KEN SEALEY is an artist and longtime Beaufort local, and crafted the big “Beaufort Street” sign in the middle of the strip. In this week’s SPEAKER’S CORNER, he shares a bold plan to help revive the ailing hub, rezoning properties to create new street fronts.
I am a sculptor and long term resident of the City of Vincent.
I created the Big Blue head and built the Beaufort Street sign for Bremick.
I have run a BnB called Haven on the Park in Turner Street Highgate for the last three years and in March I opened a coffee shop called Haven Coffee Garden at the rear of my property adjacent to Jack Marks Dog Park.
I have just read the Voice coverage on Beaufort Street and it has encouraged me to share a few of the things that I have been noticing and thinking about as a wander the streets of Highgate with my dog.
The biggest problem with Beaufort Street is Beaufort Street itself. It is too busy and not pedestrian friendly and becoming more that way.
I think the laneways need to be activated and I suggest rezoning some of the residential properties (in red) to commercial/residential, restricting their commercial use to independent retail on the ground floor with residential above (this would enclose sound created in the laneway).
The lane in the image below runs from Skye Lane to Barlee Street.
By rezoning only three properties (the one fronting Barlee Street is probably zoned office) 150m of retail frontage could be created.
In addition if Clarence Street was closed and outdoor areas behind adjacent businesses (delineated in green) were incorporated a very large piazza would be created.
Extend the FTZ
If the four properties adjacent to the lane that runs from Harold Street to Chatsworth (incorporating Mary Street Piazza) were rezoned then another 150m of retail frontage could be created. I think if the properties were rezoned the economic incentive to develop them would be sufficient to encourage the current owner to either sell or develop themselves.
All public transport including the CAT, regular Transperth buses and the trains are free within the Free Transit Zone.
By amending the Perth Parking Management Act to include Beaufort and Lord Streets (to Walcott Street) in the Perth Parking Management Area we could utilise existing Transperth services (there is no need to extend the CAT routes).
This would increase utilisation of existing public assets without adding significantly to running costs.
The Perth Parking Management Act 1999 requires that all non-residential parking bays within the Perth Parking Management Area be licensed with a fee paid where liable.
If you have five or less fee liable parking bays on your property, you do not have to pay a fee but you must still license the bays.
The PPMA already includes parts of the City of Vincent and the City pays ~$350,000 pa to license 350 bays.
This would require businesses with more than five bays operating within the amended area to pay a licence fee of around $1,000 pa for each of their exclusive parking bays. There are a limited number of businesses in the amended area that have more than five bays.
What do you reckon? Is Ken’s idea a goer? Would property owners be keen? Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org