A move to rezone parkland and an off-street car park ahead of a potential resale had just three responses to a public exhibition, a council report shows.
The proposed rezoning in a planning amendment that goes before councillors on Wednesday could ultimately lead to a sell-off of the public land.
If approved, it would switch two areas of parkland in Wendouree and North Ballarat to general residential zones.
A third parcel of land at 12A Albert Street in Sebastopol currently used as an off-street car park would become a mixed used zone if the officer recommendation is approved, allowing for both commercial and residential development. An environmental audit overlay would also be applied due to the land previously being used as a gold mine.
All three properties are among council sites identified as potentially surplus to requirements and earmarked for future sale.
Two of the responses to the public exhibition were from public organisations, who did not oppose the amendment.
The one objection related to the zoning of a North Ballarat park at 15 Lake View Court, a leafy 907 square meter area of land wedged between houses.
According to the officer report, the submitter opposed a potential change in the amenity of the area. The objection also cited previous assurances that the land would not be sold off.
By far the largest area of land in the would-be planning amendment relates to Giot Drive in Wendouree.
It forms about half of the Ealing Avenue Reserve.
THE 15 LAKE VIEW COURT LOCATION:
The total area of the reserve, described as "undeveloped for recreational purposes", is 10,123 square metres. The other part of the reserve is already zoned as a general residential area. Mount Rowan campus of Ballarat Secondary College is nearby, with houses clustered to the south and the Western Freeway immediately to the north.
Officers recommend the Ballarat North property go to an independent planning panel due to the objection.
Meanwhile, the officer recommendation is to approve the amendment for the pieces of land in Wendouree and Sebastopol that did not receive objections. This would then go to the state Minister for Planning to be approved.
SEE THE GIOT DRIVE/ EALING AVENUE RESERVE LOCATION:
The former mayor of Sebastopol Paul Jenkins strongly opposed the rezoning of the Albert Street property when councillors approved the City of Ballarat's move to start the process in July last year.
However, no formal objections were received as part of the public exhibition in November and December last year. The council told The Courier the exhibition was advertised, a notice was sent to owners and occupiers who might be affected and drop-in public information sessions were also arranged.
The council announced its plan to sell the Albert Street property in January last year.
Both the Wendouree property and the North Ballarat site were listed among 13 council-owned pieces of land to be considered for sale in a December 2017 council officer report.
SEE 12A ALBERT STREET LOCATION:
The rationale in that report said the City of Ballarat needed "to ensure its property portfolio is performing ... measured by the financial return being derived, or the community benefit its properties are providing."
The Kohinoor Community Centre, which was also listed in the report, was sold last year.
If the proposed planning amendment is approved, it would not guarantee the sale of the land. Any future move to sell the land would also need to be considered by council.
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