Glenis and Ian Tomic want to build six villas on their 2000sq m River Avenue block, with two designed as transition housing after hospital or rehabilitation for people who use wheelchairs.
‘We’ve thought about it long and hard, and though it was going to cost more money, I was really passionate about it,’ Mrs Tomic said.
The lot is in central Maddington and therefore subject to an Outline Development Plan (ODP), designed to encourage medium-density redevelopment.
The couple said City of Gosnells planners last year told them they would pay about $36,000 to contribute to roads and public open space in the area.
They bulldozed the house on the property ready to subdivide, but said in June, the council advised the figure was now nearly $200,000.
Over two days, the pair walked the area with a petition to get the fees halved. They collected nearly 100 signatures, presenting them at last week’s council meeting.
They said the fees were unprecedented in City of Gosnells ODPs, inflated because the plan allowed too much open space and unfair as the plan privileged large commercial developers.
Gosnells chief executive Ian Cowie said the proposed fees were higher than past ODPs because redeveloping established areas such as Maddington was different to developing vacant land.
‘The real financial costs of redeveloping existing areas include removal and upgrade of existing services to today’s higher standards,’ he said.
Mr Cowie said the City would examine the question of large developers’ contributions while assessing contributions, which close next Monday.