Category Archives: Uncategorized

Caulfield South – Planning Conference Abandoned

A remarkable turn of events at last night’s (2/7/2018) Planning Conference for a development at 2 Pearce Street, South Caulfield*.   Before the standard preliminaries were completed, the South Caulfield Action Group (SCAG) and residents requested and voted to abandon the Planning Conference  with  Council agreeing to re-start the planning permit approval process.**

The major sticking point being that just prior (hours) before the Conference commenced, SCAG learnt that amended development plans had been submitted to Council (29/6/2018) and residents had not been advised of either the amended plans or their content.  Consequently, SCAG and residents objections would be based on plans that were no longer applicable.

Cr. Hyams (the Conference Chair), after advising that the changes were not considered significant, asked the Planning Officer to outline the changes.  The changes being

  • The basement car park had previously “protruded” (no specifics provided) into the garden area due to an interpretation of the Planning Minister ‘s garden area requirements by the developer. Clarification had been sought  from the  Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and resulted in changes that removed the protrusion.
  • Since the area is subject to an SBO, Melbourne Water had requested an increase in building height of 300mm/30 cm to elevate the ground floor level for flood mitigation purposes. Despite this height increase, the building height remained below the maximum height limit (11m) for the General Residential Zone (GRZ).

Summarised residents comments are

  • that the area, originally developed for workers cottages, is typified by lot sizes of 750 sqm resulting in approx. a metre separating individual dwellings.  The proposed changes could have implications for more properties than those immediately abutting the development.
  • residents had, in a short time, undertaken a very steep planning learning curve to come to grips with both the GE’s planning scheme and the plans presented. They should be given sufficient time to review the changes and assess their implications – to ask them to do so based on the scant information presented  was to ask them to make a compromise they should not be asked to make.
  • Given that the planning permit application was lodged with Council 25/01/2018, their request for time to review and assess the implications of both changes (drainage and already significant overshadowing on adjoining properties) was in accordance with the Local Government Act 1989 (Part 1 a – Local Government Charter, Section 3c – e & g) and reasonable .

GERA congratulates SCAG and residents for their well presented arguments and maintaining an amicable meeting.   We also congratulate Council for acceding to the residents request.

As an aside, after the decision to abandon the Conference had been made, discussions continued.   SCAG members,  commented that very few of the approx. 300 local residents they had contacted were aware that in 2013 their area had been zoned GRZ1 or GRZ2 (ie. suitable for 3 storey multi-unit developments).    This discussion between the residents and Cr. Hyams will be the topic of a subsequent post.

The South Caulfield Action Group (SCAG) can be contacted via email:  scag.sthcaulfield.action.group@gmail.com

 

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Footnotes:

*3 stories, comprising 5 dwellings above basement car parking and waiver of visitor car parking.  Lot size is 750 sqm and the lot is subject to a Special Building Overlay (SBO – area prone to storm water overflow and flooding)

**  Since the development is not considered to be “major”, the 60 day time Council decision time line is not applicable, hence, Council can “re-start” the approval process.

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COMMUNITY FORUMS UPDATE

26/10/2016 PREDICTED OUTCOME – 2016 Council Elections

Lots of speculation on the election results – definite results will not be known until Saturday, 29/10/2016, when the actual count occurs.

Despite the huge mathematical exercise involved in the distribution of preferences, any who has watched the tally results in State and Federal Elections will be aware that there are politically astute, mathematical geniuses out there who are often able to accurately predict election outcomes based on minimal information.

As far the 2016 Council Election goes, the same thing is happening.   The most credible predictions GERA has received are

Camden – Mary Delahunty re-elected, with Karen Hermann and Joel Silver likely to occupy the remaining two positions.

Rosstown – Margaret Esakoff re-elected, with Anthony Athanasopolous, Jane Karslake and Neil Pilling vying for the remaining two positions.

Tucker – Jamie Hyams re-elected, with Rodney Andonoplous, Neil Brewster and Nina Taylor vying for the remaining two positions.

