Tag Archives: community consultation

UPDATE – EAST VILLAGE (VIRGINIA PARK) DRAFT STRUCTURE PLAN MEETING

The below update to the EAST VILLAGE DRAFT STRUCTURE PLAN has be forwarded to us by a concerned resident.

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A community consultation session was held to discuss the Concept Plan for East Village on 27th July, 2017.

The Forum was well attended by residents and chaired by Aiden Mullen (Manager, City Futures).

Significantly two of the major bodies (ie. the Education Department and Vic Roads) did not send reps, so many questions about a possible school and traffic and parking management went unanswered.

Once again residents were asked to respond to a plan with very little detail.  The one handout missing from the handout pack was the one that provided the most detail in respect of height and density.  Two of the major factors residents continue to voice their concerns about.

The major points to come out of the Forum were

  • The Education Department is investigating the need for additional educational facilities in the area. No “answer” as yet.  The developers would be prepared to sell the land to the Department/Government.  This would be in the vicinity of 1 hectare.  If not a school, then possibly a “community centre”.  We assume that this would involve Council either purchasing the land or accepting land in lieu of the open space levy.
  • The possibility of a commercial car parking venture on the site
  • The areas currently zone Commercial 1 (C1Z) would remain. The rest of the site would be rezoned to Mixed Use (MUZ).
  • The project life is up to 15 years.
  • No solution to traffic, apart from advocating for care share, more traffic lights and buses to run through the site.
  • The developers have been in constant contact with Council’s various departments.
  • Now 24 hectares (doubled in size) – how many apartments, residents and cars does this mean?

All in all it practically impossible to comment on what will eventuate given the lack of detail on just about everything.

One particular concern regarding the areas surrounding this site was a boundary never before seen or referred to by Council.

Is this the area targeted by Council for re-zoning?

Border:  McKinnon Road, Deakin Street, Mackie Street, North Road, Brett Street, Dalny Road, Hunter Street, East Boundary and Tucker Roads.

Action:

Having heard what is intended for Bentleigh at the Thursday, 10th August Concept Plan Forum, regarding height limits and rezoning, residents are urged to contact Aiden Mullent, Nick Staikos – MLA Bentleigh and all Councillors  contact Nick Staikos – MLA Bentleigh, all Councillors and to get assurance that these areas are not targeted for re-zoning by Council. (Contact Details)

If your house is in this area be alert and get informed.

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BENTLEIGH ACTIVITY CENTRE – CONCEPT PLAN FORUM

The Centre Road Bentleigh Group have forwarded us the following letter urging residents to attend this Thursday’s Concept Plan Forum for the Bentleigh Activity Centre.  Significant changes are being proposed.  Forum details  and links to Council documentation are provided in the letter.

GERA supports the group and strongly urges residents to attend the Forum to express their views on the proposed changes.

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AN IMPORTANT LETTER TO RESIDENTS FROM RESIDENTS

The City of Glen Eira is currently planning for Bentleigh’s future and has developed a draft plan that is now out for community consultation.  This plan proposes excessive development for Bentleigh and if implemented will have a huge impact on our area and the way that we live.  Now’s your last chance to influence this direction.

What’s Proposed for Bentleigh

The draft Council plan for Bentleigh includes:

  • Developments of up to eight storeys on both the east and west sides of the train line.
  • The sale and development of Council owned land (current car parks) for up to eight storeys.
  • An increase in the footprint that can be developed to three storeys (from two storeys).
  • Three storey developments on Centre Road, west of Rose Street and east of Jasper Road, along much of Centre Road that is currently two storeys.

To view the Council’s proposal for Bentleigh go to Council’s website

In summary, this is a proposal for the further significant over-development of Bentleigh, it is not consistent with ongoing resident feedback and it has not been justified by Council.  As this plan will shape the future of Bentleigh, Council needs to hear loud and clear that it is not acceptable.

