Community Gardens in Glen Eira

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A perennial issue in Glen Eira is residents desire for community gardens (particularly in or near the Growth Zones) and Council’s reluctance to support community gardens.  

Sure, without some organizational structure and Council support they can be difficult to establish and maintain on a long term basis. However, as has been shown in other inner and middle ring metro Melbourne municipalities, enthusiastic volunteers, guidance from various associations and Council support have created some very successful and creative community gardens, that have had a significant community impact. Checkout – 5 of the best Community Gardens in Melbourne, Melbourne community garden and Maribyrnong City Council – Community Gardens

GERA supports establishing community gardens in Glen Eira and also Glen Eira’s growing number of  “grass roots” community garden advocates.

As per the below article (to appear in this weeks Leader), GERA proposes the inclusion of community gardens in our campaign for the “opening up” of the Racecourse Centre Parkland.  In our view it’s an ideal location – easily accessible from the high density development occurring in Glen Eira and Stonnington and smack dab in the middle of an area known for an abundance of cheap fertilizer, ie. horse manure.

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Come along tomorrow evening (15/02/2017) and check it out.   Details are in our previous posting

Caulfield Racecourse Reserve – Community Gathering 15/02/2017

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For those who don’t know in 1858 a Crown Grant established the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve with 3 separate yet equal purposes – racecourse, public recreation ground and public park (Caveat on Title).  Yet over the past 20  years lack of oversight and mismanagement (State Government and Board of Trustees) has allowed racing and racing’s commercial activities to dominate the reserve to the exclusion of the public park purposes.

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The scathing September, 2014 Auditor General Report into the management of the reserve graphically identified the current  imbalance in usage of the Reserves 54 ha (valued at $2bn), that has resulted from that lack of oversight and mismanagement, as being

  • 11 hectares (20%), is leased by the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) for a flat rate of approx. $170,000 p.a.
  • 37 hectares (69%) is used by MRC without any clear legal entitlement or payment arrangement.  (GERA comment – to put this 37 hectares in perspective, it is roughly the equivalent to the combined size of Glen Eira’s two premier parks – Caulfield Park (24.9ha) and Princes Park (12.4ha.)
  • 6 hectares (11%) is open space for potential use by the community on restricted days at restricted times. Use of the racecourse parkland by the public is not actively promoted nor visible from the surrounding streets.  It is also difficult to physically access and comprises limited facilities that don’t meet park users’ needs.

It is now almost 2.5 years  since the AG’s Report and, although “opening up” the Reserve for public use by the surrounding communities of Glen Eira and Stonnington would be significant*, only scant information is available on progress and little has been achieved at “ground zero”.  Therefore, GERA, in conjunction with the Malvern East Group (a.k.a. Stonnington residents group), invites you to a Community Gathering at Caulfield Racecourse between 6.00 & 8.00 pm on Wednesday, 15th February, 2015.

The purpose of this event is twofold

  • To increase community usage of the our parkland by
    • Increasing community awareness of the 2 public park purposes of this Reserve and
    • Providing an opportunity for the community to visit the park and experience it’s magnitude and beauty.
  • To provide local residents with an opportunity to join the campaign seeking increased State Government actions, that are geared to
    • redressing the imbalance in racing vs. public usage of this public land, and
    • ensuring compliance with the Auditor General’s recommendation for open and transparent management this public land.

We hope you will be able to attend.

Public Parkland Access Point Details & Opening Hours

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*Significance of “Opening Up” the Reserve

  • Glen Eira has the least per capita open space in Metro Melbourne, Stonnington the second least
  • Caulfield Racecourse is located
    • just south of Dandenong Road which is the boundary between the two municipalities.
    • Residents in both Municipalities experience adverse amenity impacts (traffic, parking and noise) from racing and racing commercial events.
    • In both Municipalities, the residential areas surrounding this small stretch of Dandendong Road are targeted for, and are currently experiencing, high density growth.

EAST VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT – PROPOSED PARTNERSHIP ARRANGEMENT

UPDATE – 7/2/2017  – COUNCIL TO ENSURE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

At tonight’s Council Meeting, the proposed partnership agreement with the Victorian Planning Authority for the East Village Development Site  was amended and approved.  The amendment includes significant and effective community engagement during the developments planning process.

Congratulations to Council for hearing the call and to residents for answering the call to action – it’s a good outcome.  Hopefully, it bodes well for future community engagement.

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Original Posting 4/2/2017

GERA urges all readers and residents to read this Agenda Item 9.2 for Tuesday’s 7th February Council Meeting

The purpose of this report is to seek Councillor endorsement for a proposed partnership with the Victoria Planning Authority (VPA) to assist Council to undertake the structure planning and preliminary planning for the ‘East Village’ site.

