Objection to a boarding house development in Kings Park

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Development DA-17-00579 has been lodged by Styletec Pty Ltd on behalf of owners Tarek & Christopher Madani to "Erect 12 bedroom Single Storey Boarding House" at 59 Cobham Street, Kings Park.

We are home owners and residents of Cobham Street, Kings Park and we  STRONGLY OBJECT to the proposed boarding house development. Boarding houses offer cheap accommodation for residents and little responsibility for them towards the neighbours of the premises. This proposal seeks 12 lodgers with one of the residents within the building as a boarding house manager.

The proposed development is not suitable for Kings Park. Cobham Street is a quiet street with 99 percent of it as residential homes through single dwellings or town houses. All this is being thrown into jeopardy by a greedy developer looking to make a quick buck!

The development seeks to sneak into an established family area through State Environmental Planning Policy exempt development, as it does not comply with Blacktown’s Development Control Plan.

59 Cobham St was not set aside for affordable housing by any tier of government and is only permissible through poor state legislation with loop holes. It should not be up to an individual not associated with the community to decide. 

There are a number of problems with the development. Here are a few to consider.

Fails to fit the character of the street:

There are no other large scale (if any) boarding houses on Cobham Street. This is proposed to be a large building. It’s around double the size of the existing house on the block currently. Our street is characterised by residential homes, some with granny flats on them or townhouses, mostly free standing. There is not even home businesses prominent in the street.

Single blocks in our street are large enough to place two free standing homes on them when done right. No one is building halfway houses, boarding houses or the alike. This proposal at 59 seeks to change this. Directly across the street is a Blacktown city council operated long day care centre. 

Lack of community responsibility:

The proposal seeks to have no required log or system to deal with external complaints, no publicised contact details for the appointed manager for neighbouring residents, no information on when this manager will be required to be onsite to enforce noise and communal use restrictions.

The proposal also fails to address that it is directly opposite a day-care centre. Bear in mind, there is no requirement or ability for the boarding house manager to check the suitability of proposed lodgers through renting references.

Staff at the day care centre expressed concern about the potential for their carpark to be used by lodgers of the development leaving nowhere for parents to drop of children and concerned that staff often park up the street on the late shift will now even have to park further away.

Poorly conceived plans:

Reviewing the plans submitted with the application, there are several concerns such as Insufficient privacy screening for neighbouring residents and proposed building to close to the boundary of neighbouring premises.

There appears to be no Acoustic Report for the premises. The developer has not considered the impact of day to day activities on neighbouring properties from any noise can break out.

Additionally, a  boom gate is at the entry of the premises. This is inconsistent with the streetscape. 

Loss of Parking:

Parking onsite is non-compliant with council policy and according to the Operational Plan of Management “Residents have use of motorcycle and bicycle parking space. If no motorcycle spaces are available residents are to park their vehicle or motorcycle in the street”. There is no intent to use the insufficient parking on site creating 12 extra vehicles parked on the street. Staff at the day care opposite the proposal are concerned there small carpark to give them safety to park and safe space for parents to pick up their children. 

Parking Requirements:

Think about this. 12 lodgers in the premises, with cars all have visitors over on the weekend that drive to get here. It's quite reasonable to assume that around 20 cars now occupy the street! This will affect residents of Cobham Street whom already have had parking pressure increased over the past few years. I would not be looking forward to taking my children out to Saturday morning sport then returning to have to park a ten minute walk away from my home due to the 20 cars spaced along the road.

Under the SEPP for Boarding Houses it is necessary to provide 0.2 spaces per boarding room, plus 1 for each employee residing at the development. The proposed development incldes 11 standard boarding rooms plus 1 accessible boarding room. It is reasonable to expect that an accessible parking bay is required for each accessible boarding room as it cannot be shared with other residents. As such, the minimum requirement equates to 1 accessible parking bay plus 3 standard parking spaces, noting that 10 standard rooms x 0.2 standard spaces = 2 spaces plus 1 for the boarding house manager. As such, the proposed parking supply does not meet the minimum requirements.

Council’s Development Control Plan indicates that the minimum bay dimensions for Residential Parking are - 2.8m x 5.5m x 7m, and for Disabled Parking 3.2m x 5.5m x 7m. The dimensions in the proposed layout does not comply with this.

Sight Distance at the entry

The proposed layout indicates that a colorbond fence will be provided to the site boundary. This will restrict sight distance to approaching pedestrians on the footpath and does not comply with Australian Standards AS 2890.1.

Additionally, 59 sits towards the crest of a hill. Cars exiting driveways from neighbouring properties will have lines of sight reduced by the fencing at the development and by the increased vehicles parked on the side of the road. This creates a real danger to road users.