Background for Residents

Glen Eira currently has the lowest provision of open space in Melbourne, one of the highest population densities, one of the highest rates of new dwelling developments and more than enough housing supply opportunities for future population needs.  Glen Eira is already well and truly pulling its weight in terms of Victorian population growth and will continue to do so into the future with large development areas such as East Village on East Boundary Road in East Bentleigh and the completion of Caulfield Village.  Based on the current rate of new developments, Glen Eira is well ahead of the state government new dwelling and population projections for 2031.  Of concern, none of these facts have been included into the establishment of the Council’s plan for Bentleigh and there is no justification for the excessive over-development proposed.

What You Can Do

Enough is enough, we need resident involvement now or the damage of what’s being proposed will be irreparable.  This is what you can do to help shape the right future plan for Bentleigh.

  • Attend the Bentleigh community forum on Thursday 10th August from 6.30pm – 8.30pm at Duncan Mackinnon Reserve Pavilion, corner Murrumbeena and North Roads Murrumbeena. (Please attend, your attendance is very important).
  • Respond to the Online Survey and highlight: four storey developments (maximum), no growth of the zone for new developments, no sale of Council owned land for new developments and the increased provision of open space.
  • Contact Ward Councillors

Cr Jamie Hyams  M: 0427 319 018  E: JHyams@gleneira.vic.gov.au

Cr Jim Magee      M: 0427 338 327  E: JMagee@gleneira.vic.gov.au

Cr Nina Taylor     M: 0466 372 809  E: NTaylor@gleneira.vic.gov.au

Remind them that they have previously stated a position of opposing large-scale and excessive development in Bentleigh and that now’s the opportunity to demonstrate it.

Further Queries

If you have any queries, want to be kept informed or would like an electronic copy of this letter you can email centreroadbentleigh@gmail.com

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In addition to the issues raised in the above letter, GERA believes that when reviewing the proposed changes for Bentleigh, residents should also consider the nearby Major and Neighbourhood Activity Centres.  Within the context of a relatively small area, there is significant provision for future development – a significant provision that Council has not considered in the proposed Bentleigh Concept Plan.

 

Racecourse and Recreation Reserve – Opportunity for Change ???

Wednesday, 16th September, 2015, saw the conclusion of the two Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve Trust consultations (presented by Trust Chairman Greg Sword and Landscape Architect, John Patrick) which sought community input into the initial stages of Trust’s preparation of a “Strategic Land Management Plan” (SLMP) for the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve”. 

BACKGROUND of the RACECOURSE and RECREATION RESERVE

The Reserve (which comprises 54 ha of primly located crown land currently valued at $2bn) was created (by a Crown Grant in 1858 and formally enacted in 1875) to provide for three separate yet equal purposes of race course, public park and public recreation ground. Yet, as per the Auditor General’s (9/2014) findings, under the dysfunctional and archaic structure of the Trust, management of the reserve has focused on the racing purpose to the exclusion of the public park and recreation ground purposes.

In short, as per the AG’s report, the resulting inequitable imbalance in the reserves usage, facilities and accessibility is as follows

  • 11 ha (20%) is leased for racing uses for a peppercorn rental of $170,000 pa.
  • 37ha (69%) is used for racing purposes without any clear legal entitlement or payment. The majority of this area is located in the centre of the racecourse proper (a.k.a. the “Flats”) and is that area originally set aside for public usage.
  • 6ha (11%) that is “potentially” available for public park usage. The area is difficult to access and comprises limited facilities – both presenters agreed with this assessment.

 Since inception, the Trust’s management and Racing’s* dominance of the reserve has been a contentious issue, but never more so than in the last 18 years.   In 1997, the Victorian Racing Club, for financial reasons, decided to sell for development their state of the art training facility located on their freehold land in Mordialloc (a.k.a. the former Epsom Racecourse) and to focus training facilities at the Caulfield Racecourse (ie. choosing subsidised Crown Land rather than their own freehold land within Metro Melbourne or in a regional centre).

* While the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) is the current public face of the Reserve, the public face has varied between various Racing entities over the years.   To simplify this posting, GERA uses the generic term of “Racing” to represent these entities.

 In the past 18 years, increased Racing dominance has resulted in a dramatic decline in the area/s available for public usage (via the encroachment of training facilities and commercial activities) and the public’s ability to access the public usage area/s (eg. 4 only access points, restricted daily hours of usage, inner fencing and training track barriers, public exclusion during non-racing related commercial activities) – thus the Auditor General’s description of the remaining 6 ha of public park being “potentially” available.    

