Tag Archives: Activity Centres

ORMOND SKY TOWER – BACK TO SQUARE ONE

Congratulations to the No Ormond Sky Tower folks who mounted the residents campaign.

The Age, 15/11/2017

A controversial plan for a high-rise tower on top of Ormond train station has been dramatically blocked at the 11th hour after a motion to reject the project was passed in Parliament.

The highly unusual move has been slammed by the property industry and planning experts, who warn it will undermine proper planning process and increase red tape.

Planning Minister Richard Wynne had approved the 13-storey tower despite a long-running campaign against it by local residents and Glen Eira Council, which pushed for eight storeys to match the low-rise area.

Mr Wynne backed the mixed-use development in the politically sensitive south-east with retail, offices and 233 apartments after a planning panel endorsed the project.

But it was blocked at the final planning approval stage in the Victorian Upper House on Wednesday by the opposition, Greens and Australian Conservatives’ Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins.

The project will now go back to square one, undoing a costly and extensive six-month planning panel process. It is an exceptionally rare move, with the last revocation occurring eight years ago.

Glen Eira mayor Mary Delahunty has already indicated that the council will now have to fork out tens of thousands of dollars to re-engage legal representation and experts for another round of planning panel hearings.

Shadow Minister for Public Transport and Planning David Davis, who first moved to revoke the project, said he was not opposed to the “value capture” model at level crossing removal sites.

Opposition Leader Matthew Guy approved thousands of high-rise apartments in Melbourne’s CBD when he was planning minister, yet Mr Davis claims he chose to intervene in the Ormond station project because the building was too high for the local area.

“Even though the Ormond level crossing removal was fully funded by the previous Coalition government, the prospect of a quick buck led to Labor’s outrageous approval of a 13-storey development in Ormond.”

It comes as the opposition and Greens unsuccessfully sought to block another development on Wednesday – the controversial Markham Estate – which is 1.4 hectares of prime Ashburton land the Andrews government wants to develop for both private and public housing.

Greens MP Sue Pennicuik​ and Mr Davis have suggested that they will use the revocation tool to block projects they disagree with, which could create a headache for the government with minority status in the Upper House, as it pushes through development and transport projects across the state.

The Ormond station tower falls in the safe Liberal seat of Caulfield, but borders on the marginal seat of Bentleigh, currently held by Labor.

Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan accused Mr Davis of pulling a “political stunt”.

Ms Allan said those losing out were “young families wanting to rent a house or get into the property market in Melbourne close to public transport”.

The Property Council of Australia’s Victorian executive director Sally Kapp​ said revoking projects in Parliament opens up a “new avenue” for properly vetted projects to be pulled at the last minute, driving up cost, delays and creating uncertainty.

She warned that this would threaten investment and development in the state.

“We have just made it harder to do business in Victoria. We have made it harder to build worthwhile projects in Victoria.

Associate Professor in Urban Planning Alan March said if the opposition continues to successfully revoke planning amendments, this would “change the face of the planning system”.

“It would mean more and more political influence and less and less professional influence over the planning scheme,” said Dr March.

Land value capture, which involves selling public land to developers, is the strategy used by the Andrews government to help recuperate funds for the $6.9 billion level crossing removal project.

 

DRAFT STRUCTURE PLANNING COMMUNITY FORUMS

Council has released information on the next round of Community Forms to discuss the Bentleigh, Carnegie, Elsternwick and East Village centres Draft Structure Plans.

The Draft Structure Plans outline the current (to date) vision for  future development of the above centres and surrounding residential areas.  These plans will provide the basis for changes to the Glen Eira Planning Scheme that will set the “rules” (i.e. what can be built where) within each cente’s defined boundaries.  The Plans include:

  • development and future land use
  • transport, traffic management and parking
  • types and heights of buildings (what can be built where)
  • employment
  • open spaces
  • infrastructure and
  • the preservation and protection of neighbourhood character and vegetation

Unfortunately, the timing isn’t the greatest (proximity to the upcoming Festive Season) and the documentation is voluminous (the time required to assess will be significant), however, what’s being presented is significant and resident participation/commitment is essential.  Basically, it’s a case of make the effort now, to ensure the revised Planning Scheme reflects community views or, make a potentially greater effort later as individual planning permit applications are lodged.

