Tag Archives: Glen Eira Residents Association

CONTINUING SAGA – BETHLEHEM HOSPITAL 19 STOREY DEVELOPMENT

Earlier this month, GERA received advice from the BHCA Group that, barring exemptions and time waivers, the 60 day window for Calvary Healthcare to lodge a VCAT Appeal against Glen Eira Council’s refusal of a proposed 19 storey Health Care and Retirement Village in a Caulfield South Neighbourhood Residential Zone (2 storey height limit) had lapsed.

This advice included a comment that the Group “has contacted Calvary Healthcare with a view to moving forward in a consultative manner, should they choose.  From the outset we have indicated our desire to support an appropriate and sensitive re-development and would welcome any genuine community consultation.”

Unfortunately today, despite the BHCA Group’s wish for genuine community consultation re  sensitive redevelopment, GERA received another advice

  • Calvary Healthcare has lodged an appeal with VCAT and
  • Glen Eira Council and David Southwick (MLA, Caulfield) have both asked the Planning Minister to call in the application.

Details of the advised VCAT hearing dates are included in today’s advice (see below – click to enlarge) and GERA joins the BHCA Group in encouraging residents to register their objection/s with VCAT.

EAST VILLAGE – COMMUNITY INPUT BEING SOUGHT

Glen Eira Council, working in conjunction with the VPA (Victorian Planning Authority),  is undertaking  Community Consultation on the proposed massive  East Village re-development and is asking residents to  “Tell us what you would like to see”  included in the development.

To assist residents preparing their submission, below is the submission lodged by GERA.

As usual, if you have any comments or need additional information, please feel free to comment on our Facebook Page

****************************************

 SUBMISSION – EAST VILLAGE RE-DEVELOPMENT

Although a “brown field” site, to ensure future development results in a sustainable, socially and economically viable community that enhances the surrounding area, the site should be viewed as “green field”.   Vehicular and pedestrian access to the site and the site’s facilities, are key to determining the viability of the redevelopment.  The creation of precincts (ie. designated areas within the site that provide various community oriented facilities or business focuses) is good, however, determining the location and heights/densities of precincts based on the site’s existing internal road network may not result in a desired community outcome.

GERA requests that the following points be considered

  • Building Heights/Densities – ranging from 2 to a “core height” of 8 stories.

Refer to below illustration (previously presented in November, 2016 presentation) for clarification on indicative heights/densities.

  • Core of Village to comprise
    • Retail and Commercial areas, including shops and stores as per planning definitions (GE Planning Scheme – Clause 72).  To become a centrally located, vibrant village hub.
    • Public transport connections
    • Open Space provisions (ie. communal areas and playground)
    • Potential location for Retirement Village
  • Buildings
    • All buildings above 2 stories to have graduated setbacks to reduce building dominance
    • All residences to have private open space (eg. courtyard at ground level, balconies at higher levels).
    • Density levels defined and applied to site.
    • Diversity of housing types (townhouses vs. apartments) and sizes (1,2, 3 bdr). Ratio specifying no. of 3 bdr to 1 & 2 bdrs dwelling defined and applied.
    • Mandatory requirement for inclusion of social housing.
    • ResCode parking requirements applicable across site (no waivers granted)
    • Below ground basement car park areas not to exceed above ground building envelope
  • Precincts/Areas differentiated by architectural variations and landscaping.
  • Proposed bus route
    • Road accommodating bus route to accommodate bus stops without impacting traffic (vehicle and cyclist) flow.
  • Road network
    • Vehicle movements to/from site impact on existing traffic congestion in North and Boundary Roads to be minimized.
    • To include free, time restricted on/off street parking provisions
    • Possible inclusion of paid off street parking
  • Pedestrian connectivity
    • Safe pedestrian connectivity between all precincts/facilities and adjoining parkland (Marlboro Reserve and Virginia Park)
    • If shared pedestrian vehicular connectivity, separation between vehicles and pedestrians provided (e.g. kerbing, bollards)
  • Proposed School
    • Provision of vehicle drop off/pick up points
    • Proximity to public transport to be considered
    • Height limits (consistent with surrounding precincts/areas) to be defined and applied if proposed school does not eventuate
  • Proposed Retirement Village
    • One on-site car park provided for each unit, on-site visitor parking to be provided
    • Height limits (consistent with surrounding precincts/areas) to be defined and applied if proposed retirement village does not eventuate
    • Possible location in “core” precinct/area to be considered
  • Vegetation
    • Mature canopy trees to be planted in ground (not above ground planter boxes) – refer requirement for below ground basement car parks not to exceed above ground building envelope
  • Open Space
    • Given the magnitude of the site, medium density development will generate a substantial increase in the demand for, and usage of, surrounding parkland. The proposed Open Space Levy of 6% (being marginally higher than that charged for smaller developments – 5.7%), is felt to be inadequate to meet the open space needs of the future residents.  A more appropriate levy would be 8-10%.
    • Within the site, open space (grassed areas and playgrounds) to be provided in accordance with forecast demographics

