A petition of more than 740 signatures has been handed to the City of Busselton Council in a bid to limit development on Geographe Bay Road in Dunsborough to a height of three storeys.
The petition to rezone lots from R80 to R60 has been signed by residents to limit a towering four-storey apartment complex set to be built at the end of Dunn Bay Road.
Dunsborough Progress Association spokesman Tony Sharp said the association believed four storeys were not essential to accommodate growth in the town and a limit of three storeys on the foreshore was necessary.
“Four storeys is definitely not supported by the community,” he said.
“After two Saturday markets, talking to a few hundred people, only two were unwilling to sign the petition, and I believe one of those was not a resident,” he said.
In 2016 the area from Gifford Road to Chester Way was zoned R80 to allow four-storey developments from a previous R15 code which only permitted two.
Twenty-three applications against the change were submitted, with five in favour, but the rezoning went ahead in keeping with the 2014 Dunsborough Centre Conceptual Plan.
“We have over 740 electors’ signatures behind this petition,” Mr Sharp said. “With time we could have almost all of the community.”
Local architect Mark Webster said three storeys would retain some connectivity and identity with the street, but four storeys would not.
“At four storeys you’re disconnected from the street and much more urban in nature,” he said.
“This may be OK for the centre of town, but is out of place along the foreshore.”
Dunsborough resident Geoff Forman lives near to the development site and said the idea of a large building so close to his coastal home was upsetting.
“Not only is the building going to increase the number of homes, but also the traffic and people,” he said.
“It’s going to get rid of the most unique aspects of Dunsborough.”
The proposed height of four storeys would reportedly tower above trees and power lines in the area — two storeys taller than any building surrounding it.
Dunsborough2030 chairman Peter Kyle said the development was a classic example of “interference” with the character of the town.
“People really don’t want the character of Dunsborough to change,” he said. “People come here because of how it is now.”
City of Busselton Cr Sue Riccelli will put forward a motion next month in favour of the rezoning.
“Given the impending four-storey apartment building currently being considered and a house close by has now gone on the market, advertising the benefits of their R80 zoning, I feel it is imperative we consider this matter now,” she said.
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