Rezoning key to alpine development

A Canberra property developer is mounting a fresh attempt to rezone rural land at Jindabyne for a $250 million tourist resort, according to the Canberra Times.

On Rabbits Corner on the intersection of Alpine Way and Kosciuszko Rd, the proposed project includes a 100-room resort and 90-lot residential subdivision.

Snowy River Shire Council and a joint planning panel rejected a $100 million project from the same proponent a year ago, saying the commercial and residential uses were inconsistent with the council’s plans, according to the Canberra Times.

Undeterred, developer Toni Sarri has engaged Snowy River Council’s former general manager and planner Viv Straw as a consultant, and worked with other former senior council staff, to develop the proposal. Restaurants, tourist shops, a service station and lodge accommodation would generate 200 jobs at the end of the first five years. If demand warrants, the Lake Jindabyne Village would treble the town’s population to 10,000 or more over a decade.

A wetland system is proposed on the 20ha block that will follow the hillside trail down the existing slope, softening the built architecture and recycling water and containing it on site.

The Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel which backed the council’s previous rejection had found the proposal had an acrimonious background since 2010. The earlier proposal had not factored in long-term land use, water and sewage modelling on the land, two kilometres from Jindabyne’s town centre, according to the Canberra Times.

Mr Sarri says he has history on his side. He said the late Denis Winston, the architect and town planner of new Adaminaby and Jindabyne for the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority, had identified Rabbits Corner as the most suitable site for Jindabyne before the size of the lake was reduced.

Mr Sarri has managed and developed projects in Canberra including Fadden Hills residential estate and Sails Waterfront Pub. He expected the latest proposal would lapse without council’s approval after six weeks and go to NSW Planning’s Director-General for assessment.

Mr Sarri said the council was in disarray and not resourced to consider the application. Snowy River mayor John Cahill has not returned calls.

Mr Sarri said two interested parties would invest in the resort when the proponents passed the first planning hurdle. He said the resort recognised a significant change in tourism. ”A change in the tourism economy towards a larger disposable income and a longer stay period, especially among self-funded retirees and footloose workers who are able to move with the seasons is under way, and being picked up elsewhere,” Mr Sarri said.

Jindabyne fishing guide Steve Williamson who has a shop opposite Rabbits Corner, said he was not concerned about the development. ”I am not anti-tourism, anyone who wants to invest, good luck to them. There has been a lot of opposition to it, I couldn’t give a damn. ”If they open a fishing shop, it could be opposition, or there could be a chance I go over there.”

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