By Councillor Charles Jago
In May 2023, Canada Bay Council included an item on its agenda for its 16th May council meeting with its recommendations for rezoning across North Strathfield and two other locations also affected by new metro stations. That item (9.3 on the agenda) recommended that the zoning be changed for properties from Pomeroy Street north to Rothwell Street, between George Street and Powells Creek. All the properties in this area are currently zoned (R2) residential with a height of up to 8.5 m. As shown on the map below, Council proposed that all properties in this area be rezoned with a height of 3 to 4 storeys, an increase from the current 2 storeys (8.5 metres) zoning. Council’s intention was to prepare documentation for this change that would be formalised in late 2023 or 2024.
On 13th May, I distributed a letter to houses in that area because I was concerned that some residents in the area did not want that rezoning. Click on the image of the letter on the right to see the full letter.
My letter asked for feedback. I already knew that some residents supported greater height, and some did not. I received 25 responses, which were quite different according to where people live. The table below demonstrates that the majority of responses supported greater density. However, from Warsaw Street to Brussels Street, nobody that I met or who responded to me wanted greater height.
The council meeting on 16th May discussed this matter. The recommendation from Council staff was based on their conclusion that the height increase for all properties from Pomeroy to Rothwell was substantially supported by residents. I did not agree.
In the meeting, I put forward an amendment recommending that the streets from Pomeroy to Brussels be excluded, on the basis that residents were substantially against the increase. I supported the increase from Mena to Rothwell Avenue, because I could see that residents in that area supported the greater height. The plan discussed at the council meeting (see figure 3 on page 27 of the agenda) recommended increased height in an area used different boundaries to those circulated in the community consultation in 2022 (see the map on page 252 in item 9.3, attachment 5).
Unfortunately, other councillors simply supported the recommendation on the paper. None of the other councillors present had talked to the concerned residents about this.
Council staff will now prepare documentation for the zoning change, which will come back to a council meeting in late 2023 or 2024. If residents want changes, we will need to take further action soon.
In my view, some change to this area will be forced on the community, because the new Labor government wants more development around metro stations, whether Council implements rezoning or not. One option would be to include terrace housing, which creates greater density but still only 2-storey. However, I’m interested in your views.
If you are concerned about this, you can still send me an email with your concerns, and/or call me.
I will be recontacting residents to consider further action on this matter.
Here are my contact details:
Councillor Charles Jago
firstname.lastname@example.org, 0403 902 613