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    We live in a 70’s four level walk-up 9 apartment strata building in the inner west.

    Three years ago a 2<sup>nd</sup> floor apartment (2 flights of stairs) was purchased by a person with a physical disability. Six of the nine apartments have a single garage, two have double garages and the apartment in question has a single lock-up garage and a carport beside it. The carport arrangement, rather than enclosing it as a double or another single garage appears to have been based on design & balance considerations for the whole building. The resident informally expressed an interest in enclosing the carport at the rear and adding a garage door. Many residents were not happy with this arrangement at the time due to the above mentioned design & balance features and the idea was not formally pursued by the resident at the time.

    In the interim, our strata bylaws have been meticulously developed and passed at an AGM as required. The resident is aware of his responsibility to pay for any modifications and maintain them.

    Recently the aforementioned resident acquired a mobility scooter and has now renewed the request to modify his carport to accommodate the scooter safely & securely. In addition the proposed modifications include a door at the side to enable scooter access. This is to enable scooter access to what is now visitor parking. Visitor parking is very limited and guaranteeing access would involve the loss of one space.

    One of the ways the resident intends to use the scooter is to load it into his vehicle and use it at the destinations he drives to. This would involve loading and unloading the scooter into the car either when the car is parked in the garage or before entering or leaving. This solution removes the need for a side entry door.

    The resident provided technical drawings for his planned modifications and based on these the strata committee has consulted with the resident about other ways that the storage problem may be solved. The strata committee also indicated that a bylaw would be required, as his preferred plan involves modification to common property, to be voted on and passed at an AGM or an EGM. This has not been pursued by the resident as yet.

    We believe the next step is that a bylaw should be prepared and presented at an AGM or EGM as our strata bylaws advise.

    We would welcome any comments on this process to date.

    Sir HumphreySir Humphrey

    Is it really necessary for the mobility scooter to be in an enclosed space? If so, could the scooter be accommodated in the enclosed garage space? I assume the resident’s car could be accommodated in the carport space. That would be a simple solution requiring no change to the building’s appearance and no expense to the unit owner. If I were another owner, I would prefer that solution. A unit owner might prefer to keep both their vehicles in enclosed spaces rather than both under cover but only one enclosed, but that is not a compelling reason for other owners to accommodate that preference.

    If it really is necessary to enclose the space, does it have to be a highly visible or permanent change? Where I live, some open sided carports have used concrete reinforcing mesh fixed to the open side to provide security while retaining the open appearance from further away. This is inexpensive and reversible. A condition of permission to do this could be that the appearance of the carport is restored to original when the current owner is no longer the owner or no longer needs to have the space enclosed.


    Thank you Sir Humphrey.

    We were advised by the resident that the NDIS do require secure storage for the mobility scooter.

    The resident & his wife have a car each so use both spaces.

    Your suggestions of considering using  concrete mesh and  including a condition requiring the owner to restore the space to the original appearance when no longer required are helpful.

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