May 2 - 8, 2021: Issue 492


We Are Pittwater: Council Demerger Campaigners To Launch New Petition

Rally on the day Protect Pittwater submitted the petition - photo by Michael Mannington, OAM

Campaigners for the demerger of Pittwater will mark the fifth anniversary of its forced amalgamation with Warringah and Manly to form Northern Beaches Council by launching a new petition on May 12 at a Narrabeen rally.

The rally will take place on the northern end of the Narrabeen bridge on Pittwater Road, between 7am and 9am on that date – and organisers are calling on all locals who support a demerger to join them.

Pittwater Council was dissolved by the NSW government on May 12, 2016, against the wishes of 89 per cent of local residents and despite being financially sound.    

The government sat on an earlier petition for a demerger – officially known as a Proposal – with more than 3,000 signatures for well over a year, before responding that it did not have enough signatures, the Protect Pittwater Association said today. 

The group said NBC’s continued failure to follow the wishes of Pittwater residents on planning decisions, disregard for our unique environment, lack of support for retaining emergency and other acute services at Mona Vale Hospital, provision of local maintenance, and upcoming business rate rises have strengthened their resolve to persevere with moves for a demerger. 

Revelations of widespread crises in amalgamated councils  – with NBC fifth worst-performing amongst them - have also reinvigorated the campaign for the return of Pittwater. 

“We are determined to bring the local back into local government and continue the fight - even though it means we have to start a new petition,” Protect Pittwater said in a statement.

“The NSW government now says that we will need 10 per cent of the electors from across the Northern Beaches to sign up – meaning close to 18,500 signatures. 

“So be it. The longer the amalgamation continues, the more apparent its failure becomes – and it’s not just Pittwater residents who want out.

“We want our local democracy back and control of our own destiny. 

“We’re calling on all residents across the Northern Beaches to sign up, and if possible to join our rally on May 12, to show their dissatisfaction and support for de-amalgamation.” 



Large Seniors Living Proposal In Low Density Zone Won’t Pass Without Protest In Pittwater

A bright sunny Thursday morning and despite it being a work day more than 100 people came to make a silent vigil and protest opposite the site of a proposed seniors development in North Avalon road on Thursday morning, March 29th. 

The reason for the demonstration was that a Land and Environment Commissioner was visiting the site and the residents wanted to demonstrate to the Court the community opposition to this development. 

The protest is indicative of what may become a weekly event as Council confirmed intensification of medium density housing Avalon, Newport, Narrabeen, Warriewood and Mona Vale, along with a still to be presented big development of housing at Ingleside, remain in its Local Housing Strategy. At this week’s council meeting councillors voted to submit to the state government, as required.

Those who had spread the word stated prior to the vigil, ‘’We understand that the 1km radius Housing Strategy proposal to rezone for seniors and boarding houses could be raised at this hearing and be a factor in determining this application.’’

Council have, in fact, amended and reduced that ratio by some metres but it still meant, to many, that Pittwater would be picking up the tab having saved so much of its suburban space for living in instead of crowding little boxes in cheek by jowl density.

“We’re back to the old days of Warringah extracting from Pittwater for the benefit of Warringah.’’ one protestor remarked.

Residents have flatly rejected this proposal from the outset. The plans would see the construction of a to the perimeter of the boundary Seniors Housing development comprising self contained dwellings with 2-3 bedrooms and 22 car parks. 

''A few car spots too short if every room is filled, adding more congestion to the street when the overflow parks there instead.''

Council also rejected the original DA and so the developer took an amended but still similar proposal to the Land and Environment court. 

The site is zoned R2 Low Density Residential under the Pittwater Local Environmental Plan 2014 (PLEP 2014). Development for the purposes of seniors housing is prohibited with this zoning. 

Residents objections when the DA was first made available for feedback were that the current Development Control Plan for this area is "Future development will maintain a building height below the tree canopy and minimise bulk and scale."  

''The proposed two storey dwellings fails to minimise bulk and scale as required and is incompatible with the desired character of the area, while its roof pitch will rise above every other structure around it.''

The DA proposed to remove a total of 49 trees, the bulk of the plants present on the site, as well as mature banksias and bottlebrushes on the public road reserve outside in order to install a required under Senior Developments easy access path. 

Even before the case was heard residents reported tree clearing was already taking place on the block. 

