Fears for carparks

01:00, Aug 04 2010

THE council is vowing there will be no loss of commuter carparks during short-term upgrades at Matiatia.

Fears that parking could be lost in the grassy area in front of the old harbourmaster's building when the council went ahead with the Matiatia Direction Plan have sparked anger among some commuters.

Their concern has been backed by Waiheke Community Board member and transport spokesman Herb Romaniuk, who says the commuters have never been consulted about parking space numbers at the wharf since the council bought the property in 2005.

He says that with the landbanking by the council at Matiatia last year, the Matiatia Directional Plan should also be put on hold.

The directional plan intends to free up the grassed area by the foreshore for "open space". The area is now used as 170 leased parking spaces.

Auckland City Council facilities manager Anthea Bernard told the community board at its monthly meeting last week that works due to start around the harbourmaster's building would not eliminate parking spaces.

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She told the board she had had several complaints about the muddiness of the grassy leased parking area.

"We've tried grading the roads but as soon as they park in the mud, vehicles bring the mud back into the other area. There are people paying to park on the muddy area."

Now work is planned to move most of the leased parking spaces back from the waterlogged foreshore to new all-weather spaces around the entrance to harbourmaster's building.

"We are not losing one single space by moving things around," Ms Bernard told the board.

Plans include removing the portacom building and the weatherboard hut known as the gatehouse that is used by rental car companies and reworking the area to free up space for the relocated public parking.

The rental car companies will move to the harbourmaster's building to make room for the upgrades.

But Mr Romaniuk says he will be fighting to get the "open space" grassed area back for public parking.

"I'm sure commuters will be happy to relocate from the boggy area to the new area, as long as the current muddy leased area is upgraded for later parking use.

"We do not want to lose that parking," he says.

Transport manager Mr Cuthers says that decision will have to be made by the council's property department but points out the council has adopted the Matiatia Directional Plan which has designated the grassy area as open space.

Meanwhile, Mr Cuthers has confirmed there could be a loss of 50 parking spaces on the southern side of Ocean View Rd after Christmas, during necessary roading upgrades.

‘‘Those parks will have to go to Owhanake.’’

Before that happens, however, the matter will be discussed at the Waiheke Transport Forum and will come back to the board for discussion.

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