COLAC’S leaders say they can address car-parking concerns but will not “rush in” to demolish the former Civic Home Hardware building for car spaces.
Public submissions on a Colac CBD and entrances master plan draft but raised concerns with parking.
Colac Otway Shire mayor Brian Crook said the council received almost 200 submissions, plus 250 survey responses, and a majority of responses were positive.
“We received 148 written submissions and 37 electronic responses,” Cr Crook said.
Cr Crook said parking was an area of concern and he understood “parallel parking is a problem for some”.
But the council’s chief executive Rob Small said he expected Colac would be “better off for parking” under the new plan.
“There is provision for more centre-parking in Bromfield Street and there is already an emphasis in dispersing parking away from Murray Street,” he said.
He said the council’s purchase of the former Civic Home Hardware site in Railway Street also offered opportunities for parking.
“We’re not going to rush in and knock it down,” Cr Crook said.
“It could provide parking and expand opportunities for park and ride services.”
Cr Crook said a decision on closing Railway Street to traffic and extend the council precinct to the former hardware store site was “in the mix”.
He said the council would not consider plans for the site until after it took possession of its $800,000 purchase on January 1.
Meanwhile, the CBD and entrances master plan will go back to the consultants to develop a formal concept plan for shire residents to consider early next year.
“Once we have a formal design we can look at funding and grant possibilities but the plan would probably be rolled out in a staged process,” Cr Crook said.
“There was a very high interest in it and what that says is that people are concerned about their town and pride of place,” he said.
“There are elements of the plan that might have to be tweaked but the concept had universal acceptance, particularly the idea of promoting Colac as Botanic Garden City.”
“The plan all needs a lot of work but the community’s given us a mandate to go ahead,” Mr Small said.