For those not aware – the East Village site (24ha or 240,000 sqm) is an expansion of the previously rejected Virginia Park Re-development Proposal (12.3ha).  Located near the corner of North and East Boundary Roads, development of this massive site is severely constrained by the site’s limited vehicular and pedestrian access and a lack of accessible public transport.

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The VPA has significant experience in development planning for challenging and significant sites.  As outlined in a letter attached to the Officer’s Report, the VPA, in close collaboration with Council, will undertake

– Project management, including convening meetings between VPA, Council and Developers

– Coordination of State agencies and utility service providers

– Preparation of structure plan and appropriate amendment material

– Assistance and support as required

Development Planning to be completed by September, 2017 with community consultation occurring after Structure Planning (May/June) and after September.

While GERA welcomes the recommendation for VPA involvement (it brings to the table a level of expertise and resources that quite simply are beyond the usual planning functions of Council), the report raises significant concerns re community engagement.   Such a massive site has far reaching and potentially adverse implications for the surrounding community.  Therefore, it is extremely important that open and transparent community engagement is embedded in the development planning process.

Unfortunately, neither the Officers Report nor it’s attachments provide details on how such community engagement is to be achieved.  Officers reporting to Council at key decision points or Council presenting completed plans (“done deal”) for residents to comment on does not constitute good or appropriate community engagement.

GERA therefore urges

  • Councilllors representing us to put forward an amendment to the Officers Recommendation that states:

That a decision on this proposal be deferred at this time so that Councillors have more time to consider the proposal and how best to actively provide for community input during the development planning process.

  • Residents to contact all Councillors (email and/or mobile) prior to Tuesday’s Meeting, to urge them to support the proposed amendment.   Remember – the strongest message is numbers, your support in contacting Councillors is vital.

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Councillor Contact Details

Sample email – feel free to cut and paste.

Subject: Agenda item 9.2  for Tuesday’s 7th February Council meeting

While I welcome the recommendation for VPA involvement, Agenda Item 9.2 raises significant concerns re community engagement.   Such a massive site has far reaching and potentially adverse implications for the surrounding community.  Therefore, it is extremely important that open and transparent community engagement is embedded in the development planning process.

Unfortunately, neither the Officers Report nor it’s attachment provide details on how such community engagement is to be achieved.  Officers reporting to Council at key decision points or Council presenting completed plans (“done deal”) for residents to comment on does not constitute good or appropriate community engagement.

I therefore urge you to put forward/support an amendment to the Officers Recommendation that states:

That a decision on this proposal be deferred at this time so that Councillors have more time to consider the proposal and how best to actively provide for community input during the development planning process.

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As always, if you wish to comment or seek additional information on this posting, please feel free to access our Facebook Account

 

COUNCIL EMAIL SYSTEM HAS A GLITCH

UPDATE – 26/01/2017

The BHCA Group has advised that the glitch, first reported on 9/1/2017, in Council’s system that records email objections has yet to be fixed and not all email objections have been,  or are being, recorded correctly in Council’s system.

As a result some residents who have lodged, or are currently lodging, objections to the 19 storey development in Kooyong Road, are not being notified of the Glen Eira Planning Conference to be held on Thursday, 2/2/2017 at 6.30 p.m. at the GE Town Hall.

As per the below posting, any resident who has lodged an email objection with Council to this, or any other, development proposal should verify that they have received an auto reply to their objection.  If an auto reply has not been received, please re-submit your objection.

 

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ORIGINAL POSTING  – 16/1/2017

GERA has recently received the below email from the BHCA Group who are opposing the proposed Bethlehem Hospital 19 Story development in Kooyong Road, Caulfield South.

The email is important and self explanatory – residents who have submitted objections to Council via email for this, or any other,  development or planning scheme amendment should be aware of this “glitch”.   Residents who have not received an auto reply to an emailed objection should re-submit that objection.

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IMPORTANT ~ COUNCIL STUFF-UP WITH OBJECTION EMAILS

COUNCIL EMAIL SYSTEM HAS A GLITCH

It has come to our attention that a number of your objection emails have not been registered with Glen Eira council due to an inexplainable glitch in their email system.  All objectors should have received an auto reply confirmation email from council.  

If you have not received your confirmation you are not in the system and will not be notified of the community consultation meeting with the applicant and council expected to be in early February.

If you have not received confirmation of your objection email please resend it and make sure you receive an auto reply confirmation email.  Don’t forget to copy bhcagroup@gmail.com

NOT TO LATE TO LODGE YOUR OBJECTION

Despite the council glitch outlined above, there has been an outstanding response from all of you.  We do notice however that the majority of registered objectors are naturally near the hospital or in nearby streets.

If you believe you won’t be affected because you don’t live that close, perhaps the attached winter shadow diagrams  may cause you to reconsider.  Winter shadows will cast to the other side of Nepean Highway in the morning and past the Brighton cemetery in the afternoon.  

