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