Have a say on specific area rating

Additional landscaping for public areas will go to community consultation.
Additional landscaping for public areas will go to community consultation.

Burns Beach Residents Association requested in October a specified area rating (SAR) be established for these extra services, which covers 1156 properties.

For this to happen, 75 per cent of property owners must agree.

At the July 8 council briefing, infrastructure services director Nico Claassen said to ‘encourage maximum level of feedback’ the City would follow up with phone calls in the last week of the 30-day consultation period.

But at last Tuesday’s meeting, Burns Beach Residents Association member Martin Hicks asked why this was no longer in the council document.

‘It wouldn’t be appropriate for City staff to be ringing people encouraging them to participate in the survey,’ chief executive Garry Hunt said.

‘I would see that as an opportunity for the Burns Beach Residents Association, but it’s not something we should be doing because it’s too easy that the commentary made by staff could be misconstrued as pro or anti the proposal and I don’t want to see that challenge made.’

Another association member, Adrian Hill, asked if a non-response would be considered as opposing the SAR.

Mayor Troy Pickard said that would be up to councillors.

‘I think it is fair to say, as a general observation, that people will ordinarily have greater motivation to oppose something and to do something about it than to have motivation to support something and do something about it,’ he said, adding that having to get 75 per cent of property owners to respond in support was ‘a pretty high bar’.

‘I’m pretty confident when the City writes to households to say we can continue to deliver the TLC that Burns Beach receives under Peet for $120 to $150 a year on average, I think most people would say ‘yes thank you’ and those that violently oppose will most certainly let us know in public consultation.’

Cr Tom McLean moved the item with an additional recommendation to request the outcome of the consultation be reported to the council ‘as a matter of urgency’ so if supported, the SAR could be established before December, as opposed to July 2015-16 as was previously proposed.

‘It’s just a great pity the developer of the estate didn’t introduce the special area rating back when the estate was opened up,’ he said.

Mr Pickard said this would ensure the standard of landscaping would not ‘deteriorate to a degree where hundreds of thousands of dollars has to be spent’.

The south-west section of Burns Beach, not part of the Peet Limited development, will be assessed separately to determine if it should also be included in the SAR.