Eurobodalla Shire Council has given the green light to rezone 45 parcels of community land across the shire, despite more than one hundred objections.
At yesterday’s ordinary meeting, about 10 people publicly opposed council’s plan to rezone and reclassify 57 parcels of community land to “operational”, and potentially sell to developers.
These vocal objections were on top of 149 submissions when the plan was placed on exhibition – only eight of these were supportive of council’s plan.
The decision to rezone 45 lots but leave the remaining 12 in their current zoning was met with fierce debate in chambers, and one angered resident was asked to leave.
The resident yelled as a staff member was answering councillors’ questions, saying that it was “lies” and was asked by Mayor Fergus Thomson to leave, and he did.
When addressing councillors, residents said development on community land would decrease the value of their homes.
Some questioned what the real financial benefit would be to council, while others said the land may have been surplus to council’s needs, but not to the community’s needs.
Residents of Penthouse Place and Batemans Bay left the meeting upset that a portion of the street’s much-loved Folders Hill lookout will be reclassified and potentially sold.
However, Long Beach, Sunshine Bay and Batehaven residents left satisfied after councillors agreed to take reserves off the chopping board.
Lots that were moved from the plan into the “do not rezone” list include the lot on Blairs Road at Long Beach, the green corridor on Wentworth Avenue at Sunshine Bay, and the reserve on Paul Place, Batehaven.
However, this decision was not made lightly.
Some councillors threw their support behind residents, and questioned if this process was a breach of trust, as some of the community lots were created by developers as part of original development applications, or if there was any big rush to sell the land, as the housing market is currently at a low point.
Planning and Sustainability Services director Lindsay Usher said this was only the plan, and if council was going to sell land in the future, that it would have to be a decision that would ultimately come back to chambers.
The recommendation was passed, with a change to move the three lots on Blairs Rd, Wentworth Avenue and Paul Place from the rezoning list.
All councillors voted for the motion, except Cr Graham Scobie and Cr Chris Kowal.