Petition to keep City Square kiosks
WHILE the new plan for Coffs Harbour's City Square isn't 'set in stone' it's got affected business owners worried.
The two food kiosks MamaGOTO and Caffeine Central that currently operate in the square, have launched a petition in an attempt to ensure they remain part of any future plan to revitalise the space.
MamaGOTO owner Yukari Keizer was surprised to hear of the latest plan. A concept design previously developed for the square could not be constructed within the budget of the City Centre Special Rate Variation, applied to City Centre property owners.
"I was shocked and a bit offended. I waited until the end of the presentation (to affected business owners by council representatives on the evening of July 3) and asked what I can do to stay and I was told to try and get as much public support as possible."
So she launched a petition in conjunction with Caffeine Central and it already has thousands of signatures.
The plan presented to business owners and which is open for feedback on council's website until Friday August 3 depicts trees and seating where the kiosks currently stand.
Further down towards the Coffs Central shopping centre there are two structures shown on the concept drawing marked as potentially 'restaurant, bar, DJ booth, popcorn stand' and 'digital shade, message centre or illuminated object'.
Council's Director Sustainable Infrastructure Mick Raby has stressed that the latest plan "isn't set in stone" and involved extensive community consultation.
"Six hundred people were interviewed over a couple of months; asked what they like and don't like and how it could be improved. It's our genuine attempt at community consultation."
As a result of this consultation 12 key community values were identified: trees/plants, alfresco dining, markets, wet weather protection, lighting, CCTV, music, colour, more seating/night time events, a shopping directory and directional signs.
While council does not have a "corporate view" on how the final design will look, the consultancy firm tasked with bringing the results of the community consultation together have suggested the square would operate better if the kiosks weren't there.
"Their view is that it's effectively commercial use of what is a public space," Mr Raby said.
The community has until August 3 to have a say here