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What are the things you value that make Umina a village? What is working? What could be improved?

by Transport & Mobility Team, over 4 years ago
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julie hatfield over 4 years ago
There are some nice cafes and shops, but they are forced by the current format of the built environment to have an inside focus. Umina would work better as a village, and particularly a beachside village, if cafes and restaurants could move their operations outside. One way of achieving this would be to have a section (or sections) of West St (and possibly cross-streets) designated as pedestrian/cycle shared zone (with motorised vehicle access for deliveries only, at 10kmph). Naturally this would also have other advantages for creating a village environment. Including water features that are accessible for childplay, and possibly a small playground also help in this regard. (Manly Corso provides a great example of this). I have also seen a bandstand - available for local music groups - work really well to create a focal point in this kind of environment.

Limiting movements of motorised vehicles, and encouraging pedestrians and cyclists, in the village area is critical to making it safe and peaceful. Umina has a perfect set-up for this to be practicable given the availability of very close alternatives to West St. With some careful planning, fairly unimpeded travel for motorised vehicles could be preserved, while providing a modern shared zone for pedestrians and cyclists.

It is great to have the library. It would be even better if it could be extended and modernised, to provide a larger library, and more space for other community activities.

Finally, and I'm not sure how this could be achieved, it would be great to encourage more "artisan" style shops for local craftspeople and artists to display and sell their products.
matthew over 4 years ago
I have reservations regarding shared zones in busy town centers. One of the reasons that people like to come to Umina is that kerb side parking in the main street is convenient and where space is not available, you can park to the rear in Bullion Street. The main street is busy but it works well. You have to be very careful when playing around with the dynamics of the main thoroughfare lest you end up with a disaster like Blackwall Road in Woy Woy town centre when Council in their wisdom removed the old roundabout and prevented the right turn to Gosford. Shops have struggled ever since which has had a long term negative effect on Woy Woy. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
niccolay over 4 years ago
I agree with majority of Julies' comments but PLEASE no playground. The council has a great new play area for children down near Umina beach.
Anna Sutton over 4 years ago
Unfortunately, people who design children's play areas think they have to be in garish primary colours and most are an absolute eye-sore. BAn up-grade to the l.ibrary would be fantastic as it is one of the main attractions for me. But don't hold your breath. Library hours have been seriously slashed as it is. It obviously isn't a Council priority. I am inclined to agree with Matthew, it does work as is, though the traffic is West Street competing with the over-flow of pedestrians, skateboards, unsupervised children etc, is an accident waiting to happen.
mic over 4 years ago
I like the idea of a shared zone - it seems to work fairly well at The Entrance. I would also support the idea of a completely pedestrianised strip - however the traffic impact on surrounding residential areas would have to be considered.
Des over 4 years ago
Exactly Umina is a village which is what makes it attractive, you have conversations with people you don't and most will help anyone who needs it, it's a great community spirit. I think if you live or visit Umina it is for this and it's natural beauty.
animu over 4 years ago
Umina Beach has enormous potential. If you go north from Cronulla in south Sydney to Bondi in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, only these two beachsides are serviced by a train station. The next one is Umina Beach serviced by Woy Woy station. It is one of the biggest and most populated towns on the Central Coast, Yet people people are calling it a village, which I can understand though because of its atmosphere.
It sits in an area of outstanding beauty. The sweep of beach alone, from South Umina through to Ocean Beach is stunning. If it were anywhere else it would be on calendars and postcards everywhere.
So why is it such a mess ? It has not been looked after or appreciated quite clearly. And no one in power seems to have seen the potential. Yet Terrigal has been up-graded and is now known everywhere. Umina has more potential than Terrigal. It has more development land available for a start.
West Street needs turning into a pedestrian precinct. One with real beauty. Wellington Street can cope with the traffic from Ocean Beach Road through to Trafalgar Road.... it has access to the car parks servicing the town and the supermarkets anyway. I agree with Julie Hatfield.... with some vision this town could become a real jewel. After all it's in a fabulous setting. Come on council, renovate this town and revitalise it for the new millenium. Show us what you can do ! Create a vortex that will attract really interesting development and people who will make the place special. Not this ugly down at heel sister we all experience now.
healthier world over 4 years ago
Umina already serves it's community well. We must preserve current healthy social dynamics of the master plan area. Any upgrade should be pertinent to Umina, the needs of the local demographic and its visitors (who chose Umina for a reason).
Upgrade the 'Village' too much and it follows that the beach area would change to suit. The stunning sweep of natural beach could be lost to 'progression'. The way the beach is currently accessed and used could change completely and permanently.
We can upgrade / tidy up without losing our identity.
Make access easiest for those who find access most difficult. If a pedestrian space is developed, keep it solely for pedestrians. More cycleways and lockups close to master plan area. Buses must have central drop off point. Vehicular access and parking should be easy. Support local business while allowing some covered public space. Plant safe trees, green is good. Do not plant palms. Keep it simple.
debmet over 4 years ago
Animu, I've been here for 19yrs, some close family 35 yrs and distant family going back from the 1920's to 1950's-60's.
I originally come from Sydney's East and a long-time Bondi resident - I've seen Bondi today and what a mess it is - great for tourists and developers, not for the origanl residents and I wouldn't quote Cronulla and Bondi having train stations akin to Umina/Woy Woy as a great plus just yet - there are already problems with "groups" coming up here (ie a Umina Police Station open 24/7 is needed asap, together with an Emergency Dept at Woy Woy Hospital)...... yes, the town has huge potential for the future (development and tourism will unfortunately eventually happen), but there must be very careful planning involved beforehand and we as residents of the area must consider our own mutual community enjoyment of the area first, together with supporting our own local business people, who are themselves locals, and the area not become just another built up shopping precint with towering buildings (including units) along the main street and especially the beach area.

