Councillors defer decision on CBD height limits
COUNCILLORS have deferred their decision on increasing the height limitations on buildings in the CBD.
Instead they supported a motion put forward by councillor Keith Rhoades to conduct a session during, which six buildings would be identified and the exact options for each one considered.
"Personally I wasn't comfortable approving it at this stage," Cr Rhoades said.
The report before Coffs Harbour City Council, which suggested height limits be increased from 17m to 44m emphasised the need for additional local planning controls to ensure that a 'positive urban design outcome is realised for the city centre' particularly in relation to the potential impact more high rise buildings might have on natural light.
The report suggested that for buildings above eight storeys the design should avoid large continuous perimeter-blocks which would cut out natural light and ventilation.
"We have to ask ourselves 'are we being too restrictive?' There's no point in passing something if it's not going to work so councillors will pick half a dozen buildings and see what's in and what's out if they were going for the full 44 metres, but it's not going to happen if it's too restrictive or cost prohibitive," Cr Rhoades noted.
The height increase if approved would apply to buildings in the 'CBD Core area' bounded by the Pacific Highway, Vernon Street, Earl Street and Park Avenue.
The report also recommended an increase in the maximum floor space ratio for buildings within that same core area.
At the same meeting Councillor Paul Amos raised the possibility of waiving development contributions for residential development in the city centre.
It was resolved that: 'a report be prepared outlining opportunities for activating the city centre by waiving development contributions for residential development in the Coffs Harbour City Centre in the short term'.