By MEL MARTIN
JOAN Reynolds knows exactly what she wants to see at the harbour ?- a Darling Harbour for Coffs Harbour, with less concrete and more grass, and minus the huge mall.
As far as she is concerned, what the harbour needs is a tourist-friendly pedestrian strip of restaurants and cafes along the reserve and the marina relocated from the Jetty Strip.
But most importantly, she wants carparks removed from the foreshores to a two-storey carpark built along the railway line.
"What upsets me the most is all those carparks along the harbour," Mrs Reynolds said.
"Most sit empty, and look at the view these cars are looking at.
"That harbour is one of the best harbours on the planet and it could be done beautifully, but you go to the Tide and Pilot and you're sitting in the middle of cars."
Mrs Reynolds grew up in Coffs Harbour and remembers the harbour of 60 years ago, where she spent many hours with her father.
Pointing to photos she still has from that era, she says the vegetation that line the beach was not there and should be removed to highlight water views.
Having spent many years in Sydney when Darling Harbour was being built, before returning to this region, Mrs Reynolds believes Coffs Harbour could learn from the Sydney experience.
"If you go to Darling Harbour, there is not a car in sight," she said.
"We need walkways, parks, restaurants and cafes where people can enjoy the view.
"You could even have a little train, like Darling Harbour's.
"And we need lighting all along so that people can come out at night and feel safe.
"Think of all the Pittwater to Coffs Yacht Race participants, there is nowhere classy for them to go to."
But she wants no accommodation whatsoever east of the railway line, be it residential or tourist.
"I would like to see it as totally recreational," she said.
"Relocate the Jetty Strip into the harbour, and give it the developers for accommodation."
To her, the old quarry site would be an ideal spot for an outdoor concert venue, or to host events like the Food and Wine Festival.
"Obviously, this is just one idea, and hopefully more people will come forward and put in submissions to Coffs Harbour City Council."