I don't think Wellington St Residents should have to cope with increased Car & Bus Traffic either and if you actually lived in Wellington St, whether able, disabled, aged or a child you may have second thoughts about your proposal there ..... unfortunately I have heard on the grapevine that Council has future-zoned the whole of Wellington St as Commercial area with the idea that eventually all the houses will go! I've no idea how true but it came from a business-person who supposedly receives Council updates ... I must say I've not looked at the Council Plans on here for Umina but will do asap.

And finally I must say that I'd hardly describe Umina as an "ugly down at heel sister we all experience now" - it's a vast improvement from the mid 90's before the upgrade with paving and trees, when you couldn't walk down the street fearing you might be mugged by all the "desperates" that were everywhere ... it was also a mecca for herion addicts and gangs of teenagers marauding at night smashing windows, overturning garbage bins and using them as projectiles etc etc. .... I know, I lived on the main street above one of the shops!

I already think Umina is special (with such a good local community feel including good rapport with the local businesses) ... and it can continue to be this and grow in complete consultation with the existing local residents and existing businesses..... something that is not being acheived with (a) putting McDonald's here OR an UGLY big BUNNING'S HARDWARE store right in the middle of our MAIN ST - absolutely disgusting eyesore - and we're already serviced by our local friendly West St Pensinsular Hardware store, the big Campbell's Home Timber & Hardware at Woy Woy plus the alreading existing HUGE Bunnings at West Gosford (at the end of our Peninsula!)
healthier world over 4 years ago
Hi Debnet. Agree with you on all points. Also lived here a long time. Police are kept very busy in Umina, often not being able to get to the next 'job' until they have a spare unit available. Vital services (the police are just one instance) are often taken for granted, and lack of them go un-noticed until it gets personal and you need help of some kind.

