McLean Avenue

???????????????????????????????With the new traffic flow on Fullers, we now turn right into McLean Avenue. McLean is on a rise and it is impossible to know if someone is coming the other way. The road is wide enough for 3 cars.

What is crazy is although there is space prior and past the rise, yet cars (and they seem to be the same cars) park on the rise!!

Surely the needs of one family to save on 10m of walking is not worth the inconvenience and safety of the many ?

Can one side be made a NO  STOPPING zone.  

 Having a no parking makes no sense with a time limit, it is only in complete darkness would you get the aid of on coming headlights,

i.e. after 6pm or before 8:30am in summer means no lights.

Then when you get down to the corner, with greater visibility both during the day and at night, there is a NO STOPPING.

The councils logic makes no sense.

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Council’s Long Term Financial Plan

Along with most other Councils in the State, under current funding models, Willoughby’s operational deficit is unsustainable. The average infrastructure backlog across the State is $1,000 per capita. Willoughby’s infrastructure backlog is estimated to be between $500 – $1,000 per capita. This is the cost to bring Willoughby’s infrastructure back to an acceptable level.

MEASURES TO ADDRESS LONG TERM FUNDING NEEDS

New income sources: The Long Term Financial Plan proposes a series of new income sources that have been explored and some that have yet to be considered in detail. They include income from parking meters under the Parking Management Strategy reported to Council in October, income from bus shelters through the new contract and potential for stand-alone advertising panels in the CBD and possibly other centres.

Savings measures: Further to this Council has embarked on a Service Review project. The aim of the Service Review is to identify organisational efficiencies, improve performance, improve service delivery, and to create overall cost savings. The Service Review project will undertake an analysis of Councils services, systems, processes, work streams, resources and overall costs, with a review of market based comparisons for some relevant services.
From an original analysis, Council Officers believe that an initial savings of $1M can be attained. Staff also believe, however, that further revenue raising opportunities may fall out of the Review as well as opportunities for savings through regional collaboration with other Councils.

Special rate variation: The ‘rate peg’, which controls the amount NSW Councils can increase rates in order to cover price increases, is set each year by IPART. If a Council wishes to raise their rates above the ‘rate peg’ they must make an application to IPART for a special rate variation. IPART makes a judgement on these applications on a condition that they meet the criteria of being “realistic, justifiable and affordable for ratepayers” (IPART fact sheet, 2013). There are a variety of reasons a Council may wish to apply for a special rate variation. These include improving infrastructure, addressing a maintenance backlog, to pay for new capital works or reduce operating deficits. Special rate variations may be granted on a permanent or temporary basis.
Key dates & figures

In order to apply for a Special Rate Variation it is required that final applications be submitted to IPART online and in hard copy before the 24th February 2014. Subject to the Council’s consideration of the outcome of the community consultation, an application could seek the following increase in rate revenue in order to address the funding needs identified in the Resourcing Strategy beginning in the financial year 2014/15:
Year 1 Income $2 – 2.5M
Year 2 Income $3.5 – 3.7M
Year 3 Income $4.5 – 4.8M
Year 4 Income $5.5 – 6.0M
Year 5 Income $6.5 – 7.0M

In order to achieve this income the increases in rates, based on a 2.3% Rate Peg as indicated by IPART for 2014/15 (and potentially subsequent years), would be:

The Concourse
Comments have been raised during community consultation relating to The Concourse and whether it has had any impact on rates or Councils financial position. The model used to fund The Concourse was designed to have minimal impact on residential rate payers. In 2004 a special rate variation was applied to businesses in the CBD increasing business rates by 10%. This was justified given the increase in commercial activity in the Chatswood CBD generated by the construction and opening of The Concourse.
The construction of The Concourse was funded from existing Council reserves, property and car park sales/long term leases, s94 Contributions, grants and loans. The loans are serviced by $1 million debt servicing provision, from annual parking fine income (set aside as part of The Concourse funding plan), the special rates variation levied in the Chatswood CBD, s94 Contributions and a proportion of operating surplus if available.

All ongoing costs of The Concourse including maintenance are paid for with income generated by retail and commercial rent for premises on site on The Concourse. The proposed SRV application for 2014/15 will not be used to pay for The Concourse or for any ongoing costs associated with The Concourse.

