Tag Archives: new planning zones

BENTLEIGH ACTIVITY CENTRE – ENOUGH IS ENOUGH (PART 2)

Bentleigh Urban Village

Following on from our last posting, the residents objecting to the multi unit developments in Mavho and Loranne Streets, Bentleigh have forwarded to us the below advice of dates for the Mavho Street Planning Permit application, ie.
• Planning Conference – 8th September, 2014
• Formal Council Decision Date – 14th October, 2014

We encourage residents residing in and around the 2013 implemented high density zones (ie. the former Housing Diversity Areas) to attend both the planning conference and Council Meeting to gain an understanding of the grounds for objection applicable to these zones and Council’s planning permit and objection handling processes.

The 2013 “new” zone implementation built on the concept of focussing development in locations designated as high density areas under the previous Housing Diversity/Minimal Change Areas policies (implemented in 2002). Unfortunately, while the new zones streamlined the planning permit approval process by prescribing height limits within the zones, the much heralded “certainty” provided by prescribed height limits also removed building heights from being a ground for objection if the development’s height (which excludes roof infrastructure, eg. lift wells, air conditioning units) complied with the prescribed height limit.   Residents can still object to a planning permit application on the a number of grounds (eg site coverage, prescribed setbacks, neighbourhood character, provision of private open space, and many other grounds), however, height is no longer a valid ground for objection.

The number of emails GERA is receiving from residents of the high density zones, supports our previous criticism of Council’s implementation of the new zones – “the biggest planning change in Glen Eira’s history” – which was undertaken without actively informing and/or engaging residents.  A major justification for this being residents’ extensive knowledge of the previously existing Housing Diversity/Minimal Change Areas – a justification which many residents dispute.

We encourage residents to check which zoning applies to their property. Zone boundaries do not follow standard mapping conventions (eg. one side of a street may be high density but the other side may not, or, within the same street, No. 42 may be high density but No. 44 may not) and distances away from the centre of the high density area vary.   GERA’s 11/2013 new zone posting “Where and What Are They” provides a brief outline of the “new” zones and access to zoning maps (“zoom down” for details on a lot by lot basis) which can be accessed from the Department of Planning or GERA’s website*. Residents should also confirm their property’s zoning with Council.

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

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Except for GERA highlighting the comment that “it is unlikely the application can be completely rejected due to the Residential Growth Zoning” below is an unedited email received from the Defend Mavho Group. The group may be contacted via email – defendmavho@yahoo.com

URGENT objection update – Important dates 8 September 2014 and 14 October 2014‏

I have just received emailed advice from Council the Planning Conference for 24 – 26 Mavho Street will take place on 8 September 2014 at 6.30pm at the Glen Eira Council offices, corner Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield. Meetings are open to the public. The planning conference is chaired by a Councillor and provides the opportunity for applicants, objectors and residents to make submissions in respect to planning applications that have been referred to a Council meeting for a decision. The conference provides a public and open forum where discussion of the proposal can occur between the parties with a view to identifying affected resident concerns, possible means for addressing the concerns and opportunities to improve the proposal. All objectors will be notified in writing of the date, time and place.

Following the planning conference, the application will be referred to a Council meeting for a decision on 14 October 2014 at 7.30pm at Glen Eira Council offices, corner Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield. Although the Council meeting is open to the public I do not believe there is an opportunity (subject to a ruling by the Mayor of the day) for the public to make submissions to the Councillors.

Please make a note of these dates in your diaries and attend and get your key objection points together to speak to at the Planning Conference. It is a very informal environment but controlled so everyone is heard.

In addition to the above, Councillor Oscar Lobo kindly attended Mavho Street on Sunday 24 August and walked the adjoining properties and our street. Councillor Lobo is a supporter of our objection grounds and he will assist us in advocating to the other Councillors to significantly reduce this inappropriate development. All Councillors are yet to receive their town planning and expert advice; however, it is unlikely the application can be completely rejected due to the Residential Growth Zoning.* So now is the time to get on the email and phone and lobby the Councillors especially our Tucker Ward members (Jamie Hyams, Oscar Lobo and Jim Magee) – we need a majority of 5/9 so get those phone lines burning – Councillor details below.

