Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Zoning is good - it protects our rights and gives us planning certainty - right?

click on the map to enlarge

Town planning is a good thing - if there's a legislated planning scheme in place, it's going to protect you from nasty surprises, like having someone decide they want to put a motocross track a couple of kilometres from you.  Well, not really.

The red circle on the zoning map is around the applicant's property.  The red lines are each 4km long, to provide a scale.  Rather a lot of properties within 4km, especially when you include housing subdivisions, not all of which are easy to see on the plan above.  Click on the zoning map to enlarge it or look for the small subdivisions in the Google Earth shot in the blog header. There are around 900 people living within 4km of the proposed motocross track property.

You'd have to wonder why any developer would bother lodging an application for a motocross track on a property less than 5km from a regional centre (Gatton) on land that is zoned Rural Uplands, Rural Agricultural and Rural General.  Not something that any of us in this part of the Lockyer Valley would have expected could ever happen.

You'd think that if you lived in or near a Rural Agricultural Zone you'd be safe from this kind of nonsene.  This is the best agricultural land in the Lockyer Valley, one of the top agricultural areas in the world.  Rural Uplands is another zone you'd expect to be pretty secure.  That's where the "special" natural areas are that aren't in some kind of protected status.  Have a look at the map below and see the way they lie on the margins of the two national parks - Lockyer National Park in the northern part of the Valley, and Glen Rock National Park in the south.

If you are in any of the Rural Agricultural or Rural Uplands zones in the zoning map on the right - this could happen to you as easily as it has happened to us.  Or maybe more easily, considering that our area is within 5km of the Gatton CBD and is a logical area for expansion of closer subdivision as the other available suitable land is taken up (there's very little remaining around the margins of Gatton).

Between Gatton and the proposed motocross land is ideal subdivision country - rolling hills, views north to the forested slopes in the Lockyer NP, cooling breezes coming down off the hills.  We've already got a reasonable network of roads and the sewage treatment plant is on this side of town, so the infrastructre costs of subdivision be lower.

Allowing this motocross facility to go ahead would alienate all the land in the area from subdivision - thus removing an important town planning option for the Council.

If you're at all worried that this could happen to you, or even that the current motocross track proposal could relocate to your area if it is refused here, or you just want to help us keep this proposal at bay - phone, write to, or email the Councillors who have been elected to represent your interests and tell them that a motocross facility at Adare, or in any of these zone types in the Lockyer Valley, just isn't on.

Here are their contact details: Mayor Steve Jones (sjones@lvrc.qld.gov.au, 0408 981736); Councillor Peter Friend (pfriend@lvrc.qld.gov.au, 0488 235 403); Councillor Janice Holstein (jholstein@lvrc.qld.gov.au, 0417 303 582); Councillor Jim McDonald (jmcdonald@lvrc.qld.gov.au, 0403 044 157); Councillor Kathy McLean (kmclean@lvrc.qld.gov.au, 0427 656 630); Deputy Mayor Tanya Milligan (tmilligan@lvrc.qld.gov.au, 0402 241 760); Councillor Derek Pingel (dpingel@lvrc.qld.gov.au, 0408 716 062).

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