A Goulburn developer says he won't undertake any more local projects following the council's decision not to allow a section of his residential subdivision near an industrial area.
Herb Schuster was speaking after councillors decided at their recent meeting not to proceed with rezoning of land fronting Lansdowne Street from B6 enterprise corridor to R5 large lot residential.
It would have paved the way for 10 lots within his and business partner Bruce Makin's 37-block subdivision on the corner of Lansdowne and Robinson Streets.
The proposal on the old Drive-in site has attracted controversy over several years for its potential conflict with industry in the area. Nearby business owners again aired their opposition at the meeting and in written submissions to a planning proposal and development control plan.
It resulted in councillors voting five-three to only endorse rezoning from B6 to R5 along Robinson Street where they believed there would be less conflict with industry. Ten residential lots will be developed there.
While business owners say it's a welcome compromise, Mr Schuster says he's lost heart after 40 years of building large and small projects in Goulburn.
"I don't think I'll do any more developments in Goulburn. It's not worth it, " he said.
"The decision made is definitely not in the interests of growing the city in a nice way."
Planners argued the B6 zone, suitable for activities like bulky goods retail and warehousing, will create a buffer between Lansdowne Street industries opposite and houses already being built on the subdivision's inner 17 lots.
But Mr Schuster said it wasn't good planning and "not one city in Australia would do anything like it."
"You have industry on one side of the street and residential on the other but you don't put the two together on one block," he told The Post.
He and Mr Makin's company, Simgrow Pty Ltd, has owned the land for 36 years. It was originally zoned industrial and then changed to B6 in 2009. The company only discovered in the past two years that a 2012 council planning amendment, on which it was not consulted, had prohibited residential in the B6 zone.
By late 2018, people had bought some of the 17 lots but could not legally build homes. In an effort to reach compromise and allow housing construction, the council last year rezoned the inner 17 lots to R5 residential.
But the outer land fronting Lansdowne and Robinson Streets has surrounding industry up in arms. Seven owners opposed the rezoning and challenged the ability of an associated development control plan to reduce the impact, when they were publicly exhibited.
They raised noise, traffic safety and the potential for more resident complaints as key issues. Several were worried that if they expanded their business, as they intended, they would have hours restricted.
One claimed that a resident had threatened an employee with a knife during a noise complaint.
Several meetings between the council, the developer and industry have also occurred since the matter was deferred in June.
Grangers Freight Lines owner/director Peter Granger, who spoke during open forum, welcomed the recent decision.
"It's a good outcome given what's happened in the past," he said after the meeting.
"I don't understand why it was ever R5...but all we were trying to do was protect business and maintain safety for people moving in. It is a busy street with trucks coming to and from all day and night. We've also noticed more kids in the area."
Mr Granger pointed out that the council had previously encouraged industry to move to the area. Grangers has been there since 1997.
Boral planning and development manager Rachael Snape also told open forum that the company opposed the residential zoning near their concrete plant. She claimed a consultant's noise report was flawed and mitigation measures proposed in the development control plan were inadequate.
"I ask you to consider that if the situation were reversed and Boral wanted to put an industrial enterprise next to homes, would you say yes and conclude that the noise was no louder than a conversation (as claimed)?" she asked.
'Be consistent,' says consultant
However planning consultant Robert Mowle said the noise report was undertaken by a consultant with 20 years' experience. In addition, the highest noise monitored was 62 decibels, which was "not loud."
"Simgrow has submitted a realistic and practical option to address the ongoing concerns," he said.
These were separation from B6 land to the north of Lansdowne Street, redirecting access from off Lansdowne Street to Robinson Street, site specific controls to maintain residential amenity and reducing the number of lots on Lansdowne Street from ten 1000 square metre blocks to five 2000sqm blocks.
Mr Mowle said it was important for the council to be consistent, pointing to its approval of the Joseph's Gate residential subdivision opposite an industrial area on the "busy" Taralga Road.
Mr Schuster, who has sold double-glazed windows for many years, said noise impacts could be mitigated.
Mayor Bob Kirk agreed the council should be consistent. He said the developer had made several compromises that should be considered.
"I spoke to residents around Theatre Drive (within the subdivision) on the weekend and they have no issue with noise," he said.
"...We have an adequate supply of B6 and industrial land. The businesses there have operating rules in place and this is proposing no change."
He foreshadowed a motion for approval on condition access from Lansdowne Street, via Theatre Drive, was closed and larger lots applied on Lansdowne Street.
But it didn't get past first base. Instead, the majority voted in favour of only allowing residential zoning along Robinson Street and B6 on Lansdowne Street. Crs Kirk, Leah Ferrara and Denzil Sturgiss voted against. Cr Sam Rowland was an apology for the meeting.
The rezoning will be considered as part of an amendment to the LEP.
Separate to the planning proposal, the traffic committee will investigate claims of traffic congestion and on-street parking issues west of Hume Street on Lansdowne Street and look at intersection design.
Mr Schuster said he wouldn't appeal the rezoning decision but argued it wouldn't result in a "high class development."
"I've done everything I can to address concerns," he said.
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