THE Cao Dai Association of WA can continue to operate in Girrawheen following support from Wanneroo councillors.
The association had sought retrospective development approval for a change of use to place of worship and building additions at its adjacent Bardsley Avenue properties.
A City of Wanneroo report presented at the August council meeting said officers became aware of the need for applications after the land- owners asked to use Bardsley Park for event parking last December.
It found the association had been operating from the homes for “a number of years” but had no record of complaints.
Feedback on the proposal garnered one anonymous objection, which was concerned about the number of people attending, traffic congestion and believed there were other areas more appropriate for the facility.
The report said there was sufficient on-site parking and though it noted the owner intended to seek overflow parking for its events, included a condition requiring this.
The City estimated that despite additional traffic the road would still operate well under its capacity, and believed the land use was appropriate for the area.
It raised concerns about the paved verge so recommended conditions requiring one tree be planted per lot and submission of landscaping and reticulation plans.
The City will also further investigate the paved area as it exceeds the allowed amount and “any action necessary will be undertaken to rectify the issue”.
Cr Samantha Fenn said she was pleased the association’s operation was formalised as it had a long history in the community with no problems and Cr Brett Treby described it as an “outstanding example of community cohesion”.
Cr Nguyen acknowledged ignorance was not an excuse but believed approval should be granted as the association president and members struggled with a language barrier and were not aware they had to seek approval.
“As soon as they were made aware they took steps to meet requirements,” he said.
Councillors unanimously supported approval subject to eight conditions including operating hours of 10am to 8pm daily with a maximum of 12 patrons.
The association can hold three religious events per year for no more than 30 people.