There's a massive community of locals who do not describe Umina as an "ugly down at heel sister we all experience now'. Currently, the town serves as a 'magic (healthy) glue' which brings people from all walks of life together. As for the beaches, the council is obligated to consider environmental needs and it does well to offer a variety of societies desires. Thus far, the development of Umina has been good for the well being of it's demographic and it's environment. I hope this continues.
healthier world over 4 years ago
We don't eat outside because of traffic (but would love to), at the same time, understand that kerb side parking is convenient.
Pedestrian areas could work if thought about properly with equal consideration for locals, local businesses and visitors. They could draw people to Umina and at the same time have the potential to turn them away.
A playground has benefits, if in keeping with local trends. It would keep a lot of our youngsters out of danger (pedestrians and push bikes) as they head off to Umina Beach deliriously unaware of the dangers on the road, it's only the curtesy of drivers that have kept our youth safe (mainly).
Don't ever bring anything like Mcdonalds into Umina. Even my Mcdonald loving partner agrees Umina is not the place for such places.
Support local business. They do Umina a great service.
Don't change the beach arrangement too much or the SLSCs. It's good as it is.
julie hatfield over 4 years ago
I agree with keeping McDonalds out, and keeping the beachfront fairly undeveloped.
Keeping the shopping area low-rise and adding a few trees also great ideas.
HTrainer over 4 years ago
I agree absolutely No McDonalds - not sure about a playground but think outdoor eating is a must - can a pop up shop project like Donnison Street Gosford be considered with a leaning to Arts and Crafts. Leighan is doing a great job in bringing the creative talents of the area together, someone should go and check it out. I think the Eagle Boys colour is a complete turnoff, absolutely tasteless does the whole building have to be pink, I realise that's it's logo but really.We also don't have a cute little nursery down there.
With respect to rezoning the businesses really should be considered - don't touch what's not broke. I would hate to see the area destroyed. It is a great little shopping area.
Margaret over 4 years ago
Umina has a great little shopping strip. It would be improved if the traffic was partly one-way (west to east) between Oscar and Bullion Streets with a narrow road so that the footpaths could be widened for people to sit outside under awnings. Traffic going the other way (east) could go along Wellington Street from Trafalgar avenue or by turning right from west street into bullion street and then into Wellington Street. Or else look at what was done with the shopping precincts of Erskineville road and Glebe point road, the footpaths were widened by removing some parking spaces and narrowing the roads. If removing parking spaces, take care that pedestrians especially children are protected from cars eg by potted plant barriers.
debmet over 4 years ago
Not a bad idea as long as no extra traffic is diverted along Wellington St - I think Wellington St should stay safe for the residents as there's already heavy bus traffic, and enough cars as it is.
col003 over 4 years ago
Umina could be a lovely community area. Accessibility from surrounding footpaths and walks is a problem. Once you start walking from the Ryans Road, Darley Road, Lone Pine Avenue etc - the footpaths are covered by trees growing out of houses and completely covering the path (no access) - a lot of the footpath areas are covered completely by cars all day (no access as they are parked from start of property to edge of roadway, often up to six cars). The roadway is full of potholes in wet weather so after you leave the walkways to walk on road (sometimes for long lengths) you have to hope there are no cars coming soon. The cars do not slow down. With children, prams or dogs, it is a very dangerous, frustrating and demoralising situation to try and go for a walk. I would like to see Council Officers re-educating the public re these matters instead of chasing one-offs at the beach or parks. I cannot blame people using eg McEvoy Oval for dogs with the state of our accessways. There is nowhere fenced for dogs and nowhere safe for pram, children and on-leash walking.
debmet over 4 years ago
Yes, Council has still not provided footpaths in most streets in Umina, except for Ocean Beach rd, West St and some off-shoots and parts of streets between Trafalgar and Ocean Beach Rd.

One of the main priorities of Council is to provide Pathways, curbs and guttering and waste disposal - it's 2012 and we're still waiting!
UminaGreen over 4 years ago
Umina is a community village. What is really lovely is the variety of locally owned and operated shops and cafes. Push bike accessibility is ok, having cycle lock up stations is great, we still need cycleways from more access points. Umina is an ideal village for push biking and the new traffic solution should make considerations for this. Umina has a large population of push bike riders as can be verified by the push bike shop. Umina needs a green centre, a small open space for meeting or resting. Umina doesnt need high rise.If we were to go ahead with Mc Donalds our local community shops would suffer, and litter would be a huge problem.
healthier world over 4 years ago
Above all I value the people of Umina. A new Civic Space should be modeled to serve the social needs of our local community demographic. People should continue to feel accepted and useful regardless of income, ability, etc. It should please the senses, encourage responsible personal use of space, and must be flexible enough to accommodate the transient population of the warmer months. It must benefit already established local business.
A new Civic Space could include the Library, a garden (including a Quiet Space) and a space that doubles as a Gallery and an Information Centre pertinent to both locals and visitors. Regularly cleaned public toilets are a must. Also, a ‘useable’ Performing Arts Facility could be productive. We have abundant Professional and amateur talent who regularly drive to Sydney or Newcastle to have their needs met. Creativity is great for community.
Pedestrian Space should include ‘Public’ as well as Business space, with seating and tables, native greenery, drinking water fountains and shelter from rain.
A new Pedestrian Space must be free of bicycles, skateboards as well as motor vehicles. All modes of transport, with the exception emergency vehicles, mobility aids, push chairs e.t.c. should be excluded from any Pedestrian Space. To make sure everyone has equal access, space for Community Transport, buses and Taxis should be close by.
Losing the West Street thoroughfare concerns me, as does after hours ‘naughtiness’ in an area where through traffic is not allowed. If you have ever tried to call the police you will know it’s not easy to get them on site quickly, and at weekends is nigh on impossible. Actions have re-actions, this should always be kept in mind.
debmet over 4 years ago
Yes I agree and nothing should happen before we get our own 24/7 Umina Police Station!
healthier world over 4 years ago
Totally. Brisbane Water Local Area Command covers a huge area and does its best with the budget it has been given, but this isn't enough.

