SAVE McKINNON VILLAGE – WHAT THE RESIDENTS WANT

25/7 Council Meeting results for McKinnon

  • 88-100 McKinnon Road. Unanimous motion passed to proceed with implementation of amendment as per Officers Report.   Current Planning Scheme controls (ie. GRZ Zoning and Schedule 2 requirements combined with existing Planning Scheme policies/strategies  and ResCode requirements) are adequate.  No DDO or NCO requirements to be applied – to costly and too risky to apply.
  • 240 – 250 McKinnon Road (southern side) – reduced to four stories. No mention of interim height control on southern side of Centre Road in the Bentleigh Activity Centre.

Much praise for the quality of the work undertaken on the two planning documents presented at the meeting  ie. “Activity Centre, Housing and Local Economy Strategy” and  “Quality Design Principles and Draft Concept Plans for Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick”.  Unfortunately, it seems the planning concepts, methodologies and desired outcomes included in those documents don’t need to be considered when making current decisions.

More to details to follow later.

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At tonight’s Council Meeting, Councillors will vote on the amended Planning Scheme Amendment C143 for 88-100 McKinnon Road, McKinnon.

The amended Amendment, as recommended by Officers, being for General Residential Zone Schedule 2 (GRZ2 – height limit 11m/3 stories).  As per the Officers Report and information presented at the Planning Panel Hearing, the yet to be submitted plans are likely to comprise

  • At least 2 multi-unit buildings (a significant South East Water easement, which cannot be built on, crosses the site at 100 McKinnon Road)
  • 3 stories (possibly 4 stories, if  land slope and an existing Special Building Overlay allow)
  • 85 dwellings – estimated
  • Increased rear setback abutting the laneway and
  • Standard ResCode setbacks applying to the other 3 sides.

Residents, although suffering Objection Fatigue, have written to all Councillors to request that Council considers incorporating a Design and Development Overlay (DDO) and a Neighbourhood Character Overlay (NCO) in the Amendment.  Last night they met with Mayor Mary Delahunty and Cr. Nina Taylor to further discuss the overlays and Council deferring  voting on the amendment until the overlays can be prepared and included.

The arguments presented by the residents were:

Within the context of the McKinnon, the redevelopment of this site will have a significant impact on shaping the future character of the Village due to the site’s

  • Size – 3671 sqm – which dwarfs any current or future development within McKinnon Village
  • Location on the western boundary Village interfacing the Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ1).

The intent of the General Residential Zone is to allow “moderate growth and diversity of housing that is consistent with existing neighbourhood character.”

However, a brief review of our centres clearly shows that Glen Eira’s current “blanket” use of GRZ2 combined with planning policies and strategies  are not working.

  • Diversity of housing types in limited/minimal (eg. single residence vs. townhouses vs. multi unit high rise, family vs couple vs single accommodation) is not occurring nor
  • despite distinctly different area characteristics (eg. ranging from Victorian/Edwardian through Interwar to Post War), there is little  architectural distinction between developments in activity centres the municipality.   Developments in McKinnon would also “fit”  in Elsternwick or East Bentleigh

Planning Scheme overlays are the appropriate tool to set the built form design and characteristic requirements. Their inclusion in the Planning Scheme ensures that the requirements are incorporated in the detailed plans required for a planning permit application. It is inappropriate not to provide these requirements upfront.

  • DDO – The Design and Development Overlay [or DDO] relates to built form and is applied where Council intends to protect and enhance an environment within the municipal boundaries and to encourage development that complements the character of a place.
  • NCO -Additional neighbourhood character provisions necessary to ensure that either the existing neighbourhood character is respected or a preferred neighbourhood character is achieved. These can influence the nature and extent of development that can occur in order to achieve a desired neighbourhood character outcome for an area.

Council’s Draft Activity Centre, Housing and Local Economy Strategy of May, 2017 states:

“That McKinnon will be an accessible centre with a strong village feel, which recognises and celebrates its heritage, art” – page 17

Given that a desired outcome has been defined and the significant impact site redevelopment will have on achieving that outcome, the inclusion of DDO and NCO is warranted.

Additionally, the analysis undertaken for the Strategy (and the more recent Bentleigh Major Activity Centre desired housing types) should reduce the workload associated with developing the overlays.

Residents are not opposing site re-development – they agree the site is unattractive and it’s facilities are outdated. Equally they are not seeking a development “shut down” – they are seeking a redevelopment that aligns with Council’s vision for the Village and McKinnon and benefits both current and future residents.

For inclusion in the Overlays, residents have asked Council to consider the following

  • Design and Development Overlay (DDO) that would
    • Consider a townhouse style development – refer the above strategy – “Family Town houses are noted as the highest focus development type in residential areas of neighbourhood centres” – page 9
    • Ensure that any underground car parking would not exceed the above ground building envelope. This is to ensure
      • Landscaping will provide for the growth of canopy trees
      • Mitigation of storm water flooding (the site is subject to a SBO)
  • Neighbourhood Character Overlay (NCO)
    • Promotes the Village feel and emphasises McKinnon’s heritage, local history and art

Residents felt Crs. Delahunty and Taylor, although non-committal, were receptive.

Not long now until Council makes it’s decision – hopefully it will be to defer a decision until options for the inclusion of a DDO and NCO have been reviewed.

As always, please feel free to comment on this posting on GERA’s facebook page.

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