Parking threat to city’s revival

Changes to parking provisions could hamper revitalisation of central Geelong, a council report has warned.
The report said State Government’s overhaul of commercial zones would “impose additional pressure” on the area.
“The new zones will remove the floor space caps for retail and office land uses that apply to key commercial centres in the municipality. The new zones, if unchanged, will result in traditional bulky goods areas, some industrial areas and office precincts being available for shops and supermarkets without a planning permit,” the report said.
“These changes may have adverse impacts on the desirability of tenancies in the CAA (central activities area), as key tenants may seek cheaper sites with main road frontages that were not previously available for shops
“The competitiveness of the Geelong CAA will therefore be paramount in ensuring that the objectives of the revitalised city centre are realised.”
Council has been working on a Vision 2 project to revitalise the city centre with development and shop-top living.
The report said parking changes would provide “greater flexibility and reduced costs for developers”.
Council’s consideration of cash-in-lieu of car parks was on hold while State Government considered its state-wide parking provisions, the report said.
Revitalisation of central Geelong depended on its competitiveness but a cash-in-lieu scheme could impose extra costs on new developments, jeopardising the revival, the report said.
Financial constraints would also challenge new development, meaning council would need a role in “facilitating” CAA developments.
Council had to “ensure that unnecessary barriers to development do not impede progress on viable and appropriate developments,” the report said.

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