The community of Umina and it's visitors are a blend of all sorts of people (which is one of its attractions), but things can and do get out of hand.

I agree wholeheartedly that we need a well staffed 24/7 Police Station in Umina, but am concerned that this will come at the expense of other more central Police Stations in the LAC. Any ideas!
debmet over 4 years ago
Yes, I agree with you! hmmm... ideas? ... Create our own Umina Local Resident & Local Business Retailers Action Group maybe ... suggested this else wherehere ... then use this to lobby our Local & State Members???? Maybe we could meet Sundays in Library (Council Approval...though may not be feasable from their end ....or approach CWA to use their premises cnr Sydney Ave 'n Wests Sts?
healthier world over 4 years ago
Really like your idea of a 'Local Resident and Local Business Retailers Action Group' Debmet.
Maybe it's worthy of raising the issue as it's own topic so you can monitor any interest/support, perhaps research some options...
debmet over 4 years ago
Thx, I'll try and work out how to do this!
Anna Sutton over 4 years ago
What makes Umina work now is the variety of small businesses combined with some decent parking at the main supermarkets. I think it is essential that Umina doesn't become taken over by Lend Lease or similar, as that would squeeze out the small shops and services, and lead to less variety and higher prices. Opening up a pedestrian area would be fine provided the traffic flow around it doesn't add to the current congestion. But under no circumstances should it become a souless mall. It's an area whose time has come, but it needs to be handled with taste.
HTrainer over 4 years ago
I agree with Anna's comments - the one problem is lack of police presence after hours - Small Businesses are what makes this developing shopping area plus the convenience of Coles and Woollies - it's great to see West Street finally developing.
Traffic Congestion is becoming a bit of an issue at Chrissie and Easter - when the tourists arrive but that's life- also there are some shops that have been sitting there vacant for a long time - Once again empty shops should be used for a Community pop Up Project like the Bower Bird Project - Donnison Street Gosford - Leighann has the craft people running workshops for adults as well as children, very reasonably priced - that lady is a real goer.
We should get her to set up another one in the empty shops at Umina
We could get the wood turners to run workshops, the Bromeliad Society people to run workshops - that sort of idea.
We lack a good little nursery - those guys at plant plus on Brisbane Waters Rd are really organised, maybe they could set up a satellite nursey down at West Street that could work well.
One suggestion with the nursey is to link with Botannical Gardens as a satellite for propagation of native species particular to the peninsula
Maybe also a little satellite Art Gallery as well that links with Gosford Regional Gallery and showcases up and coming young artists.
You also need to analyse the demographics of the Community and focus upon meeting their needs with respect to West Street - there are alot of healthy oldies that may have some good ideas.
Umina Beach is great for cycling so also focus on that.
Plus liaise with the School Principals for their suggestions

Don't ever let it go the way of Balmain where the Darling Street area has lost it's mojo, because of greedy landowners - all the little businesses have gone and been replaced by chain stores Witchery, Blue illusion etc. What they fail to realise is the community is asset rich but very cash poor.

Umina beach has taken off and deserves such recognition - sadly Ettalong is looking old and tired
Final Suggestion - Car Boot Sales once a month in West Street somewhere or nearby - I think the locals would enjoy that and it would bring the Community Together but don't get the Ettalong Market People to organise it.
Mary Butler of Umina Beach did a great job organising a craft fair at Ettalong - use her as a resource if she agrees and do that Annually. She is connected with the Bower Bird Project as well.
debmet over 4 years ago
You have great ideas - all in keeping with community spirit. The tourists will still come - they'll appreciate our unspoilt, not over the top developed, community spirited community town, together with our beach just as it is.

