At Wednesday’s committee meeting, the City of Fremantle acknowledged that the stones were becoming scattered throughout the area and onto the grassed section, making mowing hazardous, and there was a belief in the community that the area was unsightly and dusty.
The committee’s alternatives, brought up during three workshops earlier this year, included replacing the crushed rock with reticulated grass, replacing the loose stones with limestone blocks, replacing the 120 litre bins with larger 240 litre bins and planting two Norfolk Pines for shade.
However, councillors expressed concerns over a proposal to replace the stones with grass, saying it was inappropriate in a drying climate.
Cr Jon Strachan said given the community’s tolerance of the City’s other efforts to reduce the reticulation burden presented by large stretches of grass it would be contradictory to approve more.
‘The community is being very good and have accepted that, for us to just go throwing down 350m of grass flies in the face of that acceptance.’
However, Cr Andrew Sullivan said grass would not pose a problem in a different location but that it was inappropriate in a beachfront setting.
‘The idea that the buildings in the foreshore needed to be integrated in a way that reflected that area is a heritage precinct,’ he said.
‘That was supposed to be paved, that design has been on every plan I have seen for more than a decade.’
That part of the decision was ultimately deferred while the replacement of the loose stones for limestone blocks and the three-times-a-year application of dust control was approved.
After the meeting Mayor Brad Pettitt said the City had been requested by the Department of Water to reduce its reliance on reticulation from ground water by 30 per cent.
Corporate Services director Glen Dougall said the city had received feedback that dust and amenity were issues in the area.
Kidogo Arthouse director Joanna Robertson said she thought it was ‘fantastic’ that the City was thinking about laying grass in front of the Arthouse.