Item 9.4 - Attachment 2
Comments in response to Urban
Response to Urban Taskforce Submission
The Urban Taskforce made a submission to the draft
amendment dated 16 October 2009 objecting to the setting of maximum rates. The submission is summarised in the
following dot points:
§ The setting of mandatory limits on residential car
parking will not reduce car ownership. The benefits of compact pedestrian friendly
communities around public transport nodes will not be reduced car ownership; the benefit is more likely
to be lower car usage. Where parking is limited, there are major
social impacts caused by the lack of off-street parking.
There are two primary issues for discussion
here. The first is the notion of setting
a maximum car parking rate. The second
is the actual rates of parking and how they compare with other centres.
A maximum rate of parking is used in most major
centres where congestion is an issue.
The actual parking rates in the Parramatta City
Centre are relatively generous and far less restrictive than the rates in
The current levels of traffic congestion in parts of
the city centre are directly related to the parking provision as clearly
demonstrated by the level of traffic congestion in streets around nodes with
high levels of car parking like Parramatta Westfields. Allowing excessive parking provision in any
location where traffic capacity is limited, leads to congestion and will in
turn undermine future development opportunities and the marketability of the
§ Proposed numerical
restrictions on shops will make such development unviable. The proposed parking restrictions on shops
will make most such development unviable.
Limiting shops to one parking space for every 30 square
metres of gross floor area will cripple many development opportunities. For
example, most retail development requires one car parking space for every 20
square metres in order to be viable.
It is worth noting that most of the existing retail,
outside Westfields, has little or no on-site parking and operates successfully
serving local employees, residents and those using public transport or public
parking. The parking rates in Parramatta
CBD that apply to retail and residential are in line with RTA guidelines for
parking rates that also apply to smaller centres with less public transport,
the main difference is that Parramatta sets these as maximum rates. The Urban Task Force submits that the car
parking provision for some activities such as restaurants and take-away food
bars are excessive. With the amendment
proposed, such premises will have the choice to provide a reduced number of
Shops, restaurants and other retail activities
outside of large shopping malls often operate without on site parking,
especially in city centre localities.
Parramatta City Council provides metered on road parking that encourages
high turnover of patrons and is supplemented by large parking stations
throughout the CBD.
minimum, nor maximum car parking provisions are appropriate for commercial
development, shops, restaurants or drive-in take-away food and drink premises.
The amendments proposed
will give developers a degree of choice in meeting local needs by being able to
provide parking to the maximum or to a lesser amount. In addition, as discussed, the commercial rates in the city centre are generous in
comparison with other similar centres and provide for ample parking to be
provided on site.
discussion of parking requirements and demand for drive in take away food and
drink premises of suburban
the Urban Taskforce submission acknowledges, some uses will not require any
parking. The proposed amendment will
Council has misinterpreted the current provisions of the local environmental
It is acknowledged that the
current parking provisions of the LEP can be interpreted as providing for
minimum parking rates. However, the
“ambiguity” of the controls is not the main focus of the amendment. The reason for the amendment is to complement
Council’s strategic transport planning by ensuring that the city does not
encourage so much parking as to create congestion, reduce pedestrian amenity
and ultimately, reduce the marketability of the Parramatta CBD. An abundance of
parking in the short term whilst there is some capacity in the road network is
fine, however, once this capacity is absorbed, new development becomes less
attractive as prospective investors consider the congestion of the city amongst
the various other factors that Parramatta competes with other employment areas.
The notion that responsible
transport planning ceased with the Parramatta REP, is incorrect. The
city centre LEP 2007 includes objectives to promote public transport use and to
reduce unnecessary car traffic. Clause 2
(f) of the City Centre LEP includes the objective to, “enhance access to
In addition, Council at its
meeting on 17 December 2007, resolved to consider the rates of parking in the
City Centre LEP as maximum rates, not minimum rates.
§ Developers should be free to provide car parking
sufficient to meet local needs, subject to the traffic studies required in the
development assessment process.
As discussed above, the
rates of parking in the City Centre are relatively generous. In addition, allowing the market to absorb
the limited on road capacity will work until a point in time when the network
will no longer accommodate additional traffic without very significant delays
and impacts upon the amenity of the City centre.
The Urban Taskforce
submission is short sighted.
The 2010 NSW State Plan
includes a 50% mode split target for work trips to and from the Parramatta CBD
by public transport. This is an
ambitious target but one worth pursuing if