On Thursday the signs commenced opposite the first tree on the public road reserve that would be felled to make a footpath alike that directly opposite (although that is cracked in places and needing repairs – NB: Transport Cement Fund imposing unwanted concrete paths through all our once green parks despite ‘feedback’ this material is not wanted). 

One silent protestor stated that the proposed tree felling of these providers of shade on public land is also a further indication this is for profit, not community, in 3 regards; 1)The loss of community, not private, trees, 2) more cement and thus more heat, and 3) ignoring where it would be better spent, which is also a, perhaps inadvertent, additional kick to the head of community or clearly enunciated attitude put into practice.

signs opposite the first tree planned to be felled

Deb Denman, one of the residents that has alerted the community to the proposal, said after the vigil '‘I’m so pleased to see so many people on a weekday, when we’ve all got work to do and are all busy, bothered to turn up and stand there silently and voice their opposition with signs and their presence – it was amazing. All I can say is, go Avalon!’

‘’This has been a massive team effort over the last year. There has been a small group of involved locals who have taken the initiative. There has been a petition organised by Cathy Chard that generated over 100 signatures as well as those who live in the surrounding area spreading the word to those in adjacent streets and suburbs. 

I put a leaflet together and we did a massive leaflet drop out in the community which really made people aware of what was going on. I’ve also gone out on social media and I think that’s how a lot of people are finding out about these issues nowadays.’’

When asked why she and others in the community are so against this proposal Deb stated '‘It boils down to the character and culture. People choose to live here because of all the things that have been taken away elsewhere by developers for their financial interests. They don’t have any interest in the family friendly streets and the backyards and trees and the birds, they couldn’t give two hoots about the black cockatoo that appears because we’ve got mature vegetation and food trees.

We’ve chosen to live the other side of the bends, and the other side of Avalon in this case, which is putting extra time on where we need to go to work because we treasure this. 

It feels like our local government doesn’t have any control anymore. The state government is layering legislation on top which takes away all of the things we’ve been consulted on and stated ‘this is what we want to keep’. And that makes me angry.

If this goes ahead it sets an awful precedence. 

What’s more, it’s not even permissible where it is, it’s outside of the 400 metres zone to transport and the nearest bus stop – so there should have been a line drawn in the sand there and then.’'

Deb Denman on Thursday

Peter Mayman, President of the residents group, Avalon Preservation Association, said ‘’Avalon Preservation Association was pleased to see some 120 people at the North Avalon Road site when it was inspected by Commissioner Horton for the Land and Environment Court. The Commissioner acknowledged all those present and explained the process to be followed [which did not include any public comment at that time].



NSW Longboard Titles 2021: Local Surfers Excel

Tully White  - winner. Photo by Ethan Smith/Surfing NSW

Jason Livingston - winner. Photo by Ethan Smith/Surfing NSW

Day one of the Port Stephens Surf Festival got off to a flying start on Thursday April 29th with some of the NSW’s best longboarders shining in clean and playful two-to-three-foot conditions. 

Tully White (Allambie Heights) showed why she is a former Australian Title holder, shining in the Open Women’s longboard division. White performed a mix of stylish noserides and carves to take out the opening heat with a massive 16.17 two-wave heat total and gained the edge as she heads into her second heat. 

Sam Ticknor (Evans Head) proved to be the dominant surfer over the course of the first round of the Open Men’s division. Ticknor found a handful of beautiful tapered walls in his heat that allowed him to mix together a bunch of traditional and innovative carves to finish the heat with a respectable 12.74 two-wave total. 

Former Australian and NSW champion Jason Livingston (Curl Curl) built on the same momentum that’s carried him to the top of the winner’s dais multiple times over the last decade as he demolished a handful of waves in the first round of the Over-45 and Over-50 Men’s. Livingston notched up a 15.50 and a 15.67 two-wave heat total over the course of the two respective divisions.

On Friday the 2021 Port Stephens Surf Festival saw its first three champions crowned today with winners being decided across the NSW Longboard Titles in the Open Women’s, Over-45 Men's and Over-65 Men's division. 

Tully White (Allambie Heights) showed no signs of slowing following her impressive performance yesterday as she took out the Open Women’s division. White performed another array of traditional turns to claim the top spot on the dais ahead of fellow northern beaches surfer Sam Walker (Manly) who took out the runner-up position. 

