Tag Archives: AGM




 An opportunity to hear & discuss issues with Ian Wood, President, Save Our Suburbs

Date:                  Wednesday,  19th November, 2014

Time:                7.00 p.m. AGM,  7.30 p.m. Planning Presentation

Venue:             Bentleigh Club, Yawla Street, Bentleigh

       Admission:   Gold Coin Donation

                    ALL WELCOME




Planning that focuses on directing new construction to specific areas without appropriate consideration being given to the development and maintenance of a community by the management of cumulative social and environmental impacts for current and future residents, eg.

Transport Infrastructure     – Traffic congestion   – Car Parking

– Neighbourhood Character – Flooding/Drainage  – Public Safety

– School capacity                 – Tree Protection                – Open Space (Parks)

– Health Care                        – Heritage                              – Sustainability



  • ATTEND the Planning Forum

The introduction of the new Planning Zones and other recent planning “reforms”, in both Glen Eira and across Melbourne, is starting to have a significant impact. As President of SOS and a Planning Consultant, Ian Wood, has been following the latest planning changes and how some Councils, including Glen Eira, have been implementing the new guidelines.

 This is an opportunity to obtain information on the zones and how they impact current and future residents.

  •  VISIT residents websites

Glen Eira Residents Association 

McKinnon & Ormond – Oppose Inappropriate Development on Facebook


Save Our Suburbs

Glen Eira Debates


 MAKE YOUR VIEWS KNOWN to Councillors, the Media and candidates in the upcoming State Election by Signing the Online Petition


WHAT IS YOUR ZONE?    Look up the zoning for your property and surrounding properties on the State Government Website.

NRZ1              Neighbourhood Residential Zone – 2 storey height limit

GRZ1, 2, 3    General Residential Zone – 3 storey height limit

RGZ1              Residential Growth Zone – 4 storey height limit

C1Z & C2Z    Commerical Zones (includes residential accommodation) – no height limit

MUZ               Mixed Use Zone (includes residential accommodation) – no height limit


Our thanks to the 60 plus residents who, undaunted by the prospect of an AGM and the inclement weather, attended our recent (13/11) AGM and Planning Forum. Your attendance and, at times “lively”, participation made for a successful evening.

Our thanks also to our
independent moderator, Gerry McLoughlin (Architect and Urban Designer), who provided the metro Melbourne “big picture” for the zone implementation, and to
guest speaker, Ron Torres (Glen Eira’s Manager, Town Planning and Transport and one of the principals involved in the recent zone implementation) – Ron provided a good overview of Glen Eira’s residential zones* and readily responded to questions asked.

Unfortunately, although all Councillors praised the zone implementation and endorsed the implementation without community consultation, no Councillor attended the only Council presentation  to the community on the zones – Crs. Okotel and Lobo offered apologies.  As a member quipped during a “lively” moment, “this is why no Councillor is here”.


As previously mentioned, the presentation focused on the recently implemented residential zones and their height limits. The new zones and related schedules built on the previous Minimal Change/Housing Diversity Areas, by continuing to focus development in and around transport nodes and by enabling further definition of what can be built where.

Former Minimal Change Area

o Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ) – Maximum 8 Metres (2 storeys)

Former Housing Diversity Areas

o General Residential Zone 1 (GRZ1) – Maximum 10.5 metres (3 storeys)
o General Residential Zone 2 (GRZ2) – Maximum 10.5 metres (3 storeys), increased rear setbacks
o Residential Growth Zone (RGZ) – Maximum 13.5 stories (4 storeys)
o Also mentioned, but not focussed on, were the

  • Commercial Zones (C1Z and C2Z) – no height limit, and the
  •  Mixed Use Zone (MUZ) – no height limit

In addition to the prescribed heights, Ron said that additional planning controls were provided via overlays (eg. Heritage, Neighbourhood Character etc.), Rescode (particularly side setback requirements) and Preferred Character statements/policies. For example, depending on the lot size, side set back requirements may provide an additional height control element by making the top floor too narrow to be feasible.

Ron also commented that the next 12 months will be a transition period with planning permits being evaluated or finalised under different rules. The Minimal Change/Housing Diversity Areas policies will be applicable to planning permit applications (both new and extended) submitted prior to 23rd August, 2013, while planning permit applications submitted post 23rd August, 2013, will be evaluated under the “new” Planning Zones.


