanks to the councillors!

Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 the petition signed by over 740 City of Busselton electors was delivered to council. In a statement, the DPA called on council to rezone the R80 lots on Geographe Bay Rd to R60. The city’s director of planning told the council it should wait until the Activity Centre Plan is complete. Tony Sharp, on behalf of the DPA, said by then it could be too late as properties are already being offered for sale for development. And it would be definitely too late for the proposed development along Seymour Park, he said.

Background: The Dunsborough Progress Association is supporting a petition to the mayor to rezone lots along Geographe Bay Rd, Dunsborough to R60 from R80. This will limit building heights to 3 stories or roughly 10-12metres. Currently R80 zoned lots can contain buildings up to 4 stories and 15m. There is currently one 4 story building seeking approval. More information on that here.

Over 200 signed the petition at the Dunsborough Market, Jan 9, 2021 and over 150 signed at the December market. We now have over 500 signatures. The goal is to present the petition to council at the Jan 20 meeting. If you didn’t get to the markets, you can download the petition here, fill it out and leave it at Christian Fletcher Gallery, 27 Dunn Bay Rd, Dunsborough or at Text&Co opposite Lions Park. Or you can sign the petition at either venue. Even better, you can pick up a petition or two and get your friends on board. The more names the better chance of limiting the height of the building adjacent to Seymour Park. You must be a City of Busselton ratepayer to sign.

If you would like to help or want more information please fill out the form below. Thank you.