THAT’S YOUR WINTER SUN ~ MORNING & AFTERNOON.

Understanding how far the proposed tower casts a shadow, then it follows that overlooking of backyards is not limited to just the adjoining properties but covers hundred of metres over many streets in all directions both day and night.

If that doesn’t capture your interest then recognise that the tower will turn into a illuminated beacon at night that will light up your backyards and dominate the night sky for kilometres in all directions.

If your happy with all of the above do nothing.  Alternatively this maybe your last chance to lodge you objection with council. Send your objection to mail@gleneira.vic.gov.au and bhcagroup@gmail.com 

Include the following information in your objection. 

 Re Notice of Planning Application 

Planning Permit Application No: GE/PP-29481/2016

Property: 472 & 476-482 Kooyong Road & 11 Saturn Street Caulfield South Vic 3162

 Include you name, address and grounds for objecting.

 

SAVE McKINNON VILLAGE – PLANNING SCHEME AMENDMENT C143

GERA has recently been asked by some McKinnon Residents to assist them in reviewing a proposed Planning Scheme Amendment (C143) and Design and Development Overlay – Schedule 6 (DDO6) for a large development site located on the south and western edge of McKinnon Village Neighbourhood Centre.  While the residents accept that their Village area will change, they do not believe that the currently proposed Mix Use Zoning is appropriate for the stand alone site.

The residents are seeking community support in objecting to the proposed Amendment and DDO. – the objection due date is 23/12/2016Check out their website – Save McKinnon Village.

The residents are requesting that, in the New Year and after January’s Planning Conference, Council re-assesses the Development Proposal with a view to abandoning Amendment C143 and DDO6 and enabling resident input into decisions related to

  • Appropriate Re-zoning
  • Appropriate height and setback (below and above ground) provisions

SITE DETAILS

  • 88-100 McKinnon Road, McKinnon. Located on the corner of Wheatley and McKinnon Roads.
  • Area = 3671 sqm
  • 430 metres to the McKinnon train station
  • A Special Building Overlay (ie. area prone storm water run-off and flooding) is applicable to site.
  • Current site zoning is Industrial (INZ3), which prohibits residential development.
  • Adjoining Zones are GRZ3 (General Residential Zone –  10.5m, 3 stories) & NRZ1 (Neighbourhood Residential – 8m, 2 stories)
  • A narrow right of way (laneway) exists at the rear of the site.

McKinnon Village Current Planning Zones & Heightsvillage-zones-v4b

PROPOSED CHANGES – Planning Scheme Amendment C143 and Design Development Overlay Schedule 6

  • Proposed Mixed Use Zone (MUZ) which allows commercial, retail, industrial and residential usage as a right (ie. no planning permit required, therefore, no third party objection rights). “Allowed as a right usages” include businesses with extended trading hours (eg.  Convenience Mini-Marts and Takeouts, Food and Drink services).
  • A maximum building height of (14.5 metres – 4 stories)
  • Setbacks
    • Rear Set back only – 4 metres from property boundary, applicable set backs increase as building height increases
    • No side or street front setbacks at ground level or as building height increases.

 RESIDENTS GROUNDS FOR OBJECTION

  • MUZ is not an appropriate zoning for a village or neighbourhood centre due to the adverse amenity impacts generated by
    • Noise arising from the allowed uses and extended trading hours
    • increased traffic volumes
    • increased parking demand
  • In addition to the above adverse amenity impacts, the site’s location within the McKinnon Village makes the proposed MUZ zoning inappropriate, as it is located
    • on edge of the designated neighbourhood centre rather than in the village centre. It is a stand- alone location separated from the village hub by residential zones
    • well away from the Village’s Commercial Zones and their
      • facilities (eg. parking, train station)
      • complementary businesses
      • “buffering” effect on noise impacting the residential zones
    • surrounded by residential zones (GRZ and NRZ) with limited on street parking surrounding the site due to road configuration.
    • is not readily accessible to the majority of village residents
  • The proposed height limit of 14.5m/4 stories is
    • contrary to the designation of McKinnon Village as a Neighbourhood Centre and the 2013 Zone Implementation that implemented a 10.5m/3storey height limit on residential zones within Neighbourhood Centres
    • inconsistent with the concept of scaling down building heights from the Village centre towards the Neighbourhood Residential Zone. In this case, from the Village’s Commercial Zone  (no height limit) there is a height limit of 3 stories which then rises to 4 stories on the southern and western boundary of the Neighbourhood Residential Zone
  • The absence of above and below ground street front and side setbacks
    • restricts ground absorption of storm water runoff (a Special Building Overlay applies to the site)
    • restricts landscaping opportunities
    • will result in visual bulk and dominance and overshadowing
  • There are no Neighbourhood Character requirements specified in the Amendment or DDO or Glen Eira’s Housing Diversity Policy. There should be as McKinnon Village has a distinct and unique character.