• Why was Glen Eira “first cab off the rank” in implementing the zones and why was there no community consultation?

Ron commented that the concept/s of the zones are not new to planning or planning officers and that the zones aligned with Glen Eira’s previous Minimal Change/Housing Diversity Areas. Therefore, Council requested the Minister to exempt the zone implementation from community consultation as the implemented zones were a direct conversion of the Minimal Change/Housing Diversity Areas and incorporated residents’ concerns.

• To what extent are the contents of the Zone Schedules mandatory on both VCAT and planning officers (who frequently “consider acceptable” discrepancies between a development proposal and the planning scheme)?

Ron commented that all contents of the zone and associated schedules are mandatory. As an example, the maximum of 2 dwellings per lot in the NRZ was not dependent on lot size – under the new zones the Alma Club (if on one title) would be restricted to two 2 storey dwellings. Ron also stated that Glen Eira Planning Officers are receiving complaints and criticism from developers for the 2 dwelling limitation.

• What consideration was given to traffic and parking issues in the residential zone implementation?

Ron commented that the residential zones are related to housing policies rather than traffic and parking management issues. However, by concentrating development in/around public transport routes and nodes (which have historically also become retail/commercial centres), use of public transport (rather than private vehicles) is encouraged. Council has separate policies re traffic and parking management, sustainable transport and active (pedestrian and cycling) transport.

• Why was the Alma Club, previously classified as Minimal Change, now zoned as a General Residential Zone (3 storeys with side setbacks) while the development proposal was subject to VCAT mediation.

Ron commented that this was a change made by the Minister and was not requested by Council.
The questioner then commented that the Minister’s interest in a “relatively” small parcel of land was particularly strange.

• Why doesn’t Glen Eira have structure plans? Structure plans provide a strategic justification for height controls, are generally accepted at VCAT and would have introduced height controls prior to the zone implementation.

Ron commented that structure plans are only applicable for targeted areas and were of limited use for larger overall areas (such as the NRZ). Structure planning requires extensive and expensive strategic work and are not binding on VCAT.

• Is basement car parking included in the height restrictions and if not is it a “way around” height restrictions?

Ron commented that height measurements are taken from ground level and therefore do not include below ground car parking. Currently, provision of underground car parking is a design decision made by the developer. However, with the implementation of zone height limits, provision of underground car parking may increase as a means of maximizing development potential.

• Why has Glen Eira set a lower (25%) permeability requirement in the NRZ zone than other Councils?

Ron commented that the permeability requirement was based on Glen Eira’s demographics (aging population, children) and their need for solid surfaces.

Once again we thank all attendees, Gerry and Ron for an informative evening and their support.


* The handout materials accompanying the presentation were the

• Map of the New Residential Zones
• Map of the previous Minimal Change/Housing Diversity policy areas
• New Residential zones and Mandatory Maximum Heights – A guide for the Community

These may be downloaded from Council’s website


This posting will be the first in a series of posts outlining the newly implemented planning zones applied across Glen Eira. The posting is in preparation for GERA’s upcoming AGM and Community Presentation on the New Residential Planning Zones (Speaker to be Mr. Ron Torres, Glen Eira’s Manager Town Planning and Transport) – details

While the below “Before and After Maps” (ie. Map of the previous Minimal Change/Housing Diversity Policy Areas and Map of the new Residential Zones) provided on Council’s website provide an overview of the Residential Zones, they do not present details on all the zone changes and do not provide the level of detail required for residents review.

Councils Before and After Maps

For example,

  • Mixed Use Zones, Commercial Zones, Industrial Zones, Priority Development, Zone Park Zones and Public Use Zones are not differentiated (all coloured white)
  • Nor is the level of detail consistent between the two maps (eg. street identification).

For these reasons we recommend residents refer to the maps, maintained by Council, on the Department of Community Development’s website* when reviewing the new zones and assessing their implications.

Glen Eira Planning Scheme Map c

All zoning is identified on each map (Glen Eira is presented in 4 segments) and the zoom feature enables review at the property lot level.  Additionally, overlays can be included if requested.

