Sharing is caring for yacht club

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PLANS to redevelop Parkdale Yacht Club have hit choppy waters after a 5-4 majority of Kingston councillors decided to temporarily halt detailed designs for the building to try to find community groups interested in cohabiting with the yacht club.

Councillors at the latest public council meeting on 25 September were poised to push ahead with instructing council officers to proceed with “detailed design development” for a revamp of the club building before Cr Rosemary West raised concerns about funding for the project.

Cr West said at the meeting that council should not “depart from tradition” and use ratepayers’ money to fund a foreshore development without a “partnership grant” from the state government.

“With an election coming up, it seems to me that the club needs to speak to the candidates and see if they can get commitments – hopefully commitments from both candidates,” she said.

“In that case, we could go ahead. This is certainly a shovel ready project and there’s a lot to be said for it.”

Council has budgeted $2.34 million for a revamp of the yacht club with the Parkdale Yacht Club set to contribute $100,000 to the project.

The next state election will be held in November next year.

Cr Geoff Gledhill, the Liberal Party candidate for Mordialloc in the electorate that includes Parkdale, believed the move to postpone detailed designs of a redevelopment of the yacht club was “a delaying tactic”.

“If people don’t like it, if they don’t want to do it then we should stop pretending we do and tell the Parkdale Yacht Club to sail off into the sunset.”

Cr Gledhill said council needed to get on with the design of the building to check with the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) that the changes would be acceptable “after the fiasco with Edithvale”.

The DELWP has declared designs for a new Edithvale Life Saving Club building do not meet Coastal Management Act regulations (“Club house in coastal ‘dog house’”, The News 4/10/17).

Cr Gledhill acknowledged a co-tenancy arrangement would be of benefit to the community.

“There are times when a yacht club is not going to be fully utilised in its facilities so I think it makes good sense to have somebody else in there.”

Crs West, Tamara Barth, the mayor Cr David Eden, Georgina Oxley and Steve Staikos voted to have council officers seek expressions of interests to share the building with the yacht club before proceeding with detailed designs.

Crs Gledhill, Ron Brownlees, Tamsin Bearsley and George Hua opposed the move.

Councillor officers will come back to councillors in about three months’ time with information about any interest in sharing the yacht club building.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 11 October 2017

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