STIMULATION: Measures to encourage development in the CBD will be up for discussion at this week's council meeting.
STIMULATION: Measures to encourage development in the CBD will be up for discussion at this week's council meeting. Keagan Elder

Councillors brace for a busy year ahead

COUNCIL is back and so are the hot topics including the Coffs Harbour Bypass.

Coffs Harbour City Council will hold its first meeting for the year on Thursday.

On the agenda will be their nomination for representatives to sit on the Coffs Harbour Bypass Community Consultative Committee.

The committee was announced in January when Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro came to town to make what some described a "humiliating backflip" on the preferred concept design saying tunnels would be reinstated.

Tunnels, which had been mooted over many years, were removed from a preferred concept design unveiled in August last year by Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker and NSW Minister for Roads Melinda Pavey - triggering a widespread backlash in the community.

While the January announcement that tunnels would be reinstated was widely welcomed there has been scepticism at the lack of detail and the timing leading up to a state election and the EIS not due out until mid-year.

Council is in receipt of correspondence from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment requesting they nominate two representatives to the community consultative committee.

The request indicated the representatives should be able to commit long term and at least one of the nominees should have technical experience in the areas of environment, planning and/or design.

It is recommended council nominate the mayor, Cr Denise Knight, and council's general manager Steve McGrath, or his delegate.

Waiving developer contributions

A council report has noted that over the last two financial years there's been very limited residential growth within the Coffs City Centre area.

In order to activate this, council has been considering waiving various developer contributions and this matter will once again be up for consideration.

It's recommended council looks into a number of incentives including an exemption of developer contributions for tourist accommodation and shop-top housing.

The exemptions would most likely run for two years from the date the policy is approved or until a maximum cap (incentive allowance) of $2.5million is reached.

To qualify developments must be issued with an occupation certificate within three years from the time the application is lodged. The policy will be reviewed after 12 months.

Woolgoolga's Wharf St upgrade

Stage two of Woolgoolga's Wharf St upgrade will be another item up for discussion.

In 2016, council adopted a concept design for stage one of the upgrade (from Beach St to the new caravan park entrance) and this was completed in 2017.

A detailed design for stage two (from the caravan park entrance north to Pacific St) has been finalised and is due for construction in this financial year.

The design includes kerb and gutter or concrete edge beams, upgraded drainage, formal parking areas, and a 2m wide concrete footpath. The existing street trees on the western side will be retained while some on the eastern side will be kept but trimmed.