Centre’s Public Use Areas – from Glen Eira’s 1998 and 2013 Open Space Strategy

CONSULTATION

 The second (16/9) consultation was not as controversial or “firey” as the first (9/9) consultation. Although, the consultations were promoted as being “to ascertain how the Reserve could be utilised by the public, what facilities could be incorporated into the Reserve for both passive and active recreation and to identify community demands and expectations of the Reserve”, during the context setting presentation of the first (9/9) consultation

  • various exclusions were applied (eg. all leased areas and all stabling and training facilities located within the reserve would remain as a “given”). These exclusions whittled the area of the Reserve open for discussion down to an area akin to the 6 ha referred to in the Auditor General’s report. Additionally, although presenting a map of the reserve, the presenters were unable to identify either the location or size of the public area to be discussed.
  • out of scope rulings were applied to a number of highly contentious issues that had major impacts on public accessibility (eg. no. and location of access points, times of use and removal of inner and perimeter fencing)
  • the limited extent of the consultation advertising was discussed. That advertising being restricted to a
    • notification on the recently revived Trustee website  and
    • mailout to Glen Eira sporting clubs, retirement villages and schools within a 3 km radius of the Reserve.
    • brief comments in the Glen Eira Leader

All in all, not a good start.   Those attending (approx. 35) the first consultation, quickly began seriously questioning the Trust’s ability to develop an “overall vision and rationale for the Masterplan”, when the starting point (for a unique site with huge potential for a wide area) was based on maintaining the status quo – a status quo that was the subject of a scathing Auditor General’s Report in 2014 and an equally critical 2008 Legislative Council Select Committee Report.

Basically, the attendees argued that

  • while acknowledging that this consultation represented a shift in the Trustee management philosophy, that shift was still accompanied by a philosophy that clearly considered the 2 public purposes as subordinate to the Racing purpose rather than as outweighing or being at least equal to the  racing purpose.
  • the Trust needed to take a much broader view that recognised the huge potential of this land and the opportunity it presents to a dramatically increasing population with an ever increasing need for parkland and open space.
    • first establish a future vision for the optimum 3 separate yet equal purposes
    • then establish both the time frame and steps required to move from the current untenable position to achieve the future vision.

 Encouragingly, although still unable to identify the size and location of the public area included in the SLMP, the context setting presentation for the second consultation (16/9) acknowledged a number of issues raised at first consultation (9/9). Hence, our earlier comment that the second consultation was less controversial than the first. These issues included

  • that development of the SLMP, would be a long, reiterative process and would involve the broader community, not just Glen Eira’s sporting clubs, retirement villages and schools located within 3 km of the Racecourse.
  • retention of all stabling and training facilities located on Reserve land was not a “given” and that initially, consideration would be given to “tweeking” the current training track configuration to increase the public park area.  Later consideration would be given to the removal of training and stabling facilities located on reserve land.
  • that public accessibility and fencing (inner and perimeter) issues would be included in the SLMP.

However, the positive nature of the above was subsequently dampened by Greg Sword’s outline of the deficiencies/dysfunctionalities inherent in the Trust’s structure and the severe impact these have on the Trust’s ability to effectively manage the Reserve.

  • There are 15 Trustees comprising
    • 6 Trustees representing the racing industry. These Trustees are senior executives of the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) and in regular contact.
    • 6 Trustees appointed by the State Government, theoretically representing the broader community who may or may not be in regular contact with other trustees. GERA comment – as per the 2008 Select Committee Report these Trustees have a predominantly racing (vs. parkland management) background and know little of the public park purposes.
    • 3 Trustees representing the local community, appointed by the State Government. These trustees are Glen Eira Councillors (Crs. Lipshutz, Hyans and Esakoff) who may not be in regular contact with other trustees.
  • This structure makes it difficult for the Trust to pass any resolution that is not supported by the Melbourne Racing Club Trustees.
  • Therefore, it is unlikely that any SLMP that is “seen” to adversely impact Racing’s use of the Reserve (for racing, training or stabling or non-racing related commercial events) will the approved by the Trust.
  • Revenue received from MRC’s Reserve leases will provide the funding for works included in the Trust’s SLMP.   Even if the currently proposed, highly questionable, annual rental of $1 million, is approved, it will be some time before works will commence.
  • The Trustees have not met since prior to the publication of the Auditor General’s Report and are not scheduled to meet until November.   Trust approval to undertake this current round of consultations was obtained through email contact.
  • The Trust could not comment on Racing’s future plans for the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve (Australian Financial Review, 11/9/2015)  as Racing had not submitted those plans to the Trust.

