OWNERS of the Rockingham Hotel are fed-up with a long-running battle with the City of Rockingham over the use of their own carpark.
Amanda and Steven Mirco said their carpark was being used by the general public, often at the expense of their business.
They said it was a fight the hotel’s former owner and their father, Peter Mirco, took to the grave in 2015.
“On the weekends and hot days, the carpark is full and yet there may only be 20 or so people in the pub,” Ms Mirco said.
“It’s got to the point where any potential patrons and even our regulars are driving past now as there is nowhere to park.
“Also it is a safety issue as some people are parking in entries and exists and when asked to move, our staff have been abused.
“We contacted the City asking how either charging for parking or using boom gates as a way to control the situation would affect our zoning.
“There would be no charge or restriction to our patrons.”
The Mircos said after contacting the City they were stonewalled.
“In the reply emails, we were told it would be a change of use and need to gain development approval,” Ms Mirco said.
“But then it stated we would not be successful any way as the carpark ‘is not consistent with future development planned for the area’.
“What is the point of submitting a planning application when we would not get it anyway?
“We are not against development – and in this economic climate, development is still a way off – but we need a solution to our problems now.”
The City’s reply appeared consistent with the Mircos’ concerns.
“The major issue is that the carpark proposal would be inconsistent with current policy framework set out under Planning Policy 3.2.5 – Development Policy Plan Waterfront Village Sector (WFV Policy),” the City said.
“I understand the carpark is already there, but the WFV policy does not envisage a ‘carpark’ at this location and there would be concerns with the sterilisation of this land medium/long term.
“The policy framework supports mixed use development in this location.”
A link to the policy document was also included in the reply.
Mayor Barry Sammels strongly denied the Mircos would be unsuccessful.
“Any suggestion that either of these ideas was rejected by the City is totally incorrect,” he said.
“Neither paid parking nor security gates was ‘knocked back’ by the City of Rockingham.
“The fact is no planning applications have been lodged for either of these propositions.”
He also said the City was happy to continue working with the hotel to explore a resolution.
Cr Sammels said a parking strategy study was currently under way but did admit the City relied on the hotel’s carpark.
“The Rockingham Hotel carpark, although a private carpark and not the focus of the study, is clearly a parking resource, which has a bearing on the way in which public parking at Rockingham Beach is used,” he said.
“As a result, the Parking Strategy will consider any recommendations on the proposed management options for the Rockingham Hotel carpark.
“It will also provide recommendations on the action that the City should take in the event that access to this carpark (and other significant private carparks) is rationalised in the future.”