New Church Point Carpark Changes to Parking Conditions

Below is a letter from SIRA and WPCA to Council and sent to Councillors – please note the amended motion for the meeting on 7 December at the end.

Re: New Church Point Carpark/Changes to Parking Conditions in Local Streets - the Devil is in the Detail

The Offshore Communities are strong supporters of Pittwater Council. On this very significant matter we need your support.  Both the new carpark and the proposed changes to parking rules and regulations for street parking impact on the available number of spaces for Offshore residents.

There are two key issues:

  1. The future availability of parking spaces at Church Point for Offshore residents
  2. Fees and Privately Leased Spaces

At the conclusion of this letter we have taken the opportunity of putting our proposals in the form of amendments to the recommendations in the report Update on Church Point Precinct 1

  1. Future availability of parking spaces at Church Point for Offshore residents

Depending upon how the details are realised, the availability of parking spaces for the Offshore Communities at Church Point may result in the following worst case, or best case scenarios, or somewhere in between:

 WORST CASE SCENARIO
Approx. Year Effective Offshore Resident Spaces1980- 2017 Min. Spaces Lost Max. Spaces Gained Local Carpark Spaces Lost
1980 570 20 Between Waterfront Store and Cargo Wharf
1985 550 15 Between Holmeport and old Bus Turning Circle
1993 535 60 Main Carpark
2000 475 10 Behind Holmeport
2016 465 10 Next to Cargo Wharf (to allow for the new structure)
2016 455 20 One side of Eastview, Quarter Sessions and Baroona
2016 435 75 Effective loss of spaces due to change in parking conditions in Eastview, Quarter Sessions & Baroona
2017 420 60 New Carpark (not including privately leased spaces)

WCSgraph

In the Worst Case Scenario this potential $9.75M project runs a significant risk that it could result in a

net loss of 55 effectively usable parking spaces at Church Point for Offshore residents

BEST CASE SCENARIO
Approx.Year Effective Offshore Resident Spaces 1980 – 2017 Min. Spaces Lost Max. Spaces Gained Local Carpark Spaces Lost
1980 570 20 Between Waterfront Store and Cargo Wharf
1985 550 15 Between Holmeport and old Bus Turning Circle
1993 535 60 Main Carpark
2000 475 10 Behind Holmeport
2016 465 10 Next to Cargo Wharf (to allow for the new structure)
2016 455 20 One side of Eastview, Quarter Sessions and Baroona
2017 555 120 New Carpark (including leased & disability spaces)

BCSgraph

In the Best Case Scenario, depending upon how it is managed, this potential $9.75M project could result in a

net gain of 90 spaces (including the proposed private leased and disability spaces)

To move closer to the Best Case Scenario, six things are required:

i.            The proposal to change approx. 75 spaces in Eastview, Quarter Sessions and Baroona to “4P 8am to 10pm” must be replaced with “4P 8am to 10pm CP Permits Exempt–7 Day Limit”.

Rationale: We understand and accept the proposal to remove approx. 20 spaces from these roads for safety reasons. BUT without CP Permit exemption, these spaces would not be usable forparking over the weekend, for night time shift workers who sleep during the day, for those who do not work every day, or who work from home and people on sick leave from work, etc.  A 7 day limit would prevent vehicles being parked for long periods.

ii.            Privately Leased Spaces (PLSs) 1: Expressions of Interest may be called for, but no agreements for PLSs should be entered into until the project is near completion and final costs are known.

Rationale: The proposed number of PLSs is based upon total projected costs. These costs include a 20% contingency and assumptions about the number of CP Permit fees, etc. Through a consultation process the Offshore Communities may be willing to trade off higher fees for fewer PLSs, once the final costs and necessary fee levels are known (see below on Fees).

iii.            Privately Leased Spaces (PLSs) 2: In collecting expressions of interest, applicants who currently have CP Permits AND who also currently park at CP should be given first priority

Rationale: This will increase the availability of spaces in the carpark areas throughout the Church Point Parking Precinct (including the local roads) rather than introducing additional demand from vehicles that currently park at local marinas, etc.

iv.            Privately Leased Spaces (PLSs) 3: Once the infrastructure loan has been fully repaid, all PLSs should be returned to the public pool of parking spaces