 While attendees (at both consultations) were left wondering why, one year after the Auditor General’s Report, the State Government has yet to address the Caulfield Racecourse and Recreation Reserve Trust issues, they nevertheless put forward their views on the public facilities required, in the hope that some improvement may eventuate.

Not in any particular order, these views were

  • Facilities to be provided must
    • have broad appeal, providing for all ages, all abilities, both genders and be family friendly.
    • provide for both active and passive park usage
    • have multiple and flexible use surfaces to provide for various sports
    • provide for both organised and informal sporting activities
  • Must be available for night/evening usage. Currently public usage is not permitted after dusk.
  • Ball Sports should be allowed. For example – football, soccer, cricket, hockey, baseball, tennis.
  • Flying of model areoplanes
  • The racecourse proper and training tracks should not be restricted from other uses, eg. joggers, athletics, school athletics.
  • Use of the centre as for commercial/corporate events or as a carpark is not supported.
  • Removal of inner and perimeter fencing.
  • Provision of farm and community gardens
  • Improved access (increased access points and existing access points improved)
  • Provide above ground pedestrian access through “new” Glen Eira Road parkland
  • Reserve’s public park and recreation area and usage to be actively promoted (rather than racecourse usage).

In addition, two further points were emphasised at both consultations

  • The impact of Glen Eira’s limited open space and sporting facilities has on all residents and in particular, the inability of the Glen Eira’s sporting clubs, located within 3 km of the Reserve, to meet membership demand.  So dire is their current need (not to mention the future need from the Caulfield Village, the Monash University expansion and the potential redevelopment of the MRC Freehold land along Kambrook and Booran Roads) for additional facilities that, initially, they were willing “bend” their match and training schedules to accommodate the 27 race meetings per annum and various commercial activities.
  • Do something now!!   With minimal effort and cost,
    • at least 2-3 sporting grounds can be accommodated within the current public usage area
    • improved public access and park promotion could be provided via the replacement of the solid perimeter fencing with open palisade fencing (with additional gates) along Glen Huntly Park and Queens Avenue.

AGM and COMMUNITY FORUM

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TREES, BIODIVERSITY  & URBANISATION

 An opportunity to hear & discuss issues with

Dr. Greg Moore*

Burnley College, University of Melbourne.

      Date:           Wednesday, 14th October, 2015

     Time:           7.00 p.m. AGM

                              7.30 p.m. Guest Speaker

     Venue:         St. Johns Uniting Church

567 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick                                

       Admission: Gold Coin Donation

                   ALL WELCOME

 

 * Dr. Greg Moore was Principal of Burnley College, Melbourne University from 1988 to 2007. Greg has a specific interest in all aspects of arboriculture, which is the scientific study of the cultivation and management of trees. He has contributed to the development of Australian Standards in pruning and amenity tree evaluation and has been a major speaker at Australian and International conferences. He has been a regular on Melbourne radio, particularly with ABC 774 and 3AW and has chaired, since 1996, of the National Trust of Victoria’s Register of Significant Trees. He is currently pursuing active research related to trees and revegetation in the urban environment.

PETITION – REQUEST FOR ZONE IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW

In conjunction with GERA, the various residents groups emerging across the municipality are joining together and organising a petition to Council as follows

“Request GE Council to review its current planning scheme (incl a public consultation process as part of that review) & seek amendments to the planning scheme as a result of that review.”

