This month’s report mostly covers updates on existing projects all of which have taken up a considerable amount of the Executive Committee’s time during the month. We are involved in several complex and potentially costly legal matters as well as having key stakeholder meetings with Council officers and Rose Group.
Update on rabbit removal and animals off leads
We met on-site with three Council officers in August to discuss Council’s approach to the enforcement of a growing number of violations to our by-laws that animals must be under the control of owners on leads at all times when on CA common property. These discussions are on-going and we expect to get support from Council in areas that are under Council control. At the same meeting we also asked Council for support with our rabbit removal program and are waiting on a reply on this. We can report that our increase in the number of cages to trap rabbits is showing positive signs as there are fewer rabbits being seen on the Estate. A total of 38 rabbits have been caught to date. We get a detailed report each week with photos showing the number of rabbits caught.
Country Club Extensions
I reported last month that the Country Club Extensions Project Team had completed their analysis of all designs submitted by the Community and had decided on two designs that best met the Terms of Reference. These designs were named Option 5 and Option 6 and were presented at a Town Hall meeting held on Thursday, 19 July 2018. This meeting endorsed both options and Option 5 seemed to have a little more support than Option 6. It was decided to take both options forward to a Special General Meeting to be held on Thursday, 13 September 2018. Since then the Extensions Team have published a detailed report describing both options, including the plans, time lines and cost estimates. This report has been sent to all CA Representatives for distribution to owners. Please ensure that you obtain a copy of this material either from your CA Reps, on line at www.breakfastpoint.org.au or at the Country Club. We also organised a meeting with Mr Nicholas Back the project architect. This was held in the Country Club on Sunday, 26 August 2018. We have sent to all CA Reps a reconciliation of the Sea Shores Fund (where the money for the extensions is housed) showing monies spent to date, interest received and monies available for the Club Extension and the Stage Two Traffic Management Plan.
Special General Meeting
The Special General Meeting to be held in the Community Hall on Thursday, 13 September 2018 has been called to consider three motions:
- Country Club Extensions Option 5A, Option 6A
- Application from Jacaranda (SP 83977) to amend their Architectural and Landscape Standards to replace footpath paving and wall cladding
- Application from Indigo and Magnolia (SP 83976) to amend their Architectural and Landscape Standards to replace certain plant types. This is the first time that the Community Association has been asked to deal with applications to amend an ALS and is an important issue as it goes to the heart of our ability as a Community to regulate the style and appearance of our Community.
Meeting with Rose Group – Craig Walkerdene
We discussed the time schedule for the plumbers’ workshop now that the DA has been approved. Work was to start late August however has been delayed pending some reviews of interior design and is now likely to commence in the next few weeks. The build is likely to take 12 months and will be the last building project before the developer leaves the Estate. We also discussed plans for the sale of the heritage blacksmiths’ building (current sales office). While no decision has been made it is likely that the building will be sold before the developer leaves the Estate.
Traffic Management Plan Stage Two
Canada Bay Council has now approved our Traffic Management Stage Two plan and work will begin on a staged basis over the remainder of this year and next year. Prior to Council approval (which took many months dealing with community input and regulatory issues) we had several meetings with CA Reps where the Traffic Management Plan was discussed and mention has also been made in my reports as well as being posted on the Community website. If more information is required please contact Jo McGoldrick email@example.com. Further notifications will be made once work commences.
We have now increased the frequency and number of rabbit cages for the removal of rabbits in the Estate. We are also attempting to get Council to assist us in this regard as there have been sightings of rabbits on Council land external to our boundaries and especially in Cabarita Park. If anyone sees rabbits on Council owned property please take photos and send to Jo McGoldrick. Please do not interfere with or go near the rabbit cages, in particular do not feed the rabbits. These are pests and are causing damage to our gardens and trees which will add costs to our maintenance program. Please also be careful when walking off paths as rabbit holes can cause serious injury.
For the past few years we have been monitoring the growing concern within the Community for being charged full Council rates when we are responsible for most of what Council would normally do for a Community; such as road repairs, footpath and gutter repairs, the seawall, trees and gardens, drainage etc. There is growing frustration and we believe that it is now time to take a formal stand on this issue. To start this process we have placed a petition on the website www.breakfastpoint.org.au and would encourage the community to have your say by signing the petition. We will need the majority of the Community to register if we are to start a serious discussion with Council. We have already approached State Government through our local member John Sidoti and received encouraging support. Please take the time to sign the on-line petition or email Jo McGoldrick with a short statement of your position on this matter.
