Parking row multi-faceted

Temporary offices have been put on land at the back of the old library, some of which was designated for car parking and which council had said it saved specifically for summer season parking when it negotiated with Aldi.
Temporary offices have been put on land at the back of the old library, some of which was designated for car parking and which council had said it saved specifically for summer season parking when it negotiated with Aldi.

It started as one problem but appears to be a multi-faceted issue as parking proponents press their cases for both temporary and longer-term solutions to Merimbula’s parking issues.

On Wednesday, September 13 the Merimbula Chamber of Commerce meets with council to put forward an extensive list of workshopped proposals that could help ease parking over the summer season.

Concerns reached a critical point after it was obvious Gerald Rawson’s Woolworth development would not be able to meet the conditions of the DA by providing 127 car park spaces by the end of November.

The matter is expected to come to council as it must approve the change of conditions to the DA.

Chamber president Leigh Louey-Gong believes Mr Rawson should provide compensation and any works to improve temporary parking over summer should be at the developer’s cost.

One of the easier proposals to implement was a change from two-hour to three-hour parking in Merimbula to allow people to lunch, shop or visit the cinema. However council’s traffic committee were not keen.

“Council have rejected changing a specific portion of the two-hour parking to three-hour parking because they believed it would make that area too busy. I haven't presented our request to get all two-hour parking changed to three-hour parking yet,” Mr Louey-Gong said on Tuesday. 

In the meantime long-term parking matters and how much council is supposed to provide based on the number of businesses, remain a bone of contention.

Council has now acknowledged in a letter to Merimbula landlord Robert Green that its Merimbula parking analysis contained an error in including on-street parking as part of council’s contribution and only off-street parking should have been counted.

The letter on September 7 comes after the council meeting where councillor Russell Fitzpatrick asked a Dorothy Dixer on car parking in Merimbula saying that councillors had been “inundated with comments”.