Example: Centre Road, Bentleigh

Centre Road Bentleigh 2

GERA strongly urges residents to review these DPCD maps. There are discrepancies between what Council published as the “direct translation” in their document (New Residential Zones and Mandatory Maximum Heights – A Guide for the Community”page 14, Section 6.7) of the old Residential 1 Zone (Minimal Change) into the new residential zones and the zoning maps on the department website.  Some examples identified by G.E.R.A. are

  • The site of the former Alma Club, Caulfield North (formerly Minimal Change now classified as General Residential Zone – 3 stories, reportedly as a result of ministerial intervention)
  • The ABC site, Elsternwick (now General Residential Zone 1 – 3 stories
  • Tovak Akas Avenue, Bentleigh (Planning Scheme Amendment C98 was sought to rezone a sizeable lot from Industrial 3 to Residential 1 (Minimal Change) in July 2012.  Although, the lot’s size was recognised as being suitable for more intensive development than is usual in a Minimal Change Area it is now zoned as RGZ2 (3 storeys) on the DPCD maps yet is NRZ (2 storeys) on Council’s overview map (above).
  • Areas along the Nepean Highway, particularly in Bentleigh, are now shown as Commercial Zones.

Residents are urged to report any discrepancies they find to Council and their Ward Councillors.


To aid review, the following is a brief outline of the zone abbreviations appearing in the DPCD Maps.  Subsequent postings will involve a detailed review of the various zones.

C1Z – Commercial 1 Zone (previously known as Business Zones 1, 2 & 5) – broadens the range of activities that land can be used for without the need for a planning permit (eg. supermarket, accommodation, majority of retail uses) and removes floor area restrictions.  No height limit is specified.

C2Z – Commercial 2 Zone (previously business zones 3 & 4) provides opportunities for smaller office, commercial businesses, some retail premises, trade supplies, cinemas, food and drink premises and some limited retail activity. Floor area restrictions for office and some retail uses reduced.  No height limits are specified.

INZ1 – Industrial Zone 1 – office space restrictions removed and floor area caps may be specified locally. Small scale supermarkets and associates shops and convenience shops allowed.  No height limits

GRZ  – General Residential Zone – Provides for a diversity of housing types and moderate housing growth. Mandatory height limit defined in Glen Eira – 10.5 metres (3 storeys).  Setbacks requirements differentiate GRZ1 and GRZ2.  Medical centres and places of worship allowed without a permit if conditions limiting their location (proximity to major road, activity centre) and scale (floor area) are met.

MUZ1 – Mixed Use Zone –  provides for housing at higher densities by reduced lot sizes and, although height limits may be set, Glen Eira has “None Specified”. No permit required for Food and Drink premises, Medical Centres, Offices and Shops and floor space restrictions eased.

NRZ – Neighbourhood Residential Zone – refers to areas where there are limited opportunities to increase residential development.  Mandatory height limit of 8 metres (2 storeys) and generally 2 dwellings per lot although Council may vary depending on the lot size. Medical centres and places of worship allowed without a permit if conditions limiting their location (proximity to major road, activity centre) and scale (floor area) are met.

PDZ1 – Priority Development Zone – Zone, to be replaced in July 2014, applicable to Major Activity Centres. In the Glen Eira context it refers to Phoenix Precinct, Caulfield North, which includes the major Monash University expansion and the Melbourne Racing Club’s major residential/commercial/retail development known as Caulfield Village and frequently referred to as C60.

PPRZ – Public Park and Recreation Zone – open space for public recreation

PUZ   – Public Use Zone – public land used for  public utility, community services and facilities.

RDZ1 – Road Zone 1 – Identifies major roads within Glen Eira.  Proximity to RDZ1 in NRZ and GRZ residential zones are a determinant of permit requirements for Medical Centres and Places of Worship

RGZ – Residential Growth Zone – increased densities up to and including four storeys (13.5 metres).The zone is seen as a transition zone between areas of more (Mixed Use and Commercial Zones) and less intensive (General Residential and Neighbourhood Residential Zones) development.  No permit required for shop, food and drink premises, Medical centre and Place of worship if conditions limiting their location and scale are met.

SUZ1 – Special Use Zone.   Applicable to MRC owned land around the Caulfield Racecourse Reserve.  Only applicable for use when a site  adjoins more than one zone and the strategic intent of the site, if it was to be redeveloped, is not known and it is therefore not possible to determine which zone is appropriate.



* The DPCD website may be slow in downloading the maps.  Maps GERA downloaded 16/9/2013 are available below and should be not be taken as current.  GERA is not responsible for any map modifications since 16/9/2013.

