Unit owners lose appeal for long-term stays at resort
OWNERS of more than 100 units at a 4-star resort have been told they cannot stay there long-term after a failed court appeal.
The Court of Appeal has ruled in the Sunshine Coast Council's favour that 102 suites on levels two, three and four of the Sebel Resort Pelican Waters were only ever intended for temporary accommodation for travellers.
The decision followed an 18-month court dispute where some owners argued they had the same rights to living in their units as owners of properties in floors five to 12.
The Sebel's management, D'Agostini Property, initially complained to the council that units on levels two to four were being let to permanent residents, despite lacking basic long-term necessities such as a full kitchen and laundry facilities.
Sunshine Coast Council escalated the issue to court in January 2019.
In November the Supreme Court rejected the owners' bids.
All 46 owners of the 102 units were part of the original court dispute.
Just seven of those were involved in the leave to appeal application and were represented by P & E Law.
Several of the owners who originally were part of the court action have put their units on the market.
Judges Walter Sofronoff, Philip Morrison and David Boddice considered the original development application for the resort, lodged to Sunshine Coast Council in 2003.
They noted the approval sought a reduction in the number of carparking spaces from 242 to 213.
It said this was due to the nature of the hotel having many international guests who would arrive by coach tour groups.
The court document said the owners argued the definition of "hotel" did not contain any restriction on the type of residential use for the units.
But the court said there were a number of reasons that should be rejected.
It said in the application "hotel" referred to the licensed restaurant that would service the rooms and that the "motel" referred to the 102 suites.
Sebel Pelican Waters could not be reached for comment.