COOLUM residents who thought the CBD and beachfront were protected by a three-storey development limit got a surprise this week.
When long-time resident Olwyn Ball went to the Sunshine Coast Council's draft planning scheme information display at Coolum last weekend, she was told there was no longer a storey limit for the Coolum area, "only a 12m height limit".
Ms Ball who, as an executive member of the Point Arkwright Environment and Progress Association, could be considered well informed on local development issues, was shocked.
She said a 12m height limit could mean anything.
"According to the town planner, given the right land and building design, five storeys could be approved by council within that height limit.
"Do you want to see a stretch of buildings similar to the 'SurfAir' strip all through the above areas, particularly close to the sea?"
The former school teacher said the "new, young town planner" was unaware of the history of the battles the local community fought in the 1980s and '90s for a three-storey limit.
Ms Ball urged residents to make a submission to the council by December 14 to "help retain this storey limit and the height limit".
A council spokeswoman confirmed the new draft planning scheme included a 12m height limit for new developments in Coolum.
"At the moment, under the Maroochy Plan 2000, the height is measured both in metres and storeys," she said.
"There are provisions in the plan which state that the maximum building height is three storeys, and then, in brackets, it has 'but not more than 12m'.
"Under the draft Sunshine Coast planning scheme we're not setting the maximum building height in storeys so the Coolum area is measured in metres."
The spokeswoman said the absolute height limit would be 12m which was "consistent with what is currently in the Maroochy plan".
"Metres is more of an absolute measurement of height," she said.
A development application more than 12m in height would be impact assessable, which meant it would need to be advertised and people given the opportunity to make submissions.
Draft Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2012
Submissions may be made:
online at sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au;
by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org;
or at the council's Customer Service Centres.
Submissions may also be posted to:
Sunshine Coast Regional Council
Draft Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme
Reply Paid 84374
SUNSHINE COAST MC QLD 4560
A properly made submission must state the name and address of each person making the submission, the grounds of the submission and the facts and circumstances relied
All written submissions must also be signed by each person making the submission.
Submissions must be received by the council no later than 4.30pm on Friday, December 14.
The scheme can be viewed online at sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/draftSCplanningscheme, or at the Maroochydore display centre: Pacific Place, 11-13 Ocean St.