Category Archives: Structure Planning

Caulfield Station Precinct* Structure Planning – Community Workshop

“The Victorian Planning Authority is leading the preparation of a structure plan for the Caulfield Station Precinct, in partnership with Glen Eira City Council, Stonnington City Council, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Transport for Victoria (TfV).

 You are invited to share your thoughts and ideas about how to best shape the future of this place for the community by attending a Community Visioning Workshop.

The purpose of this workshop is to inform the community of the planning process and to seek views and input into the future of the area.

 Registrations are essential.   Light refreshments will be provided.”

Date: Wednesday 20 June 2018
Time: 6.30 – 9.00pm
Location: Monash University Caulfield, Ground Floor, Building H, Room H116 (Caulfield Campus Map)

GERA strongly urges both Glen Eira and Stonnington residents and recreational/sporting groups and clubs to attend this workshop  to get an understanding of what is being proposed and an awareness of it’s potential “flow on” impacts for surrounding areas.

We also encourage completing the VPA online survey.   

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This the first opportunity for the community input into the development of Structure Plans for the 122 ha Caulfield Station Precinct* and its surrounding areas since the VPA was appointed to lead the planning exercise in August, 2017.  At that time the VPA advised that

“Several key activities attract workers, residents and visitors to the area including Monash University’s Caulfield campus, Caulfield Racecourse, Glen Eira College, retail outlets, parks and recreational areas. The structure plan will promote transit-orientated development and identify opportunities for growth in employment, education, housing and associated activities. We will also work with the Melbourne Racing Club and our government partners to seek to unlock future shared recreational use of racecourse land.”

The initial information and input session focuses on the four core activity centre components and their connectivity within the precinct. The significant planning and development implications for Glen Eira (south of Dandenong Road) and Stonnington’s (north of Dandenong Road) surrounding commercial/residential areas and proximate activity centres are to be included in subsequent consultations.   Recent multi storey multi unit developments, along the northern side of Dandenong Road, indicate the development potential of the areas surrounding the precinct.

Briefly, the four core components of the Caulfield Station Precinct are

Caulfield Village

A major residential, retail and commercial development located between the Racecourse and the Rail Line. Currently under construction, it comprises

Worth noting is the redevelopment potential (multi-storey multi units) of MRC freehold land located along Kambrook/Booran Roads (shown on the above map as Horse Training and Stabling).  This potential was flagged during the Strategic Land Management consultations conducted by the former Reserve Trustees in 2015.  The current status of redevelopment plans is not known.

Monash University – Caulfield Campus

Unfortunately, 10 months into the Structure Planning  process,  little is known of the current redevelopment plans.  As an indicative guide, some years ago redevelopment included

  • an expansion from 10,000 Effective Fulltime Students (EFS) to 25,000 EFS.
  • Construction of a series of high rise buildings to provide educational and administrative facilities with some retail facilities at ground level.
  • Off campus multi storey student accommodation in close proximity to the Caulfield Campus

Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve

The Racecourse comprises 54 ha, of the 122 ha now designated the  Caulfield Station Precinct, and offers a significant open space opportunity for Glen Eira (which has the least per capita open space/parkland in Metro Melbourne, coming in at less than half the Metro average) and Stonnington (which has the 2nd least).  Both the size and location of this crown land make it suitable to service the recreational (passive and active) needs of the volumes (ie. residents, students, workers and patrons) expected to access the Precinct, as well as the needs of the increasing residents of the surrounding areas.   Striking an equitable balance between public recreational usage and racing usage has long been a contentious issue and recently resulted in changes to management of the land that have yet to come into effect.

Caulfield Station

While GERA is not aware of plans to redevelop the heritage listed Caulfield Station, we believe its redevelopment (presumably as a rail/tram/bus interchange) will be required to service the public transport needs of those accessing the Precinct.   When/if redevelopment occurs, it should include the “place making” historic Station and heritage listed buildings in Derby Road.

