UPDATE – Council’s 7/7/2020 Decision
Initial Posting – 5/7/2020
This Tuesday’s (7/7/2020) Council Meeting will focus on the Planning Panel Report and proposed Planning Scheme Amendment C155 for the East Village Development on East Boundary Road, Bentleigh East. Documentation for discussion is available in the Council Meeting Agenda
It has taken 5 years for the initially proposed, much smaller Virginia Estate redevelopment (12.3 ha, 4,600 dwelling) to morph into the massive East Village redevelopment (24.0 ha, 3000 dwellings). Mega dollars have been spent by developers, State Govt., VPA and Council without addressing either the
- land locked sites access issues or
- defined maximum height limits and dwelling densities, or
- concerns of residents of the surrounding area
Residents who have been actively involved throughout this process expect Council will pass the Amendment on Tuesday and are extremely disappointed
- with Council’s consistent planning decisions in favour of the developer, and
- the absence of any restrictions of any consequence in the Amendment, and
- limitations on future third party objection rights
Below is a copy of a letter forwarded to Councillors by the residents.
The Panel Report was received by Council on 11 February 2020 and was made available to the public on 5 March 2020. A copy of the report is also included on Council’s website. The Panel supported Amendment C155 and recommends that the Amendment be adopted as exhibited, subject to a number of recommendations which are listed in the attached Panel Report.
In summary the main recommendations include:
- Mandatory heights for residential areas within the precinct.
- Increased heights along residential south sub precinct from 3 to 4 stories. = more shadowing of Virginia Park
- Discretionary heights for all other areas within the precinct.
- Building setbacks recommended as discretionary guidelines.
- Mandatory overshadowing controls for Central Park and Town square based on the winter shadow controls.
- Discretionary overshadowing controls for Virginia Park and Marlborough Reserve.
- Reduced road widths for the proposed internal roads within the precinct. = more traffic jams
- Discretionary controls referring to number of supermarkets within the precinct and their floor space.
- Mandatory control referring to location of supermarket within the precinct.
- Town Centre guidelines ensuring that the town centre is designed as a street based village rather than internal mall.
- Council’s requirements (or triggers) as to when the road intersection projects need to be constructed (with redrafting from Panel).
- Reviewing the traffic cost apportionment to determine if the average of the AM and PM peak hour traffic flow has a superior outcome.
- Re-running the Development Contribution Plan and including the latest and additional costings that need to be reviewed. = original contribution $64 million now $64 million.
- Changes to intersection works and corresponding costing upgrades. = traffic jams and nowhere to park.
- The Panel’s revised recommended version of the Comprehensive Development Zone Schedule 2.
Deletion of maximum limit of 3,000 dwellings within the precinct. = build many more than 3000 – look at what happened with Caulfield Village.
At the Panel hearing Council put forward its preferred version of the CDZ2 which changed the dwelling yield from a discretionary ‘soft cap’ to a mandatory ‘hard cap’ with the addition of a Section 2 (permit required) condition in the table of uses that states:
Must be no more than 3,000 dwellings in the precinct boundary shown in Plan 1.
The Landowners’ preferred version of the CDZ retains the Section 1 (no permit required) ‘soft cap’ for dwellings and deletes the condition that prohibits any dwellings in excess of 3,000. The Landowners also proposed that additional affordable housing could be provided, where a soft cap of 3,500 dwellings was exceeded.
The Panel considers the best way to manage dwelling yield is a soft cap with the ability to consider applications for dwellings in excess of 3,000. The Panel does not believe a mandatory dwelling cap is strategically justified but also does not believe that an exceedance of the soft cap is an automatic entitlement.
The Panel does not expect that the cap could be significantly exceeded as this could have implications on the traffic network. The officer supports the recommendation to apply a soft (discretionary cap) of 3,000 dwellings.
Dwellings will be prohibited from the commercial sub precincts which will allow for the precincts’ overall vision to be achieved without being compromised by an oversupply of dwellings.
The CDZ Schedule includes as an application requirement for buildings and works applications to demonstrate how the development will contribute to the provision of 3,000 dwellings within the precinct, including a plan showing the location and total number of existing dwellings within the precinct. This allows for a monitoring mechanism on the number of dwellings provided within the precinct
Infrastructure for East Village is to be provided through a number of mechanisms, including the Development Contribution Plan.
Other mechanisms include subdivision and construction works by developers, Section 173 Agreements, utility service provider requirements, capital works projects by Council and State government and Works in Kinds (WIK) projects undertaken by developers on behalf of Council and State government agencies. The East Village DCP:
- Establishes a framework for development proponents to make a financial contribution towards the cost of identified infrastructure projects;
- Ensures that the cost of providing new infrastructure and services is shared equitably between various development proponents and the wider community;
- Provides the details of the calculation of financial contributions that must be made by future developments towards the nominated projects;
- Provides developers, investors and local communities with certainty about development contribution requirements and how they will be administered. At the hearing both Council and the landowners agreed that further discussions were required to finalise the DCP. Council stated in its closing submission that the DCP needs to be re-run and to do this the project costings must be finalised. The Panel noted that as the author of the DCP, the VPA should be part of discussions. The Panel stated that it did not have sufficient information to make final recommendations on these unresolved matters.
The Panel agrees that the DCP costings should be updated, where necessary and that the DCP should be ’re-run’ to reflect those changes.
This includes new drainage costs provided by the VPA and updated costs for realignment of the North Drive/East Boundary Road intersection and suggested changes to other intersections.
Council has engaged an external consultant to re-run the DCP. Both the landowners and the VPA have reviewed the revised DCP. The updated DCP includes revised costings for infrastructure, development infrastructure levies, revised calculation of equivalence ratios based on AM/PM average and overall a mechanism for development proponents to make a financial contribution towards the cost of identified infrastructure projects.