Queuing Area

The proposed layout requires motorists to queue across the footpath on entry due to the location of the boom gate. The Australian Standards Section 3.4 stipulates “at an entry point, the queuing area to be provided between the vehicular control point and the property boundary shall be sufficient to allow a free influx of traffic which will not adversely affect traffic or pedestrian flows in the frontage road”.

Noting that the vehicular control point in this case is the boomgate, the proposed layout does not comply with Australian Standards.

Council’s DCP on Landscaping

Parking areas should be landscaped to provide shade, to improve the visual amenity of large, all weather surfaces and to provide a buffer to neighbouring properties. Trees should be planted to achieve 50% shading of the car park at 10 year maturity. The proposed layout does not comply.

Lack of ownership and responsibility:

The applicant states in the Operational Plan of Management in section 1 “The operator of the boarding house will be Tarek Medani or an entity related to and controlled by Tarek Madani that is appointed to operate the boarding house” yet the premises is already listed for sale on  for $1,600,000.

If the developer lies about his proposed management plan now, what hope do we have of it ever being followed?

The proposal fails to address the operation of the boarding house, in particular with respect to the nature of the accommodation, any support services to be provided or the target group to be catered for.

Information should be provided whether the boarding house will be ran or assisted by (granted this is difficult, since it is listed for sale!) a not- for – profit organisation. The developer should also be able to give an undertaking if rents will be controlled i.e – 20 percent under market rates.

This proposal does not meet the character of the local area requirement. -  The area is established residential, without commercial. The development is opposite a child care centre. The development is within 500 metres of a licensed premises (The Marayong Brewhouse). As noted above, the scale of the development is excess, unplanned, unneeded and motivated from private interest rather than meeting any social obligations. Significant affected residents have voiced their objection to the proposal, showing this development is not compatible with the character of the local area – who better to judge then the residents already living in the area?

The applicants Statement of Environmental Effects shows a level of arrogance in its planning. The design statement of notes the development to be 12 single lodger boarding rooms. Clearly any form of boarding house manager was an afterthought. As a result, there is no provisions for the required open space adjacent to the managers room.

The failures of the applicant Statement of Environmental Effects are many and obtuse, the assumption of no impact on the built environment is incorrect, the assumption there is a positive social and economic on the locality is offensive!

Poorly conceived Operational Plan of Management (OPM):

This is the document that is proposed to regulate in deatial the daily running of the development, along with the development consent. We consider the following changes as essential as the document is defficient.

1. As mentioned above, the introduction for the OPM states the developer will remain control of the site, yet the project is for sale online.
2. The outdoor area is proposed to operate until 10pm. This is too late and should be reduced to 8pm, with the internal common areas operating until 10pm with windows and doors closed (subject to satisfying an acoustic report from a suitably qualified person).
3. The common areas should specify there start time of use.
4. The Boarding House manager should be notified to NSW Police and subject to suitable probity checks, due to them overseeing potentially vulnerable people.
5. The boarding house manager should have specified minimum times to be onsite that covers key sensitive time periods.
6. A “serious matter” requiring the boarding house manager serve a notice needs to be defined.
7. The movement of bins to and from the street for collection is to comply with Blacktown council waste policies.
8. The boarding house managers duties to clean the external common areas should have maximum periods specified where this need to be done within, to prevent the spread of pests.
9. A current 24 hour manager contact number should be provided and updated as needed on the boundary of the premises for affected neighbouring residents.
10. Guests should vacate the premises by 8pm.
11. The boom gate should be removed and parking made available to all, with a managers spot reserved.
12. There is no waste room shown on plans as referred to in the OPM.
13. No smoking should also be permitted in front of the premises or neighbouring properties, not just on the site.
14. The OPM states outdoor common areas are not permitted to be used after 8pm in section 6. This contradicts the 10pm recorded in section 3.
15. The complaints register should record external complaints.
16. The complaints register should be provided for examination to council and Police.
17. If the contact number for the manager changes, the Crime Prevention Officer at the Local Area Command should also be updated within 24 hours, along with the requested number displayed on the boundary.
18. The occupancy agreement at Annexure 2 should permit access by default to parking.
19. The OPM does not detail a room allocation policy.
20. The OPM does not detail a policy on pets.
21. The OPM does not detail linen cleaning procedures.
22. The OPM does not detail a policy on personal laundry cleaning procedure.
23. The OPM does not detail a parking procedures.
24. The OPM does not detail earliest guest arrival times.

There are so many community concerns we believe that the proposal must be refused and believe this proposal should go before the councillors and we ask Councillor Kevin Gillies to present this petition to council on our behalf.

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