Connectivity of Core Components

Currently, the connectivity of the above core components is poor.  It is restricted by the extremely divisive railway line and a fragmented road network.   While access between Caulfield Village, the Racecourse and the Station is basically “across the street”,  accessing Monash from these locations is restricted to 3 underpasses ie. Queen Avenue, Caulfield Station and Station Street.    Free movement flows (predominantly pedestrian, with some vehicular movement for the provision of goods and services) within the Precinct is essential to enable synergetic development of precinct facilities (eg. auditoriums, open space and car parking)  and ensure the long term viability of a cohesive activity centre.

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Footnote:

*Caulfield Station Precinct – is the previous Priority Development Zone, known as the Phoenix Precinct (ie. Caulfield Village and Monash University Caulfield Campus) expanded to include the Caulfield Racecourse & Recreation Reserve, Glen Eira College and Glen Huntly Park.

 

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REQUEST TO DEFER THE PROPOSED 27/2/2018 STRUCTURE PLAN (Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick) DECISION

Since Council’s early (ie. 1 day) release of the above Structure Plans to be submitted, for approval, to the 27/02/2018 Ordinary Council Meeting, GERA and residents have struggled with reviewing the volume of information released (approx. 500 pages of Agenda Items and 14 support documents) within an extremely tight timeframe. (5.5 days  vs. a planned 4.5 days).

Clearly, despite the magnitude of the proposed changes and claiming a real improvement to past substandard consultative practices, Council’s message is that residents’ complaints to the contrary,

  • that Officer’s have taken residents’ concerns into account in the Final Version of the Structure Plans for Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick and Quality Design Guidelines and
  • that sufficient information has been presented to residents in a timely, readily accessible and understandable manner.

Additionally, feedback received by residents and GERA indicates that these is little point in residents undertaking or presenting any analysis as the Councillors are going to approve.

Given the recent granting of 12 month time extension for the completion for the development of Structure Plans for Glen Eira’s 3 major activity centres we believe that Council should defer making any decision on these plans at this stage.  Hence GERA has emailed to Council (all Councillors and Key Administrators) the following:

GERA believes that

  • Council should defer voting on the Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick Structure Plans and Quality Design Guidelines included as Agenda Items 9.1 – 9.5 for the 27/2/2018 Ordinary Council Meeting.
  • The “Deferral Time Period” should that deemed sufficient to enable residents to provide informed feedback on the Structure Plans and for Council Officers to review and assess that feedback before a Council decision is made.

This would be in line with the Minister’s direction that states “Council needs to exercise it’s responsibilities under the Act and review and strengthen it’s scheme in consultation with the community”.

  • Council should remove from Officer’s Report Recommendation – Point 3 the wording “in accordance with Section 20(4) of the Planning and Environment Act 1987”. This removal is to apply to all Structure Plans and Quality Design Guidelines presented to Council – currently or in the future.

As you should be aware, Planning Amendments are the mechanisms for changing the Planning Scheme.  As such, Planning Amendments are the planning tools that will ensure future developments comply with the desired outcomes of both the Structure Plans and Quality Design Guidelines.  To invoke Section 20(4)

– Is to deny residents input into the decisions making processes related to the preparation of the planning amendments and restrict community comments to the “end product” i.e. a planning amendment that has already received “Exhibit” ministerial approval. Council has a well established track record of refusing residents requests for changes to amendments approved for Exhibition (ie. community consultation)

– Does not align with the principles of good consultation or Council’s proclaimed goal of improving community consultation practices.

A question asked at all community consultations related to the Structure Plans residents have asked “what are planning tools (eg. overlays, zones etc.) are you proposing to incorporate into the planning scheme to ensure that these desired outcomes are achieved” and the answer has always been “we don’t know”.    Residents understand the significance of Section 20(4) and find it’s application totally unacceptable – a hard lesson learnt from the 2013 Zone Implementation

Feel free forward  a copy (or an amended copy) of this email to Councillors  – just made sure you include your name, street address and telephone/mobile contact details.