HELP SAVE McKINNON VILLAGE

UPDATE

At the last Council Meeting (21/3/2017), Council voted to abandon the proposal to

  • rezone the site (88-100 McKinnon Road, McKinnon) to a Mixed Use Zone (Schedule 1) and
  • a Design and Development Overlay to apply a 4 storey height limit

and instead voted to

  • rezone the site to a General Residential Zone (Schedule 2), which has a mandatory 3 storey height limit and requirements for side and rear setbacks, and
  • refer 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.

This change to the proposed zoning, while not acceding to residents request for input into determining the most appropriate zoning (General Residential – 3 stories vs Neighbourhood Residential – 2 astories), does show that Council has acknowledged the concerns expressed by residents.

GERA congratulates both the residents and Council on the decision to abandon the proposed Mixed Use zoning and 4 storey height limit.   In particular, GERA acknowledges Cr. Hyams for his comments on the assistance GERA gave to residents opposing the proposal and for acknowledging the validity of the planning arguments presented, by incorporating them in his reasoning for voting to abandon the original amendment.

 

**********************

Many readers will be aware of a development proposal within the McKinnon Village (a.ka. McKinnon Neighbourhood Centre) that involves re-zoning of a large site that is currently zoned for industrial use to a Mixed Use Zone capped at a height of 4 stories (refer to our Save McKinnon Village posting).  178 residents lodged formal objections to the proposal and 30+ of those objectors attended the recently held planning conference (refer Proposed McKinnon Mixed Use Zone – Planning Conference Report.  Overwhelmingly, the residents found that

  • Council (the Local Planning Authority) had accepted a developer’s proposal without undertaking an detailed analysis of available re-zoning, height options and site limitations* to ensure that proposed rezoning was the most appropriate for the future development of the Village.  The arguments presented to justify the selection of the MUZ and 4 storey height limit were considered weak as they were equally applicable to the selection of site’s surrounding zones (GRZ – General Residential Zone with a height limit of 3 stories or NRZ – Neighbourhood Residential Zone with a 2 storey height limit)

* Site Limitations = on the village’s boundary, surrounding zonings, local road network limitations, significant drainage issues, limited parking and lack of compatible/complementary businesses

  • the presented proposal was both inappropriate and unacceptable and that Council should  abandon/reject the current proposal pending completion of a detailed analysis and the presentation of that analysis to the community via consultation.

The Officer’s Report arising from this planning conference is included the Agenda  for this coming Tuesday’s (21/3/17) Council Meeting (insert link).  Unfortunately, as per the Save McKinnon Village website,

 “The planning officer’s report overlooked many of the objections raised including the most basic, ie.  that Council has yet to undertake an objective analysis to determine and justify the most appropriate zoning or height limit  …  the planning officer is recommending that council vote to send this amendment to an independent panel for their recommendation”

 The Save McKinnon Group and GERA believe Council, as the elected representatives of the community and the Local Planning Authority, should act in accordance with the residents clearly expressed wishes, as afterall it is frequently claimed that “it is your Planning Scheme”, by

  • abandoning/rejecting the proposed amendment
  • undertaking and presenting the analysis then,
  • if necessary, considering a third party assessment.

