Category Archives: Planning

Planning

CAULFIELD RACECOURSE REQUIEM

The Victorian Parliament is currently debating the “Caulfield Racecourse Reserve Bill”  that arises from the scathing 2014 Auditor General’s Report into the “Management and Oversight of the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve”.    It’s taken 3 years to get to this point and it’s our assessment that the Bill misses the point.

Since the Auditor General’s Report much has be promised, yet it is hard to relate those promises with the content of this Bill.  Rather than addressing the inequity between the Reserve’s three separate yet equal purposes of “racecourse public recreation ground and public park” by aligning Racecourse and Community usages with those purposes, we argue that the Bills provisions favour racing rather than public interests and fall short of  addressing the issues raised in the Auditor General’s Report.   For example,

  • the purposes have been redefined to align more closely with existing inequitable uses and the Minister is given the authority to assign/vary the weightings assigned to the purposes.
  • Ministerial appointment of Trustees, without adequately defining selection criteria.  Appointment is for a period of 3 years with re-appointment for an indefinite number of terms is permitted.
  • Ministerial determination of lease periods of up to 65 years.  This is contrary to past practices and inconsistent with commercial practices and the Reserve’s defined purposes
  • Inadequate management and financial reporting requirements (both Parliamentary and Public) which are not in line with contemporary practices.  Likewise with Conflict of Interest provisions.
  • Provides for a 20 year Strategic Land Management Plan that lacks performance reporting requirements and can be amended without public scrutiny.
  • Ministerial determination of allowed activities – “detrimental” is a key determinant, however, detrimental is not defined.

The inadequacies of the Bill, combined with the Government’s  planned dramatic increases in commercial, residential and educational activities in an area widely known to be lacking in parkland and sporting facilities, has prompted both the Stonnington and Glen Eira residents groups to jointly conduct this event.

As per the Auditor General’s report, the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve, has three separate yet equal purposes – racecourse, public recreation ground and public park.  As a result of poor performance by the Trust (in managing the reserve) and successive State Governments (in overseeing Reserve Management) Racing has been permitted to dominate the Reserve to the extent that current usage of the reserve’s 54ha (valued at $2bn+) is allocated as

  • 11 hectares (20%) is under lease for racing purposes.  The Annual rental of $170K is generally returned to the MRC for racing related projects.
  • 37 hectares (69%) is used for racing purposes without any clear legal entitlement or payment arrangement, and
  • only 6 hectares (11%) is available as open space for the potential use of the community.   That 6 ha comprises facilities that do not meet the needs of community, are not easy to physically access and are subject to restricted usage times.  No accessibility issues and time restrictions are applicable to racing usage.

JOIN US IN REMINDING OUR POLITICIANS OF THE FORESIGHT OF OUR FOREFATHERS.  

In 1884, 8 years after the management of the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve was vested in a Board of Trustees, the Victorian Amateur Turf Club (VATC) sought sole management of the Reserve.  The response from the then Minister for Lands was:

“…. he thought the public ought not to have to ask for permission to go on a public reserve” … and …”The vicinity of the Caulfield racecourse would no doubt soon be thickly populated, and the value of the reserve to the public would then be widely enhanced”.  

THAT TIME HAS ARRIVED.  

 

 

 

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CARNEGIE SURVEY RESULTS

The results for the Carnegie Survey (a survey by residents for residents) have been published.

The results include, for each question

  • Comments made by residents and
  • An overall analysis of participant responses.

The results are worth reading as they are relevant to the current Planning Scheme Review and provide residents views on topics not adequately covered by the Draft Concept Plans.

Thanks to the survey participants and organizer.

Carnegie Residents Survey Results

LODGE A DRAFT CONCEPT PLAN SUBMISSION

A reminder that residents submissions for the Draft Concept Plans, presented at the recent community forums, are due to be lodged today.  Although, as mentioned by Aiden Mullen at the Elsternwick Forum, some leeway will be granted for late submissions.

