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What we knew on 23/4/18Community and service groups within the Toronto area are strongly opposed to LMCC's proposal to develop the Toronto foreshore – Bath Street land for commercial and tourist operations.
Seven options were put forward by LMCC’s Property Investment Committee on April 9th including doing nothing, building 2,4 or 6 levels of accommodation/retail, a joint venture with RMYC and allocating the land for community purposes as part of the foreshore masterplan redesign.
LMCC’s preferred option is to develop the valuable foreshore land into 4-6 levels of tourist accommodation and retail space.
The community groups preferred option is to not proceed with any redevelopment and allocate the land for community purposes of consolidation into their overall foreshore masterplan redesign in 2018/19.
The reasons supporting the community option are :
- Previous elected Councils of Lake Macquarie (and most of the State) have worked hard to acquire foreshore land for the establishment of Parkland in these sensitive waterfront areas. Council’s own policies and State Government Legislation is aimed at protecting the immediate foreshore zone.
- Lake Macquarie Council acquired a significant number of private foreshore properties in this nominated area (many of these displaced people still live nearby) on the understanding that the land acquisition was for the betterment of the Community and to become Parkland.
- Council is the only agency that has the legislative capacity to acquire and provide for community parkland. If this land is developed it will be lost to the community.
- The Community, through Landcare and Local Service Clubs with grants from public monies has worked hard to improve this subject area as Parkland.
- The Foreshore Park is regularly utilised by the community, for markets special events and increasingly active recreation. The overcrowding and associated car parking problems experienced at the events, detract from the benefits of the community experiences.
- The $1million of rate payers money to develop LMCC’s proposal to DA stage would be better spent on improving community services and supporting existing businesses instead of increasing the pressure and demand on existing infrastructure
Parking for recreational activities
- Toronto currently suffers from an inadequate number of car parking spaces and a section of the subject land on Bath Street, located well back from the waterfront, provides informal parking for residents visiting and working in the Toronto Township and utilizing local facilities.
- Throughout Lake Macquarie where boat ramps exist there is provision for parking. The informal parking currently provided at Bath Street supports the local community to pursue aquatic and recreational activities and untimed parking.
Provision for Population growth
- Council’s figures show Toronto will experience a 20% growth in population to an estimated 36,899 by the year 2030. LMCC’s Development Contributions Plan for Toronto (p31) states the future population will “generate additional demand for open space and recreation facilities and this demand will require additional open space and embellishment of existing facilities to cater for the increased pressures on those existing facilities.”
- The Toronto Town Centre Plan (p5) states that Toronto “is not served well by pedestrian connection or adequate gathering places”.
- In comparison to other lakeside townships Toronto has one the least amounts of public foreshore available for recreation with approx. 200m sealed and 300m of track for pedestrians.
- Warners Bay has 8.9km of pedestrian - bike track from Eleebana to Booragul
- Belmont has 440m of constructed lakeside path
- Rathmines has 1.8km of track and path along the foreshore
- Wangi has more than 4km foreshore publically accessible
- Morisset peninsula is well catered for with more than 6km of public foreshore
- As a major service centre with a higher than average age limit, flat accessible walking surfaces are key to positive ageing and maintaining mobility.
Non compliance with DCP Town Centre Area Plan
- LMCC plans include putting a road across the railway/cycleway to connect Arnott Avenue to the Victory Pde roundabout. This would deactivate the public land and create a barrier at the entrance to Toronto’s Public land and runs contrary to LMCC’s Town Centre Area Plan which states “development proposals must not disturb or otherwise alter the landform related to the construction and operation of the Toronto-Fassifern rail line
- The vista from Victory Parade and Bath St according to LMCC’ Toronto Centre Area Plan ‘should not be detracted from’ by the scale height and form of future development. LMCC’s 4-level proposal is not compatible with the residential scale of historical development along the lake foreshore a requirement of the DCP Area plans for Toronto (p11).
There's lots you can do to help!
The Council's report on the Toronto Foreshore & Bath Street Property Development Potential contains the details of the LMCC proposal and recommendations.