To sign the petition

  • Electronically, Glen Eira Petition – Change.org  or
  • Manually, email geresidents@hotmail.com and a copy will be forwarded to you.   Return completed petitions to:  GERA, P.O. Box 212, Elsternwick 3185

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This petition arises from Council’s August, 2013 Planning Zone Implementation, which  the then Mayor (Jamie Hyams) described as being ”the biggest single planning change in Glen Eira’s history” 

  • yet was undertaken without any community consultation (“extensive” consultation having occurred 3 years prior, i.e. 2010), and
  • was retrospectively approved by all current Glen Eira Councillors on 13/8/2013 (with gazettal, ie. legal enactment, expected on 15/8/2013). Glen Eira’s official Zone Implementation media release is dated 5/8/2013.

Under the Planning and Environment Act, 1987, all Councils are required to review their Planning Scheme every 4 years.   While it may be argued Glen Eira’s zone implementation constituted a review, that review did not involve the community.

Four years on from the last Planning Scheme review that involved community consultation and 12 months on from the zone implementation, there is broad and growing dissatisfaction with Glen Eira’s zone implementation.   GERA believes that the petition’s request for a planning scheme review, which includes community consultation is

GERA, therefore, both supports the petition and urges residents to also support the petition.

 

PART 3 – C60 / CAULFIELD VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT PLANS – WHY YOU CAN & SHOULD OBJECT

This posting is a continuation of our previous posting “Part 2 – C60/Caulfield Village Development Plans – Why you can & should object – Traffic”. If you haven’t already done so, GERA recommends reading this posting in conjunction with our earlier C60/ Caulfield Village Development Plans postings.

Overview
Picture and Documentation
Part 1 –Why you can & should object
Part 2 – Why you can & should object

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Traffic – continued

Infrastructure changes – The Integrated Transport Plan, under the S173 agreement*, proposes the following infrastructure changes to the existing, analysed road next work.

Overview Infrastructure works

Details of the “starred” infrastructure works are

Proposed Upgrades 1 and 2 T

Proposed Upgrades 3 and 4 T

These modifications will be undertaken as appropriate for each stage of the Development (eg. signalisation of the Kambrook Road/Station Street intersection will occur during the Stage 2 construction phase).

Parking

As previously mentioned in our Overview posting residents have consistently raised issues with inadequate parking provisions within the development. These issues have been

• Inadequate consideration given to displaced parking in Smith Street, Station Street and ‘the triangle’ on weekdays or during Racecourse events. Displaced parking arising not only from road configurations but also by the introduction of time restricted parking within the development have not been considered.
• Impact of development on surrounding limited open space (use of the Centre of the Racecourse Reserve as a car park)
• No consideration given to the parking impact of the Monash University development on the C60 development or surrounding residential areas.
• No consideration given to the “Triangle” displaced parking (shared by Monash University staff and Tabaret (“Glasshouse”) patrons.
• Inadequate on-site/off-street visitor parking provision

Council has long recognised that on street parking demand in the local area exceeds demand, particularly during weekdays and racecourse events.

• The weekday demand for parking is predominantly due to the proximity of Caulfield Station and commuters seeking on street, paid all day parking (Smith Street, Station Street, and Normanby Road) or unpaid on street all day parking in residential streets. Parking demand arising from Monash University primarily arises from students and is directed to residential streets.
• Parking demand for Racecourse events is currently provided
o Off Street – by the Centre of the Racecourse (3000 free public parking accessed by the Glen Eira/Booran Road Tunnel), Members Carparks 1 & 2 (not available post development), the Guineas Carpark (536 space – crown land) and the Kambrook Road (674 spaces – MRC free hold land). In total existing carparking will decrease 5646 spaces to 4210 spaces post development..
o On-street – along the main roads (Smith and Station Streets, Kambrook and Normanby Roads) and surrounding residential streets.

