In this edition I intend to concentrate on several important matters that are of concern to many Breakfast Point residents.
These are our Traffic Management Plan, the damage being caused by trees (particularly London Plane trees), road safety, the Council Rates that we pay and the services we receive, plus some more general information.
We have recently received correspondence from several residents questioning the appropriateness of our Traffic Management Plan and requesting changes. It is understandable that as we start implementing the Plan some residents may consider that features of the Plan could cause them inconvenience or may appear to be hazardous e.g. the one-way streets on Market Street and Vineyard Way and consequent changes to traffic flow. We have responded to each member who has written to us but it may help if I now set out the facts of the matter in this report.
Stage 1 of the Traffic Management Plan required us to enter into an agreement with Canada Bay Council to allow council officers to enter our community of private roads to enforce parking violations. Whilst we have numerous by-laws regarding safety and road management we cannot easily enforce these via fines. Those members who have been longer term residents will testify to the need for this arrangement with Council as we have suffered from residents double parking, parking over driveways or blocking street access for others to one lane of traffic. These have been a serious safety issue with several accidents recorded.
Stage 2 of the Traffic Management Plan, involving one way streets, a roundabout and speed calmers had been under consideration by the Community Association since 2016.
Following extensive Council consultation, who shared with us its expertise in such matters, the Plan was approved by Canada Bay Council last year. Since 2016 we have communicated our Stage 2 progress via Town Hall meetings, CA Representative meetings and my Chairman’s report in this magazine. We have also posted the plans both in draft and final form on the BP website. On balance we believe that we have taken reasonable steps to communicate this process as transparently as possible.
We clearly need these new traffic features in place to reduce speeding and to make our streets safer for all of us, especially our children and the elderly.
No solution is perfect. However what is to be delivered was given careful consideration along the way. Where appropriate we will be able to make minor alterations such as additional signs, fresh line markings and improved lighting. With the Stage 2 changes the Community will be much safer and will improve further with the
co-operation of Police and other enforcement bodies.
Our trees and general streetscape are a major factor in why people choose to live in Breakfast Point. However, there is no doubt that some trees planted by Rosecorp during development are in close proximity to our roads and footpaths and these are causing considerable damage. We have been concerned about this issue for some time and have developed a comprehensive Tree Management Plan that has been communicated to Canada Bay Council. They have been working with us for the progressive removal of trees that are diseased or clearly in inappropriate positions. Council have quite specific and restrictive rules regarding tree removal and tree trimming. They are generally resistant to communities taking action to remove, prune trees or trim roots where it is uncertain if the tree is suited to such action or might die from such action. Unfortunately, the normal pace of approval is slow and as our trees grow they are causing footpaths to crack and buckle, drains to block and roads and curbing to be damaged. We clearly need to agree a better approach with Council to manage this situation in a more timely and less bureaucratic manner. We are meeting with the Mayor and senior management from Council this week to see if we can agree on an approach that will allow us more flexibility in managing this and other issues for our community.
Road and Community Safety
There is general community concern regarding speeding cars, drivers not observing road signs (especially stop and give way signs at intersections) and drivers disobeying one-way street signs.
Inevitably, there will be a serious accident if the situation does not improve. Part of the Community Association’s responsibilities is to ensure the safety of our residents and this requires the ability to enforce the rules the same as for public roads. We have a very good relationship with our local Police Command and we plan to do more to involve Police directly in our Community to help us enforce our road rules and improve Community safety generally. We will be making this a priority this year.
Canada Bay Council and its role in our Community
We have a very good working relationship with our Council and meet regularly both at senior management and operational levels. Although we are in many respects a private road community, we are all paying full Council rates at the same level as non-private communities even though we do not receive the same services offered to these other communities.
At the meeting with the Mayor and his senior team we will be discussing this inconsistency and to find a more equitable arrangement. This will include a discussion on the possibility of a reduction in Council rates and/or significantly more attention being given to the application of our by-laws, by allocating more resources to our Community for the enforcement of rules with regards to animal control, tree management and parking infringements. We will also enquire about financial assistance for major projects. We will keep the Community informed of our progress.
The Country Club extensions are progressing to plan. Dianne Brooks is now working closely with our Architect. The project management of the various stages, along with a critical path timeline has been created in order to meet our target date to have tenders sent to approved builders by mid-March.
There is also a fixed date of Wednesday, 8 May now set for a Special General Meeting (SGM).
At that meeting we will present to the Community our recommendation for the approved builder, estimated build costs and construction timeframes.
At that SGM we will also consider proposals for changes to any Strata Architect and Landscape Standards (ALS) or other matters requiring approval at a SGM. Any Strata that is considering a change to its ALS or other matters will need to submit paperwork to the CA Executive Committee by early April.
We have now confirmed all positions on our Sub-Committees and thank those members who applied. We have added three new Sub-Committees this year with overall membership up one third to 32 people. The Sub-Committee structure is an important part of our community governance and not only provides a broader involvement of community members but also assists to balance out the increasing workload of the Executive Committee.
The Country Club has had a very successful end to Summer program and is currently close to budget results. The music by the pool, Burgers and Bevies night, Members’ Night dinner and End of Summer Sunday activities were a great success and a big thank you to the Clubhouse staff and Club Sub-Committee members. It was a team effort and we congratulate all concerned.
There is nothing quite like a picturesque Autumn at Breakfast Point as the trees become naturally beautiful with the appearance of the new season. I for one will be looking forward to some cooler days after one of the hottest Summers on record. I’m sure we will all enjoy the season ahead.