A NEW suburb, dogs on beaches and a divisive trip to Japanese sister-city Miura are among the topics to be discussed at tonight’s Warrnambool City Council meeting.
In what is expected to be a lengthy meeting, councillors will vote on rezoning 118 hectares of land along Hopkins Point Road tonight, potentially paving the way for a new suburb marked by river and ocean views.
The council’s vote will be the penultimate step in the process, with the planning amendments then to be sent to Planning Minister Matthew Guy for final approval.
The officer’s report to council notes the key issues raised by 25 submissions of the rezoning included traffic impacts on vehicular and cycle traffic, provision of reticulated gas to the new suburb, loss of coastal views for existing residents, and housing density in the area.
The rezoning would allow about 500 houses to be built in the area.
Councillors will also vote on a proposal to extend the number of months where dogs are permitted on Warrnambool’s beaches.
The proposal before council includes allowing dogs on leashes to be on the beach between the Flume and the breakwater from the start of April to the end of November instead of the start of May until the end of October.
Councillors will also vote again on the matter of paying to send chief executive Bruce Anson and mayor Michael Neoh to Miura for a historic meeting to mark the 20th anniversary of the sister-city relationship with Warrnambool.
The trip was voted down at a past council meeting, but has been brought back to the table by Cr Jacinta Ermacora, who is concerned about the diplomatic damage such a snub could create.
Other matters to be discussed at tonight’s council meeting include:
. plans for the construction of six units in Kennedy Street on Merrivale’s western fringe which have attracted 18 objections;
. a proposed 16-lot subdivision in Merrivale;
. a planned canopy extension on the under-construction building at the controversial 94 Merri Street address;
. an update on the world-renowned Maremma Project at Middle Island;
. an update on the sister city relationship with Changchun in China; and
. parking issues in Ellerslie Grove and the Warrnambool Base Hospital precinct.