Council answers residents’ call with site rezoning plan
A plan to rezone a Council-owned housing lot on Toulambi Street will give the Noosa Heads site the environmental protections local residents have called for.
Proposed planning scheme amendments will provide Council’s Toulambi Street property with environmental protections.
Mayor Clare Stewart said the rezoning plan, which had unanimous support at Monday’s General Committee Meeting, follows a Council investigation into whether the land had potential as an affordable housing lot.
“While that investigation has found this site may not be the answer to our affordable housing challenges, we do have an opportunity to secure an equally good outcome for the community,” she said.
“We’ve listened to our residents who have told us how much they value the open greenspace this land provides and its connection to Pinaroo Park, plus our own ecological study shows it is home to some koala and glossy black-cockatoo food trees.
“Applying an Environmental and Conservation Zone to the land will give these ecological values recognition and safeguard the site for the future. It also respects residents’ feedback in our recent Liveability Survey, naming environmental protection and management of open spaces among their top priorities.”
Council will rezone the land as part of a future round of planning scheme amendments.
The Council-commissioned ecological report also found that the vegetation on the site served as a protective buffer for more sensitive habitat in adjoining Pinaroo Park.
“While we can’t revisit planning approvals granted by previous councils as far as glossy black-cockatoo habitat is concerned, this action will ensure one area with glossy black food trees is protected from development,” Cr Stewart said.
Councillors also voted to prepare an updated management plan for Pinaroo Park as part of upcoming budget deliberations.
“It’ll give us an opportunity to take a wide review of the park, look at whether there are opportunities for the community to get involved in looking after the area, investigate threats to habitat and generally take a look at the health of the park and how we’re managing it.”
The Mayor said Council would continue to investigate how a Council site at Lake Macdonald Drive Cooroy might provide affordable housing options for the shire, and was looking forward to working with housing provider Coast2Bay to develop other affordable housing solutions.
“We look forward to signing an MoU with Coast2Bay to formalise that partnership.”
Council is expected to ratify the decisions from Monday’s General Committee Meeting on Thursday.