Jason Livingston (Curl Curl) proceeded to add another prestigious title to his overflowing portfolio of results as he claimed top honours in the Over-45 Men’s division. The northern beaches natural footer, performed in trademark fashion as he claimed the win with two finals scores in the 15 point range to take out the dual finals and the top position on the overall leader board. Livingston then took out the first in the Over-50 Men’s division the next day. 

Perennial Australian Title standout Mike Pimm (Cabarita) dominated the field across his Over-55 Men’s dual finals notching up two heat totals in excess of 14.50. Pimm put on an impressive display of longboarding in both aforementioned heats as he gained the victory ahead of Peter Chapman who finished in the runner up spot.

Saturday Blaze Roberts (Avalon) won the Open logger event in what was almost a clean sweep for local surfers with Manly's Sammy Walker securing the second spot, Mollymooks Mel Staunton in 3rd and Tully White rounding out this quartet. Blaze took up logger and longboard events as a way to ease back into surfing after an injury a few years ago meant shortboards were out for a while. Since then she has excelled and even shared the stoke with friends, meaning there's quite a contingent of young women surfers coming up through the ranks of her club, the Palm Beach Longboarders. 

After the event she posted this on her Instagram page;

Blaze Roberts in action - Photo by Josh Brown/Surfing NSW

Over 170 competitors are expected to compete in the six-day event, which will see longboards run from 29 April – 1 May and the SUP’s follow from 2 May – 4 May. The two-state title events from the Port Stephens Surf Festival decide the NSW Teams for the upcoming Australian SUP Titles and the Australian Longboard Titles. 



Mother's Day 2021 Ideas: Grow Her Some Lemons Or Avocadoes Or Get A Pink Step Ladder So She Can Safely Reach The Top Shelf Indoors + JBH Celebrates Upgrade Of Avalon Beach Store

Tumbledown RFB at JBH in Avalon yesterday, May 1, 2021 to help celebrate the completion of store refurbishments.  A J Guesdon photo
Johnson Brothers Hardware staff on Saturday May 1, 2021 - Friendly Trained staff on hand to help you with your DIY Ideas.
With Mother's Day just a week away, Sunday May 9th 2021, here's an idea that will grow on her - literally. If your mum remarks on the wonderful lemons and avocadoes that have been available lately, growing some of these from the seeds may be a way to give her that taste permanently. Our mum loves lemons and avocadoes and those are what we've chosen for this project - which is also great for little hands to get involved in as a science and education journey which will bear fruit. There are some other ideas listed below for something really personal for mum this Mother's Day, including Mother's Day 2018: DIY Rose Garden or Painted Pots, so think about what you'd like to give mum to let her know how much you appreciate here and how this gift will remind her all day everyday every time she sees it in the garden or in the home. 

We've also scoured the JBH stores this week to find some perfect pink gifts (and other colours) for mums this year for those who want to give something she will love and find useful - everything from pink step ladders for reaching that top shelf of he pantry or linen closet to pink spades and fork for the garden is available. 

Johnson Brothers Mitre 10 launched the completion of their brand new store upgrade at Avalon Beach on Saturday May 1st, 2021. Commenced before Christmas 2020, the store is set out and loaded up with everything you will need so you don't have to go around the bends. With a great range of garden and DIY products available, and the April 2021 launched  Johnson Brothers Design Centre, everything else you may need to make Mother's Day 2021 a great day for mum is within reach and within our community. 

How You Grow Your Own Lemon Tree

The origin of the lemon is unknown, though lemons are thought to have first grown in Assam (a region in northeast India), northern Burma or China. A genomic study of the lemon indicated it was a hybrid between bitter orange (sour orange) and citron, an old and original citrus species. The Egyptologist and archaeologist Victor Loret claimed to have identified it depicted on the walls of the botanical garden at the Karnak Temple, which dates back to the time of Thutmosis III, approximately 3,500 years ago. Citron was also cultivated in Sumer as early as the 3rd millennium BC. The citron has been cultivated since ancient times, predating the cultivation of other citrus species.

We first grew lemons from seed around 20 years ago and each time we find a wonderful fruit we keep a few seeds and start again with these so they can replace the old ones in time for more fresh fruit - a great way to have lots of lemons for all kinds of dishes and drinks - Lemon Butter and Lemon Meringue pies being favourites here.



