How high will Mooloolaba go?
DIVISION 4 councillor John Connolly, who replaced long-serving councillor Chris Thompson in this year's election, says the height of any redevelopment at the Mooloolaba wharf is "the elephant in the room".
Despite the planning scheme limiting building height at The Wharf site to 12 metres (up to four storeys) Cr Connolly indicated that other buildings gave a benchmark against which new developments could be measured.
"We've got Mantra and Newport - all very big buildings," he said. "Fifteen to 20 storeys.
"You wouldn't propose anything higher than anything that's been there of course."
He said since taking up his post as councillor nine weeks ago, the future of Mooloolaba had been a big focus.
"Every second person in Mooloolaba wants to know what's going to happen with Mooloolaba," he said, referring to development of three key areas.
The multi-level car park planned for Brisbane Rd, Aria Property Group's site opposite the surf club at The Esplanade, and Evans Long's wharf site were hot topics, he said.
"Everyone agrees there's going to be a redevelopment at The Wharf - it's needed," he said. "What format it takes is yet to be decided."
Cr Connolly said redevelopment of The Wharf complex would need to be "world class" but acknowledged traffic congestion was a major issue.
"We can't redevelop without including about 400 new car parks," he said. "That's an issue."
He said the site's future would be an "ongoing debate", and emphasised his position that developers who were willing to invest in the site should have their proposals considered carefully.
"You're not going to have someone coming and spending 200 or 300 million (dollars) easily. The investment is going to be maximum and we've got to evaluate what it is."
Developer of The Wharf, Evans Long, on Tuesday confirmed it had met both councillors and staff from the council's planning department.
Mr Long said planning for the redevelopment was in the early stages, with no specific height or building vision in mind. He said a voluntary public consultation period run by the company would precede any formal applications for development approval.
When director Dirk Long was previously asked whether he would rule out a development that was outside the planning scheme height restrictions, he declined to comment.