Forum details and links to the appropriate documentation are

Bentleigh Draft Structure Plan Community Forum

  • Monday, 13th November – 6.30pm-8.30pm
  • Duncan Mackinnon Reserve Pavilion
  • Corner North and Murrumbeena Roads, Murrumbeena

Council website links:

Bentleigh Forum and Information Sessions

Bentleigh Draft Structure Plan Documentation

 

Carnegie Draft Structure Plan Community Forum

  • Monday, 20th November – 6.30pm-8.30pm)
  • Glen Eira Town Hall – Auditorium,
  • Cnr Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield

Council website links:

Carnegie Forum and Information Sessions

Carnegie Draft Structure Plan Documentation

 

Elsternwick Draft Structure Plan Community Forum

  • Monday, 4th December – 6.30pm-8.30pm)
  • Glen Eira Town Hall – Auditorium,
  • Cnr Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield

Council website links:

Elsternwick Forum and Information Sessions

Elsternwick Draft Structure Plan Documentation

  

East Village Draft Structure Plan Community Forums

Two forums are being held

School Building –Community Workshop

  • Monday, 4th December, 2017 – 6.00 – 8.30 p.m.
  • TBC

Structure Plan Community Forum

  • Thursday, 7th December, 2017 6.30 – 8.30 p.m.
  • Duncan McKinnon Reserve
  • Corner North and Murrumbeena Roads, Murrumbeena

Council Website link:

School Building and Structure Pan

 

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

CARNEGIE SURVEY RESULTS

The results for the Carnegie Survey (a survey by residents for residents) have been published.

The results include, for each question

  • Comments made by residents and
  • An overall analysis of participant responses.

The results are worth reading as they are relevant to the current Planning Scheme Review and provide residents views on topics not adequately covered by the Draft Concept Plans.

Thanks to the survey participants and organizer.

Carnegie Residents Survey Results

LODGE A DRAFT CONCEPT PLAN SUBMISSION

A reminder that residents submissions for the Draft Concept Plans, presented at the recent community forums, are due to be lodged today.  Although, as mentioned by Aiden Mullen at the Elsternwick Forum, some leeway will be granted for late submissions.

The Draft Concept Plans for Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick Activity Centres all feature

  • expansion of the centre boundaries and significant changes to height limits (particularly for newly defined Urban Renewal Areas and Strategic Sites)
  • no strategic justification for these changes
  • scant detailed information on expected population densities, government targets and
  • no information on the planning tools to be implemented to achieve desired outcomes

Regardless of whether or not you attended a Forum, GERA urges all residents to lodge a submission either today or early next week.

The changes are significant and have far reaching implications for all residents who live in, nearby or frequent these activity centres. Likewise for the “lesser” Neighbourhood/Local Centres which, although yet to be reviewed are more than likely to experience  similar expansions and height increases. 

 

Details of Draft Concept Plans and a copy of GERA’s submission* are available

Bentleigh

Carnegie

Elsternwick

This could be your last chance to express your views/concerns.

Submissions may be lodged via either

  • the online feedback form – refer above or
  • email – mail@gleneira.vic.gov.au  (be sure to include an appropriate subject heading) or
  • mail – City Futures Department, Glen Eira Council, PO Box 42, Caulfield South 3162,

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*The GERA submission is presented as “food for thought” – residents are free to amend or copy comments should they wish to do so.

RESIDENTS NOTICE – ELSTERNWICK CONCEPT PLAN

GERA has been contacted by a number of dissatisfied Elsternwick residents who, post Concept Plan Forum, have become aware of the proposed height changes for the Urban Renewal Area (12 stories) and Strategic Sites (8 stories).  As residents of, or nearby, these areas they are concerned that Council did not formally notify them of the proposal and has not provided any strategic justification for these significant changes.

Draft Concept Plan – Current Planning Zones and Heights

Draft Concept Plan – Proposed Building Types and Heights

Residents are expressing their dissatisfaction directly to Council and have asked us to help “spread the word” by publishing the following notice which they are distributing to impacted residents.

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I was shocked yesterday when I went to the Elsternwick Library and the booth to provide feedback stated “Help us plan for the future of the Elsternwick Shopping Strip”!!

 Elsternwick plan to re-zone for 12 storey high rises

Last chance for Elsternwick residents to provide feedback on re-zone of residential streets to allow 12 storey high rise development. 

Many residents are unaware of the plan to rezone many Elsternwick residential streets for high rise development and which is estimated to increase Elsternwick’s population by 20%.

 Residents who recently learned about this plan are furious the council have disguised the consultation process under a ‘Help us plan for the future of the Elsternwick Shopping Strip’ feedback survey and are already 5 stages through an 8 stage process without consultation with the directly impacted residents (or those in surrounding streets who will be flooded with an influx of traffic).

 Feedback on the proposal closes Sunday 3 September – don’t miss the chance to have your say!  Many residents are also making formal complaints to the council and directly to the Mayor regarding the lack of transparency and consultation around these very significant changes.  Council complaints can be made via the Glen Eira Council website.

