No place to sit here
THE Valley's councillors decided they did not want to know about nose-in parking on Prince St.
But the decision leaves co-owner of Grafton's Prince Street Coffee House, Desley McClymont unable to put tables and chairs outside her establishment in the centre of the Jacaranda City.
Cr Craig Howe was one of just three councillors who stood up for the nose-in parking reform at an ordinary meeting in Maclean on Tuesday.
And Cr Howe was well aware; sticking with reverse angle parking on Grafton's main street would stifle any outdoor dining developments.
"We spend a lot of time in chambers talking about making the Clarence Valley more amenable for outdoor dining but surely a meal is more pleasant without car exhaust fumes," he said.
Ms McClymont yesterday said the council's regulations had stifled her alfresco dining plans.
The council's access policy means the "shore-line", or wall at the front of Prince St businesses, has to be kept clear, so tables and chairs cannot be placed there. They also cannot be placed in the middle of the footpath because that obstructs pedestrians.
So the area the council has offered Ms McClymont is directly next to the road, leaving customers in the firing line of people reversing into car parks and hanging the rear end of their vehicle over the gutter.
Ms McClymont said she tested the idea, using a friend's 4WD ute and about 60cm of the tray hung over the pavement before the tyre hit the gutter.
The council's director of planning, Des Schroder, earlier confirmed there was no law governing how far people could back into a reverse angle car park.
"Why would I want to put people at risk," Ms McClymont asked.
Cr Karen Toms told the meeting the idea to assess nose in parking had come to prominence when Guide Dogs Australia and Access Australia complained reverse-in parking meant blind people were being obstructed by tow-balls protruding from the back of parked vehicles.
But Cr Margaret McKenna, one of the councillors who voted the idea down, accused Cr Toms of "going for the sympathy vote" and called Cr Howe a "Greenie".
Cr McKenna said she did not care if the council or the State Government paid for the change, it was still a waste of money.
The council decided to halt all plans for staff to investigate nose-in parking with Crs Williamson, McKenna, Challacombe, Baker and Kingsley voting against the idea.
Crs Howe, Simmons and Toms voted in favour and Cr Sue Hughes was absent.