We accept that committing to above will add a further delay to the lengthy planning scheme amendment approval process (which, incidentally, is not subject to the 60 day time limit applicable to large planning permit applications), however, we contend that compared to lasting impact of unacceptable and inappropriate development such delay is minimal.

The Save McKinnon Village folks are appealing for your assistance in lobbing Councillor’s to vote to abandon/reject the proposal before Tuesday’s (21/3/2017) Council Meeting.  A sample email to Councillors and Councillor contact details are available on their website

 

PROPOSED McKINNON MIXED USE ZONE – PLANNING CONFERENCE REPORT

Proposal: 

Planning Scheme Amendment (C143) to re-zone a 3671sqm site currently zoned for Industrial Use  to a Mixed Use Zone – Schedule 1 and implement a Design and Development Overlay – Schedule 6 (DDO6) to apply a 4 storey height limit and rear setbacks requirements for the site.  The site is located on the south and western edge of McKinnon Village Neighbourhood Centre on the corner of Wheatley and McKinnon Roads

For those interested, background on this Amendment and proposed DDO is available in our previous posting Save McKinnon Village.

Planning Conference Details

  • Date:     23/02/2017
  • Chair:    Cr. Jamie Hyams, with Jacqui Brasher, Principal Strategic Planner, in attendance.
  • Properties Notified:   90
  • Submissions Rec’d:  182, 5 in support and 177 objecting

Officer’s Recommendation:   To be presented to Council 21/3/2017

**************

The planning conference proved to be a marathon event lasting almost 4 hours with the approx. 30 attendees raising strong objections to the proposal itself and equally strong criticisms of Council for  presenting residents with the developer’s proposed zoning, heights and setbacks,  without Council (the responsible Local Planning Authority) presenting to residents any analysis of available options.  Their overwhelming opinion was that the presented proposal was unacceptable and should be rejected by Council.  Council should consult with community to obtain their input on the most appropriate zoning, height and setbacks for the site.

Before outlining the major objections raised at the Planning Conference readers should note the following “supplementary” issues raised and discussed

  • Attendance Requirements – Council advised that the change in attendance requirements (i.e. pre-registration) and the police presence at the Conference, were precautionary measures undertaken in response to the developer (a well known local resident) receiving threatening and intimidating letters re the development proposal. Fortunately, nothing untoward occurred and many of the objectors, prefaced their opposition to the proposal, with well wishes for the developer as he embarked on his next endeavour.
  • Generally, when it comes to planning matters, there are two types of community consultations. These being amendments to the planning scheme and an application for a planning permit.
  • Amendments – basically the Planning Scheme defines what (ie. physical parameters) can be built where and the nature of the uses (ie. businesses) that are allowed in the various locations. The current proposal  fits into this category and, it is at this stage that community involvement is emphasized – it’s when the parameters are set for building heights, footprints and setbacks etc.  Although Ministerial approval is required before an amendment is effected (formal term = gazetted), Council as the Local Planning Authority is responsible for preparing and substantiating the proposed amendment – provided appropriate documentation is presented, Ministerial Approval is generally given.  VCAT has no involvement in this approval process.
  • Planning Permit Applications are the next level down from the Planning Scheme Amendments – these are applications (which include detailed building plans) to develop a site in accordance with the parameters/clauses incorporated in the Planning Scheme (ie. predefined maximum heights, building footprints and set backs etc). VCAT is the arbiter in this approval process.  With regards this current proposal, as the proposed Amendment and DDO is yet to be defined, detailed development plans are yet to be prepared.
  • Roadworks – Residents requested information on the proposed roadworks on the Cnr. Wheatley and McKinnon Roads (the tender notice appeared in the Age 21/1/2017). Since such roadworks would impact the traffic and parking conditions around the site, residents had sought (6/2/2017 & 20/2/2017), but had yet to receive information on the proposed roadworks.  The details of the roadworks provided by Cr. Hyams were that they involved raising the height of the current roundabout (to ensure motorists drove around, rather than across, the roundabout) and for associated road re-surfacing and kerb replacement.   No comment was made on the delay in passing this information on to residents.
  • Conference – As previously mentioned the Planning Conference was well conducted/facilitated. All attendees were given adequate opportunity to express their views (some more than once) on the proposal and their dissatisfaction with Council’s poor planning performance and the quality of information re the proposal that had presented to residents.