Residents should note that a review of both the Car Parking Management Plan and the Integrated Transport Plan shows

• No provision for on site/off street visitor parking
• On site/off street car parking provisions within the development are 2910 basement or podium car spaces with secured access. Analysis of provisions shows an excess of 333 spaces which, since this falls short of the required 409 visitor parking requirement imposed by Council and is located in secured access areas, residents assume is included to provide flexibility for future stages (Stages 2 & 3) of the development (eg. increased retail/commercial, decreased dwellings)

• 165 current of on-street/off site car parking spaces will be lost due to the reconfiguration of Smith and Station Streets and lower on-street/off site parking provisions in the Boulevard.
• Of the expected 18,900 vpd traffic generated by the Development, 8,500 is attributed to residents (presumably accessing or exiting the development) and 10,400 vpd is attributed to retail. Even allowing for the short term, high turnover requirements of retail parking on street parking provisions are inadequate.
• Inadequate analysis is provided for displaced car parking on major event days (e.g Caulfield Cup), eg. use of Centre of the Racecourse for Members Parking displaces public parking)
• The Caulfield Village has not been excluded from the residential parking permit scheme nor has any comment been made on the
o introduction of timed parking restrictions in local residential streets (as per the media release, cost to be paid by the MRC) or
o the implementation of enforcement procedures in the local residential streets

Open Space

Discussion on open space provisions within the provided documentation is scant and indicate that

• within the development, public open space needs are provided solely by linear, landscaped access paths (some shared with vehicle garage access) which are said to foster a “vibrant community”. However, residents have indicated that the proposed landscaping provides for small, sparse canopy trees that will have difficulty surviving in soil depths limited by basement car parking and locations between multi-storey buildings that restrict access to sunlight and rainfall. In addition residents suggest that linear parks are generally seen as serving little civic purpose or function as they are more suited to movement than congregation.

• In general little mention has been made of parks within the surrounding area (Centre of the Racecourse, Caulfield Park, East Caulfield Reserve), while that mentioned focuses on “already at capacity” Caulfield Park. Yet, the Centre of the Racecourse closer to the development and is within easy walking distance of any point within the development. Additionally, improved pedestrian connectivity to East Caulfield Reserve has been overlooked.

Drainage

Several of our members with knowledge of drainage (GERA does not profess to be drainage experts) have expressed concerns on the storm water drainage provisions outlined in Development Plan documentation. Their concerns arise from a 90% impermeable site coverage (previously 100% permeable), the increasing frequency of extreme weather events and a natural land slope that will direct surface run off towards Caulfield Park. While Council is currently undertaking drainage works in the nearby residential streets (presumably to service the drainage requirements of the C60/Caulfield Village Development), our members are also concerned that, as in the last extreme weather event, increased storm water flows where Council drains connect with Melbourne/South East Water drains may result is flooding in areas removed for the actual development site.

Public Transport Infrastructure

GERA, like most residents, is not anti-development, we recognise

• that population growth requires additional housing (of diverse types, in various locations with access to public transport), and
• that there is considerable intrinsic value in encouraging use of sustainable transport options (walking, cycling and public transport) vs. use of private motor vehicles, and
• that the above two points places a responsibility on all levels of government to adequately provide those sustainable transport options.

Unfortunately, the development of, or improvements to the most expensive (and perhaps most effective) sustainable transport options – public transport – are lacking. Without service and capacity improvements to the current inadequate, stretched to capacity public transport network, developments of the magnitude of C60/Caulfield Village do more to encourage the use of private vehicle transport than it does to encourage the use of public transport. For this reason GERA believes that C60/Caulfield Village proposal should be delayed until public transport infrastructure improvements are at least in the pipeline.

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Since the submission deadline is 26th February, 2014 (the date of this posting), those readers who have yet to make a submission to do so a.s.a.p. as the Planning Conference is to be held on

Monday, 3rd March, 2014 at 6.30 p.m. at the Caulfield Park Pavilion

Council MAY accept late submissions and if so, given the limited time frame, we encourage sending submissions via email.  A submission does not have to lengthy and it does not require your attendance at the Planning Conference. However, it does place your submission on record and ensures that Council will inform you of it’s decision.

Residents who have not made a submission may still attend the Planning Conference.

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* Section 173 Agreement
Broadly, a Section 173 Agreement is a legal agreement (under Section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987) between the Local Authority (Council) and the owners of the land (the MRC in this instance). S173 agreements are generally used to reinforce planning controls and impose restrictions and conditions on titles.

