SUNSHINE Coast Council may shift away from the narrow street subdivision model which had failed to cater for the number of vehicles used by modern households and was now seeing residents daily facing $94 fines for verge parking in front of their properties.
Planning chair Christian Dickson said planning mistakes had been made both in minimum street width for single-lot subdivisions and in minimum parking requirements for multi-residential developments.
He said councillors were now discussing policy changes to fix the issue which would require both wider street widths for new subdivisions and an increase in minimum parking requirements for multi-unit development.
To do so would require a challenge to state government standards and laws but he said the problem could not continue to be ignored.
Cr Dickson said narrow streets were already an issue for emergency services and had become a source of constant complaint from residents.
He said with children continuing to live with parents well into adulthood and some home owners needing to rent rooms to assist them meet mortgage payments, many small-lot properties with narrow streets simply lacked sufficient places to park.
And despite claims to him by developers that they kept streets narrow so they would not lose land to infrastructure which would increase costs, Cr Dickson said the measures had not resulted in any noticeable improvement in housing affordability.
He has joined with his father, One Nation Queensland leader and Member for Buderim Steve Dickson, to urge a change in the law to end the $94 fines for people who park up on the verge in front of their homes as a courtesy to allow safer passage down narrow streets.
The push comes as Avid Property Group general manager Bruce Harper said the company had recognised the issue and subsequently increased street widths at its new Harmony development at Palmview in excess of code minimum standards.
What do you think of verge parking fines?
This poll ended on 24 October 2017.
Scrap them until motorists have a parking alternative
They're tough but it's the law
Park on the verge, you deserve to be fined
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Mr Harper attributed problems in narrower, local streets in part to behaviour but also to development standards.
He said over a number of years and the course of various projects he's been involved in for different companies too narrow streets had caused frustrations for residents.
"If there are issues you try to learn from them," Mr Harper said.
Cr Dickson said the problem had been ignored for too long and accepted his own part in that saying it was time to deal with people being fined daily for parking on the verge as a courtesy to allow maximum space on narrow streets.
Simply fining people for trying to make the best of the situation where they were not affecting safety, punished them for the planning mistakes of others.
Cr Dickson said there were bigger issues at play in relation to affordability and mandated state government growth targets which were driving reduced lot sizes, housing affordability.
"We can start the discussions with verge parking," he said. "$94 fines are not the answer.
"Something needs to change."
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