The Lyric Lane Concept

Lyric Lane

Being a Councillor can have its challenges sometimes. Section 5.21 (2) of the Local Government Act 1995 states that at a Council meeting every Councillor present must vote – there is no opting out of the difficult or controversial issues. Therefore each Councillor needs to have formed a position (hopefully an informed position) by the time of voting For or Against. The Lyric Lane proposal provides a good case in point.

This proposal is for a 3 story (plus basement) development. The basement will be predominantly for live music functions. The ground floor will be a small bar/tavern & cafe and on the first and second floors there will be three residential dwellings. The proposed development will be at 177 Guildford Rd which is between 7th and 8th Avenues.

Despite the fact that any sane Councillor should probably welcome a development in the area which would cost several millions of dollars, who wouldn’t want another small bar (classed tavern by the Liquor Police) and/or a trendy live music venue in Maylands? I certainly would, and I would likely be a regular patron.

Yet there is a problem. And that is parking.

The proposed residences on the first and second floors meet the parking requirements of 5 bays, but the City of Bayswater would normally insist that the commercial components (ground level and basement) have 57 car parking bays. Yet there are only 4. I have received numerous emails urging me, and the other Councillors, to support this proposal. Most emails include how important it is to have live music venues (agreed) and how the Council should be against drink-driving so not providing bays is irrelevant (disagree) and that the venue is close to the train line, and next to a bus stop on Guildford Rd, which means that people can use public transport (agreed). It is because of the public transport facilities that the Council has granted a 50% car bay dispensation under TP-P1.9 (Maylands Town Centre), and this therefore reduces the normal requirements of 57 bays to 29 bays. Unfortunately even with the generous reduction in parking bay requirements to 29 bays, there still exists a shortfall of 86%.

It is my understanding that the developers are hoping that the basement and ground levels are approved for a combined liquor licence number of circa 250 people. Obviously many people will attend who either don’t drink, are the delegated skipper for the evening or who don’t feel the need to drink over the limit. In addition the bar staff, security, glassies, chefs, band members, won’t be drinking.  Where are they to park?

It has been suggested that Maylands town site has sufficient parking, particularly in the evenings, to absorb any parking requirement. During the day time when the café and bar will be open that is not correct; just look at the picture at the top of this article and you will see virtually all of the bays are full (the chemist has a few spots free but that is their private land). In the evenings, there are spare spots at the moment, but just this week it was announced that another small bar on 8th Ave has been approved (‘Henry on Eighth’) and it is expected a new Middle Eastern Restaurant will be opening soon. And let’s face it, surely there are plenty more enterprises coming to Maylands as well. But to do my due-diligence I drove around the area at 8.45pm tonight (Saturday) to see how many bays were available and below you can see that whilst there are a number of spare bays, Maylands is no ghost town at night-time. Eight Ave was fairly full, the train station car park was 50% full and of particular concern, 7th Ave had their fair share of cars as well (this is where I expect most people would park).

Parking availability

The proposed development has a number of other issues such as no dedicated on-site servicing area provided, so I don’t know how all the different suppliers of food, the beer kegs, cartons, soft drinks are going to deliver their wares without causing a problem. Or the band for that matter who will no doubt bring their own instruments and amplifiers etc. This however is a problem which probably has a solution, but not having enough parking on-site for even a fraction of the staff is something I can’t get past. In addition Council has received a petition numbering 101 people who are opposed to various elements of this development.

I am sure there is wide community support for a venue like this and that many people will be upset, and opposed to my position, especially if I still feel the same way when I vote. I considered staying silent on the issue and meekly raising my hand when it comes time to vote For or Against, but felt it is my responsibility to be transparent, open and respectful to the electorate. In addition it is my responsibility to vote according to what I believe is in the long-term interests of the area.

This decision is made without fear or favour and I feel the facts speak for themselves – as the Officer’s wrote in the Council agenda, “the scale and intensity of the commercial component of the proposal exceeds the capacity of the site, and will unduly affect the amenity of the area”.

I would love to see this tavern/small bar and live music venue in Maylands become a reality, but I currently believe the design needs to be scaled back so more parking can be provided on site.