On that point, I think we need to have a Umina Beach Residents and Local Business Action Group (?URLBA) started asap with Local Meeting Sundays in the Library (which is closed at Present) - surely someone at Council would allow that - or maybe approach the Country Women's Assoc (their Hall on Cnr West & Sydney Ave) ?

I don''tthink the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce serves the Residents of Umina or our Local Business people as a Resident and Local Business Group (Action) ... it is, or seems to be, more of an urban planning group for bigger business and development - the two organisations would then have separate goals, but could liase with each other!
Patch over 4 years ago
Umina needs more trees, more greenery, more grassed area, just look at the Sunshine coast beachy suburbs what they've done to make the place look and feel like a relaxing place to live in and visit. close the road to traffic in West Street it is not safe and its ugly having cars parked right outside coffee shops. open up those shops with big glass windows nice furniture umbrellas safe place for children elderly and dogs. Its sad to see all the shops shut on Sunday afternoon. Why is Umina Beach so desolate looking and missing that beachy look? Bring some sculptures and art open spaces with solar lighting, water features, sunday markets encouraging artist and musicians to show case and entertain throughout year not just in summer. bring some life to our suburb. keep Mcdonald out.
healthier world over 4 years ago
Agree. More 'safe' trees and greenery.
Disagree. Do not close West Street to traffic entirely. We must be considerate of all businesses and all users (and sadly, abusers of space, especially at night). A pedestrian space does not require closing West Street in its entirety, we are smart, we can figure it out.
Agree. We would like to see more shops/cafes (to suit all types) open all day Sundays, but they must make a profit. Cutting off West Street entirely may sound pleasing to some, but in practise, could well prove to be detrimental.
Disagree. Don't mess too much with the beaches. They are natural, social areas loved by many. There are beach areas to suit all types of users.
Agree. Keep Mcdonalds out.
RobynM over 4 years ago
The beaches are fantastic but I work in Umina and walk down to the beach to have my lunch and their is no where you can sit and watch the water it is all car park and wired fencing. The trees along the beach need to be cut back and seating put along the path so you can sit and watch the water. Something similar to Mooloolabah would be fantastic. Asthetically Umina looks cheap and run down.

healthier world over 4 years ago
Good topic. Maybe there is a compromise to be had. Could be wrong, but I think some time ago there was a trial area of dune stabilisation using low vegetation somewhere along The Esplanade. Around Broken Bay there are several 'sensitive areas' that may require trees. Beach nourishment and protection of 'sensitive areas' are vital, otherwise we could end up with a big environmental mess that no-one would like.
If the area you are talking about is not considered 'sensitive', then perhaps clumps, rather than a wall of trees is a good option. Desirable water views could be achieved without losing too much of the natural ambience and nature of our area. Seating included of course.
All I say is, please don't mess with the beaches too much. They are reasonably healthy and we are lucky.
animu over 4 years ago
Mooloolabah is indeed where our council should go for inspiration. It's not hard. Just needs vision. Umina does look cheap and run down. It's a travesty. Visitors are shocked by this on the edge of the gorgeous beach and the setting. And we deserve better. So does the 'village'.
healthier world over 4 years ago
I have visitors from all over Australia and Overseas. Not one of them has described Umina as a travesty.
The opposite is true.
They have been delighted by our village "that only needs a tidy up". Enjoying easy access to the variety of 'feel good' small business, the unique community sprit of the town and more recently, the great initiative of the new recreation park. Without exception, they have been absolutely delighted by the glorious, unspoilt sweep of beaches.
With respect, Mooloolabah suits Mooloolabah. As Umina grows, we need planning that is considerate of it's unique environmental sensitivities, identity and demographic. Progress can be positive if handled responsibly.
Jackie54 over 4 years ago
jen over 4 years ago
I love the community feel of Umina and would love to see it encouraged. I would like to see West Street closed to all traffic too. Perhaps some markets or weekend stalls and some music in the middle to encourage the relaxed cafe style atmosphere.