How accurate these predictions are will not be known until after Saturday, 29/10/2016. If accurate it means 5-6 current incumbents will not be returning.

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Following on from our 3 well attended community forums and with the election deadline rapidly approaching (make sure you post your vote in time for it to be postmarked before 6.00 p.m. tomorrow – Friday, 21/10/2016) many “panicking” residents are seeking input on the candidates.

While GERA does not endorse any candidates, we urge residents to review their ballot packs and pass on the feedback we received from residents who attended the forums.

Rosstown Forum – 5/10/2016

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The following is an alphabetic listing of the candidates who did/did not attend the Rosstown Forum and their stated political affiliations.

Attended

  •  Anthony Athanasopoulos (Independent)
  • David Box (Labor)
  • Cr. Kelvin Ho (Liberal)*
  • Don Dunstan (Liberal)
  • Shan Jayaweera (Independent)
  • Jane Karslake (Labor)
  • Con Zois (Independent)

*Cr. Kelvin Ho, appointed after resignation of Cr. Karina Okotel, 5 months in office

Did not attend

  •  Asher Cooper
  •  Clare Davey (Greens)
  •  Cr. Margaret Esakoff (Independent)*
  •  Cr. Neil Pilling (Independent)* Late Apology
  •  Sunny Malichetti

*Cr. Margaret Esakoff, 13 consecutive years in office and Cr. Neil Pilling, 8 consecutive years in office and current Mayor.  Given that both are seeking re-election for a further 4 years, their “no show” was viewed “negatively”

Residents Feedback

Athony Athanasopoulos, David Box, Shan Jayawera and Jane Karslake identified and showed knowledge of the issues, presented strong arguments in support of their approaches to resolving the issues while also identifying a clear need for change and a commitment to resident representation.

Tucker Forum – 9/10/2016

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The following is an alphabetic listing of the candidates who did/did not attend the Tucker Forum and their stated political affiliations.

Attended

  •  Neil Brewster (Independent)
  •  Phil De’Ath (Liberal)
  •  Cr. Oscar Lobo* (Labor)
  •  Jeff Mackie (Independent)
  •  Cr. Jim Magee (Independent)
  •  Michael Searle (Independent)
  •  Nina Taylor (Labor)

*Cr. Oscar Lobo, appointed after resignation of Cr. Nick Staikos, 7 consecutive years in office  and Cr. Jim Magee, 8 consecutive years in office

Did not attend

  • Rodney Andonopoulos (Labor) – Apology
  • Joshua Bonney – Apology
  • Anne Marie Cade
  • Donna Elliott
  • Cr. Jamie Hyams*
  • Michael Karlik
  •  Karina Okotel

*Cr. Jamie Hyams, 10 non consecutive years in office (2003-5, 2008-2016).  Given that he is seeking re-election for a further 4 years, his “no show” was viewed “negatively”

Residents Feedback

Neil Brewster, Jeff Mackie, Michael Searle and Nina Taylor identified and showed knowledge of the issues, presented strong arguments in support of their approaches to resolving the issues while also identifying a clear need for change and a commitment to resident representation.

 Camden – 13/10/2016

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The following is an alphabetic listing of the candidates who did/did not attend the Camden Forum and their stated political affiliations.

Attended

  • Cr. Mary Delahunty (Labor)
  • Ian Fayman
  • Karen Hermann (Independent)
  • Rebecca Pinskier (Labour)
  • Joel Silver (Liberal)
  • Cr. Thomas Sounness (Green)*
  • Dan Sztrajt (Independent)

*Both Crs. Mary Delahunty and Tomas Sounness have served 4 years in office.

Residents Feedback

Mary Delahunty, Karen Hermann, Thomas Sounness and Dan Sztrajt identified and showed knowledge of the issues, presented strong arguments in support of their approaches to resolving the issues while also identifying a clear need for change and a commitment to resident representation.

Election Results

To allow for mail delivery times, counting of votes will occur on 29th October, 2016.

  

 

Authorised by:  B. Hatfield, 21/41 Chapel Street, St. Kilda, Vic. 3181