Pittwater Council will be making their final decision whether to accept tenders to proceed with construction for the additional parking at Church Point on the evening of Monday March 7.

A brief survey to all members has been distributed by email to determine community views on two essential matters.

Please come along to this community meeting to discuss these matters.

Below you will find a list of topics we would like to hear the community’s opinion about. Firstly we would like to discuss these during the Forum on Sunday and subsequently ask the community’s opinion via a survey.

Quick Background (in case you are new to the subject):

In 2009 a plan of management was adopted for Church Point with one of the objectives to provide benefits to the offshore community. In 2013, Pittwater Council adopted a design for additional car parking infrastructure at Church Point. The additional infrastructure provides 120 spaces, however a number of spaces will be lost due to configuration changes of the area.

Although the Offshore Communities largely welcome the new infrastructure, there is the realisation that the extra car parking will attract more visitors and car parking will continue to be an issue for offshore residents. This is why the offshore resident associations have been lobbying for priority parking.

We need the community to speak out on the issue and the forum on Sunday is designed to discuss these matters. We will follow up with a Survey and a request that you as residents write to Council highlighting that our community members need to receive the benefits they deserve.

1)    Parking Priority for Offshore Community between 6pm and 6am

The rationale for asking for this is as follows:

  • The Offshore Communities (through the fees and leasing) are the major financial contributors to this expensive project.
  • The Offshore Community has no off-street parking available to them and therefore providing a parking scheme is justified
  • We do not want the increased capacity that these additional parking spaces make available for local residents accessing their homes to be lost through attracting more non-local residents and patrons to park at Church Point in the evenings.

How many spaces should be priority parking for offshore residents?

SIRA and WPCA committees have chosen a number of 300. This would include all of the spaces in the current car park (except some that are 4P or disability parking) and some in the new car park.

2)    Preferred Parking Conditions in local streets

The local back streets (Eastview, Baroona and Quarter Sessions) currently have no parking restrictions and are used by offshore residents, for two reasons:

  • Residents who do not have a Church Point Parking Permit (CPPP)
  • Residents who have a Church Point Parking Permit but who have not been able to find a spot when returning home.

At an absolute maximum these local back streets can fit up to 110 cars.

A proposal by Council staff was put before Council in December 2015 and was not adopted by Council at the time. It was sent back to Council staff for them to review and then resubmit to Council at a later time (presumed to be sometime in April).

That proposal had two parts, the first part was to introduce no-parking in places where the streets are too narrow to allow parking on both sides – it is estimated that this would remove approximately 15 spaces and was generally consider necessary for safety. The second part was to introduce and 4P parking (from 6am to 10pm) in the remainder of the places (approx. 95).

As it stood that would mean that while it would be possible to park there overnight, all vehicles would have to be moved by 10 am. While thus not strictly unusable, these spaces would in a sense be lost for offshore residents for parking over the weekend, or if you were not going off the next day.

The counter proposal that SIRA/WPCA committees have put forward is to make the 4P spaces exempt for CPPP holders. It is unfortunately hard to argue against the removal of the unsafe parking places.

What we need to discuss is whether there is general community preference for the SIRA/WPCA proposal. Two other  options are:

  • Status Quo (except the loss of the no-parking places)
  • 4P Pittwater Council Sticker exempt. Please note that since there is an impending merger of councils, this may mean a much larger catchment.

It is important to realise that the residents in these local back streets will have influence on this decision as they are directly affected. The SIRA Committee has approached the onshore resident associations to ask for their support. We think they probably would support a change (no status quo), but the question is whether they agree to the CPPP exception or would rather have the broader Pittwater Residents exception.

3)    Who can purchase a Church Point Parking Permits?

Currently, CPPP are offered for sale to anyone who would like to buy one. This has obviously consequences for the number of people competing for car parking at Church Point. The SIRA committee’s rationale for proposing it should be Offshore Residents only is that they are the people that qualify for a resident parking scheme (they have no off-street parking) and are in the highest need. Besides, it would put a cap on the number of permits available.

The following other options have also been discussed:

  • Postcode 2105 only
  • Postcode 2105 only, but only if there is proof no off-street parking is available
  • All but higher price for non-offshore. For this option there is a second consideration: how much should the price for non-offshore be relative to the offshore price?

4)    4P spaces in the main carpark

In the last proposal that was put before Council and was not adopted at the time, the proposal was to increase the number of 4P spaces in the current car park from 9 to 20.

The SIRA/WPCA Committees have proposed that there is no increase of these 4P spaces as they would increase the competition for car parking spaces and therefore reduce the number available to offshore.

5)    Higher Price for 2nd and subsequent vehicles

Currently, the Council’s budget assumptions include a CPPP fee of $500 for the first car per household to a fee of $750 (50% higher) for a second and subsequent cars. The rationale is that this will put pressure on households to have less cars. This will affect the household budgets for a number of offshore families. Our discussion could focus on the following alternatives:

  • No, but this would push up the average Fee price to about $555 to ensure the Council’s budget assumptions
  • Yes, but not 50% higher. The question would be how much higher? The consequence is that a lower second car fee will push up the price for all permit holders.
  • Another strategy is to request a one year hold off (i.e. not introduced till September 2018) of charging the higher fee for the second vehicle. This allows Council to see if more than the budgeted 450 CPPPs are sold. Because if 500 or more are purchased at $500 then mathematically you don’t need the higher second vehicle fee.

i) 350 x $500 = $175,000  &  100 x $750 = $75,000 (total $250,000)

ii) 500 X $500 = $250,000

6)    Willingness to trade higher fees for less Privately Leased Spaces (PLS)

The current Council Budget Assumptions include 50 PLSs in the new carpark (out of a total of 120 spaces). These will be leased to residents and/or businesses who are prepared to pay an annual fee of $5000.

The Pros for the PLS are that the fees for CPPP holders can be kept lower to make the budget balance and also if the leased spaces are sold only (or primarily) to people who currently have a CPPP and park in the carpark these cars will then be moved out of the general parking areas into the leased spaces. .

The Cons are that these spaces will be less than 100% utilised at times. For example, when all other spaces are occupied, lease holders may not be home and therefore there would be parking spaces empty, while other residents are still looking for a place to park. The other disadvantage is that it in part privatises the area.

There is a possibility to reduce the number of leased spaces by increasing the fees for CPPP. The rule of thumb is that each $10 increase could result in the reduction of 1 leased space. For example, if the number of leased spaces is reduced to 40, the CPPPP fee would be $600.

There are other ways of reducing the leased spaces while balancing the budget, for example, increasing the lease fee. With a lease fee of $6000, a $20 increase of CPPP fee could reduce the leased spaces to 40.

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