Two-storey ‘boutique’ boarding house proposed

A two-storey “boutique boarding house” has been proposed for 454 Ocean Beach Rd, Umina Beach, just 550 metres from the beach.
The site is about 100 metres south of the roundabout with West St and Sydney Ave and currently has two houses on it.
The rear house would be only partly demolished and altered to provide a manager’s residence attached to the boarding house with 11 self-contained rooms.
The existing zoning allows for boarding houses.
The application, submitted by Mr Charles Dominec Raneri, says this is a new generation boarding house that would contribute to the much-needed affordable housing stock in the Umina area to help alleviate housing stress for low to moderate income households.
The application says “each boarding house room/suite will have its own bathroom, kitchen and laundry with sewerage service, water supply as well as connection to power, gas and other services as required.
“The developments as proposed will place minimal additional demand for existing infrastructure services.
“Accordingly, there are adequate services available,” the report says.
“The proposed rooms differ from those of traditional boarding house rooms with shared facilities.
“The proposal is more akin to studio or one-bedroom apartments.
“As such, it will not be offering short term occupancies, but will only offer minimum terms of three months.
“The design and nature of these arrangements are likely to attract a more traditional long-term residential use rather than short term transient patrons.”
Car parking would be available at the rear of the property while there is parking forward of the building line is proposed for three motorcycles.
“Examples of council approving parking forward of the building line are found in close vicinity of the site by three other examples,’’ in Ocean Beach Rd, the report says.
Use of the common facilities is proposed to be restricted under the terms of occupation as provided in boarding house rules.
The rules would restrict the use of communal space and communal open space to the hours of 8am to10pm on any day.
Communal facilities are proposed with a kitchen facing the southern boundary.
The kitchen is considered a low use area to be utilised by residents when holding functions or parties that are prohibited within their own rooms.
“This focusses the activity close to the on-site manager’s residence and, as such, is easily and readily monitored and supervised.
“Periods of occupation and activity for these areas is mostly expected during weekends and mostly during daylight hours.
“Use of the common facilities is proposed to be restricted under the terms of occupation as provided in the boarding house rules.
“The rules restrict the use of communal space to the hours of 8am to 10pm on any day”.
The proposal is fully compliant with council regulations and is below the maximum floor space ratio by 36 per cent.
However, the consultant’s report foreshadowed the many objections that have already been sent to council since the proposal went on public exhibition mid-May.
“The boarding house use will most likely not be well received by local residents due to their preconception that a boarding house will attract undesirable patrons in terms of low socioeconomic background where such resentment is fuelled by prejudice against this demographic,” the application acknowledges.
“The loss of more affordable caravan parks and manufactured housing estates, and relative undersupply of more affordable housing types is having a serious impact on low to moderate income renters and those more vulnerable in the local housing market.
“The provision of affordable housing and more recently, new generation boarding houses, has become a primary concern of Commonwealth, State and local governments.
“As a result and in response to local community resentment for such, various incentives have been applied to foster this kind of socially beneficial development.
“This type of new generation boarding house facility will attract members of the community that are self-sufficient and that desire to live independently rather than share facilities.
“This mode of lifestyle promotes self-respect and independence for their residents.”
The report stated that was unfortunate that this type of accommodation fell under the label of “boarding house”.
“The reality is that the type of new generation facilities are more akin to one bedroom apartments built to a limited size to ensure affordability.
“Perhaps if presented to the community as “boutique studio and one-bedroom apartments” instead of “boarding houses”, the public recoil would not manifest.
The proposal is on public exhibition until June 6. and has already attracted dozens of comment after it appeared on a local Facebook site with a link to the online submission form.
The theme of the comments are objections due to parking and anti social behaviour.
“I oppose such a construction due to its nature and being in close proximity to the public school and surf club,’’ reads one submission.
“I have a young family that I feel would not be safe living in such close proximity to a boarding house.
“Such residential models have very limited regulatory bodies overseeing their operations and I feel adamantly that such a proposal not be considered by council,’’ it concluded.

DA Tracker, 20 May 2019
DA 56417, Central Coast Council

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