13 thoughts on “The Lyric Lane Concept

  1. I have read your concerns and understand them, but you also say you would see that such a venue would be of major interest to the area and that you would be a patron if it were to go ahead. Your concerns are valid and you offer evidence to support them but no where in this paper do I see any suggestions on how to move forward with the proposal and possibilities on how these concerns could be alleviated.. This is where Perth in general frustrates me, always err on the safe and conservative side. Melbourne has many lane way bars and restaurants, they have managed to work out problems with deliveries for services etc, why can’t we think a little left of centre for a change. And I thought Maylands would just show the rest of Perth what a sleepy little suburb could become an interesting and awesome place to want to live and visit.
    So that’s it? No more restaurants, cafés, etc, because we don’t have sufficient parking. What a crying shame council. Do something about it, think ahead and fix the problem not quash the project. I am sure the naysayers in the community are the ones that have probably petitioned against any development that would see Maylands from moving forward into a wonderful suburb to live and eat and entertain your friends. Yours frustratingly, Pauline Daems.

    1. Hi Pauline,
      There are a number of solutions which I understand have all been raised with the developer. First are car-stackers, which the upcoming residential development on Eighth Ave will be using. The second is to scale back the development so that there is more space for car bays. The third is to use a portion of one of the levels as car bays.
      It really is not my role to start offering developers options on how to make their proposal less non-compliant; the developer, and the CoB, have much smarter and more-informed people than me who can do that.
      And no, that’s not it. There will be plenty more restaurants and cafes coming, but the difference is that they will hopefully offer a more compliant parking arrangement.

      1. There are a few startling errors in this response Chris which you may be interferes red in discussions. Car stackers from our investigation will not work in this situation and have been investigated comprehesively. The second is the block is not wide enough for a second level of vehicles. The third is that scale does not change the number of bays possible. We have the maximum and these points have been confirmed by you officers in discussions and the report. This is not the big development you suggest and I urge you to meet with me on site so I can show you. Any time you elect.

        Thanks

    2. Hi Pauline,
      I am one of the ‘naysayers in the local community’. I too would love to see this development, BUT with an adequate parking plan. 3 (because one is allocated to the ‘manager’) is just not adequate.
      I think Council has been quite lenient in this regard in halving the actual requirement by 50% due to proximity to public transport.
      There has to be give and take on both sides of a development. One from the Council and one from the developer.

      1. I should also note that I am one of the organisers of the Maylands Hawker Markets. So would definitely not describe myself as preventing Maylands from moving forward.

      2. Catherine, the daytime parking is 11 bays deficient. There has been a load of poor reporting and representation of this. This is not a large development as suggested, just a very responsible one.

  2. Hi Chris,
    I agree with your article 100%.
    I too would love to see this kind of development in Maylands, but cannot get past the heinous lack of parking facilities.
    Living and working in Maylands I know just how hard some retailers have it as it is. My work has 10 car bays – and often has nowhere for customers to park because the closest cafe has inadequate parking facilities, so we get the overflow. People will catch a cab to drink or eat. They don’t usually do so to go strip shopping. I would hate for Maylands to end up as another Mt Lawley/Subiaco – dead during the day because all the retailers closed up (admittedly, their areas are due to combined issues with high rent and parking).
    But then again, if this gets through with 4 car bays (one of them actually an allocated “manager parking” bay) we should just develop over our car park? I mean, precedent would then be set …

    1. Catherine, please understand that this is not accurate. The reported number are not good but we’re incorrect and we’re changed by officers. We are 11 bays short and provide many more bays than say Chapels on Whatley which is about the same daytime size.

    2. Dear Chris,
      We would love to see you tomorrow at the venue & add a touch of humanity & reality to this development. There are always reasons to not do things but we would like the opportunity to show you why this should happen.
      Luka de Ruyter

  3. Hi Chris

    In all respect there are a number of issues raised that are not quite right, but I am sure it is all in interpretation. The scale of this development is not large, apart from the second floor apartment which was added for my parents, the rest are there to make the place better within the community. This includes the basement, which is there merely to take noise out of the equation, and it’s not cheap. The apartment in the lane is there purely to make the place, that is to help the lane way be what Council wants it to be. We have done this to be good corporate citizens and we are getting caned for it by parking. The point is Chris, we are 11 bays short in regard to daytime
    parking load being the peak time. We are providing a lot more than other establishment of the same size and we have explored all options.

    The operational issues have all been resolved and do not pose any concern. We have provided a full plan to Council but have not received any feed back as yet. The report to Council does not make mention of this.

    The comment that we are a 250 person venue in one of your comment responses indicates to me that you may well misunderstand what this venue is about. I urge you to meet with me on site and discuss the scale and parking issue you seems to have fixed a view on. Anytime Your call.

    Thanks

    Michiel de Ruyter

  4. I support the comments of Chris Cornish and Catherine. Their comments really do make sense. Parking in Maylands has already become a real issue be it day or night, with complaints to Council by local business owners even for community/family events in the evening. Shouldn’t we now be supporting these family/community events before more of those indoor events involving more alcohol consumption in the area.

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