Councillor and Key Planning Officers email addresses are

MDelahunty@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

JSilver@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

DSztrajt@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

NTaylor@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

JMagee@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

Deputy Mayor – JHyams@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

Mayor – TAthanasopoulos@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

MEsakoff@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

CDavey@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

RMcKenzie@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

cityfutures@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

RTorres@gleneira.vic.gov.au

 

 

HOT PRESS –

Just received from the Elsternwick residents

Glen Eira Council will vote on the Elsternwick, Bentleigh & Carnegie structure plans on Tuesday night from 7.30pm at the Glen Eira Town Hall.

Elsternwick residents will be WEARING BLACK to signify the massive overshadowing of the proposed 12 storey highrise city in Elsternwick.

If you are opposed to the highrise elements in any of these plans, you may like to join the Elsternwick residents and wear BLACK on the night to show your support.

ELSTERNWICK URBAN RENEWAL AREA – Option 3 Revisited

Following our recent (20/2/18) posting “Where is Option 3 for the Elsternwick Urban Renewal Area?”, GERA was contacted by Council.   Councillors had been advised by the Planning Officers that Option 3 did not exist and that Council was receiving numerous emails, asking for Option 3, which Council was unable to respond to as there was nothing to provide.

It appears semantics have entered the picture – various alternate terms (eg. Iteration 3, Version 3, Agenda Item, not one or the other) have been used by Council when communicating with residents requesting updated EURA information.   On the other hand, the residents have retained the terminology (ie. option) included in the Draft Structure Plan for Elsternwick.

The Officers Report, related to Agenda Item 9.3 – Elsternwick Structure Plan, discusses the Elsternwick Urban Renewal Area (p. 6-8)

  • Officers have undertaken a significant review of the urban renewal area in order to address the various issues raised by the community….”
  • “Officers have therefore undertaken a comprehensive update to the urban renewal section …..”
  • “Officers consider that the new plans ….”

We leave it up to readers to decide

  • If what looks like a duck, walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck is in fact a duck, and
  • How the Duck Test results align with the concepts of good community engagement and open, transparent, accountable and representative government, and
  • If Council should defer making a decision on Tuesday to give residents time to review and provide feedback (for all three centres) on the deluge of information provided.

Below are the schematics of Elsternwick Urban Renewal Area which, if available, would have appeared in our previous posting as Option 3.

We also advise that a change.org petition, opposing high-rise development in Elsternwick, has been initiated by the residents.  Feel free to read and sign if you wish.

 

 

Updated Structure Plans for Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick Published

Council has just published the Agenda for Tuesday’s (27/02) Council Meeting.

Included in the Agenda Items are Updated Structure Plans for Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick and also the Quality Design Guidelines which apply to these and future activity centre Structure Plans.

Although we have yet to review these documents in detail (look for subsequent posts), their publication represents a major milestone towards completion of the Structure Planning exercise ordered by the Planning Minister.

Based on GERA’s involvement in this exercise, we urge all residents to review and assess these documents as we believe the planning outcomes (eg. expanded boundaries, height increase, rezonings, urban renewal areas and strategic sites etc.) for these 3 centres are likely to flow down to the Glen Eira’s emerging major activity centres and lesser activity centers.

Source: Quality Design Guidelines – Documentation:  City of Glen Eira Analysis of housing consumption and opportunities 2017 (p 101)

 

We also encourage residents to attend the Council Meeting (if unable to attend,  view the meeting via Live Streaming).

 

 

WHERE IS OPTION 3 FOR THE ELSTERNWICK URBAN RENEWAL AREA?

GERA has been advised that Glen Eira Council has now developed and completed a third plan (Option 3) for the Elsternwick Urban Renewal Area.

