Degens: Change Hwy business zones
MAYORAL candidate Rodney Degens will not rest when it comes to changing the business zoning for the Pacific Hwy between Beryl and Orlando Streets.
Cr Degens moved at the Coffs Harbour City Council meeting held on July 26 to change the current zoning from B-6 to B-4, claming the current zoning was threatening the viability of current businesses by limiting their futures.
The motion was voted down by every other Councillor present at the meeting but Cr Degens is continuing the fight to have the business zoning for the strip changed.
"The application of the B-6 business zone along the Pacific Highway is virtually unique to Coffs Harbour," Cr Degens said.
"No other council has weakened this zone to the extent that Coffs Harbour has.
"We have a business zone along the highway that has huge potential for medium scale, mid range development, but it has been screwed down by councillors to almost zero, with no parallel state wide and with no justification."
Cr Degens pointed the finger square at his fellow councillors for what he believes for failing to take advantage of an enormous opportunity.
"Current councillors are all for protectionism. Protection of the Coffs Harbour CBD," he said.
"And we have been protecting the CBD now for 40 years straight."
The Councillor's determination on this issue was galvanised last week when he attended the economic launch presentation run by the country's leading commentator and advisor to corporate Australia on consumer, cultural and demographic trends Bernard Salt.
Mr Salt took a took a long hard look at Coffs Coast statistics and asked what opportunities his observations created for the region's economy.
Cr Degens believes changing the business zoning along the Pacific Hwy should be a top priority when it comes to taking advantage of the opportunities.
"Salt's description of Coffs Harbour was 'we have everything we need to become a defacto regional capital city of Northern NSW'," the Councillor said.
"The list included the regional airport, the Highway connection, the NBN rollout, the central location between Sydney and Brisbane, a port, you name it. But this all means nothing if appropriate development is prohibited in Coffs Harbour."