Map 1

Map 2

Map 3

Map 4





Venue:             St. John’s Uniting Church Hall, 576 Glen Huntly Road

Date:                   Wednesday, 13th November, 2013

Time:                7.00 p.m. – Annual General Meeting

           7.30 p.m. – Guest Speaker and Q&A Session

Admission:   No charge

This is a Public Meeting and all are welcome

GERA promises to keep the formalities brief to take advantage of our guest speaker’s presentation.


 Ron Torres, Manager, Town Planning and Transport.

Glen Eira City Council

 The August, 2013 implementation of the Planning Zones has been described as the biggest change to planning in the history of Glen Eira. Mr. Ron Torres was one of the principals involved in applying the zones across the Glen Eira Municipality.

This is a rare opportunity for both members and non-members to hear from one of Council’s Senior Planning Managers on the zones and how they impact residents.   It promises to be both a topical and informative evening.

GERA thanks Council for giving residents the opportunity of hearing details of the residential zones implementation from a Senior Planning Officer.



Many thanks to our guest speaker (Julieanne Bell, Protectors of Public Lands*) and our many members who attended the successful GERA Annual General Meeting (21/11/2012).

Julieanne Bell commenced her informal presentation with an outline of the well documented benefits of open space and the recognised threats to open space before opening the forum to a discussion of the threats.  Julieanne stated that the primary source of all threats to public open space and natural habitat is population growth.  Population growth is outstripping provision of open space and natural habitats.

From population growth stem the following issues which are increasingly recognised as serious threats to open space and natural habitats

  • Competition for available land from developers
  • Competition for park usage (passive vs active)
  • Loading up of infrastructure
  • No open space strategy
  • No master plan for planting and revegetation
  • Liquor sales for fundraising by sport clubs
  • Sale of Land or parts of land

In the informal discussion, the above threats were highlighted by examples by AGM attendees

  •  Competition for available land from developers – especially applicable in established inner and middle ring municipalities such as Glen Eira.  Available suitable land is in scarce supply and demand for development lots result in rising prices.  As urban intensification (particularly high rise, mulit-unit, boundary to boundary developments) is focussed along all hard rail routes, transport and retail/commercial hubs so too is the need/demand for public open space within, or in close proximity, to these areas.  This has been a long standing issue, which the State Government recognised years ago when it introduced the Open Space Levy (along the lines of  “make the developer pay”, the levy is a maximum of 5% of land value at the time of subdivision payable by developers to Local Councils) as a means of providing Councils with the funding to acquire and develop additional land for parkland.   Council’s should be levying the maximum 5% and funds should be “held in trust” to ensure they are available when acquisition opportunities, which are mostly unexpected, arise. 

GERA Note:  Glen Eira Council reported receiving $1.63m and $1.66 from the Open Space Levy in 2010 and 2011.  An estimated $1.9 m is anticipated in 2012/13.  Glen Eira does not charge the maximum 5% Open Space Levy and the Levy payable varies across the municipality. (insert link)

  • Competition for park usage (passive vs active usage).  The need for, and the benefits of, parks providing grounds for active participative sports (commonly referred to as organised sport) is well accepted.  Equally accepted is the need for, and the benefits of, parks providing passive recreation opportunities (i.e. picnics, dog walking, informal sports, running and walking).  Historically, provision of active sporting facilities (ovals, associated pavilions and parking requirements) have been given greater significance than providing for passive recreation.  However, this emphasis is shifting towards passive recreation as it is increasingly being recognised that active sporting facilities
    • cater for a smaller population segment than passive recreation which caters for all ages and abilities
    • involve significant land requirements (for ovals, pavilions and parking) yet are used by relatively few people (players/umpires) for significant periods (eg. game duration).  On the other hand passive recreation involves less open space consuming facilities and available open space can be shared by many people at any time.
  • Loading up of infrastructure – Infrastructure includes multi-purpose pavilions (and their ancillary car parking and vehicle access requirements), BBQ and Picnic Rotundas, public toilets, concrete paving etc.  While infrastructure can enhance parkland, improve  accessibility and encourage parkland usage it also consumes open space and therefore needs a balanced well planned approach.  Unfortunately, many local Councils are focussing on “bigger is better” multi-purpose facilities which are under-utilised.  In the case of Glen Eira, attendees raised the issue of the Caulfield Park Pavilion, GESAC (and it’s increasing car parking requirements), the Packer Park Pavilion replacement and expansion and the location of the Glen Eira Parks Depot in Caulfield Park as notable infrastructure loading examples.
  • No open space strategy – An Open Space Strategy is a long term strategic plan for the future provision of sport and recreation infrastructure, facilities, services, trails and open spaces. Such strategies include identifying and confirming the community’s sport and recreation needs, developing a strategic and coordinated approach (that includes funding strategies and open space management arrangements) to meet those needs. 