Mowbray Rd Improvements – Update

The installation of the pedestrian refuges on Mowbray Road is not related to the traffic works proposed as a result of the rezoning on the Lane Cove side of Mowbray Road. The pedestrian refuges are part of the package of works which were tied to the Local Area Improvement Plan for Mowbray prepared in conjunction with the Lane Cove Tunnel project. The pedestrian refuges were the subject of widespread community consultation at the time the Local Area Improvement Plan was prepared. The installation of the refuges has been approved by both Council through the Local Traffic Committees and installation has always been tied to the completion of the traffic signals at Mowbray Road and Beaconsfield Road. Now that those signals are installed there was no impediment to installation of the refuges which have been long awaited by Willoughby Council. The refuge work is being managed by Lane Cove council and funded by RMS.

The refuges do not conflict with the proposed traffic control measures linked to the Rezoning work. An exception to this was the refuge proposed near Hatfield St which is not being installed at this time given that the intersection is proposed to become a signalised intersection with pedestrian phases over Mowbray Road.

Council has not yet determined its position in regard to the traffic measures proposed in conjunction with the Mowbray Road rezoning. To assist Council in determining its stance we are currently in the process of engaging a traffic consultant to assist us with the following.

  • review of the works proposed by Lane Cove for the efficacy and impact on Willoughby residents
  • review traffic counts data (volume, speed, direction and turning movements) in Coolaroo, Felton, Hart, Dalrymple,  in addition to the intersections outlined in the Lane Cove Council report.
  • Analyse crash histories in the subject streets
  • Prepare recommendations for changes to proposed works or for additional works for this precinct
  • Submit a draft report for review.

Once this is complete we propose to commence an engagement process that seeks community feedback on the proposed changes and consideration of our findings of the above work. We will ensure that every household in the area is notified and would be prepared to attend a West Ward progress Association meeting to present both the Lane Cove Study and our response to it. Both documents would be available for review by the community.

Feedback from the community will be considered and included in a report to Council, via the Willoughby Traffic Committee that will allow Council to adopt a position on the matter.

Large maintenance projects – West Ward lucks out (again)

decrepitbuilding

Council is seeking a Special Rate Variation (SRV) in an attempt to address decades of neglect of its physical assets such as stormwater drains, some sportsgrounds, buildings and bridges. Over the next 5 years, Council officers have identified over $17 Million of critical maintenance projects.

Council has presented two scenarios for consideration.

Option 1 – No change to rates, would see a reduction in services (such as libraries, leisure and community centres and further deterioration of physical assets.

The SRV option 2 plans to raise the money to cover the identified $17M deficit.

What Council has done poorly in arguing the case for a SRV is clearly identifying on what and where the money raised will be spent. For instance:

There is $1.6M needed for sportsgrounds. Of this, 50% is for a single ground (Wills Tennis Courts). There is only one small project in West Ward, $80K to convert the Chatswood High School courts to a multi-use surface.

There is over $3M slated to maintain parks. West Ward would receive a paltry $100K for the Rotary athletic field.

Around $8M is projected for Buildings.This includes significant funds for buildings at Chatswood Oval and the Dougherty Centre, although it can be argued that these are ‘city-wide’ projects rather than relating to West Ward specifically.

Monies for footpaths, Kerb & Gutter, Bridges and stormwater are not broken down by project.

When the CBD projects are excluded there is only around $400K of projects within the West Ward.

Why would a WestWarder vote in favour of the Special Rate Variation based on the current list of proposed works?

$6M windfall – at what cost ?

harryT

The Land & Environment Court has handed down its decision on the Meriton site in Albert Ave (the old Thomas St Carpark). The site was originally purchased by Meriton for $50M. It came with an approval for two primarily residential towers of  29 and 23 storeys. Meriton lodged a new Planning Proposal seeking approval for  47 and 37 storeys. The application went in front of the NSW Department of Planning who suggested heights in between might be appropriate. The Department referred the matter to the Planning Assessment Committee (PAC). The PAC found that the new Planning Proposal lacked merit and refused the application. Meriton then appealed to the court.

The Court has approved a modified application of  twin towers of 33 and 38 storeys on the Thomas Street car park site.

Rat runs

ratrun1

Continuing to my Dec 17th email to you Mrs .Berejiklian, I noticed in the last week RTA workers have been “narrowing”

 Mowbray Road between Dalrymple Avenue and Pacific Highway.

It is incredible that they implement “pedestrian crossings” and the narrowing of Mowbray Road to ONE LANE at two sections of Mowbray Road. This will eventuate in more build up of traffic during peak and also Sat peak periods. It will ALSO result in the “filtering” of more traffic into Coolaroo Road and Dalrymple Avenue to avoid the sure to happen traffic jams caused by the narrowing of Mowbray Road to ONE LANE.

Whose brilliant idea is this as that person/persons have no consideration of the people who live along the routes which will experience an increase in traffic through the “rat route” to Chatswood.

Can you really HELP your constituents along the “back roads” to Chatswood???????

We sincerely hope so.