THE owner of the Kardinya Park Shopping Centre has pushed to have the height limit for a major redevelopment lifted to 20 storeys.
The move has outraged nearby residents, who have organised a 397-signature petition opposing moves to rezone the site through an “activity centre plan” drawn up by the developer.
Kardinya Resident of 39 years, Christine Soutar runs the Facebook page Save Kardinya (No Rezoning).
“If it goes ahead, I see [the] suburb slowly changing,” Ms Soutar said.
“Massive traffic issues, loss of bird life and greenery, an area not ideal for raising families, loss of money for families who would need to sell at a loss and move their families to other areas.”
Kardinya has a median age of 41 and an average of 1.7 children per family according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics census, and Ms Soutar says that’s something they don’t want to risk changing.
Mimi Warren is part of Ms Soutar’s group and said during recent doorknocking, she found that 90 per cent of residents had “little to no knowledge of the proposed rezoning and what it meant in regard to their house and for the suburb”.
Carol Warren was lead petitioner and says they have concerns about the height, traffic and changes to the character of the suburb.
“The proposed rezoning of R-codes will significantly impact on the character of our suburb and adversely affect the welfare of Kardinya residents,” her petition reads, calling on the council to vote against the proposal.
But the city’s planners have warned that an activity centre plan is required
by the WA Planning Commission, and the council risks having no input at all if it simply rejects what’s on offer.
A report to the council’s November 14 meeting says 1500 letters were mailed out to residents, which resulted in 223 objections, 26 supporters and a handful who made neutral comments.
The report notes the developer has proposed a default height of 15 storeys across a central zone of the plan area, with two “landmark” locations on the corners of South Street and North Lake Road, and South Street and Gilbertson Road to be zoned for 20 storeys.
“The only other location within the city that such heights could be potentially sought is at the Canning Bridge Activity Centre,” the report said.
“Such heights are nowhere else contemplated including at the Melville City Centre in Booragoon of at comparative district centres with [activity centre plans] in place such as the Melville or Riseley district centres.
“The recent approval for redevelopment of the Kardinya Park Shopping Centre property indicates no more than two storeys at the intersection of South Street and North Lake Road while a maximum height of nine storeys was imposed for the residential apartment component of that proposal, reduced from the 12 storey originally proposed.”
Melville councillor Nick Pazolli says there’s no appetite amongst locals for multi-storey, high density development in the Kardinya area.
Cr Pazolli also questions whether there’s adequate public transport for such a high-density development, as there’s only a couple of bus stops and one requires crossing three lanes of traffic to get to from the shopping centre.
“The idea of having densities of these sorts of apartments, [is that] you want to have a pretty good public transport system,” he said.
“Apartments without public transport just don’t make sense.”
But there might be some incentive for near neighbours, with the report produced by owner Dato Holdings’ consultant Element suggesting that residential height limits on surrounding streets be raised up to four or five storeys to create a smoother interface with the main development. That could see affected properties increase in value.
The council’s planners have recommended trying to peg that back to two or three storeys, while they also want the main development area kept to a nine-storey maximum. While the council will have a vote on the plan, it will be decided by the WAPC.
by ISABELLA BEILIN and STEVE GRANT