BOBTAIL lizards in a protected rear laneway are again holding up residents asking to tarmac the old route originally built for sewage carts in Cottesloe.
Narrow right of way 21 (ROW 21), running east between Florence and Eric streets, was removed from the council’s program of sealing laneways after a child’s petition asking to protect bobtails several years ago.
Cottesloe has 55 sealed laneways, while 23 remain dirt and grass close to their original form, but clashes of community values occur when people wish to use the lanes for rear vehicle access or subdivisions.
“The laneway had tress and gardens established for 30 years, where children play games in our lanes with friends, and we desperately need for green spaces to stop heat sinks,” resident Mary Pratt said at the Cottesloe council meeting last night.
In September, residents in nearby Eric and Florence streets petitioned asking for the exemption on ROW 21 to be lifted, citing winter flooding from narrow route, after the council allocated $68,000 for the job in its 2018-19 budget.
However, the council’s laneway policy requires two-thirds of any group of affected residents to approve they may be charged higher rates as a result of the sealing work, and a staff report said the petition did not refer to the condition.
“All that we have heard is 37 submissions suggesting the sealing and 15 against it, and the Town of Cottesloe needs to follow its own policy and undertake it’s own community consultation,” Cr Sally Pyvis said.
Cr Young said if the child’s petition was valid several years ago, then those sent recently should also be adequate for the council to make a decision for those ratepayers asking for it to be sealed, of which there are 55.
“These residents aren’t asking for a privilege, they are asking to be treated like everyone else in Cottesloe,” Cr Young said.
It was agreed to ask all residents on ROW 21 whether they would like it sealed and their support for any differential rate, give them 14 days to object, obtain initial designs and review the laneway sealing policy.