Declaration
Please note GERA advises that a number of our members reside in the vicinity of the C60 / Caulfield Village Development – the number of these members is less 0.5% of the 500 local residents that Council has identified, and contacted, as those most likely to be impacted by the development. This percentage falls further when the development’s flow on impacts to the broader community are considered.

PART 2 – C60 / CAULFIELD VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT PLANS – WHY YOU CAN & SHOULD OBJECT

This posting is a continuation of our previous posting “Part 1 – C60/Caulfield Village Development Plans – Why you can & should object”

Planning Scheme Amendment C111- Ministerial Amendment Request

With regards setbacks, residents/readers should be aware that above Planning Scheme Amendment C111 was presented to Council for review at the 15th October, 2013 meeting. The Minister was seeking Councils view on a proposed Ministerial Amendment requested by the developer. As described in the officer’s report (Council Minutes 15/10/2013) the amendment sought “to make some changes to provide increased clarification to the documentation associated with the Caulfield Village Development”.

Included in the list of changes proposed were the following that should be particularly noted

Point 2 – “An ability to allow minor building works such as verandahs, balconies, eaves, downpipes, street furniture and art works to intrude into stipulated setback requirements”. While perhaps of limited relevance to the current Stage 1 Residential Development Plan consultation will presumably be significant (access to natural light) in the later Stage 2 (Mixed Use Precinct) and Stage 3 (Smith Street Precinct) consultations.
Point 3 – Clarification that Council can approve a Development Plan with building heights exceeding heights stipulated in the Incorporated Plan. Although argued that requirement for the town planning permit and an appeal/objection process, it does raise questions related to

o the elements of “certainty” said to be included in the Incorporated Plan.
o the “generally in accordance” approve or reject criteria discussed above
o the DPCD practice note discussion above – “The responsible authority should not grant a permit for use or development that is not generally in accordance’ with the plan unless the schedule provides a clear basis to do so”.

Although the report states that the first of the development plans was “expected to be submitted to Council shortly” and that  Council was “not in a position to abandon the amendment” it could “provide a view”,  it is surprising that the possibility of including the amendment details in the Development Plan consultation or of proposing modifications to the proposed amended were not discussed as options in the Officer’s Report or raised by Councillors in the ensuing discussion.

The recommendation included in the officer’s report was passed unanimously. Amendment C111 was enacted on 14/1/2014 (Development Plan consultation commenced 5/2/2014) and has been included in Caulfield Village Mixed Use Area Incorporated Plan dated December, 2013.

Aside from residents expressing concerns re “constantly changing the goal posts” and an apparent approach of changing the Planning Scheme and Incorporated Plans for the development rather than changing the development to comply with the Planning Scheme and Incorporated Plans, there are two other changes than have not been publicly highlighted. These changes are

• The December, 2013 Incorporated Plan is now referenced in the Planning Scheme and hence will be the Incorporated Plan applicable to all current and future “generally in accordance” discussions. The change is identified as being related to Amendment C111 on 14/1/2014.

• Both the November and December, 2013 Incorporated Plans shows no height restrictions on the “Triangle” building site currently used for Tabaret and Monash University car parking. The height restrictions are defined as “Height and form to be assessed on design merit” (previous height limits were 2008 = 15 storeys, 2011 = 20 storeys).  Without a defined height limit there is no way to determine if the height limit has been exceeded – it removes the “trigger” that identifies when a planning permit is required and thereby the reinstatement of third party objection rights.

Since no details have been provided on the removal of these height restrictions (this particular building was a highly contentious issue at all C60/Caulfield Village consultations due to its proximity to the heritage listed Caulfield Station), GERA is unable to confirm when the height restrictions were removed and whether their removal was a ministerial decision (with or without review by Council).

Traffic

As previously mentioned in our earlier “Overview” posting (insert link) residents have consistently raised issues with the inadequate traffic analysis. All previous and current Development Plan traffic analyses focussed on traffic within the development itself and on the sections of the main roads that were “in the vicinity of the site”. No analysis was undertaken on the impact on surrounding residential streets or Neerim Road or Queens Avenue or the Normanby Road underpass and potential flow on impacts from the Monash University development were not considered.

The main roads “in the vicinity” are heavily congested in peak periods and all carry significant volumes during off peak periods. The Integrated Transport Plan (insert link) records current vehicle per day (vpd) volumes as being

• Balaclava Road – 8,000
• Station Street – 13,000
• Normanby Road – 10,500
• Kambrook Road – 7,500
• Smith Street – 7,000

The estimated post construction traffic generation from Caulfield Village is 18,900 vpd. Information on the dispersement the Caulfield Village generated traffic is scant as are traffic volumes for the Boulevard (which will be greatly impacted by the reconfiguration works in Smith and Station Street).

Local residents’ empirical evidence indicates that the current volume of traffic is primarily due to through traffic skirting railway level crossings via the Normanby Road, Smith Street and Queens Avenue underpasses. The current absence of retail or commercial services/employment opportunities in the defined area adds considerable weight to the residents evidence. Since traffic is highly fluid, residents believe that increased congestion arising from the development (construction and post construction periods) will flow on to other areas of the municipality.

With regards traffic, there are some other points residents should be aware of

• Included in the Community Engagement Document (a.k.a. extract of 17/12/2013 Council Meeting Minutes) is a motion that states Council has undertaken the following traffic studies

  • “That the recent traffic study conducted on Queens Avenue, Caulfield East including the area around the Neerim Road intersection and the Sir John Monash Drive intersection”,
  • “That the recent traffic study conducted on Eskdale Road Caulfield East showing the impact, if any on the local street of the changed traffic conditions on nearby Kambrook Road;
  • That any studies of pedestrian movement along Queens Avenue be examined for potential improvements to safety and accessibility”

Details of these studies, although relevant to the Development Plan Consultation and in part addressing the inadequacies of previous traffic analyses, have not been made available as part of the Development Plan Consultation.

• The Integrated Transport Plan references a Section 173 Agreement* between Council and the MRC.  A copy of this agreement is included in the 28/4/2011 Special Council Meeting Minutes which also record Council’s approval of Caulfield Village Development (

Clause 7.1.1 is as follows

“the plans and specifications required for the Required Infrastructure Projects are intended to facilitate works to a standard required only by the development of the Subject Land within the parameters of the Incorporated Plan and not to a standard required to compensate for any inadequacy in the infrastructure that currently services existing developments or as a result of development on any other land”

The intent of this clause is slightly ameliorated by Section 7.1.4. (c) which is as follows

“with the approval and commencement of development it may be necessary for further agreements to be entered into to address the provision of infrastructure, works in lieu and contributions for works performed and they will negotiate the terms of such further agreements in good faith”

A number of residents have interpreted these clauses as “the MRC’s design of access networks within the development is only required to only consider those roads in the existing road network that the traffic analyses identify as providing access to and from the development.  The responsibility for determining and funding any infrastructure works required on those identified roads is the responsibility of the MRC.  The MRC is not required to consider any other roads or the impacts on the amenity of the local community (zoned Neighbourhood Residential or Minimal Change). Infrastructure works required to offset the impact of development on these other roads will be determined and undertaken by Council with the responsibility for the funding of these works being decided later.”

Since the roads identified in the above recently undertaken Council traffic studies (ie. Queens Avenue, Eskdale Road, Neerim Road) are those that residents have consistently argued should have been included in all traffic studies undertaken for the development, residents are now left questioning why they were not included and to what extent the costs of the currently unknown infrastructure works will be funded by the Glen Eira ratepayers.  GERA agrees with the residents questioning.

 This posting will resume as

PART 3 – C60 / CAULFIELD VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT PLANS – WHY YOU CAN & SHOULD OBJECT – Traffic

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* Section 173 Agreement

Broadly, a Section 173 Agreement is a legal agreement (under Section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987) between the Local Authority (Council) and the owners of the land (the MRC in this instance). S173 agreements are generally used to reinforce planning controls and impose restrictions and conditions on titles.

Declaration
Please note GERA advises that a number of our members reside in the vicinity of the C60 / Caulfield Village Development – the number of these members is less than 1% of our members and less than 0.5% of the 500 local residents that Council has identified, and contacted, as those most likely to be impacted by the development. These percentage falls further when the development’s flow on impacts to the broader community are considered.