Carport warfare: Inconsistency sparks battles
ONCE considered a humble extension of a home to protect cars from hailstones, the carport has emerged as a cause of friction between homeowners and council.
Former Maroochy Surf Club president Tim Ryan's carport thrust the issue into the spotlight in 2017, when the $30,000 carport built onto his new home on Carwoola Cres, Mooloolaba, was deemed too close to the street.
Council officers determined it'd been erected without a building development permit.
The carport had been a late addition to the home, and council officers found it dominated the streetscape and recommended refusal as it came within less than a metre of the road frontage boundary, despite a six-metre setback rule.
A decision was delayed six months, for the issue to be workshopped, and deferred for a further six months in January, 2018, as investigations into a planning scheme amendment were carried out.
Local Councillor John Connolly said at the time it made no sense to tear down the carport when around the corner there were "a heap" and thousands of carports across the Coast which similarly breached the council's street setback rules.
In July last year a 12-month trial was announced for canal-front homes, including Mr Ryan's, allowing carports in breach of the boundary setback rule.
The trial, proposed by Cr Connolly, sought to place more emphasis on the aesthetics and architectural merits of carports.
A number of residents have spoken of their frustrations at refusals of their carports, for seemingly dominating the streetscape, when they had written support of neighbours.
Inconsistency in the application of the rule was a sore point for many, who claimed there were other carports of similar scale nearby, even on the same street, in questioning why they'd been refused.
A Sunshine Coast Council spokesman said the current trial in the Mooloolah River canals area would help inform the council's approach on how to manage the issue across the Coast in future.
"Council's assessment will consider a range of matters including impacts on the streetscape and neighbouring properties to ensure the achievement of high design standards and to minimise adverse amenity impacts," the spokesman said.
"Following the 12-month trial period, council officers will review the outcomes, impacts and effectiveness of the trial and make recommendations to council."
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But the spokesman was unable to explain why there appeared to be so many inconsistencies in the application of the carport rules, or why council certifiers didn't meet with homeowners at their properties to discuss designs prior to application, to help more carports gain approval.
The spokesman was unable to say what weight, if any, was given to written support or approval gained by homeowners from their neighbours, when seeking to build a carport.