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Collapse Issue 469 - 13 May 2019Issue 469 - 13 May 2019
Collapse  NEWS NEWS
Fish kills could come with seismic testing - Abrahams
Dead fish came from commercial fishing
Councillors inspect Farnell Rd site
Public transport scores 65/100
Precinct committees suggested at residents' meeting
Fran turns 101
Ribbon awarded to cookery judge
Fire station opens its doors
Liberals promise $22M in road upgrades
Promises targeting the Peninsula
History of Robertson electorate
Polling booths
Mehrtens concerned about short-term accommodation
Nine-unit proposal referred to Ausgrid
Brewery proposal 'referred to applicant'
Aged care building construction 'on schedule'
Townhouse comment period still open
Approval for five townhouses
Capital works significantly over budget
Council to demolish after-school care building
Council abandons attempts to trap foxes
More attend Anzac events
Children at Anzac service 'encouraging'
Anzac service at surf club
Community association attends Anzac service
Rotary members attend dawn service
In-house Anzac commemoration
Rotary club honours final wishes
Soup and bread night for Rotary
Children learn to swim
Morning tea at Hardys Bay
Program for parents of adolescents
Trash and treasure raises $5000
Rotary hears about men's shed activities
Collapse  FORUM FORUM
PUDS aimed to balance growth with infrastructure
Time to think about a different society
Recycling machine - traffic, rubbish, noise and graffiti
Treat wetlands with more respect
Declare property portfolios
Collapse  HEALTH HEALTH
Breast screening available until July
Volunteers sought by dementia services provider
Collapse  ARTS ARTS
Woy Woy could become gay-friendly arts precinct
Folk club anniversary attracts 100 guests
Author to speak at Umina library
Arts grants close at month's end
Little Theatre presents Priestley classic
Workshop held for Flash Festival
Greeting cards donated
Artists open new exhibition
Troubadour to host gypsy jazz-makers
Collapse  EDUCATION EDUCATION
Parents raise $29,000
Rewards for readers of fiction stories
Students offered a taste of beauty therapy course
Parents asked to be considerate
Anzac assembly at Umina campus
School crossing is upgraded
First place at Performing Arts Challenge
Campus shows support for farmers
Donations sought for Junkyard Playground
Parents asked to keep assembly area clear
School oval re-turfed
Aboriginal education worker starts
New gym program at Woy Woy South
Anzac Day special assembly
Collapse  SPORT SPORT
Semi-finalists not recorded in official life saving results
Woy Woy beaten in 'most exciting' rugby union match
PCYC boxers win medals in Warsaw
Both parties promise new netball clubhouse
Two flags for Ettalong women bowlers
Floorball women are national champions
Women's soccer teams leave opponents pointless
Joshua wins nine medals at Arafura Games
Long-time member wins first major singles title
Surf club holds Nipper presentations
Favourites defeated in bowls singles championship
Swans to hold Pink Socks Day

Mehrtens concerned about short-term accommodation

Cr Richard Mehrtens says he has been approached by residents in villas on the Peninsula about problems with bed and breakfast accommodation.

"I've been approached by residents of villas in Woy Woy that have an AirBnB next door,'' Cr Mehrtens said.

"They say that every weekend there is a new group of people having parties and loud events.

"The worrying part is that these are complying developments and only come to council attention when two complaints are made, then a DA has to be submitted.

"It's not so easy as to just enforce residential zoning, as this is included in the residential zoning.

"I think there is a serious risk that we lose control of the problem if this isn't regulated.

"As with so many things in the modern era, the activity is well ahead of the regulation, and councils need guidance on how this is supposed to work in communities around the state, not just here.

"Until then, I have major concerns about how this will affect our suburbs moving forward and will critically analyse every DA that we get to the chamber on these matters."

Cr Chris Holstein said he had more complaints from peninsula residents about strata title issues.

He said having a full time tenant in a house was much more attractive and consistent than the ups and downs of bed and breakfast accommodation.

Party houses were different to the idea of bed and breakfasts where the owners were on-site.

He said AirBnb issues would come up during the drafting of council's new Local Environment Plan but it was still up in the air as to which government body - State or local - would be in control of any new regulations.

Earlier this year, the councillors debated a development application for an AirBnB in Norah Head and knocked back the application citing residential amenity, visual and acoustic privacy and because it wasn't in the public interest.

Cr Troy Marquart and Cr Bruce McLachlan voted against refusal.

Cr Mehrtens said: "As I said during the debate when the DA for the AirBnB in Norah Head came up, that as we are a popular tourist location, home owners will see it as a great opportunity to make some extra money by renting out their homes or investment properties on AirBnB.

"While there has always been the holiday market in the beach side suburbs, technology is now making it easier for people to do this year-round with little consequence for them, but some dire issues for their neighbours and the local community spirit.

"Similarly, we already have a housing affordability crisis on the Coast, and if landlords can instead make twice as much money by only doing short term rental over summer or during school holidays, then long term renting will become even more unaffordable and precarious for local renters.

"We'll end up with suburbs becoming party house central, or being completely dead because no one actually lives there full time any more, and just comes for a few days or weeks then the house lies empty until the next people come in for their short stay.

"We are pulling out the rug from existing residents who chose to live in a residential suburb, not next to a club or hotel.''

A quick search on AirBnB asking for a place in Woy Woy comes up with more than 300 options.

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