Rationale: The report recommends the continuation of the arrangements for the PLSs indefinitely, even after the loan is repaid. We strongly object to this recommendation and propose that PLSs cease as soon as the loan is repaid.

v.            Church Point Permit Parking only between 6pm to 6am in 50% of main carpark reserve and 100% in the new infrastructure.  Note: this sign may need to say “No Parking  6pm to 6am CP Permit Exempt”

Rationale: Without a significant degree of exclusivity, any gains for Offshore residents will be eroded from additional demand from outside users. It is highly probable that within a short to medium time span, without exclusivity even on workday evenings, it will become increasingly difficult for CP Permit holders to find a parking space, despite paying a significant annual fee.

Note: Page 97 of the Council Report states that Offshore residents satisfy the conditions for an RMS Resident Parking Scheme, as they “have no off street parking or limited off street parking and also have no unrestricted street parking near their residence and the place of residence cannot be easily modified”.  Such schemes can provide local residents with exemption from time limited parking and also within a resident-only parking area.

Note: Such arrangements do not only apply to public roads. In section 11.1 of the RMS Guidelines on Parking Permits it states that “A PPS may be established and operated on road and road related areas following consideration and approval, if necessary, by the relevant authority.”

vi.            As per recommendation 15 in Attachment 6 to the Report, a review of the configuration of all existing carpark spaces and the patterns of usage in the whole Church Point Parking Precinct is undertaken with the view to optimising the number of available parking spaces.

Rationale: There are many opportunities in this area to increase the number of available parking spaces while still maintaining safety and aesthetics. For example, there are a number of“warehoused vehicles” in these back streets or on the foreshore. Parking availability may be increased day to day by limiting the number of days that a vehicle can be parked in the Church Point Parking Precincts.

  1. Fees and Privately Leased Spaces

It is extremely concerning that annual fees have significantly risen from $300 as stated in 2013 to $500 for the 1st permit and $750 for a 2nd. This increases the fees from $600 to $1,250 impacting on families who need two cars to travel to work and raise children, given the limited public transport. The Offshore survey of residents in 2013 used the $300 fee level advertised in Council’s information pamphlet. As residents have not been consulted about the new fee structure, SIRA and WPCA can neither support nor reject this proposal.

The purpose of a Church Point Parking Permit and the Privately Leased Spaces (PLSs), as set out in the Church Point Plan of Management and all following consultations, is to contribute financially to the construction of additional parking infrastructure at Church Point.

In the Report, fee levels and the number of PLSs have been proposed on the basis of several assumptions (e.g. 20% contingency). We have not yet had the opportunity to review Council’s financial spreadsheet, so we are reliant upon our own analysis. Using the information in the Report we have included:

  • Council’s projected number of Permits to be sold (we think, conservative)
  • The new project costing with 20% contingency
  • Council’s new level of CIP contribution
  • An additional $50,000 annual contribution to maintenance (over and above the cost)

With these assumptions based upon 50 Leased spaces, the starting level for the 1st CP Permit need only be $312 per annum (please see accompanying spreadsheet analysis at conclusion).

Differential Pricing:

We do support the immediate commencement of charging the higher recommended fee of $1,000 for non-local purchasers, which has been previously canvassed amongst our community and broadly approved.  As only the Offshore Communities satisfy RMS Guidelines for eligibility of a Resident Parking Permit Scheme (see Council Report Recommendation 4), all other purchasers should be charged the higher rate.

We have not consulted our community about the higher fee for a 2nd CP Permit per household and thus have no mandate to either support, or not support it.

 

KEY POINTS:

  1. With several unknowns, at this stage of the project it is not yet necessary to determine the final level of fees or the final number of required PLSs. There is sufficient starting capital in the CP Reserve Fund and the Council CIP contribution to commence the project up to a stage when more exact final costings can be determined.  As we have said above:
  • Keep fees at the current level until the project is near completion (and actual costs known)
  • No agreements with individuals for PLSs should be entered into until the project is near completion
  • A Community Consultation process should be undertaken to determine if there is a willingness to “trade off” the number of PLSs in exchange for higher fees or by obtaining alternative funding
  1. This project is a Community-Council Partnership. The Offshore Communities have always been willing to be flexible and financially realistic to ensure the best outcome for both partners. In this regard, the process of determining the fees should always be a transparent process with all facts on the table.
  2. With an eye to possible future changes in Council, we would ask that the key components of our understanding be set out in a Memorandum of Understanding. This would capture current, often implicit, understandings for future stakeholders.