* GERA emphasis

Cr Jamie Hyams
Phone/fax: 9578 8314
Mobile: 0427 319 018
Email: jhyams@gleneira.vic.gov.au

Cr Oscar Lobo
Phone/fax: 9557 0108
Mobile: 0417 837 418
Email: olobo@gleneira.vic.gov.au

Cr Jim Magee
Phone/Fax: 9563 8360
Mobile: 0427 338 327
Email: jmagee@gleneira.vic.gov.au

Cr Margaret Esakoff
Phone/Fax: 9578 2877
Mobile: 0407 831 893
Email: mesakoff@gleneira.vic.gov.au

Cr Karina Okotel
Mobile: 0424 479 454
Email: kokotel@gleneira.vic.gov.au

Cr Neil Pilling (Mayor)
Phone: 9524 3225
Fax: 9524 3358
Mobile: 0428 310 919
Email: npilling@gleneira.vic.gov.au

Cr Michael Lipshutz (Deputy Mayor)
Phone/Fax: 9530 0438
Mobile: 0400 832 270
Email: mlipshutz@gleneira.vic.gov.au

Cr Mary Delahunty
Phone: 9523 9105
Mobile: 0427 970 879
Email: mdelahunty@gleneira.vic.gov.au

Cr Thomas Sounness
Mobile: 0428 596 951
Email: tsounness@gleneira.vic.gov.au

NEW PLANNING ZONES – WHERE AND WHAT THEY ARE

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.

ZONE ABBREVIATIONS

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.

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Footnote:

* 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

GERA SUBMISSION – NEW PLANNING ZONES FOR VICTORIA

In July, 2012, the Minister of the Department of Planning and Community Development announced a reform of the Victorian planning zones and has posted the details of the DPCD website.  Interested parties (eg Councils, industry groups, community groups and individuals) were requested to review the proposed zones and make submissions by 21st September, 2012.  Late submissions may be lodged up to 5.00 p.m. Friday 28th September, 2012.

The reform proposals have been criticised in the media coverage (The Age – Planning Reform Blocks AppealsThe Age – The Planning Guy) and by many councils, residents groups and prominent citizens.  Many Councils have held extensive community consultations to

  • Inform residents of the proposed changes and their impact
  • To ensure that the Council’s submission to the DPCD accurately reflects the community’s opinions and interests
  • Encourage residents to forward individual submissions if they wished to

Unlike many other Councils, Glen Eira adopted an alternate approach to advising residents of the proposed zoning changes.  The Council Meeting Minutes of 4th September, 2012 – Section 9.6, includes a report prepared by Jeff Akehurst, Director City Development which outlines the proposed changes and provides some comments and discussion on the some of the “possible unintended consequences”.  The Council resolution at this meeting includes the following

  • “Section 5 of this report which includes comments as well as possible unintended consequences will form the basis of Council’s submission to the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD)”.
  • “that Council publish this submission as a discussion paper on Council’s website including providing and promoting a link to the DPCD contact details for the lodgement of submissions by residents. …. That this be on the alerts and be sent out as an alert as part of our electronic consultation trail”.  The link to the submission  (Glen Eira Submission Outline) is on the website and the alert was sent out on the 7th September, 2012.

GERA has reviewed the proposed reform of planning zones. In general GERA supports the long overdue review of the zones, however, this support is not unqualified as GERA believes the current proposed residential zones (scheduled to be implemented in 12 months) and commercial zones (scheduled for implementation October, 2012) will have far reaching adverse impacts on the residents of Glen Eira.

Full details of GERA’s concerns are provided in the GERA submission to the DPCD (GERA Submission) and the following is a brief summary of some of our concern’s

  • fewer rights of appeal
    • Grounds of appeal restricted by reclassification of previously not permitted or permit required land uses as right of use.  (Places of Worship and Medical Centres in Residential Zones and being declared exempt from the planning controls applicable to the residential zone).
    • Commercial/retail uses permitted in Residential Zones if the Residential Zone abuts an activity centre (within 100m).  No limit on hours of operation and declared exempt from the planning controls applicable to the residential zone.
    • Third party notice, objection and review rights can be exempted by Council in the Mixed Use Zone

While some of our more cynical members have suggested that loss of appeal rights would relieve them of the frustration experienced when their objections are ignored, GERA would argue that every resident has a right to express and have their opinions listened to.  This right should not be able to be restricted because of a zone change.

  • Reduction on lot sizes in zones will result in boundary to boundary double storey dwellings being built and have a negative impact on the character of the area (visual bulk, absence of landscaping) and residential amenity (overshadowing, overlooking).
  • Encourages high density housing in centres without taking into consideration the future demands on aging and currently inadequate infrastructure (roads, public transport, sewers, utilities, police, hospitals and schools) of these centres.
  • The current review relates to the zone proposals and the allowed uses within the zones only.  The implementation process (i.e. how to) has yet to be defined and many details regarding overlays (Heritage, Neighbourhood Character) are yet to be defined.  This restricts meaningful analysis of the new zones.
  • The lack of information on the implementation of the zones also extends to the community participation/involvement in the implementation process.  Height controls vary across the new zones (there are no height controls in the new Commercial Zone 1) and also vary in being mandatory or at the discretion of the local authority (Council).  Therefore, the inclusion of extensive community participation (which zones were, defining the schedules/requirements) is imperative.

GERA encourages residents to review both the Akehurst and GERA submissions, and if considered appropriate, make a submission to the DPCD.