A change to the Local Environmental Plan that will allow a single building on Johnston Street to increase its height from 16 metres to 25 metres has been approved after councillors voted in favour of the change on Monday evening.
The building at 63-65 Johnston Street in Wagga's Heritage Conservation Area is part-owned by Councillor Rod Kendall, who declared a pecuniary interest and excused himself from the chamber while the application was discussed.
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Councillor Kerry Pascoe also excused himself from the discussion over a potential future interest in the outcome.
The LEP proposal initially looked to face opposition, with ongoing debate around property developers sitting on councils. Currently, property developers and investors are allowed to sit on local councils and simply declare a pecuniary interest and excuse themselves from discussion and decision making if a development application attached to one of their projects is presented to the meeting.
Last week, Councillor Tim Koschel announced his intention to call for a deferral of the motion over Cr Kendall's building, arguing that approving a councillor's own application one week before caretaker mode came into effect simply "didn't pass the pub test".
With local elections delayed until December and the caretaker period pushed back, Cr Koschel backflipped on his initial plan, instead supporting the motion.
"I thought the timing was a little bit off but I am glad I can support this tonight because of the change to the election and moving that caretaker period back," Cr Koschel said.
Councillor Dan Hayes argued timing was immaterial to the proposal and should have no bearing on Cr Koschel's decision.
The motion passed with five votes, with Councillor Yvonne Braid abstaining and Crs Pascoe and Kendall not present.
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