Conclusion:

As the culmination of many years work, this project has the potential to significantly contribute to the resolution of a long standing issue. If not managed well it may make little, or no contribution and at a huge cost. The Offshore Communities have a lot of local knowledge on the matter of parking at Church Point and we implore you to take our representations seriously.  We understand the time pressure that Councillors are under, so to assist, we have attempted to capture our above points in a series of amendments to the final recommendations in the Report Update on Church Point Precinct 1.

Suggested Amended Motion

That Council note:

  1. The success of Council’s Local Infrastructure Renewal Scheme funding application for the project, in particular the specific requirements for commencement and completion dates;
  2. The findings and recommendations of the Church Point Parking Demand Management Review prepared by GTA Consultants;
  3. The legal advice in relation to the current Native Title Claim;
  4. The Environmental Impact Assessment undertaken by Pittwater Council under Part 5 of the EP&A Act based on the Review of Environmental Factors (REF) prepared by Arcadis;
  5. The conditions identified in the Environmental Impact Assessment that are to be incorporated into the tender documentation for the project;
  6. The revised cost estimate and the funding model proposed to finance the McCarrs Creek Road realignment, seawall and new carpark project.
  1. That Council support the commencement of the McCarrs Creek Road realignment and new carpark project
  2. That prior to the completion of the project a review is undertaken of the actual and projected final cost to determine more precisely the ongoing financial commitment necessary to fund the project.
  3. That design and construct tenders be invited for the McCarrs Creek Road realignment, seawall and new carpark project.
  4. That a report be brought to Council outlining the recommended tender submission.
  5. That prior to completion of the project, the General Manager call for Expressions of Interest for the annual lease of up to 60 individual spaces within the new carpark based on the annual fees outlined in Section 4.6.3 of this report.
  6. That no Agreements for annual leased spaces be entered into until the project is near completion and a review is undertaken of the projected final cost to determine more precisely the number of privately leased spaces necessary.
  7. That the following recommendations outlined in Attachment 6 be modified:
    1. Recommendation 1: “That the recommendation that Church Point Parking Permits holders are to have exclusive use of 50% of the carpark between 6pm and 6am be referred to the Traffic Committee for review.”
    2. Recommendation 18, last sentence: “That Church Point Parking Permits holders have exclusive use of that portion of the new carpark area between 6pm and 6am that is not privately leased, or is a disability parking space.”
    3. Recommendation 3: “Following completion of new carpark, the number of 4P ‘Pay and Display’ spaces in the Church Point Reserve Carpark to be increased to 10 spaces.”
    4. Recommendations 4 and 7: “A recommendation be made to Council’s Traffic Committee that Church Point residential streets, Baroona Street, Eastview Road and Quarter Sessions Road, be changed to “4P 6am to 10pm Church Point Permit Exempt.”
    5. Recommendation 12: “That the need for the number of 30 minutes spaces necessary for loading and unloading, or alternatively a Loading Zone, on the newly aligned road next to Cargo Wharf be referred to the Traffic Committee for review.”
  8. That Recommendations 9 and 23, as outlined in Attachment 6 in relation to parking tickets and parking permit fees be noted.
  9. That prior to the completion of the project a review is undertaken of the projected final cost to determine more precisely the level of fees that are necessary only for the purpose of meeting the loan repayments for this infrastructure project.  That these fees be incorporated into the Schedule of Fees and Charges in the draft Delivery Program and Budget 2017-2021.
  10. That the General Manager progress discussions with Crown Lands regarding land ownership arrangements related to the future realignment of McCarrs Creek Road and the new carpark.
  11. That the General Manager commences the formal road opening/closure processes under the Roads Act 1993 related to the future realignment of McCarrs Creek Road and new carpark.

 

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