 Feedback closes Sunday 3 September – don’t miss the chance to have your say!  Access Council’s “Have your Say – Elsternwick” to access documentation and lodge your submission

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Please note that, as per our previous Elsternwick Forum posting, Council will accept late submissions.

Elsternwick Concept Plan Forum Update

100+ concerned residents attended the Elsternwick Concept Plan Forum (21/8/2017) – standing room was well utilised.   Unlike the previous forums where Councillor attendance was sparse, the three Camden Ward Councillors (Crs. Delahunty, Silver and Sztrajt) took advantage of the opportunity to hear from the residents first hand.  Also attending was Cr. Anthanasopoulous (Rosstown) who attended all three (Bentleigh, Carnegie & Elsternwick) forums.  

Whenever a series of Community Forums is held to a set format that does not respond to residents’ concerns as the series progresses, understandably resident frustration mounts as each Forum is held. Such was the case at this Forum, where once again the issues of scant information, inadequate justification for significant changes, lack of change analysis and any discussion of planning controls were raised.  Of particular concern was the creation of a significant “Urban Renewal Area” with a maximum 12 storey height limit in a previously designated a 3 storey residential zone.   Resident interjections during the formal presentation more than doubled the allotted presentation time – residents did not accept the justification of “we can’t locked down development therefore it has to go somewhere” nor did they accept the equivalent of “we don’t know” as a valid response to questions of heights, expected densities, government targets or planning controls to be applied.

The interjection period gleaned the following information (which GERA believes is also applicable to the earlier forums)

  • Almost 4 years after the zone implementation, Council has accepted what residents have been consistently arguing, the GRZ2 (three storey) zoning is not providing the desired diversity of housing.
  • Council has no control over employment opportunities provided in developments.
  • Council “acquisition or designation” of the Urban Renewal Area and Strategic Sites provides greater control over site redevelopment, eg. sale of “airspace” could ensure retention/expansion of public car parking (possibly underground) in exchange for incremented height limits.
  • That the next and final forum (October-November) will provide details on re-zonings and planning controls. Significant information (volume and detail wise) will be presented which residents will need to carefully consider.
  • While the deadline for submissions re the Elsternwick Concept Plan is 3rd September late submissions will be received.

Issues raised during the round table discussions were

  • General agreement that Concept Plan is an improvement on the inadequacies of the current planning scheme. However, scant and questionable information and limited change analysis for the overall activity centre, and in particular for the Urban Renewal Area, restricts residents ability to comment.   As one resident summed up the presented documentation – without appropriate information and analysis “it’s wishing rather than planning”.
  • Not only is information scant as per above, but information presented contains inaccuracies and does not reflect the life span of redevelopments that have occurred prior to the 2013 zone implementation.
  • What justifications support the designated Urban Renewal Area and Strategic Sites and their maximum height limits (with community benefit URA = 12 stories, SS = 8 stories, without community benefit URA= 8, SS = 6).

  • What is the definition of community benefit and their weighting (eg. which community benefit warrants an additional 2 stories vs. an additional 4 stories)
  • Heritage and Neighbourhood Character – the proposed municipal wide review of heritage is long overdue (last undertaken in 1996) and needs to also include a review of Neighbourhood Character.  Current Neighbourhood Character Areas are likely future heritage areas.
  • Traffic and parking requirements are not discussed in the documents, yet these are current significant issues that will increase as development and planned pedestrianisation occurs.
  • Current inadequate parking (Council car parks and on street) provisions adversely impacting traders.  Need to
    • enforce parking and loading bay requirements for developments.
    • Maximise on street parking via painted parking lines and introduction of short stay parking times (15mins) near “drop in” retailers, eg. bakery, florist, drycleaner.
  • Council car parks and/or their airspace should not be sold to fund future car park purchases.
  • No analysis of traffic flows provided in Concept Plans. Vehicular traffic should be directed to main roads and away from residential streets.
  • What can Council do to encourage
    • Increased and appropriate employment opportunities for residents
    • Encourage “specialty” retailing
    • Ensure proposed diversity of housing as per the Concept Plan
  • To provide for trees and landscaping, Garden Apartments below ground basement car parking should not exceed the above ground building footprint.
  • No mention of acquisition or location of new parkland.
  • The Library should not be moved.
  • Development outstripping infrastructure and services resulting in decreased amenity in centre’s core and surrounding residential areas.

Having now attended all Concept Plan forums, GERA is becoming increasingly concerned about the limited data and detail provided so far.  With only one more planned community consultation (October-November) we expect residents will either be swamped with information and limited time to assess or still lacking the data, justifications and analysis required to make an informed decision.