 OBJECTION ISSUES

 Mixed Use Zone (MUZ1)

  • Cr. Hyams confirmed that the proposed Mixed Use Zone, building heights and setback requirements originated with the developer, as is his right.
  • Residents argued that the creation of new Mixed Use Zone (MUZ) at this location is inappropriate due to:
    • Council’s Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS) which includes the following
      • Clause 21:07Encourage the conversion of isolated pockets of industrially zoned land to residential where residential land use surrounds such sites”
      • Clause 21:07 – Zones & Overlays: zoning non-conforming industrial uses to match the predominant surrounding zone

Due to some planning quirk the Mixed Use Zone is classified as a residential zone even though the zones higher densities, various features and allowed uses are not aligned with the sites “predominant surrounding zone” (ie. GRZ1 and NRZ1).  Attendees were extremely critical of the level of analysis undertaken in selecting the MUZ for this location and commented that all justifications presented in support the creation of a new MUZ for this location either

. equally justified rezoning to one of the alternate “predominant” surrounding zones (GRZ or NRZ) or

. were unsubstantiated (eg. increased employment opportunities) or

.  did not consider the negative amenity impacts (significant noise, traffic volumes and parking demand) the MUZ’s allowed uses (shops, food and liquor premises that favoured businesses operating with trading hours) would have on the predominant surrounding residential zones

Please note that the maximum leasable floor area for MUZ allowed uses (ie. no planning permit required) is capped at 150 sqm.  However, Council advised that area can accommodate sit in/take out stores, cafes and restaurants.  Additionally, although not specifically mentioned, planning permit applications can be lodged to expand areas beyond the 150 sqm cap.

  • Contrary to information contained in the Explanatory Note, the site is not “surrounded by residential and commercial uses” . It is a stand alone site on the boundary of McKinnon Village that is surrounded by residential zones only.
  • As previously mentioned the MUZ features lower requirements for permeability, landscaping, private open space and setback requirements than those of surrounding GRZ and NRZ zones.  Setback requirements and landscaping being “hot” issues as the location is prone to storm water flooding and providing the transition  from growth areas to the NRZ areas.
  • Located away from the Village core, the site lacks
    • Facilities (eg. parking, train station) and complementary businesses
    • The Commercial Zones “buffering” impact on noise levels impacting residential areas
    • Is not readily accessible to the majority of the centres residents
  • McKinnon Village currently has many vacant shops. The recently completed grade separation works had added more vacant shops and more will be added as already approved multi-unit developments are completed.  McKinnon doesn’t need additional shops, particularly shops located away from the village core.

Design and Development Overlay – DDO6

  • As the Mixed Use Zone has no height limits or set back requirements DDO6 defines a 4 storey (13.5-14.5m depending on land slope) height limit and rear setbacks for the site.
  • Height limits