Blocking Access To Public Reserve And Encroachment Into Road Reserve Win For Residents In L&E Court: Shore Brace Reserve

In March 2019 the Management Committee of Avalon Preservation Association stated it had, for some time been concerned about an encroachment on Shore Brace public reserve which adjoins a property on Riverview Road and should provide public access to the Pittwater Foreshore.

In effect, the historic Shore Brace public reserve, which is part of the Avalon remnant spotted gum forest, had been taken over by the owner of a property on Riverview Road.

On Shore Brace Reserve there was now a driveway, a set of steps, a large structure including a letter box and a retaining wall, blocking access to the Reserve, which has been planted to look like the garden the property.

In the original DA, the owner was given permission to use part of the reserve for driveway access, but regrettably subsequent building resulted in the effective privatisation of Shore Brace. The APA  joined with a number of the local residents to urge Council to ensure that the owner removes the unapproved encroachments, restores public access to the reserve, remediates the reserve and erects a sign indicating that Shore Brace is a public reserve.

At Council’s Meeting of October 22nd 2019, all councillors bar Mayor Michael Regan, voted to approve works that were the subject of the encroachment, including the retaining wall [ subject to certification by an appropriately qualified structural engineer, and the installation of safety railings], the sandstone pathways and stairs [subject to the installation of hand railings and access signage in locations determined by Council’s engineers to ensure public safety] and the entry stairs, noting that a gate on the stairs or pathways on the public road reserve shall be prohibited, as well as the ancillary structures and fittings (lighting and irrigation).

Further; a positive covenant (drafted to the satisfaction of Council) was to be registered on the relevant property title to ensure on-going maintenance and repair of approved works, with any costs associated with creation or registration of the covenant to be borne by the applicant, the removal and redesign/modification of a sandstone letter box, reduced in size (not greater than 600mm x 600mm x 1000mm high) and relocated to the north of the driveway, with details to be submitted to Council for approval, the extension of kerb and gutter to restrict the parking of vehicle on the verge, completion of the retaining wall base to the satisfaction of Council, the reinstatement of the road shoulder / verge above the retaining wall and completion of additional landscaping as part of a weed control and planting plan, to be approved by Council staff, prepared by a suitably qualified person using only endemic plant species and for the design details of the above to be submitted to Council for approval prior to undertaking further works.

Finally it was required that an appropriate street facing sign be installed outside Shore Brace Reserve detailing the boundaries of the Reserve, highlighting that it is public land, that it provides access to the water front, and including any other relevant information Council staff deem appropriate. 

The matter became the subject of an appeal in the Land and Environment court which was heard on March 30th 2021 with the judgement made by Commissioner Gray published online in CaseLaw NSW on Friday April 30th, 2021.

Council has had a positive result from this appeal lodged by appellants as the case to modify the development consent for the construction to incorporate a mailbox structure on the adjacent road reserve has been refused. The appeal has been dismissed.

Further, Commissioner Gray found that the proposed mailbox wall is unacceptable in circumstances where its location and design create an appearance that the adjacent stairs, which provide access to a public reserve, are exclusively for private use

Specifically, the presence of the letterbox aperture within the proposed mailbox wall, the number that will appear below the aperture, and the location of the driveway and its balustrading on the other side of the stairs, all give the appearance that the adjoining stairs are exclusively for private access to the corresponding dwelling. 

Given that the stairs provide access to the public reserve, Shore Brace Reserve, and there is no legal right of access over Shore Brace Reserve to the dwelling site, it is not acceptable to put in place a structure that gives the appearance, to a casual observer, that those stairs are for private access to the dwelling site.

Due to the shape of the dwelling site frontage and the topography of the land, it is almost inevitable that any letterbox located in close proximity to the driveway will encroach on the road reserve. In so locating the letterbox and designing any structure to house the letterbox, clause B6.1 of the PDCP requires that, for ancillary structures within the road reserve, “encroachment into the road reserve is to be minimised”. 

As such, its location and design is to be such that it minimises the encroachment into the road reserve. The proposed mailbox wall design does not do so. Instead, it is located such that the extent of the encroachment into the road reserve is 9.5m from the boundary of the dwelling site, and as such that it is not in a location that minimises the extent of the encroachment. 



Autumn In Pittwater 2021

Turimetta Sunrise. Photo by Joe Mills, April 30th, 2021

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