By Melissa Sheil
DEVELOPMENT of Wattle Grove South has come to a halt after the City of Kalamunda council decided to cease planning on its rezoning this week.
Council had three options, one, to go ahead with a modified concept plan for the development, two, to note the plan but cease work on it and three, to throw out the plan entirely.
Council voted 7/3 in favour of the second option.
Residents with opposing views on the urbanisation of Wattle Grove South have been intent in their four-year battle to see their side win.
Pro-development Future Wattle Grove representative Tony Riggio said the issue had soiled community spirit while at the same time taking a swipe at the other side.
“From day one we asked to sit down with them and chat about how we can compromise but they have flat out refused,” he said.
“They talk down to the council like they’re morons and treat us like we’re in it for the money – what huge amount of money they think we’re getting I don’t know.
“It’s great to see passion for the environment, and we love our big [trees] as much as they do, but this issue has completely wrecked our community and turned it into an us versus them.”
EcoVision said they considered option three the only viable choice for environmental protection.
EcoVision coordinator Bev Dornan expressed her extreme disappointment in the council’s decision and said compromise on the issue undermined the environment “beyond recall”.
“The zoning of an area is either one thing [rural] or the other [urban] and you cannot have both protection and unregulated development of the same area,” she said.
“Members of EcoVision intend to pursue ways to protect our community and the environment, despite the council’s display of irresponsibility at the Council meeting.
“This week’s meeting is only one unfortunate setback on a very important journey for our community.”
Both sides of the issue believe they hold the majority of affected Wattle Grove residents in their court.