The proposed height limit of 4 storey/14.5m

    •  is contrary to the designation of McKinnon Village as a Neighbourhood Centre and the 2013 Zone Implementation that implemented a 10.5m/3 storey height limit on residential zones within this neighbourhood centre and other such centres
    • Is inconsistent with the concept of scaling down building heights from the Village centre towards the Neighbourhood Residential Zone.
    • The site is subject to a special building overlay (SBO).  An SBO is related to requirements for storm water flooding treatments, it is not and should not be a justification for a height increase of an additional storey.
    • Like wise, describing a proposed building as a “Gateway” is not a justification for increased height that is inconsistent with the surrounding zones.
      • A “Gateway” is not specifically related to height, its a description that can also be applied to a building with architectural merit that fits within or enhances the character of the surrounding area
      • A Gateway building is more appropriately located on the Jasper Road (a main road) entrance to the village rather than that village’s boundary with the NRZ.
    • Will result in visual bulk, dominance and overshadowing. With regards visual bulk, residents highlighted the dominance of the only 4 storey building within Village (diagonally opposite the new train station) .  The dominance of this building when viewed from across the road or when approaching along McKinnon Road  indicates how dominant a 4 storey building, surrounded by 3 and 2 storey buildings, will be.
  • Inadequate Setback Provisions

The absence of above and below ground street-front, side and rear setbacks

    • restricts ground absorption of storm water runoff (a Special Building Overlay applies to the site).  Surrounding topography and  inadequate Council maintenance of drains within the Village frequently resulted in storm water flooding of the immediate and surrounding areas.
    • restricts on-site landscaping opportunities (eg mature vegetation) that would mitigate visual bulk and provide a positive amenity  impact for future residents.
  • In response to questioning on above ground side and street front setbacks the Developer’s Representative indicated that diagrams of proposed setbacks had been forwarded to Council. The diagrams, distributed to objectors the next day, are flagged as being indicative only – this combined with the absence of such setback requirements in DDO6 raises serious questions re the inclusion of side and street-front setbacks if the current proposal is accepted by Council.
  • Additionally, the Developer’s Representative was unable advise if side and street-front setbacks would be included at ground level or commence at a higher level.

 Traffic and Parking

 In addition to criticisms of Council’s failure to address the cumulative traffic and parking issues arising from increased development within McKinnon Village and flow on impacts arising from the Villages close proximity to the Ormond and Bentleigh centres, the following issues were raised

  • Already congested McKinnon Road is becoming even more congested (despite removal of the level crossing). The intersection with Wheatley Road (the only local road that links North and Centre Roads) is becoming increasingly dangerous.  The proposal would increase traffic volumes on both roads.
  • Wheatley Road services schools and significant redevelopments within the Ormond, McKinnong and Bentleigh centres.  The road is narrow and experiences high parking demand that requires regular “crossover pullovers” by current traffic.
  • On Street parking (on both McKinnon and Wheatley Roads) within the vicinity of the proposal is minimal (due to the roundabout slipways, bus stops and crossovers) and is simply incapable of providing for the extra demand that will generated by a Mixed Use Zone.
  • Proposed development vehicle access via a one-car width laneway accessed from Wheatley Road is inadequate.

Precedence

Following on from the above questioning of the proposed new MUZ and DDO height limit and setbacks, the issue of precedence was raised.   The approval of this proposal would set a significant and far reaching precedence for the whole of Glen Eira.  This precedent would be far more significant than the current of precedence used  justify incremental building heights (ie from 8 stories to 10 stories) within the various centres.  This precedent would justify

  • the creation of new MUZ higher density zones
    • on the edges of any neighbourhood centre rather than in the centres core and
    • in locations not accessed by main or arterial roads
  • negate the concept of scaling down building heights from the village core to NRZ

This precedent doesn’t currently exist,  don’t let it be created.

*************

Apologies for the length of this posting folks – it’s a challenge to summarize 4 hours – thanks for hanging in there.

As always, if you would like to make any comments or seek some clarification of issues raised, feel free to access GERA’s Facebook page

 

Community Gardens in Glen Eira

community-gardens-2

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.

2016-02-14-leader-article

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

2017-02-gathering-flyer-p10001

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.

racecourse-2

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

wp_20170203_004-2

****************************************

*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.

*******************

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.

 google-earth

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.

*************

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.

***********************

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