The Barnett Government has missed two self-imposed deadlines for the Perth waterfront project and is unlikely to meet a third, prompting concern.
Planning Minister John Day will release draft design guidelines today for land uses across the project's nine sites.
_The West Australian _understands the Government is considering a fourth city CAT bus route around the waterfront.
In the concept stage, the CAT service, to be called the "green" CAT, is expected to operate from the Esplanade bus port, loop around the waterfront and up Barrack Street.
Under the guidelines, five northern lots around the river inlet - to front a re-routed Riverside Drive - will have height limits of six storeys at a podium level, increasing to 36 storeys set further back.
On the two western edge sites, limits of five and 20 to 25 storeys are proposed, with five to 20- storey limits on two eastern lots.
The guidelines, which are out for public comment, provide for shops, restaurants and cafes at ground level with tavern and small bar options added for the re-directed Riverside Drive sites.
Within the "tower" components on each lot, a mix of residential, serviced apartments and hotels is preferred with offices in the five northern boundary sites.
Two kiosks and three laneways, including one earmarked for small bars, are included in the 73-page guidelines, along with provisions for end-of-trip cycling facilities and communal gardens on rooftops.
Mr Day said works would begin as promised this month.
However, he confirmed two contracts for forward works were yet to be awarded, despite delivery documents showing they should have been last month.
Mr Day said the "request for detailed proposals" documentation had also not been sent to the three proponents short-listed in January to build the river inlet and public realm.
The Government set a May target for awarding that contract, though proponents must still get five weeks to respond.
Shadow planning minister Peter Tinley said the contract delays do not bode well for the project", which lacked details of costs and traffic modelling.
"This is not a very good start to have two deadlines missed and it's highly likely we will miss a third," Mr Tinley said.
"It's not good enough for the Premier to head down to Coates Hire and whip out a bulldozer at the end of the month. We still don't know detailed costs."