GERA has been advised that Glen Eira Council has now developed and completed a third plan (Option 3) for the Elsternwick Urban Renewal Area.
For those not aware, the Elsternwick Urban Renewal Area is bounded by the Nepean Highway and the Sandringham railway line. The proposal involves rezoning much of the area from 2 storey residential to 8-12 storey commercial/residential that
- is serviced by a convoluted street network that is ill-equipped (limited through access, dead ends etc.) to service anticipated traffic movements (vehicle, cyclist and pedestrian) or parking demand, and
- is located away from the retail core of the Elsternwick Activity Centre,
- lacks accessible open space
- lacks any response to basic questions re retention of neighbourhood character or heritage, overshadowing, privacy, traffic management and parking provisions etc.
Options 1 (the original proposal) and 2 (prepared to address the concerns raised re Option 1) have been resoundingly criticised by residents (see above), hence option 3 was prepared.
Options source: Elsternwick Draft Structure Plan
Option 3 has yet to be released for residents review, residents requests for its early release have been denied. Option 3 details are scheduled for release at noon on Friday (23/2/2018), as part of the Agenda papers for Tuesday’s (27/2/2018) Council Meeting where it will be voted on by Council. Apparently Council has decided that, if Council’s Planning Officers are unable to achieve community consensus after two consultations (with limited Councillor attendance), it is considered acceptable not to present a 3rd option (or any 3rd option details) to the community any earlier than Council’s self mandated ruling of 4.5 days prior to a scheduled Council decision (which in this case is Option 3).
In our view, releasing Option 3 with only 4.5 day window (which includes Saturday and Sunday) in which
- Residents can assess, question and pass on comments (individually to each Councillor and key Admin. Staff) re a proposal that will significantly adversely impact their amenity, and
- Councillors and Council Planning Officers can duly assess residents’ feedback for possible inclusion in the final Elsternwick Urban Renewal Area Structure Plan
is not only inadequate but also contrary to the principles of open, transparent and representative government. Principles which Council statements acknowledge and actively promote.
Given Council’s acknowledged poor consultative performance on the Elsternwick Urban Renewal Area, residents are simply not “buying” into comments that adequate consultation has occurred or that Option 3 addresses the residents’ concerns. As they are the ones who have to live with the outcome of Council’s decision, they are demanding the opportunity to review and have their say. It is their right.
The Elsternwick residents and GERA urges residents to email all Councillors and key Council Officers A.S.A.P. Don’t forget to add your name, street address and telephone contact no.
“I ask that Council defer it’s decision on Elsternwick’s Urban Renewal Zone Option 3 until community consultation has occurred”.
We know it’s a royal pain in the proverbial to be constantly emailing Councillors and Officers (if you can only send one email – send it to the Mayor). However, it is important and is necessary to ensure due consideration is given to resident input into Council’s current and future decision making processes.
Both GERA and Council encourage resident attendance at the Council Meeting (7.30 p.m. Tuesday, 20th February, 2018 at the Glen Eira Town Hall).
As always feel free to comment on this posting via GERA’s facebook page.
Councillor and Key Planning Officers email addresses
Deputy Mayor – JHyams@gleneira.vic.gov.au;
Mayor – TAthanasopoulos@gleneira.vic.gov.au;