The corssings are frustrating and dangerous for both pedestrians and drivers. It would be great to have some trees and gardens. Overall let's support small business! I do not want to see the larger companies coming in and taking over. Mc Donalds will not be a positive attribute in anyway, it will especially add to the traffic congestion already present especially on the weekend! Can't believe the council did not consider this when rezoning!
The new park is wonderful! Thank you.
Patch over 4 years ago
Agree Jen, I would like to add something on the topic of markets - those ones at Ettalong -are very sad sad sad makes me cry just walking around there. its so depressing that few of my friends and visitors and local as well said the same thing. council should regulate these kinds of stalls better - learn something from Kirribilli markets - a vast array of art - not socks, handbags, and tools. so if we are to have markets in Umina, we must ensure that they are decent representation of local artists and craftspeople a real work of art. Perhaps that could be a point of difference for Umina, since we are away from the beach- Not sure what was Gosford Council thinking all these years ago allowing houses to be build at the edge of the sand, and therefore depriving our community of the natural beauty of walking, sitting by the beach. all we have are those sad looking surf clubs and mangroves. Keep those nasty pesky Land Developers out i agree - lets safe small business - but do something about the shop front design. its duable.
Jessie's mother over 4 years ago
West St is developing into a friendly village already but is constrained by the traffic and the kerbside parking . Who wants to sit outside with the fumes?
Turning the parking lot into a civic centre is a no brainer.
1 Increase the parking by adding another storey. We already have Woolies and Aldi at that height.
2 Close West St between Trafalgar Ave and Ocean Beach Rd or perhaps Oscar St to all traffic except deliveries from 8.00am till 8.oopm and enhance the streetscape
3 Keep all the buses along Wellington St between Ocean Beach Road and Trafalgar Avenue.
4 By agreeing to allow MacDonalds to develop their proposed sit, you may be closing off optios which you will later regret.

Please Do Not Turn the Carpark into any form of recreation area.
Kate da Costa over 4 years ago
The draft LEP has Woy Woy as the town centre for our peninsula, and Umina and Ettalong as the villages. I think that all planning should consider this hierarchy, and the plans for a civic centre on the current large council carpark behind the shops is misguided for several reasons: if there is a civic centre for community events and as a focus point, it should be in Woy Woy as the town centre of the peninsula; one major reasons for Umina's success as a high street is the available parking, and the proposal to convert this to an area surrounded by retail with up to 3 (THREE) stories of apartments will create a need for more parking - the proposal only includes an undertaking to retain all currently available spots, so there will clearly be a shortfall and this will impact on the ability of local residents to access the shops.
I very much support the idea of making West Street partly pedestrian only, so the existing cafes can have a pleasanter ambience for outdoor eating and crossing the road will be less hassle for everyone. It would mean keeping the buses and through traffic in Wellington Street and this will increase traffic noise for some residents, but that pedestrian zone would make a good Civic Space.
Where did the idea for a civic centre on the council carpark come from??
Jackie54 over 4 years ago
I think West Street should be traffic free there are a lot of options for traffic redirection and parking in the surrounding streets - West Street will do great with Coffee houses that spill out onto the mall and quaint browsing shops to enhance its holiday appeal and atmosphere - with a quiet green space, no Macdonalds and no childs gyms these should be left to the beach area that has already been upgraded very well.
carmos over 4 years ago
keep macca,s out but get the local shops to improve their act. standard sevice times and consistency in food.
pkw over 4 years ago

Leave the car parking area alone !!!!- its the lifeblood of the shopping area.
Facilitate continued development as a shopping strip environment. People prefer alternatives to the big Malls that have spoilt life in Gosford CBD and Woy Woy.

Try to get some waterfront CBD coffee shops and restaurants near the CBD by development between West Street and the Beachfront - open the water views via a channel of streets with emphasis on casual outdoor dining etc .Reverse the fact that there are no adequate waterfront cafes in the area, but one. Create street ways that are for pedestrians only in West St- divert through traffic to the Woy Woy side, (Like WINDSOR) and open up outdoor living in these areas. Water features and public sculptures of the accessible kind. A good quality childcare and play facility for shoppers and holiday makers (at old supermarket?? would increase usage of the whole strip. Foster the great community spirit developing in the area, and don't oversize the precinct.