The future of a neighbourhood centre which hosts small businesses and generates local employment is under threat – from medium density residential zoning in the Redland City Plan.
The White House’s owners, and the people who operate small businesses from here, hope the community will support their petition to stay in business.
The White House – a business incubator
The Victoria Point community has enjoyed a wide variety of services at the White House for over 20 years. About 45 small businesses have operated from this site over the years. Currently, eleven businesses provide diverse services including a coffee shop.
Locals say the place is bustling with activity all day long without adversely impacting each other or the neighbours. It acts as a true neighbourhood centre.
Comments from local residents include:
The village style atmosphere is unique – a far cry from the many concrete jungles that we have in the Redlands which often appear to be empty and uninviting.
The White House has an old world charm and operates as a entrepreneurial incubator…helping ideas become micro-businesses that grow.
The White House is located at 312 Colburn Avenue in Victoria Point, opposite Link Road. According to owner Reg Kaasik the land has, in the past, been zoned as Special facilities, Professional Offices. Council’s Draft City Plan 2015 proposes the land remain zoned as Medium Density Residential. The owners and business tenants want it zoned Neighbourhood Centre Zone (Mixed Business) so that small businesses can continue to service the needs of the community.
Put your houses somewhere else!
Sue Kaasik pleads
“Redland City Council may desire more residential, but don’t kill existing small business in the process. Put your houses somewhere else!
A campaign was launched in the shadow of the Redland City Council’s Draft City Plan consultation to have the land zoned as Neighbourhood Centre.
The Chair of the RCC Planning Portfolio, Cr Julie Talty (Division 6) wrote to supporters of The White House, with following suggestion:
Just touching base. I have been advised that if it were possible to get the White House zoned to ‘Neighbourhood Centre’ Zone in the proposed scheme that would be the most discrete and direct way to get all the uses into compliance. I know that you are taking town planning advice, but if you can get as many submissions as possible in to the proposed City Plan 2015 from as many different supporters as possible each asking that the White House be zone to reflect the use currently enjoyed by the community for a ‘Neighbourhood Centre’ before the 27th of November that would be the best support for achieving a zone change to reflect the use.
Councillor Talty has put a huge reliance on the City Plan 2015 consultation process but noticeably didn’t express her personal opinion about saving The White House.
Keep making submissions about City Plan 2015
Formal submissions to the new planning scheme “City Plan 2015” closed on the 27th November 2015 but there are still ways for the community to keep the future of the White House on the agenda.
Ways to keep the White House alive might include “post-submissions” to City Plan. Councillor Talty, at a general Meeting a few months made reference to consultation that Council had done prior to forming and releasing the Draft City Plan 2015. In the planning business these are known as “pre-submissions”.
Supporters of The White House could provide Council with “post-submissions” including representations direct to the Mayor and all councillors.
Given that the City Plan is not likely to be finalised until after the local government elections on 19 March 2016, it may also be useful to find out what any candidates think about this issue – especially any candidates for Division 4 which is where The White House is located.
How to help by signing a petition
Another way to help save The White House, is to sign a community run petition.
Allow the businesses operating at The White House, 312 Colburn Avenue, Victoria Point, to be allowed to continue operating by granting a change of zoning to ‘Neighbourhood Centre’.
Why is this important?
Redlands City Council wants to shut down The White House in Victoria Point! This historic set of buildings is a unique space within the community, fostering a wide variety of local small businesses by providing them with a low cost but high exposure location from which to operate. The community feel and unique mix of tenants is matched no where else in the local area. Tell council you want to HELP SAVE THE WHITE HOUSE!
How it will be delivered?
The petition will be delivered in person by Reg Kaasik (the owner of The White House) and the operators of the various small businesses located there, to the Redland City Council.
At last count over 950 people had signed the petition, the target being 1,000. If you want them to reach 1,000, join others in the community and sign this petition: