Tag Archives: Glen Eira City Council

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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SAVE McKINNON VILLAGE – COUNCIL DECISION – AMENDMENT C143

On Tuesday 25/07/2017 GERA advised readers of Council’s decision

  • to re-zone 88-100 McKinnon Road, McKinnon from Industrial to the General Residential Zone, Schedule 2 (GRZ2) and
  • not to apply the residents requested Design and Development (DDO) and Neighbourhood Character (NCO) Overlays to the sizeable site. (refer earlier posting – What the Residents Want)

This decision was passed unanimously.   After listening to the decision rationale presented by Councillors and the Director of Planning, residents, “battered and dismayed” by a poorly handled amendment process (refer earlier posting – Planning and Governance), are now also “reeling”.  They are seriously questioning Councillors understanding of planning issues and the relevance of overlay concepts being presented in the current of major activity centre review to significant developments in the yet to be reviewed Neighbourhood Activity centres.

Before outlining comments made by Councillors during the McKinnon Village agenda item, it’s worth mentioning that

  • Glen Eira’s current Planning Scheme review was directed by the Minister for Planning. Council’s requested extension for an exemption from  community consultation  was replaced with a requirement for Council to undertake a review of it’s planning scheme.  The review goal being to bring the GE’s Planning Scheme into line with contemporary planning principles, concepts and tools (eg. structure planning and overlays).
  • The major impact of the 2013 Zone Implementation was the introduction of height controls for 3 of the residential zones. Other  aspects of development (eg. built form, siting, neighbourhood characteristics, parking etc) largely remained unchanged in existing policies and strategies.  Included in the Zone Implementation was a discussion paper which recognised that Council’s policies and strategies were not effective.

Council Discussion 

The McKinnon Village discussion came immediately after Council’s discussion and unanimous adoption of Council’s “Activity Centre, Housing and Local Employment Strategy” which is applicable to Glen Eira’s 18 Activity Centres (including the McKinnon Neighbourhood Activity Centre- NAC).  Comments and praise for the work undertaken and presented Strategy, included

  • Council is embarking on a journey of how the Municipality will look and feel in the future
  • the strategy seeks a new direction, builds a stronger community
  • the strategy sets up the framework for all future activity centre development

Despite the above Strategy including vision statements of

  • for the GRZ (“Family Town houses are noted as the highest focus development type in residential areas of neighbourhood centres” – page 9) and
  • a specific vision statement for development of the McKinnon Village NAC (“That McKinnon will be an accessible centre with a strong village feel, which recognises and celebrates its heritage, art and local history” – page 16)

when it came to the re-zoning of 88-100 McKinnon discussion comments inexplicably reverted to the current planning scheme and it’s provisions.   No mention was made of strategy, how best to achieve these visions (as per the Concept Plans) nor was any mention made of the impact a site of this size (3,691 sqm) and location (extreme western edge of the activity centre) could have on achieving on these visions. 

Summarised Councillor comments (followed by residents comments) included

  • Re-zoning for residential development is better than re- development as industrial –  possibly, however, no proposal was put forward for redevelopment as an industrial site – the pro’s and con’s are unknown.
  • The resident requests for a DDO and NCO are not necessary. Existing controls in the Planning Scheme and ResCode are sufficient to preserve and protect neighbourhood amenity and character. Council’s existing Activity Centre and Housing Diversity Strategies do not include statements on Neighbourhood Character other than to say it is “emerging”.  The Concept Plan documentation recommends the use of overlays to describe preferred character, development scale, design requirements and setbacks.
  • The GRZ is working, the additional controls of DDO and NCO are not required. The stated intention of the GRZ is to provide  “diversity of housing that is consistent with existing neighbourhood character.”   Neither diversity of housing type (ie. townhouse vs. multi-unit dwellings or single, couple, family accommodations) is  occurring nor are features consistent with existing neighbourhood character being incorporated.  The zone is not working, why not capitalise on that work undertaken for the major activity centres by applying it to proximate Neighbourhood Centres when re-zoning opportunities arise, particularly when those with sensitive interfaces/issues.
  • The appropriate time to discuss built form is during the planning permit approval process when the proposed built form is shown in detailed plans. Since no planning permit application has been received, it is not appropriate to discuss them at the proposed Amendment stage. The Planning Scheme basically defines what can be built where –  the zones provide the height and overlays are the appropriate tool to set the built form design and characteristic requirements for specific locations (refer earlier reference to Concept Plan documentation).  The inclusion of overlays ensures
    • requirements are defined upfront and are incorporated in a planning permit application
    • the achievement of desired outcomes and streamlines the permit approval process.
  • Arguments presented to codify protections and requirements in a DDO and NCO are strong and they should be there, however, they are costly, risky and would involve restarting the process all over again. On balance I trust our planning experts.   Acknowledgement of strong arguments outweighed by
    • Costly – expenditure of residents funds to ensure planning scheme contains appropriate controls (eg. overlays that are in line with the zone’s intention, the newly approved strategy and the community’s views) is  fundamental to Council’s role as the Local Planning Authority.
    • Risky – no detailed explanation was provided.  Comments of  overlays being “not  binding” left residents wondering.
      • The original application included a DDO that addressed the significant built form issue of height limits
      • Interim DDOs have been applied to the Carnegie and Bentleigh Activity Centres
      • DDO’s are recommended, by an independent consultant, in the Concept Plans.
    • Restarting/delaying the process – no explanation was provided as to why a restart would be required. Residents also do not believe that avoiding further delay justifies excluding the proposed of overlays.  They also point to 3 months attributable to Council’s decision to request Planning Panel review.
  • Council’s consultative process had been beyond the legal requirements … the next step in the process is to forward the amendment to the Minister for approval.   Council consulted with residents on the initial MUZ and DDO proposal – a consultation that was later described as “testing the waters”.   Council’s proposal to rezone site as GRZ2 was not discussed with residents prior to the Council Meeting of 21/3/2017.  At this same meeting Council’s decision to abandon the MUZ and DDO was, by virtue of the inclusion of referral to a Planning Panel, meant that the MUZ and DDO remained on the table for Panel’s review and that residents only consultation on GRZ2 was with the Panel and not Council – Panel Hearing rules restricted questioning of presenters to Panel Members.  Residents were also made, that Council had been advised by the Minister’s Office, that since GRZ2 was considered a more restrictive rezoning, further community consultation was not required.

Council has yet to consult with residents on the General Residential Zone and consultation is unlikely to occur. While satisfying the planning laws consultation requirements, resident believe it falls short of the representative and consultative obligations outlined in the Local Government Act and Council’s proclamations of being representative and actively encouraging community engagement. 

  • Council apologised for initial communications which lacked transparency and showed a need for improvement. Overall it was a good process and resident participation showed that the process worked.   Residents were thanked for their participation and encouraged to continue to engage with Council.  Hence the earlier comments that residents are now reeling and questioning.

 End Result – The Residents View 

Throughout the 9 months of communications with Council, the overall feeling amongst residents is one of dissatisfaction.  Dissatisfaction with Council’s

  • performance as the Local Planning Authority
  • performance as a consultative and representative Local Authority and
  • non transparent selection of available options within the Planning Law.

While GERA has shown, and will show,  support for Council initiatives and community engagements,  GERA does so on a case by case basis.  In this case GERA’s assessment agrees with that of  the resident’s.

 

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Process Timeline

  • 19/9/2016 – Council decision to prepare Amendment
  • 14/11/2016 – Amendment Exhibited. The developer initiated proposal  related to rezoning industrial land to an inappropriate zone (MUZ) and an inappropriate DDO height limit (4 stories).  The proposal included misleading statements and was inconsistent with both the Planning Scheme and contemporary planning concepts.  180+ planning objections were lodged – over 90% requesting that the amendment be abandoned and residents be allowed input into the rezoning decision.
  • 23/2/17 – Planning Conference attended by 30+ objectors arguing for abandonment of the proposal and input into the re-zoning decision.
  • 21/3/2017 – Council voted to abandon the amendment, endorse the General Residential Zoning and refer to Planning Panel. Residents were not advised of the alternate zoning proposal, and although aware of the implications of referral to a Panel, no Councillor mentioned them.  The implications being
    • The abandoned proposal remained on the table for Panel Review, and
    • Since GRZ rezoning was seen as “more restrictive” there was no legal requirement to undertake community consultation before applying the zoning.
  • 25/5/2017 Planning Panel Hearing – 11 attendees). Initial MUZ and DDO amendment inappropriately described “testing the waters” and Council endorsed the GRZ rezoning.
  • 20/6/17 Planning Panel Report and recommendation for GRZ2 rezoning made available to residents.
  • 25/7/2017Council Decision

 

 

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.

 

BETHLEHEM HOSPITAL DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY MEETING Wednesday 2nd August 2017

The BHCA Group has advised us that they are holding a community meeting to inform and discuss with you the current status of this unpopular redevelopment of Bethlehem Hospital.

BHCA Group Community Meeting

Wednesday 2nd August 2017 at 8:00pm

St Johns Community Centre

567 Glen Huntly Rd Elsternwick

Review of VCAT compulsory conference – Overview of proposed development – Community feedback – BHCA Group position and November VCAT meeting process – Plan moving forward

To fully understand the impact of this outrageous development on your neighbourhood and the amenity of your home, we strongly encourage your attendance.

Your participation is vital to maintaining a strong community response.

Advise your local friends and neighbours, let them know your concerns and encourage them to come with you.

Don’t leave it to others.

SAVE McKINNON VILLAGE – WHAT THE RESIDENTS WANT

25/7 Council Meeting results for McKinnon

  • 88-100 McKinnon Road. Unanimous motion passed to proceed with implementation of amendment as per Officers Report.   Current Planning Scheme controls (ie. GRZ Zoning and Schedule 2 requirements combined with existing Planning Scheme policies/strategies  and ResCode requirements) are adequate.  No DDO or NCO requirements to be applied – to costly and too risky to apply.
  • 240 – 250 McKinnon Road (southern side) – reduced to four stories. No mention of interim height control on southern side of Centre Road in the Bentleigh Activity Centre.

Much praise for the quality of the work undertaken on the two planning documents presented at the meeting  ie. “Activity Centre, Housing and Local Economy Strategy” and  “Quality Design Principles and Draft Concept Plans for Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick”.  Unfortunately, it seems the planning concepts, methodologies and desired outcomes included in those documents don’t need to be considered when making current decisions.

More to details to follow later.

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At tonight’s Council Meeting, Councillors will vote on the amended Planning Scheme Amendment C143 for 88-100 McKinnon Road, McKinnon.

The amended Amendment, as recommended by Officers, being for General Residential Zone Schedule 2 (GRZ2 – height limit 11m/3 stories).  As per the Officers Report and information presented at the Planning Panel Hearing, the yet to be submitted plans are likely to comprise

  • At least 2 multi-unit buildings (a significant South East Water easement, which cannot be built on, crosses the site at 100 McKinnon Road)
  • 3 stories (possibly 4 stories, if  land slope and an existing Special Building Overlay allow)
  • 85 dwellings – estimated
  • Increased rear setback abutting the laneway and
  • Standard ResCode setbacks applying to the other 3 sides.

Residents, although suffering Objection Fatigue, have written to all Councillors to request that Council considers incorporating a Design and Development Overlay (DDO) and a Neighbourhood Character Overlay (NCO) in the Amendment.  Last night they met with Mayor Mary Delahunty and Cr. Nina Taylor to further discuss the overlays and Council deferring  voting on the amendment until the overlays can be prepared and included.

The arguments presented by the residents were:

Within the context of the McKinnon, the redevelopment of this site will have a significant impact on shaping the future character of the Village due to the site’s

  • Size – 3671 sqm – which dwarfs any current or future development within McKinnon Village
  • Location on the western boundary Village interfacing the Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ1).

The intent of the General Residential Zone is to allow “moderate growth and diversity of housing that is consistent with existing neighbourhood character.”

However, a brief review of our centres clearly shows that Glen Eira’s current “blanket” use of GRZ2 combined with planning policies and strategies  are not working.

  • Diversity of housing types in limited/minimal (eg. single residence vs. townhouses vs. multi unit high rise, family vs couple vs single accommodation) is not occurring nor
  • despite distinctly different area characteristics (eg. ranging from Victorian/Edwardian through Interwar to Post War), there is little  architectural distinction between developments in activity centres the municipality.   Developments in McKinnon would also “fit”  in Elsternwick or East Bentleigh

Planning Scheme overlays are the appropriate tool to set the built form design and characteristic requirements. Their inclusion in the Planning Scheme ensures that the requirements are incorporated in the detailed plans required for a planning permit application. It is inappropriate not to provide these requirements upfront.

  • DDO – The Design and Development Overlay [or DDO] relates to built form and is applied where Council intends to protect and enhance an environment within the municipal boundaries and to encourage development that complements the character of a place.
  • NCO -Additional neighbourhood character provisions necessary to ensure that either the existing neighbourhood character is respected or a preferred neighbourhood character is achieved. These can influence the nature and extent of development that can occur in order to achieve a desired neighbourhood character outcome for an area.

Council’s Draft Activity Centre, Housing and Local Economy Strategy of May, 2017 states:

“That McKinnon will be an accessible centre with a strong village feel, which recognises and celebrates its heritage, art” – page 17

Given that a desired outcome has been defined and the significant impact site redevelopment will have on achieving that outcome, the inclusion of DDO and NCO is warranted.

Additionally, the analysis undertaken for the Strategy (and the more recent Bentleigh Major Activity Centre desired housing types) should reduce the workload associated with developing the overlays.

Residents are not opposing site re-development – they agree the site is unattractive and it’s facilities are outdated. Equally they are not seeking a development “shut down” – they are seeking a redevelopment that aligns with Council’s vision for the Village and McKinnon and benefits both current and future residents.

For inclusion in the Overlays, residents have asked Council to consider the following

  • Design and Development Overlay (DDO) that would
    • Consider a townhouse style development – refer the above strategy – “Family Town houses are noted as the highest focus development type in residential areas of neighbourhood centres” – page 9
    • Ensure that any underground car parking would not exceed the above ground building envelope. This is to ensure
      • Landscaping will provide for the growth of canopy trees
      • Mitigation of storm water flooding (the site is subject to a SBO)
  • Neighbourhood Character Overlay (NCO)
    • Promotes the Village feel and emphasises McKinnon’s heritage, local history and art

Residents felt Crs. Delahunty and Taylor, although non-committal, were receptive.

Not long now until Council makes it’s decision – hopefully it will be to defer a decision until options for the inclusion of a DDO and NCO have been reviewed.

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

SAVE McKINNON VILLAGE – PLANNING AND GOVERNANCE

GERA has been assisting the Save McKinnon Village folks with their campaign opposing the proposed rezoning of 88-100 McKinnon Road, McKinnon (Cnr. McKinnon and Wheatley Roads) from industrial to Mixed Use (with a 4 storey height limit).    GERA has also acknowledged that the recent election of 5 new Councillors had brought about welcome changes to Council’s approach to community consultation and re-assessing previous planning proposals.

However, information presented at the recent Planning Panel Hearing and subsequent communications with Council, both GERA and the McKinnon Village Residents are seriously questioning the extent to which Council has and is

  • Undertaking it’s role as the Local Planning Authority, and
  • Being open and transparent when communicating with residents, and
  • Being representative of the community’s expressed views.

While we highlight the above points in sections,  please note that strands all of the each of points are common to each section of this posting.

Local Planning Authority

Council is the Local Planning Authority, it is responsible for preparing and maintaining (via Amendments) Glen Eira’s Planning Scheme in consultation with the community and in accordance with State Government Planning Framework.  The Amendment process is a lengthy well documented process, that bascially involves  Council, in consultation with the community, preparing and strategically justifying (ie evaluating) changes to the Planning Scheme which are then submitted to the Planning Minister for approval.  Once approved, the Amendments are incorporated in the Planning Scheme which determines what can be built where.  VCAT is not involved in the Planning Scheme processes – it is involved with the Planning Permit approval process which assesses development proposals compliance with the Planning Scheme.

In the case of the Amendment C143, when advertised, residents approached Council (29/11/16) express concerns re Council’s evaluation of the proposal, quality of communications with residents and request that the amendment be withdrawn. Residents were advised that the decision to proceed with the Amendment was made by the previous Council and now had to run its course.

As a result, Council received 182 written objection submissions (vs. 4 supporting submissions)  and 30 Planning Conference presentations.  All argued that the proposed amendment was inappropriate in that it

  • lacked any analysis of potential zoning options
  • was inconsistent with the Planning Scheme rezoning and height transition clauses
  • lacked adequate strategic justification

8 of the 9 Councillors agreed and voted, against the Officer’s Recommendation, to abandon the Amendment (21/3).  In dissent, Cr. Tony Anthanopolous argued that, given the status of Council’s current planning scheme review and structure planning exercise, it was inappropriate to implement zoning changes at this stage.

The motion passed by Council was

That Council:

  • notes the submissions received;
  • abandons the proposed Mixed use Zone and Design and Development Overlay.
  • endorses a General Residential Zone (Schedule 2) and an Environmental Audit Overlay; and
  • refers submissions and the General Residential Zone (Schedule 2) and an Environmental Audit Overlay to an independent panel in accordance with Section 23 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.

Although surprised that the Amendment was to be referred to a Planning Panel (a time consuming step usually reserved for contentious issues), residents fully expected that the  Mixed Use Zone and Design and Development Overlay had indeed been abandoned and that following the Panel Hearing, Council would undertake consultation on potential zoning options, including GRZ2  – GRZ2 being an alternative that had not been discussed with residents.

Fast forward to the Panel Hearing  and the significance of the inclusion of the last two points in the motion (moved by Cr. Hyams and seconded by Cr. Magee) became apparent

  • the Mixed Use Zone and Design and Development Overlay were not abandoned, they remained on the table and were subject to Planning Panel review. If the Panel  considered Council’s Council’s decision was found to be “popularist”,  the Panel could recommend that the Amendment be adopted.

At the Hearing Council stated  “The Council resolution to exhibit the amendment was not an endorsement of the amendment but a  willingness to “test the waters”  by putting it out for public comment.   A statement which leaves residents questioning Council’s performance as a planning authority when

-having assessed the Developer’s requested proposal against the planning scheme, Council did not reject the proposal and propose an alternate re-zoning, and

– a resolution to amend the planning scheme (a lengthy and expensive process) is not seen as an endorsement but rather a “testing of the waters”.

  • Since GRZ2 is considered more restrictive than the initially proposed MUZ and DDO, as per the 1987 Planning and Environment Act, there is no legal requirement to undertake any community consultation on GRZ2 zoning.

Residents have not argued against redevelopment of the site.  Instead, they consistently argued that the MUZ rezoning and DDO were inappropriate and for community input in the rezoning decision.   Council has not yet discussed GRZ2 re-zoning with residents.  While residents presented to the Planning Panel, residents do not believe that constitutes, or should be a substitute for community consultation with Council.  To support this,

– Confusion with Communications – Notice of Hearing (dated 27/3) stated it to review the MUZ and DDO vs Council resolution letter (dated 4/4) quoting the above motion to abandon. Many residents have reported by did not attend the hearing as they believe the Hearing Notice’s reference was in error as Council had advised the Amendment had been abandoned

– Panel Hearing Rules of Conduct allowed for presentation only. Questioning of information presented was not permitted either directly or “through the Chair”

– The Panel Report makes no mention of the residents’ request to recommend Council include Design and Development (DDO) and Neighbourhood Character (NCO) overlays in the amendment.

And the big question now is will Council undertake community consultation on GRZ2 rezoning (including overlays)  – particularly as these waters have not been tested.   “Between the lines” reading of Council’s subsequent communications leaves residents to believe no further community consultation will occur.

Open and Transparent Communication

At their initial (29/11) meeting with Council residents requested 3 things – the first two being to abandon the amendment and allow community input into the rezoning decision.  The third being a request for Council to present comprehensive and understandable information to residents.  Understanding the complexities of the outdated, frequently ambiguous and conflicting clauses of the Planning Scheme is difficult – the inclusion of “planning speak” only adds to the difficulty.  Council agreed.