We urge residents to make a submission expressing their views re the Elsternwick Concept Plan. If required, take advantage of the acceptance of late submissions.

CARNEGIE SURVEY – BY RESIDENTS FOR RESIDENTS

A concerned Carnegie resident has reviewed Council’s Concept Plan for Carnegie and come up with some alternative suggestions.   To gauge community feedback a 10 question survey has been prepared –  each of the questions allows you to provide alternative suggestions or make additional comments.

The Survey Results will be presented to Council and be publicly available – Survey

GERA urges residents to complete the survey.

ATTEND THE ELSTERNWICK CONCEPT PLAN FORUM – MONDAY, 21/08/2017

The following flyer has been prepared to urge residents to attend next Monday’s Elsternwick Concept Plan Community Forum.  As per the flyer, the Concept Plan contains some significant changes that residents should be aware of and concerned about.

Details of the Forum and Council Concept Plan documentation is available on Council’s website’

New Carnegie Parkland – $3.6 million for 680 sqm ($5,294/sqm)

Although GERA has some reservations re the purchase of this site, GERA welcomes  Council’s purchase of this land.  The land is in a prime location and in a seriously open space deprived, densely populated major centre.  Given Council’s poor past performance in purchasing open space (since the early 2000’s), it is a step in the right direction.

Cnr. Neerim and Koornang Roads, Carnegie

The site has the potential to enhance Council’s recently presented Concept Plans for the Carnegie Centre.  However, we question the price paid ($5,294/sqm + unknown costs of conversion to parkland) and the extent to which Council is planning to address Glen Eira’s long term shortage of parkland.

Yep, real estate opportunities need to be acted upon as and when they occur – a point GERA has made in the past.  However, Council can also plan to acquire parkland in strategic locations by applying a Parkland Acquisition Overlay (PAO) – this has rarely happened in Glen Eira.   A PAO enables Council to “tag” properties (individual and/or adjoining) for future parkland.  PAO’s do not involve forecable acquisition – they come into play when the owner opts to sell and allow Council to pay a premium (over market value) to ensure acquisition.

What concerns GERA is that Concept Plans for each major activity centre (a.k.a. Urban Village) are in the process of being presented.  The area of all centres has been expanded and show significant increases in development densities, however, none identify areas where a PAO is or could be applied.

We remind readers, that in 2008, Glen Eira was identified as having the least per capita open space in Metro Melbourne (less than half the Metro average), since that time development has further  outstripped parkland acquisitions by Council  resulting in a further decrease in the per capita statistics.  Recent opportunities have enabled Council to purchase some individual future “pocket parks” yet such purchases do little to address the increasing demand for parkland.  It appears Council has overlooked the long term potential of PAO’s to purchase and expand parkland within Glen Eira.

CARNEGIE CONCEPT PLAN FORUM UPDATE

Great turnout of residents (110+) at tonight’s (14/8/2017) Carnegie Concept Plan Forum – additional seating was required.   Unfortunately the same can’t be said of Councillor attendance – only two Councillors (Cr. Anthanasopoulous and Hyams) attended.   Equally unfortunately, residents’ questions which required a detailed response were deferred until next (and last) community input session.

Issues raised were

  • Lack of detail provided to justify expansion of centre boundaries and height variances within those boundaries. Lack of quantification on outcome of proposed changes and meeting State Government targets.
  • Development outstripping infrastructure and services resulting in decreased amenity in centre’s core and surrounding residential areas.
  • Traffic and Parking management and pedestrian connectivity needed improvement. Vehicular flows to be directed towards main roads and parking areas located away from residential streets and high traffic pedestrian areas.
  • Open space – need for increased provision of accessible open space. What is Council proposing and how will it be financed.
  • What can Council do to encourage
    • Increased and appropriate employment opportunities for residents
    • Encourage “specialty” retailing
    • Ensure proposed diversity of housing as per the Concept Plan
  • Need greener and lower density development away from centres core – residential areas reserved for residential developments.
  • Nightlife – what does this mean
  • Interface with Public Realm needs improving.
  • Urban Renewal interface with Chesnut Street heritage area, Skyrail and areas south of the rail line – need for additional information.
  • Protection of Neighbourhood Character and Heritage Areas – need to retain Carnegie’s uniqueness. Core retail area redevelopments to retain/incorporate  Koornang Road’s historic facades.

Much of the table talk and post forum informal discussions, while expressing favourable responses to the concept of “the right building in the right location”. also expressed major concerns re limited detail provided, an expected deluge of information for the final Forum (October) and overall Council planning performance.