Eurobodalla Council appear to be rushing through their draft Mogo Village Place Activation Plan by advising the community they have until Wednesday 1 December 2021, 4.30pm to make a submission. While this might suit Council's own timetable the date falls well short of requests by the Mogo Community to allow them time to digest the Transport for NSW report (that is due for release in November ... some time). That report has considerable bearing on the ideas in the draft Mogo Activation Plan commissioned by Council. It is expected that the Transport for NSW report will expand on the proposed pedestrian lights to cross the highway in the middle of the town, the impact that will have on already limited highway parking and the fact that there are proposed traffic lights at the Tomakin Road intersection with the highway along with a roundabout to be installed on Tomakin Road leading into the rear carpark and the entrance to a new bus depot opposite. While the plan in general is appreciated by many in the Mogo community, saying that any focus on Mogo is decades overdue, it is considered that the draft Mogo Activation Plan has failed to listen to, and respect those who live and work in the Activation Area. The Mogo Village business chamber held its November general meeting with members and guests with the most highlighted topic being the Mogo Activation Plan. Following the meeting they wrote to Eurobodalla Council saying : "We are writing this email to request the time frame to respond with submissions from the community scheduled for the 1st of December to be extended until 31 December 2021. The reason for this request to extend the date is due to the Transport NSW study that is currently under draft form for the streetscape of Sydney St (Princes Highway) which will be released to the public for comment in the following week or so. "Our community sees this study as an integral part of the overall activation plan, which needs to be considered to allow a fair and reasonable response to the Eurobodalla Councils Activation Plan. "In a previous meeting with representatives from ESC, Mogo Wildlife Park, MVBC and Transport NSW there were significant plans to alter parking, bus zones, pedestrian crossings, traffic lights and streetscaping, all of which will impact the judgement of the MAP on public display for comment. "We have also scheduled a community information day on the 18th of November (if we receive the Transport NSW draft plan) specific to the Mogo Activation Plan, to allow all community members access to both plans and ask questions and to assist in formulating their responses. We are hoping Angie Radford can attend along with some Mountain Bike riders." Oddly, rather than accept the request for the extension, Council have decided to press ahead and are now extending their invitation for feedback to the wider Eurobodalla community. Their media release of November 8th 2021 says (in part) : The right mix for Mogo – have your say
The draft Mogo Village Place Activation Plan is on public exhibition until Wednesday 1 December and Eurobodalla Council wants your thoughts. Council’s coordinator of strategic planning Angie Radford said the draft plan prioritised 47 practical actions intended to attract investment and secure economic resilience into the future.
“It’s a comprehensive plan and there’s a lot to digest but there are three key moves: developing an integrated hub in the centre of the village, relocating the toilets to a central location, and reimagining John Street Reserve as a meeting place,” Ms Radford said.
Council also says "New opportunities for Mogo arise out of several village projects outlined in the draft plan. These include the Mogo Adventure Trail Hub, the restoration of Cabbage Tree Creek including pedestrian bridge, and the installation of new and reconstruction of existing footpaths. The plan has several major discrepancies that the average ratepayer, intent on making a submission, might not be aware of. For example: John Street toilets are missing - these have been requested time and time again by local businesses with representations to council made and promises given. Yet in this most recent of Plans they remain missing.
Council will most likely respond saying they intend to build new toilets centrally (being in the Car Park at the rear of the CBD The draft plan says "What we heard: Provide public toilets closer to the commercial centre along Princes Highway" and then offers "The Structure Plan responds by - Deliver a new integrated toilet/amenity facility connecting to Charles Street car park which connects also to the Trails Hub" What is the Trails Hub? This is what the Plan describes.
Council even provide a nice sketch:
There are a few problems with their sketch and plan though. If Transport for NSW goes ahead with their plan for pedestrian lights most likely they will be south of Annett Street. For those not familiar with Annett Street it is already a rat-run impromptu bypass used by locals as a shortcut to Tomakin Road. The other point of interest is that the image above has a wonderful picnic shelter ON PRIVATE LAND. Of concern is the announcement that the proposed Mogo Mountain Bike trails network has the potential to attract 45,000 visitors to Eurobodalla in its first year of operation. Given that most of these will come in high season there are questions being asked as to where they will par ,given that the Charles Street carpark is near full capacity on any given day with staff and visitors to the shops and day surgery occupying many of the spaces. The projected visitation by cyclists is in the order of 1000 cyclists each week taking in low season and weather. Each and all need to park somewhere, toilet somewhere, shower somewhere and wash down their bikes somewhere. With Transport NSW about to further limit parking on the highway the question has to be asked "Where are all these cyclists going to park?" To date the Mogo Village Place Activation Plan has been delivered via rhetoric with Council saying what they will do. There will be claims of consultation however that will be proven to be selective and also selective in what suggestions have been applied. The scheduled community information day on the 18th of November (should the Mogo Chamber receive the Transport NSW draft plan) will allow alternate questions to be asked in an open forum specific to the Mogo Activation Plan. It is hoped that Council staff might be present to listen to what is said.
View the draft plan at www.esc.nsw.gov.au/publicexhibition