Items to note are

  • At the 21/3 Council Meeting all 9 Councillors were present and spoke to this item. However, no Councillor while voting for the above motion, spoke to or explained the implications of the motion’s last two points.
  • When residents were made aware of that the Mixed Use Zone and DDO6 had not been abandoned (as abandoned is generally understood) they individually contacted (email) all 9 Councillors. Only 3 responded – two expressing surprise and follow-up, third acknowledging that Councillors were aware of this prior to voting.   Were Councillors aware of these ramifications when they voted?  and Why weren’t they discussed – both are questions currently being raised by residents.
  • An earlier GERA posting made comment of road works planned (tenders were sought in January) for the intersection of McKinnon and Wheatley Roads.   However, at the Planning Panel Hearing Council, despite  was tenders being sought in Jan, 2017 was unable to present current traffic data.  Traffic analysis provided related to 2014 data for the Wheatley Road and Fitzroy Street intersection, incremented by 2% pa.  Residents are wondering how Council prioritizes it road works and how can expensive road works be justified without undertaking traffic analysis

Representative

Local Government (vs. State or Federal) is said to be the level of government that is the closest and most responsive and representative of those it represents.

Items to note are

  • Number of objections submitted and attendees at the Planning Conference clearly expressed their wishes – no MUZ & DDO and input into zone determination.
  • Consultation may not be legally required by Planning Act, however, the Act doesn’t prohibit it. Council also has a legal responsibility to represent the residents and good governance principles reinforces the representation.

As per the 2016 Community Satisfaction Survey and a recent Independent Survey, Glen Eira Council has a poor track record in

  • Community consultation and engagement
  • Town planning
  • Traffic Management

Unfortunately, particularly with regards to Amendment C143, both Councillors and the Administration are not meeting residents expectations.

Meanwhile the Save McKinnon Village folk, although suffering from objection fatigue, are striving for overlays to be applied to site to ensure that the outcome that in line with character of the McKinnon Village.

EAST VILLAGE – FLOODING FEARS

With the upcoming  community forum (27/7/2017) on Draft Concept Plan (prepared by Council, in conjunction with the Victorian Planning Authority) for the mammoth East Village development we thought it appropriate to draw attention to the below Leader Article.

Draft Concept Plan Community Forum

Thursday 27 July, 6.30pm-8.30pm

Duncan Mackinnon Reserve Pavilion, corner North and Murrumbeena Roads, Murrumbeena

Further details and documentation on the Draft Concept Plan are available on Council’s website.  An opportunity for residents to comment on the Plan is also provided.

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East Village development in Bentleigh East sparks flood fears for Elwood and other areas

Bianca Carmona, Caulfield Glen Eira Leader  – July 16, 2017 12:00am

THE proposed multi-million dollar East Village development in Bentleigh East must include a lake or wetlands to prevent flooding, environmentalists say.

The site, formerly Virginia Park, is on East Boundary Rd and was used as a business estate in the ’90s.

Developers are planning to build a precinct with a retail centre, housing, retirement accommodation and a school.

But Elwood Floods Action Group secretary Geoffrey Love said 80 per cent of rain falling on Glen Eira catchments was channelled into Port Phillip.

He said that without a lake or wetlands for the development, the water would run down the storm water system and increase flooding in Elwood.

Mr Love said Melbourne Water had identified three flood retention sites (reservoirs where water could be stored) including Duncan Mackinnon Reserve, Marlborough Street Reserve and Packer Park.

Make Property Group director, and a site landowner, Kris Daff, said mitigating flooding was “definitely on the radar” for the development.

He said sustainability was a “key consideration”.

“One of the core things we’ve committed to is to be environmentally sustainable at multiple levels,” Mr Daff said.

Recently four councils – Glen Eira, Port Phillip, Bayside and Kingston – signed a Memorandum of Understanding about managing the waters with a view to flood mitigation, to develop consistent policies, encourage water-sensitive urban design and use best practice.

Glen Eira planning and place director Ron Torres said it had partnered the Victorian Planning Authority to deliver the East Village Structure Plan.

“Council has partnered with VPA due to its experience with large urban renewal sites,” he said.

Port Phillip Mayor Bernadene Voss said maximising ground permeability through soft rather than hard landscaping would benefit the entire community.