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Council has advised that a Planning Conference will be scheduled in the New Year and that Council will decide on the proposed Amendment and DDO  at it’s February Council Meeting.  In the intervening period the objection due date is 23/12/2016  and there’s the busy Christmas/New Year holiday period to consider – timing doesn’t favour the residents.

GERA encourages our members and readers to submit an objection to the proposal – numbers count!!!.    A sample objection letter is available on the   Save McKinnon Village website.

 

 

 

BETHLEHEM HOSPITAL 19 STOREY DEVELOPMENT

The Bethlehem Hospital Community Action Group (BHCA Group) who are opposing the proposed Bethlehem Hospital 19 Storey Development have invited interested residents to join them in a meeting with Glen Eira’s Mayor and Councillors to express their concerns about the development.

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To assist anyone interested in lodging an objection to proposed development, the  Group has prepared the below information and standard objection.

A few guiding points for lodging your objection:

  • The cut off date for lodging your objection is Monday, 19 December 2016.
  • Only those who register an objection will be advised by Council of the community consultation meeting with the applicant and council expected in early February 2017.
  • Every adult in your household should lodge an individual letter of objection.
  • The overall number of objection letters is critical to influencing Council.
  • Please lodge you objection via email. (Instructions  below)
  • You may wish to construct your own letter.  If you do we would appreciate an email copy in preparation for any potential VCAT hearing.

HOW TO CREATE YOUR EMAIL OBJECTION LETTER

  1. Copy all of this email into a new email and then follow instructions 2-6.
  1. Email your objection to:     mail@gleneira.vic.gov.au      and copy                              bhcagroup@gmail.com
  1. Copy the following into the “Subject” section:  OBJECTION TO APPLICATION FOR PLANNING PERMIT GE/PP-29481/2016
  1. Insert your name and address where indicated in the text below.
  1. Then delete all text above the line that reads “Dear Sir/Madam”.

    (don’t forget to insert your name and address)

  1. Check your email and send it.

Dear Sir/Madam,
Re Notice of Planning Application 
Planning Permit Application No: GE/PP-29481/2016
Property: 472 & 476-482 Kooyong Road & 11 Saturn Street Caulfield South Vic 3162

My name is [insert your name].  I reside/own the property at [insert your address].

I wish to lodge my objection to this Planning Application on the following grounds:

Overlooking and/or Overshadowing and/or Loss of Natural Light

The visual bulk and physical mass of the proposed building, in particular the 19 Storey Tower will have a detrimental effect on my privacy by overlooking my property and/or substantially causing sun shadow and a decrease in my natural sunlight.

Detrimental Impact on Residential Amenity, Neighbourhood Character and Streetscape

The height, size and bulk of the proposed buildings does not respect the neighbourhood character and is completely out of step with its surrounds.  It does not meet the requirements detailed for Neighbourhood Residential Zone 1.  Such a development would reduce the amenity of my neighbourhood.

Road Safety, Traffic Congestion and Inadequate Parking

The proposed development will substantially increase traffic and parking congestion in the area due to increased needs from residents, staff, commercial operators, patrons and visitors. Surrounding streets already suffer significant traffic and parking congestion and if this development was to proceed it will be exacerbated.  Such a development would create gridlock in my neighbourhood.

I wish to be advised of any consultation meeting.

I request that you take my objections into consideration and ask that this application be denied in its current form.

Yours sincerely,

 

EAST VILLAGE – MASTERPLAN INFORMATION SESSIONS

UPDATE – 6/12/2016

Have your say on the draft masterplan

Members of the community are invited to attend an open forum on Tuesday 6th December to discuss the East Village draft masterplan. It will be held from 7-9pm in the meeting room at Duncan Mackinnon Reserve Pavilion. The forum will be run as a Q&A, so people are encouraged to come along and ask their questions.

 

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Original Posting

The draft 20 year East Village Masterplan, together with supporting documentation, is now available – http://www.eastvillagemasterplan.com.au/documents/

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Public comment is now being sought on this huge (20+ha) site, previously known as Virginia Park Industrial Park (refer to GERA’s previous post – https://geresidents.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/east-village-bentleigh-previously-known-as-virginia-park-estate/  – for background information).  Two information sessions are to be held at 18 North Drive, 236-262 East Boundary Road, Bentleigh East on

  • Wednesday, 23/11/2016 – 5.30 – 7.30 p.m.
  • Saturday, 26/11/2016 – 2.00 – 4.00 p.m.

GERA urges residents to attend the information sessions and review the supporting documentation.  Given the magnitude of this development, residents need to become aware of what is being proposed to ensure that appropriate and informed feedback is provided to the developers and Council.

GERA will provide our assessment of the current development proposal in subsequent postings.

Feel free to provide your assessment of the development proposal on GERA’s Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/geresidents/