The Draft Concept Plans for Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick Activity Centres all feature

  • expansion of the centre boundaries and significant changes to height limits (particularly for newly defined Urban Renewal Areas and Strategic Sites)
  • no strategic justification for these changes
  • scant detailed information on expected population densities, government targets and
  • no information on the planning tools to be implemented to achieve desired outcomes

Regardless of whether or not you attended a Forum, GERA urges all residents to lodge a submission either today or early next week.

The changes are significant and have far reaching implications for all residents who live in, nearby or frequent these activity centres. Likewise for the “lesser” Neighbourhood/Local Centres which, although yet to be reviewed are more than likely to experience  similar expansions and height increases. 

 

Details of Draft Concept Plans and a copy of GERA’s submission* are available

Bentleigh

Carnegie

Elsternwick

This could be your last chance to express your views/concerns.

Submissions may be lodged via either

  • the online feedback form – refer above or
  • email – mail@gleneira.vic.gov.au  (be sure to include an appropriate subject heading) or
  • mail – City Futures Department, Glen Eira Council, PO Box 42, Caulfield South 3162,

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*The GERA submission is presented as “food for thought” – residents are free to amend or copy comments should they wish to do so.

RESIDENTS NOTICE – ELSTERNWICK CONCEPT PLAN

GERA has been contacted by a number of dissatisfied Elsternwick residents who, post Concept Plan Forum, have become aware of the proposed height changes for the Urban Renewal Area (12 stories) and Strategic Sites (8 stories).  As residents of, or nearby, these areas they are concerned that Council did not formally notify them of the proposal and has not provided any strategic justification for these significant changes.

Draft Concept Plan – Current Planning Zones and Heights

Draft Concept Plan – Proposed Building Types and Heights

Residents are expressing their dissatisfaction directly to Council and have asked us to help “spread the word” by publishing the following notice which they are distributing to impacted residents.

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I was shocked yesterday when I went to the Elsternwick Library and the booth to provide feedback stated “Help us plan for the future of the Elsternwick Shopping Strip”!!

 Elsternwick plan to re-zone for 12 storey high rises

Last chance for Elsternwick residents to provide feedback on re-zone of residential streets to allow 12 storey high rise development. 

Many residents are unaware of the plan to rezone many Elsternwick residential streets for high rise development and which is estimated to increase Elsternwick’s population by 20%.

 Residents who recently learned about this plan are furious the council have disguised the consultation process under a ‘Help us plan for the future of the Elsternwick Shopping Strip’ feedback survey and are already 5 stages through an 8 stage process without consultation with the directly impacted residents (or those in surrounding streets who will be flooded with an influx of traffic).

 Feedback on the proposal closes Sunday 3 September – don’t miss the chance to have your say!  Many residents are also making formal complaints to the council and directly to the Mayor regarding the lack of transparency and consultation around these very significant changes.  Council complaints can be made via the Glen Eira Council website.

 Feedback closes Sunday 3 September – don’t miss the chance to have your say!  Access Council’s “Have your Say – Elsternwick” to access documentation and lodge your submission

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Please note that, as per our previous Elsternwick Forum posting, Council will accept late submissions.

Elsternwick Concept Plan Forum Update

100+ concerned residents attended the Elsternwick Concept Plan Forum (21/8/2017) – standing room was well utilised.   Unlike the previous forums where Councillor attendance was sparse, the three Camden Ward Councillors (Crs. Delahunty, Silver and Sztrajt) took advantage of the opportunity to hear from the residents first hand.  Also attending was Cr. Anthanasopoulous (Rosstown) who attended all three (Bentleigh, Carnegie & Elsternwick) forums.  

Whenever a series of Community Forums is held to a set format that does not respond to residents’ concerns as the series progresses, understandably resident frustration mounts as each Forum is held. Such was the case at this Forum, where once again the issues of scant information, inadequate justification for significant changes, lack of change analysis and any discussion of planning controls were raised.  Of particular concern was the creation of a significant “Urban Renewal Area” with a maximum 12 storey height limit in a previously designated a 3 storey residential zone.   Resident interjections during the formal presentation more than doubled the allotted presentation time – residents did not accept the justification of “we can’t locked down development therefore it has to go somewhere” nor did they accept the equivalent of “we don’t know” as a valid response to questions of heights, expected densities, government targets or planning controls to be applied.

