On the 20th May (ie tomorrow) a Planning Panel hearing will be held regarding Amendment C80. To refresh people’s memory, this concerns the rezoning of part of Glen Huntly Rd PLUS an application for a 5 storey development consisting of up to 62 units!

When this first came up before council in 2011, councillors voted unanimously to seek authorisation from the Minister to exhibit – even though Esakoff proclaimed some ‘concerns’ over the application part of the amendment. Then on December 18th 2012, following the Minister’s approval, and after much argey-bargey in council, this resolution was passed unanimously

Crs Lipshutz/Esakoff

1. That Council request the Minister for Planning to refer Amendment C80 to an Independent Panel to consider the submissions, but limited to the rezoning application.

2. Advise the Minister and the Independent Panel that Council has abandoned planning permit application GE/PP-24474/2012.

So what is Monday all about? Here’s the Department’s blurb on what this Panel Hearing is about (taken from the DPCD’s website) –


Given the history of C87 where residents were literally duped, mislead, and deceived we have little faith that the fate of the C80 will be any different. With the C87, Lipshutz and Hyams in particular were at great pains to tell residents that they could forward their objections and recommendations and that the Panel would consider them. However, when it came to the Panel Hearing it turned out that the TERMS OF REFERENCE had been set and that the panel could not consider anything extraneous to these terms – for example, why other properties could not be included as part of the Significant Character Area. Our suspicion, given the notification above, is that we are probably heading down the same path – ie the Panel terms of reference stated above INCLUDE the application for the 5 storey, 62 unit development. It will therefore be most enlightening to see what and how Council’s planning department argues on this one. Will they actually carry out a Council resolution and desist with the arguments for the application, or will they simply toss their hands in the air and use the woeful excuse that the Planning Panel has the legal authority to make a decision on the application as well? Will residents be screwed once again? And it would be most enlightening to know if the Minister was ever notified of the existence of this resolution as stipulated?

If tomorrow’s hearing includes consideration of the application together with the rezoning of the land, then residents have once again been duped. Far more important is the question as to the value of any council resolutions and whether these councillors really know what they are doing.