Council softens stance on closures
SUNSHINE Coast Council has tried to hose down anger about forcing businesses to close, as Warana firm Stripfit considers its next move.
The health and fitness group, which has been based at Premier Court for four years, has been told it must have approval to operate in the industrial area.
When the letter was sent in early April, it stated the business had to close by May 10.
If owners Sharny and Julius Kieser cannot convince the council to let them be, Ms Kieser said the award-winning fitness group will have to shift.
“It costs to put in an application and there is no assurance it will be approved,” Ms Kieser said.
The council’s planning assessment manager, Michael Bismire, said if the company did put in a development application to stay put, the council would likely not force its closure unless it was rejected.
He said the council had learned of businesses operating without approval from complaints.
Once a complaint is made the council is legally forced to investigate.
“We respond to hundreds of complaints every year,” Mr Bismire said.
“Some are found to warrant a follow-up.
“The council will exercise patience while considering a development application.”
Mr Bismire defended the need for these zoned areas, saying if a company was approved in an industrial area beside a panel beater, they could later complain to the council about noise or fumes.
“That is not the fault of the panel beater operating in the industrial area,” he said.
“These are to separate conflicting land uses.”
Mr Bismire said he did not know how many businesses across the Coast were operating without zoning approval.
Deputy Mayor Tim Dwyer said if a company was not malicious about operating outside zoning, it should have the chance to survive.
“I think we should give them the ability to apply and accept the referee’s decision,” Cr Dwyer said.
“It is an issue I’ve raised with our town plan discussions. We need to understand how the world is.
“Fitness studios, personal training centres, expansive gyms – we need to understand the way they function.
“People want to wander to their fitness studio, then shower and go back to work.
“If we have told them to get out in 28 days, I don’t agree with that.”
Stripfit will await a response from the council before deciding on the next step.