The new Ocean Street Party will be held on the first Friday of every month.
The new Ocean Street Party will be held on the first Friday of every month. Contributed

Night life hotspot overlooked in 'ludicrous' decision

OCEAN Street's main operator has questioned why the Coast's major night life hotspot has not been included as a designated entertainment precinct in a proposed planning change.

Solbar owner Dimi Limnatitis was dumbfounded by the decision when he spoke to the Daily.

He said he couldn't understand why the street, which had been transformed over nearly a decade into a thriving night life and cultural hub, had not been included in the planning scheme amendments proposed by the Sunshine Coast Council.

He was joined by restaurateur Scott Hoskins on ABC radio Friday morning, when they called for the council to release its reasoning for the omission.

"Shocked more than anything," Mr Limnatitis said.

"I was very, very surprised."

 

Proprietor of Solbar Dimi Limnatitis wins Peoples Choice Award for best regional venue at the Queensland Music Awards.
Proprietor of Solbar Dimi Limnatitis wins Peoples Choice Award for best regional venue at the Queensland Music Awards. John McCutcheon

"We don't even know why," Mr Hoskins said.

Mr Hoskins questioned a council statement released last week inviting public submissions on the proposed changes, which included a line about deleting the existing hospitality areas in Maroochydore, Nambour, Caloundra and Mooloolaba "to reduce potential overlap and confusion with the proposed new special entertainment precincts".

The proposed new precincts are in Nambour and a small part of the new Maroochydore CBD.

The designations would mean entertainment venues within the new precincts were exempt from amplified music noise requirements of the State Government's liquor licensing laws.

It also meant changes to planning laws which balanced the needs of music venues with those of residents and commercial operators.

Mr Limnatitis feared the changes were introduced to remove any competition for future venues in the new CBD.

"We don't want any favours... just don't make it harder, that's all we're asking," he said.

Councillor Greg Rogerson described the decision to overlook Ocean Street as an entertainment precinct as "absolutely ludicrous".

A council spokesman said Ocean Street had been proposed as a food and music precinct and not as an entertainment precinct due to its proximity to existing residential and tourist accommodation.   The spokesman said the proposed amendment didn't impact on current noise regulation or council's permit process for Ocean Street activities.   Public submissions on the proposed amendments close on Friday, November 9.


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