The alleged comments by Hyams in this article raise major issues.

  • Why should residents believe him or his script writers?
  • Why is this council doing absolutely nothing in contrast to other councils, much less informing the public in a clear, direct and honest manner about its intentions and the real ramifications of what will happen from July 1st and in the coming year?
  • Is this the most potent example of not merely fiddling whilst Rome is burning, but the clear intention of doing absolutely nothing to review, change or modify a strategic planning approach that is clearly incapable of protecting residents?
  • Could anything be clearer than the refusal to change a damn thing, since according to Hyams, ‘council was happy’ with the residential zones?

Below we feature some extracts from the agenda items for the next Kingston Council Ordinary Meeting. Not only is there a lengthy officer report on the implications of the commercial zone changes from July 1st, but actions to try and ameliorate the potential damage (uploaded here). In Glen Eira all we get is silence, inaction, and misinformation!

With a Planning Permit previously prohibited locations can be used to create multiple Supermarket(s), shop(s) or Department Store(s).

The zoning translation, if not carefully managed at residential abuttals, also has the potential to create adverse amenity impacts with the ability of incompatible land uses to establish without a planning permit.

A Supermarket under 1800m2 or shop under 500m2 associated with or adjoining a Supermarket can be constructed without a Planning Permit. The definition of Shop also includes Bottle Shop. This would mean that beyond issues of policy matters such as loading times, hours of operation or other management issues associated with facilities that may impact on amenity of adjacent residential areas would not be able to be considered.

Businesses of all sizes have made investment decision in the City of Kingston based on the Local Planning Policy Frameowrk and the application of zones. These decisions for numerous business owners have the potential to be immediately and directly undermined through the application of the Commercial 2 Zone in location where certain activities where(sic) previously prohibited.

…it has also been necessary to consider that if the Commercial 2 zone were applied what levels of amenity protection would be provided for immediately adjacent or nearby residential areas when compared with the status quo.

The work of successive council’s (sic) in developing Structure Plans, Local Planning Policies, facilitating retail investment in planned locations and assisting diversifying its employment land will be undermined if the Commercial 2 Zone is introduced to replace the large areas in Kingston zoned Business 3 and 4.

Uses that are permissible under the Commercial 2 Zone such as Supermarket(s), Shop(s) and Department Store(s) that were previously prohibited will impact on small businesses that have invested in planned locations and on community service and infrastructure investment provided in Activity Centres.

The unintended consequence of the introduction of the commercial 2 Zone, is that land uses which Council’s Local Planning Policies clearly discourage in ‘out of centre locations’, become as of right or permissible.