Councillors battle over reasons to defer DA decision
DEVELOPERS waiting for approval of a DA for a multistage development of Yamba's iconic Pacific Hotel must wait a little longer.
Council's environment, planning and community committee voted to defer the item, but there was a spirited debate on why to defer.
There is decade of development proposals for the hotel, which have been conditionally approved but not acted on.
Cr Greg Clancy more to defer the item the March committee meeting so councillors could inspect the site because issues including parking, variation to height limits, drainage and landslip.
But Cr Andrew Baker also moved to defer so council could receive a photo montage of the development that complied with Land and Environment Court standards.
Cr Clancy was happy to include Cr Baker's foreshadowed motion into his own, but this was knocked back.
He questioned the need for a site visit as everything necessary to make a decision was available to councillors in reports, except for the photo montage of the site.
Neighbours objecting to the proposal said the photo montage the developers rely on does not reach the standard required in the Land and Environment Court.
Council EPC director Des Schroder agreed the montage was not to that standard and could pose a problem for the developer.
He said all other issues had been dealt with in the council report.
Cr Clancy said the debate had complicated what he thought was a simple motion, to allow councillors to visit the site.
Cr Baker was concerned more delays could place more onerous conditions on the developer.
The only reason he moved to defer was to ensure the objectors received due process over the photo montage issue.
Cr Richie Williamson moved an amendment, bringing the two issues together, noting the photo montage issue would be lost if Cr Clancy's original motion succeeded.
Mayor Jim Simmons expressed surprise a site visit had not been scheduled for this item.
"From my point of view, I need to have a look at the site," he said. "I don't get to the Pacific Hotel that often, so I've got no idea of picturing the heights and other issues raised."
Cr Clancy said a site visit and an improved photo montage would help him make a decision.
"I would be more of a chance to vote for the development if I go down to have a look at it." he said.
The amended motion was approved 4-1, with Cr Baker the sole objector.