For those not aware,  the  Elsternwick Urban Renewal Area is bounded by the Nepean Highway and the Sandringham railway line.   The proposal involves rezoning much of the area from 2 storey residential to 8-12 storey commercial/residential that

  • is serviced by a convoluted street network that is ill-equipped (limited through access, dead ends etc.) to service anticipated traffic movements  (vehicle, cyclist and pedestrian) or parking demand, and
  • is located away from the retail core of the Elsternwick Activity Centre,
  • lacks accessible open space
  • lacks any response to basic questions re retention of neighbourhood character or heritage, overshadowing, privacy, traffic management and parking provisions etc.

Options 1 (the original proposal) and 2 (prepared to address the concerns raised re Option 1) have been resoundingly criticised by residents (see above), hence option 3 was prepared.

Options source:  Elsternwick Draft Structure Plan

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Option 3 has yet to be released for residents review, residents requests for its early release have been denied.   Option 3 details are scheduled for release at noon on Friday (23/2/2018), as part of the Agenda papers for Tuesday’s (27/2/2018) Council Meeting where it will be voted on by Council.  Apparently Council has decided that, if Council’s Planning Officers are unable to achieve community consensus after two consultations (with limited Councillor attendance),  it is considered acceptable not to present a 3rd option (or any 3rd option details) to the community any earlier than Council’s self mandated ruling of 4.5 days prior to a scheduled Council decision (which in this case is Option 3).

 In our view, releasing Option 3 with only 4.5 day window (which includes Saturday and Sunday) in which

  • Residents can assess, question and pass on comments (individually to each Councillor and key Admin. Staff) re a proposal that will significantly adversely impact their amenity, and
  • Councillors and Council Planning Officers can duly assess residents’ feedback for possible inclusion in the final Elsternwick Urban Renewal Area Structure Plan

is not only inadequate but also contrary to the principles of open, transparent and representative government.  Principles which Council statements acknowledge and actively promote.
Given Council’s acknowledged poor consultative performance on the Elsternwick Urban Renewal Area, residents are simply not “buying” into comments that adequate consultation has occurred or that Option 3 addresses the residents’ concerns.  As they are the ones who have to live with the outcome of Council’s decision, they are demanding the opportunity to review and have their say.  It is their right.

The Elsternwick residents and GERA urges residents to email all Councillors and key Council Officers A.S.A.P.  Don’t forget to add your name, street address and telephone contact no.

“I ask that Council defer it’s decision on Elsternwick’s Urban Renewal Zone Option 3 until community consultation has occurred”.

We know it’s a royal pain in the proverbial to be constantly emailing Councillors and Officers (if you can only send one email – send it to the Mayor).  However, it is important and is necessary to ensure due consideration is given to resident input into Council’s current and future decision making processes.

Both GERA and Council encourage resident attendance at the Council Meeting (7.30 p.m. Tuesday, 20th February, 2018 at the Glen Eira Town Hall).

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

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Councillor and Key Planning Officers email addresses

MDelahunty@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

JSilver@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

DSztrajt@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

NTaylor@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

JMagee@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

Deputy Mayor – JHyams@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

Mayor – TAthanasopoulos@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

MEsakoff@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

CDavey@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

RMcKenzie@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

cityfutures@gleneira.vic.gov.au;

RTorres@gleneira.vic.gov.au

ELSTERNWICK STRUCTURE PLAN SUBMISSION – Due Monday, 11th December, 2017

We have received the below email from the Elsternwick Group opposing the Draft Structure Plans for that Activity Centre.  It reminds residents that submissions are due tomorrow (11/12) and includes a sample submission that residents may use when preparing their submission.

Please note

  • Submissions for the Bentleigh and Carnegie Draft Structure Plans are also due tomorrow.
  • Residents preparing submissions for any activity centre, should also review our earlier posting re an Open Letter to the Mayor . You may wish to include some of the issues raised in your submission.

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A reminder to respond to the Glen Eira council using ALL feedback channels available – please help us make this final push to be heard!

Due to resident pressure, Bentleigh had its plan reduced as follows (and we must put as much pressure on as possible so we get the same concessions):

  • Commercial zoning areas reduced from 8 to 5 stories
  • Residential areas reduced from 4 to 3 stories (and further reduction of apartment block zoning to townhouses).

