OWNERS of two Carabooda properties in Safari Place have received approval to keep their limestone walls.
On December 8, Wanneroo City Council approved the existing structure application for the property’s 1.5m high front walls, which were built without valid planning approval.
Owner Michael Le told the Community Newspaper Group in mid-2014 that he had submitted an application to the City in 2011.
“They wrote back to us recently to say the application is now refused,” he said at the time.
According to the council report, the owner submitted an existing structure application in August 2014, which the City refused that November.
The City issued building orders in March 2015 for the wall to be demolished, then started prosecution when the owner did not do so.
The owners took the matter to the State Administrative Tribunal in June 2015, which held mediation conferences in September and October.
As a result, the owners agreed to submit new existing structure applications and proposed to change the wall to include “visually permeable openings”.
“The owners of the properties claim that the families living in the houses located at the properties had been subjected to targeted abuse including having a fire bomb thrown at one of the houses,” the report said. “The front fences provide a level of safety for the families living in the houses.”
Although the wall did not comply with the local law, the staff report recommended council approve the application for 102 and 108 Safari Place.
It said the City could exercise discretion based on safety or convenience for people and land clauses because the properties were isolated in a cul-de-sac and the walls did not obstruct any sightlines.
It said if not approved, the matter would have proceeded to an SAT hearing on December 16.
Cr Sabine Winton spoke against the motion, saying the City was within its rights to say the wall should come down.
“It sets a bad precedent for anyone else who wants to put such fencing in rural areas,” she said.
Cr Winton and Cr Samantha Fenn voted against the motion, which passed with majority support.
The properties were the centre of raids involving several government agencies in May 2014.
Realtor Thomas Massam said the Le family had been trying to sell off several properties since late 2014.