Vince & Kim Fondacaro own and operate Fondy’s Automotives on Great Northern Highway in the Swan Valley. They have been long term Swan Valley residents and have operated their mechanical repair business for more than a decade.
With their home set close to Great Northern Highway and the workshop located at the rear of the property, Vince & Kim worried about the safety of their growing family. It was time to move to new premises, still on Great Northern Highway, though with their home at the rear and their purpose built business premises at the front.
Proposing any development within the Swan Valley can be a challenge, given a planning framework that includes the Swan Valley Planning Act and a host of interested decision making bodies.
A major challenge arose due to the size restrictions of operating as a home business changing under the new planning scheme. This land use classification applied to their current business, though could now no longer apply when they relocated. As ‘Motor Vehicle Repair’ was a use not permitted in the area, the process of seeking an Additional Use amendment was commenced.
Notwithstanding support from many members of the local community, the complex planning process, including the City of Swan, Swan Valley Planning Committee, Western Australian Planning Commission and the Minister for Planning, meant that it was almost four years between initial lodgement and approval.
Key decisions throughout the process were usually an indication of approval by only one or two votes and the project thus walked an approval tight rope for its entire journey.
Gaining approval for the Fondacaro’s to continue their essential local service remains one of the most satisfying achievements for our team at Burgess Design Group.