For Action by Monday 11 December:

  1.  Send your objection to Glen Eira Council planning department by MONDAY 11 DECEMBER at:  cityfutures@gleneira.vic.gov.au . (See end of key for dot points on key issues you might want to consider in your response)
  2. Sign our online petition (and share on Facebook, send to family/friends/neighbours): https://www.change.org/p/glen-eira-council-no-high-rise-city-on-elsternwick-fringe-02dd0d1f-25c3-4ddd-b83b-b1712e2faf71
  3. Have your say on the Glen Eira discussion forum.  Register first at: https://www.haveyoursaygleneira.com.au/register then use the next link to have your say (and ‘Like’ all other relevant entries) at https://www.haveyoursaygleneira.com.au/Elsternwick/forum_topics/tell-us-what-you-think-of-the-elsternwick-draft-structure-plan   (Note: Council has done a great job at hiding key links!)
  4. If you do not believe the council has properly consulted with you,  please make a formal complaint: http://www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/Contact-us/Make-a-complaint .  If you have previously made a formal complaint and the council has not properly investigated your concerns or provided you with an appropriate outcome to your complaint within 28 working days, you can demand an internal review: http://www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/Contact-us/Internal-review
  5. Forward to other Elsternwick residents you know!!


Points you may wish to raise:

  • Clearly state you reject both options in the Elsternwick Concept Plan.
  • Plan is excessive and completely out of character with the suburb and the reason people (choose to live here).
  • Council has provided no detail (or addressed community concerns) around how properties next to or near 12 storey developments will be protected by MASSIVE overshadowing and privacy concerns in a residential area with many young families that have children.
  • City Futures and Mary Delahunty said a traffic impact assessment was being done during Stage 5 of consultation.  Council has not released the outcome of this impact assessment or been able to answer simple questions around how a significant increase in traffic (given the 20%+ increase in residents in this small area) will be managed and how traffic will be managed in the small residential streets leading up to the Elsternwick shopping strip with likely traffic chaos in St James Pde (which has a school), Denver Ave, Collage St, Horne St/Glen Huntly Road intersections.
  • Additional impacts to our already over-crowded train, tram and bus facilities – plans have NO detail on how this is being managed.
  • Both options destroy heritage/character properties in one of the oldest parts of Elsternwick (many of which are circa 1880 and turn of the century Edwardian properties).  It is letting developers destroy Elsternwick history.
  • Council has provided NO detail (or addressed community concerns) around car parking in the urban development zone and in the shopping strip to cater for a significant increase in residents many of whom will still need to drive to local shops.
  • High rise development is at direct odds with the objective of creating and protecting Elsternwick’s character and “village feel” changing the social fabric of our suburb.
  • New public space in urban development zone is only being ‘advocated’ for – there is no detail around how the council will secure this park space.

Alternative plans

  • Council has stated it is taking a whole of municipality approach to meeting Victorian government housing targets – why is it not providing a consolidated list of all housing development sites/opportunities across the municipality?
  • Across the municipality, council has enough opportunities to meet these targets (and is already meeting and exceeding its targets) without creating such excessive highrise building zones in Elsternwick.  This includes 24 hectares in the new East Village; significant opportunities in Bentleigh and Carnegie (including the Bentleigh car yard area which has THREE railway stations close by) and a recent petition from residents to develop the area on Glen Huntley Road near Hawthorn road.
  • Glen Eira council already has highest number of apartment applications (according to ABS data) https://gleneira.wordpress.com/2017/12/07/outrageous-stats/comment-page-1/#comment-35760
  • In addition, there is already a clear precedent for higher rise developments in the Glen Huntly Road shopping strip -which is actually in the Activity Centre zone.

 

We EXPECT our elected representatives to come up with a more appropriate and balanced option that protects Elsternwick’s heritage, character and village feel (across the entire suburb).Don’t turn our municipality into another Port Melbourne / Docklands disaster!