By the time you read this report we will have appointed our new Facilities Manager. This time we had two candidates with equal experience and qualifications for this demanding role and we believe the appointed candidate will make a huge difference to the management and general operational performance of the Estate. The Facilities Manager will report to the Community Association Chair, and will work closely with CA Executive members. In particular the Chairs of the Finance, Assets & Standards and Country Club Sub-Committees, as well as BFMS our Estate Management contractor and their representative Matthew Crawshaw-Fardouly. The Facilities Manager will be responsible for providing a safe and attractive environment for all stakeholders. This is to be done giving due regard to the Community Association’s vision, goals and objectives.
Legal Advice and Disputes
The Community Association has sought legal advice on several matters that have serious implications for the Community.
The most important is the issue of an amendment to a Strata, Precinct or Community Architectural and Landscape Standard (ALS). We currently have applications from several Strata wishing to vary their ALS and two of these applications are motions to be decided at the upcoming Special General Meeting.
Our legal advice is as follows: “provided there is nothing in their ALS or the strata by-laws to the contrary, in my view a majority of the strata committee (as opposed to the owners in general meeting) could make the decision to apply to the CA for amendment of their ALS.
There is certainly nothing in the Strata Schemes Management Act that requires such a decision to be made in general meeting.” I would like to think that most strata plans will have something in their by-laws about the process for amending the ALS which includes reverting to the owners in general meeting.”
This advice was provided by Lawyers Chambers and we interpret this to mean that unless the contrary is stated in a Strata ALS, a Strata needs a majority of the Executive Committee or if mentioned in their strata laws or ALS a majority vote of a quorum of owners to pass a resolution to make an application to the CA to vary that Strata ALS. Strata plans must comply with their own internal decision-making processes and rules before making an application to the Community Association for amendment of their ALS.
In order for an application to succeed at the CA level a 100% vote of a quorum of owners is needed for the application to be successful. The CA Executive will be revising our application process to include applications for alteration of an ALS and will present this for discussion to CA Reps. For those unfamiliar with Strata Law in this area an ALS details the essential plantings, external paint colours and type and architecture style and standards for the Community and for each Strata, therefore if an item is stated in the ALS it cannot be changed (removed or redesigned) without an application to vary the ALS being successful at the Community Association level.
Tennyson Road Footpath
The footpath extension along Tennyson Road has commenced. However, the extension along the heritage wall towards the river is under review due to concerns from some residents that the trees along the way may be required to be removed in order to provide a continuous straight pathway.
The Council have met with some local residents on this issue and several ideas have been put forward to save the trees and all so far seem to require an alteration to the footpath that could inconvenience older people with frames or parents with prams. The Council has decided to hold a Community Meeting at the Breakfast Point Community Hall on Wednesday, 5 September at 6:30 pm to determine the Community attitude with respect to the design of the footpath. Please attend this meeting and have your say.
Report from Community Associations Meeting
I attended the Community Associations August meeting held in the Canada Bay Council Chambers. These meetings are attended by representatives of the Community Associations within the Canada Bay local government area as well as the Mayor, Council General Manager and Senior Council Officers. They are a useful way to keep abreast of major projects as well as to ask questions on areas of concern. The following items were discussed:
- Several concerns with respect to speeding cars in Phillips Street and Council are trialing speed cautioning devices
- Tree roots lifting footpaths and curbs on Council property and having an impact upon private communities’ property
- A briefing on the latest legislation for short term rentals. They are still waiting on the legislation however it appears that by-laws prohibiting this practice have now been overridden by approval for owner residents to allow short term rentals under certain conditions.
- Rabbits in Breakfast Point – our concerns were raised with a request that Council confirm sightings of rabbits in Cabarita Park and look at joining with us in the removal of all rabbits from the area.
- The over development of Mortlake (Hilly Street) raised by Breakfast Point – no real solution although we asked for a sensible medium-term plan that showed how Council intended to manage the traffic situation
- Bushells Sight Redevelopment – surrounding communities raised concern regarding the lack of information and were told that while Council will complete the review of the DA, any decision is largely out of Council’s hands as approval resides with State Government.
Issues raised by CA representatives at the last CA ECM
Most questions were directed at the Country Club Extensions and a request that the CA provide more specific information, as well as a discussion with the architect at the Club. These have now been provided.