DEPUTY Mayor Cameron Schuster’s push to open up the City of Melville’s verges for parking appears destined for the scrapheap.
Councillors voted to defer the adoption of an updated local parking law at its August council meeting, based largely on a desire to review an existing clause that forbids drivers from parking on local verges without permission from the abutting landowner or resident.
The deferral motion was hotly debated but ultimately carried 7-6, allowing councillors to discuss the issue at length at an elected members’ information session.
Councillor Schuster said it became apparent during that meeting that he did not have the support required to repeal or amend the verge parking clause.
“On certain busy roads, and I use Coogee Road where I live as an example, the law forces people to drive on the wrong side to avoid parked cars,” he said.
“While that is a safe activity when done properly, I’ve seen many drivers that do it at pace to try and beat the oncoming traffic.
“I don’t think it is an issue that affects suburban cul-de-sacs or very quiet roads, but for roads like Coogee and Coomoora, having vehicles parked on the roadside can be dangerous.
“I would only look at changing the law on roads that exceed a certain number of vehicle movements per day and believe a compromise like two-wheel verge parking could work.
“However, at the information session essentially nobody else agreed with my point of view and so I’ve decided to drop it.”
City of Melville chief executive Shayne Silcox said it was accepted practice among local governments that verge parking only occur with the permission of the property owner.
“Many City of Melville residents spend a lot of time maintaining their verge area which adds significant value to the City as a whole and improves the feel and amenity of the local area,” Dr Silcox said.
“It is both common practice and courtesy to those residents that they should be able to control parking on the verge they look after every day.
“The current laws provide owners with some rights to maintain the amenity directly in front of their property which helps to protect assets, such as sprinklers, from any unnecessary damage.
“Should this right not be available to the property owners it could be expected that we would see an increase in complaints.”