The interjection period gleaned the following information (which GERA believes is also applicable to the earlier forums)

  • Almost 4 years after the zone implementation, Council has accepted what residents have been consistently arguing, the GRZ2 (three storey) zoning is not providing the desired diversity of housing.
  • Council has no control over employment opportunities provided in developments.
  • Council “acquisition or designation” of the Urban Renewal Area and Strategic Sites provides greater control over site redevelopment, eg. sale of “airspace” could ensure retention/expansion of public car parking (possibly underground) in exchange for incremented height limits.
  • That the next and final forum (October-November) will provide details on re-zonings and planning controls. Significant information (volume and detail wise) will be presented which residents will need to carefully consider.
  • While the deadline for submissions re the Elsternwick Concept Plan is 3rd September late submissions will be received.

Issues raised during the round table discussions were

  • General agreement that Concept Plan is an improvement on the inadequacies of the current planning scheme. However, scant and questionable information and limited change analysis for the overall activity centre, and in particular for the Urban Renewal Area, restricts residents ability to comment.   As one resident summed up the presented documentation – without appropriate information and analysis “it’s wishing rather than planning”.
  • Not only is information scant as per above, but information presented contains inaccuracies and does not reflect the life span of redevelopments that have occurred prior to the 2013 zone implementation.
  • What justifications support the designated Urban Renewal Area and Strategic Sites and their maximum height limits (with community benefit URA = 12 stories, SS = 8 stories, without community benefit URA= 8, SS = 6).

  • What is the definition of community benefit and their weighting (eg. which community benefit warrants an additional 2 stories vs. an additional 4 stories)
  • Heritage and Neighbourhood Character – the proposed municipal wide review of heritage is long overdue (last undertaken in 1996) and needs to also include a review of Neighbourhood Character.  Current Neighbourhood Character Areas are likely future heritage areas.
  • Traffic and parking requirements are not discussed in the documents, yet these are current significant issues that will increase as development and planned pedestrianisation occurs.
  • Current inadequate parking (Council car parks and on street) provisions adversely impacting traders.  Need to
    • enforce parking and loading bay requirements for developments.
    • Maximise on street parking via painted parking lines and introduction of short stay parking times (15mins) near “drop in” retailers, eg. bakery, florist, drycleaner.
  • Council car parks and/or their airspace should not be sold to fund future car park purchases.
  • No analysis of traffic flows provided in Concept Plans. Vehicular traffic should be directed to main roads and away from residential streets.
  • What can Council do to encourage
    • Increased and appropriate employment opportunities for residents
    • Encourage “specialty” retailing
    • Ensure proposed diversity of housing as per the Concept Plan
  • To provide for trees and landscaping, Garden Apartments below ground basement car parking should not exceed the above ground building footprint.
  • No mention of acquisition or location of new parkland.
  • The Library should not be moved.
  • Development outstripping infrastructure and services resulting in decreased amenity in centre’s core and surrounding residential areas.

Having now attended all Concept Plan forums, GERA is becoming increasingly concerned about the limited data and detail provided so far.  With only one more planned community consultation (October-November) we expect residents will either be swamped with information and limited time to assess or still lacking the data, justifications and analysis required to make an informed decision.

We urge residents to make a submission expressing their views re the Elsternwick Concept Plan. If required, take advantage of the acceptance of late submissions.

CARNEGIE SURVEY – BY RESIDENTS FOR RESIDENTS

A concerned Carnegie resident has reviewed Council’s Concept Plan for Carnegie and come up with some alternative suggestions.   To gauge community feedback a 10 question survey has been prepared –  each of the questions allows you to provide alternative suggestions or make additional comments.

The Survey Results will be presented to Council and be publicly available – Survey

GERA urges residents to complete the survey.

ATTEND THE ELSTERNWICK CONCEPT PLAN FORUM – MONDAY, 21/08/2017

The following flyer has been prepared to urge residents to attend next Monday’s Elsternwick Concept Plan Community Forum.  As per the flyer, the Concept Plan contains some significant changes that residents should be aware of and concerned about.

Details of the Forum and Council Concept Plan documentation is available on Council’s website’