Residents commented that the current Glen Eira Open Space Strategy is dated 1998 and over the past 14 years the policy has failed to keep pace with Glen Eira’s population growth and its changing needs (re parkland requirements and parkland usage).  Despite Glen Eira residents consistently ranking open space as a major issue, in both the Community Plan and the annual State Government Council Satisfaction Survey,  the Strategy that should have been regularly monitored and reviewed to ensure that it meets the needs of the community has lapsed. 

  • No master plan for planting and revegetation – Sitting under Open Space Strategy, a master plan for planting and revegetation (focussing on tree protection, native vegetation cultural and heritage significant of plantings and maintenance) should be developed for each public park within the municipality to ensure that open space and natural habitats remain inviting, healthy and safe (for both residents and vegetation). 

Residents referred to the September, 2011, removal of 178 cypress trees along the eastern and southern borders of McKinnon Reserve as indicative of Glen Eira’s lack of Planting and Revegetation Master Plans.  In a  Melbourne Bayside Weekly article on the cypress tree removal Glen Eira spokesman Paul Burke said an independent arborist had identified the need to remove the eastern (Tucker Rd) and southern rows of trees.   He said the trees were in poor condition with branches falling and had to be felled to “eliminate the risk to people, powerlines and property”.  …   New trees will be planted later this year, though the species and the exact timeframe are yet to be determined, Mr Burke said.” 

  • Liquor sales – for fundraising by sport clubs require secure areas to control the sale and consumption of alcohol.  Management Plans are required to ensure the sale and consumption of alcohol does not impact other park or facility users, particularly children.   In the case new or multi-purpose facilities such plans should be in place before any liquor license agreement is decided.
  • Sale of Land or parts of land – The 2009 proposed sale of the disused Packer Park lawn bowls club to finance the purchase of two house lots in Packer Park was presented as an example of a significant threat to open space.  In the Packer Park case, the public outcry (the Protectors of Public Lands joined residents in objecting to the sale) was such that Council retained and converted the lawn bowls club to parkland.  Unfortunately, residents did not achieve the same result with the earlier sale of the bowls club that adjoined the Hopetoun Gardens in Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick.

Despite achieving mixed results and experiencing seemingly limitless frustration, Julieanne Bell, believes residents should be active in preserving and enlarging Glen Eira’s limited open space.  Open Space lost is lost forever.


* Julieanne Bell is the convenor of the Protectors of Public Lands, Victoria.  The Protectors of Public Lands (Vic) was established in 2004 and is an organisation comprising over 80 environmental, community, heritage and residents groups and is affiliated with N.S.W. and S.A. branches of the Protectors of Public Lands as well as other action groups (Save our Suburbs, Planning Backlash, Sustainable Population Australia, Green Wedges Coalition).  The aim of the Protectors of Public Lands is the protection and preservation of public lands in public ownership for present and future generations (ie National, State, Local Government and Government Agencies (eg. Melbourne Water, VicRail) lands are lands held in trust for the people).   Public land, once sold, is land lost to the people forever.


The Annual General Meeting of the Glen Eira Residents Association Inc. will be held at 7-30 pm on Wednesday 21 November, 2012, at St. John’s Uniting Church Hall, (entrance Foster St.),  Elsternwick. 

This is a Public Meeting and open to all.  Your attendance would be welcome.

Our guest speaker will be Julianne Bell, Secretary, Protectors of Public Lands (Victoria) Inc.  Formerly, Julianne was Convenor of the Royal Park Protection Group Inc.

We expect this to be a stimulating and valuable talk for us, given Glen Eira’s problems with Public Lands, especially with the Booran Rd Reservoir land and the Racecourse parkland.

 Don Dunstan,  President Glen Eira Residents Association Inc.