Responsible development group forms with 80 people
The inaugural public meeting of Residents for Responsible Ettalong Development was held on March 19 with about 80 people attending.
The room divider panels had to be pushed further out into the auditorium at Ettalong Bowling Club to cater for the number of people who turned up.
They heard about the number of non-complying issues relating to a proposed development at 227-231 Ocean View Rd, Ettalong, the catalyst for the new action group to form.
The already-approved proposal for the Centrelink site just up the road also got an airing as did the Atlantis building fronting the Esplanade.
As one participant said: "It's the strip along Ocean View Rd from the Diggers to the markets."
The group's spokesman Mr Peter Gillis showed zoning maps and said the village was under attack from developers wanting to remove their summer breezes and sightlines to the beach.
But Mr Gillis said the group was not about attacking developers.
It was about working with council to keep the feel of their small tourist village.
The group would meet with and lobby both council and State Government representatives to object to the height, the bulk, and the scale of proposed developments which were not suitable for the nature of the area and would detract from its natural beauty.
"It is not in keeping with how we would like Ettalong to progress,'' Mr Gillis said.
"Two to three storeys is what we'd like to see. We are already the highest density suburb on the Central Coast.''
Nearby resident Mr Peter Brell spoke about a wall of development cutting residents off from the ocean and destroying views to Blackwall Mountain.
"Somehow we need to stop council passing non-complying developments.
"There is power in a group of people,'' he said, to applause
The meeting heard stories from two other community groups formed to object to other developments proposed for the Peninsula - the Save Woy Woy Waterfront group and Save Our Woy Woy.
Mr Harvey McDougall from Save Our Woy Woy spoke about his experiences living in Farnell Rd, Woy Woy, and finding out a 27 unit and five villa development was proposed for his street.
He outlined the strategies the new group would need to take.
"We're here tonight to work with you and you work with us and let's see what we can achieve,'' he said.
He explained his dealings with the three ward councillors: Liberal Cr Troy Marquart, Labor Cr Richard Mehrtens and independent Cr Chris Holstein.
"Troy doesn't appear at any meetings. The mayor (Cr Jane Smith) and the other two councillors come but you get no commitment from them,'' he said.
He told the new group members that they needed to be prepared.
His comments were echoed by Mr Ross Cochrane from the Save Woy Woy Waterfront group, formed to object to an over-sized proposal for the Sporties at Woy Woy registered club.
The proposal was refused by the Joint Regional Planning Panel late last year.
The council sent a report to the Panel rejecting the proposal.
Mr Cochrane noted the work of resident Ms June Mitchell who he said was about "181 years old" and had been out there handing out pamphlets and letterboxing residents.
"It is all about noise.
"You'll never hear from the Liberals because they've been told to pass them.''
He was referring to the State Government's 2036 regional plan that dictated that council needed to make room for an extra 75000 residents on the Central Coast by 2036.
The meeting ended with organisers vowing to continue the push against the developments.
People who attended would be contacted with the next steps and dates.
For further information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website rrettalong.org.
Public meeting, 19 Mar 2019
Peter Gillis, Residents for Responsible Ettalong Development
Reporter: Merilyn Vale