LANDOWNER contributions to help pay for a seawall would only be considered as a last resort, if the council supports a sub-committee's position.
About 20 members of the public heard Coast and Estuaries Sub-Committee discussions on Friday in the next step of a process to tackle coastal erosion at Lake Cathie.
The possibility of landowners contributing towards the cost of a revetment wall, or seawall, which would protect a busy public road as well as their homes from the coastal erosion threat, has Illaroo Road homeowners worried. A draft plan, which outlines five funding scenarios, has funding from state and federal governments, and no council or landowner funding, as the council's preferred option to meet the costs of coastal protection works.
The sub-committee will recommend that the council adopt the Lake Cathie Coastal Zone Management Plan and landowner contributions to be considered as a last resort in the event that sufficient project funding is not available from the state and federal governments and council.
The council is expected to make its decision at this month's meeting. Homeowners believe the sub-committee's resolution simply does not go far enough but some were relieved.
Sydneysiders Tam and Judith Grant own an older style three-bedroom Illaroo Road house.
They feel vulnerable that the council could require landowners to help pay for the revetment wall at some point in the future.
Mr Grant said the family gatherings at Lake Cathie were the highlight of their year.
He asked: "But how long can we continue to do that?"
Graham Denton expressed relief at the sub-committee's position.
"But it's not all finalised because they appeared to have left a few doors open," he said.
Graham and Jan Denton have lived in Illaroo Road for more than 30 years.
The Coast and Estuaries Sub-Committee chair and councillor, Lisa Intemann, said it would be irresponsible at this point to remove any funding opportunity.
"Council will continue to apply for all possible funding from state and federal governments but it is uncertain," she said.
Cr Intemann said the community could be reassured that the council had every intention to build the revetment wall to protect private and public land and to do so without calling on landowners.
However, she said, the sub-committee resolution left it open for the council to come back to the community to consult on landowner contributions.
The council favours a revetment wall, or seawall, with beach nourishment at the coastal erosion hotspot.
Some 17 Illaroo Road homes are most at risk.
Lake Cathie Coastal Residents Group spokesman Paul Flemming said there was overwhelming community sentiment against levying landowners.