Pat Roser on City Hill.
Pat Roser on City Hill.

Green light for Hill sell-off

DAVID Featherstone's impas- sioned plea to keep all of City Hill in the hands of the commu- nity did not save the site from moves to rezone it at Thurs- day's Coffs Harbour City Council meeting. The rezoning would allow the council to sell-off the rezoned eastern half of the City Hill site as surplus land. The sale would help fund the City Park project at Brelsford Park. Cr Featherstone said residents saw City Hill as community land and he didn't know any who would rezone it for medium-den- sity housing, permitted under the proposed zoning. The City Hill site, transferred to the city council by the Feder- al Government for arts and cul- tural facilities, is currently zoned 5A Special Uses. Rezoning would allow it to be used for a child- care centre, aged or disabled housing, education, recreation fa- cilities and other uses as well as multi-unit housing. Cr Featherstone said council's Development Control Plan (DCP) could not control the type of de- velopment on the rezoned land if it was sold and staff should look at the sale of other sites as funding options. He said the development on Brelsford Park would take 20 per cent of that parkland and

council was now proposing to sell another green area to fund the 20 per cent of Brelsford Park being taken away. "I represent the community and I know what they think of selling this land. The staff are putting us up as bunnies," Cr Featherstone said. The mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades, and councillors Clive Joass, Rod McKelvey, Bill Palmer and Ian Ovens voted for rezoning, while Crs David Featherstone, Gavin Smithers and Ian Hogbin op- posed the move. Cr Jenny Bon- field did not attend the meeting. A long-time vocal opponent of selling part of City Hill, Pat Ros- er said the rezoning showed a loss of vision for the cultural future of the city. "Instead of looking to the future and establishing some- thing wonderful and outstanding, we are just filling in the gaps and playing catch-up," Mrs Ros- er said. Former Regional Gallery Ad- visory Committee Chair, Marga- ret Bruggisser, said it was a shame to get rid of any large parcel of green land designed for civic purposes. The Coffs Harbour City Coun- cil general manager, Stephen Sawtell, said the business sector and community had made it clear they wanted civic facilities closer to the city centre.

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