 

Open Letter Sent to the Mayor

The following is an open letter sent to the Mayor by a Glen Eira resident re Council’s current structure planning exercise.  It challenges the proposed significant expansion of activity centre boundaries and increased heights given the

  • Government targets (9000 new dwellings over the next 15 years)
  • currently proposed large projects (i.e. East Village, Caulfield Village and ABC site)
  • current pace of development being experienced (1500-2000 dwellings pa)

GERA agrees with the views expressed in the letter.

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8th December 2017

Dear Mr Mayor (Tony),

Congratulations on your appointment as the Mayor, an exciting year ahead. An independent and new perspective should be invaluable for confronting our key challenges. And yes, Glen Eira has some significant challenges as further highlighted by the latest ABS building permit approval numbers which show 1,324 building approvals in Glen Eira from July to end of October with 1,233 apartments and only 91 houses (This compares to an average of 541 building approvals and 443 apartments for neighbouring local government areas). These figures again reiterate the reasonable community concern that Glen Eira is growing at a very disturbing and unsustainable rate.

I understand that you have inherited this excessive and unplanned growth however unless it is more effectively controlled it will totally destroy the municipality that we have grown to love. We already have exceptionally high population density, rapid development rates and very low open space provision and hence have been very strongly pulling our weight in terms of Melbourne’s overall population growth. I have attached the relevant graphs (following) which highlight these points while also comparing the Glen Eira situation to other local government areas. I am not in any way anti-development (I have several children that will want to live in a home somewhere) but am seeking a balance to ensure liveability, long term sustainability and the right legacy.

Respectfully, what’s required is a counter-balance to address the weaknesses of the past.

Firstly, a genuine acknowledgement of the current situation is fundamental to the move forward situation. Unfortunately, the most recent ABS building approvals, which are tracking to be significantly higher than last years, have not been highlighted in any of the research and reporting undertaken as part of the structure planning process. The projection of 9,000 new dwellings over 15 years is well and truly understated (unless controlled) and this is further confirmed by the ABS building approval figures. I have requested on numerous occasions that Council project new dwellings numbers forward, including East Village, Caulfield Village, VC110 etc. but this has not been done. The Housing ID analysis, which is a research basis for Glen Eira planning, didn’t undertake this fundamental assessment.  In summary, we need some real honesty, transparency and analysis, a good fair dinkum look in the mirror.  Let the community know that you know this is a serious issue, this is a message that hasn’t been delivered previously.

Secondly, Glen Eira needs to implement appropriate controls and quickly. I understand and greatly respect that Council officers are working very hard on the structure planning process but it is counter-productive if Activity Centres are expanded, heights are discretionary, heights are excessive, public land is sold (or used) for further development and interim controls are weak.  We are at a critical juncture where a counter-balance is required to offset the legacy. We need to get our planners to seriously assess the controls that are required to achieve fair and reasonable outcomes. Develop a clear and public action plan that demonstrates a strong commitment to this objective.

Thirdly the community needs strong advocacy and representation on this issue. All too often the justification has been about state government policy. I understand state government policy but the beauty (?) of Australia is that we have three tiers of government all of which has the power to play a role. I am not interested in the politics of this situation, as has been introduced by others, but a pragmatic and evidenced based approach. The evidence is clear that strong advocacy is justifiable and required and now is the last opportunity. In talking and listening to fellow residents, I believe that this situation is a very major issue in Glen Eira that is effecting people’s lives on a daily basis. It is also an opportunity to actively address the issues that we confront.

I have been fortunate to meet you on several occasions and believe that you are a person of exceptional integrity with a focus on community representation and advocacy. I appreciate that Rome wasn’t built in a day but implore you, in your role as a custodian, to actively address the culture and practices associated with development in Glen Eira and to do this with resolve, dedication and strong leadership. If you need any assistance to achieve the outcomes you can call on the people to support you. It is through the third space – the people (a term used by William Ury in Getting to Yes) that substantial and meaningful change can occur.

With great respect and kind regards,

Warren Green.

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