Pilling and Sounness were absent. Lipshutz moved a motion that the Residential zones item (listed last on the agenda) be considered first. Motion passed unanimously.

Hyams moved motion and added that council writes to Minister thanking him for ‘translating our existing policies’ into the new zones. Seconded by Lobo.

HYAMS: started off by saying that this is ‘possibly’ the most “important planning reform’ in history. Council introduced in 2004 the Minimal Change/Housing Diversity/Urban Villages policies but this isk even more ‘important’ because these are ‘mandatory zones’. ‘So what we say goes’. That contrasts to the past where VCAT could ignore council because they were only ‘guidelines’ and this ‘will no longer exist under these zones’. Went on to speak about the 3 new zones and that together they ‘will cover 95% of Glen Eira’ and ‘every resident of those zones will have their amenity protected better than before’. Stated that Glen Eira is the first council to ‘achieve’ this. Talked about the 78% being Neighbourhood Residential Zones and these were all the previous minimal change areas. These will have 8 metre height limit; 2 units per block, 50% site coverage and 25% permeability. All of this ‘will preserve the leafy backyard character’ of most  residences. Next there’s the General Residential Zone (previous housing diversity) and this will have 10.5 metre height. Said that there would be ‘two types’ here – Schedule 1 ‘in the neighbourhood centres’ and Schedule 2 along tramlines. These latter ones that abut ‘neighbourhood residential zones’ and ‘they will have increased rear setbacks’. Last is Growth zones and they ‘conform’ to villages and height limit of 4 storeys and ‘mandatory setbacks’. ‘These are great outcomes for Glen Eira’ because development can still go on but is ‘directed to the right areas’ whilst ‘residential areas are protected from over development’. There’s also ‘certainty’ which is good for both residents and developers. Back in 2010/11 when the community was consulted, people said they wanted mandatory height limits and ‘now they have those’.  Also achieved increase in permeability from 20 to 25%. ‘That’s basically why we didn’t consult this time around’ since ‘we had the old Minimal Change Areas and Housing diversity Areas which were well understood’ plus they got what the community wanted. Said that even if they had consulted he couldn’t see how ‘we would have got a better outcome’.

Said that the zones are ‘applied’ by the Minister in ‘discussions with us’ and ‘we got most of what we were after’ because they could show that there is ‘adequate’ space for ‘growth in Glen Eira including the C60 Caulfield Village’ and because the staff had ‘such a good grasp’ of all the issues in Glen Eira. They could answer all questions and ‘put a case very quickly and convincingly’. Congratulated Newton and Akehurst. Said that existing applications would be considered on old scheme and it could take a year before all of these were gone through.

LOBO: said that residents have been saying that Glen Eira needs a ‘structure planning policy’ to protect ‘people’s greatest asset’. Said that many residents had ‘borrowed from the greedy banks’ or used their super money to pay out the banks and ‘free themselves from the big claws’ of these banks. So they are now realising that ‘good attention’ is needed for ‘good planning’. What’s happening in the streets is of ‘great concern’ and people are right because ‘the value of the property will decrease’ and they took this into account when ‘preparing the new zones’. Matthew guy created the zones ‘earlier this year’ and ‘he has a carte blanche authority’ and that this is ‘different’ to the normal exhibition and panels for amendments. The Minister ‘has amended the Glen Eira Planning Scheme’ and included ‘many things that council wanted’ as well as ‘changes initiated by the Minister’ such as rezoning the Alma Club site and the Ripponlea ABC studio site to what was formerly Housing Diversity from minimal change. Residents got what they asked for ‘three years ago’. Now people will know ‘for certain what areas will be clearly protected’ and what areas will be developed. ‘With this, the wings of VCAT will be clipped’.

LIPSHUTZ: Glen eira is the first council to ‘adopt these plans’ and that’s because they have ‘vision’ and that’s because years ago Akehurst and ‘his team’ saw that ‘we neeed to have distinct areas to protect our suburbs’. Because these plans already exist they were ‘able to translate very quickly’ into the new zones ‘and that’s a credit to our officers’. “it is revolutionary’ because VCAT can’t now ignore. It’s LAW. Said that newspaper reports say that it will ‘stifle development’ but as he ‘lives in the area, I don’t want high rise in my suburbs’ . there are ‘appropriate’ areas for high rise but ‘not in many of these areas where we have fine homes’ or heritage, or ‘single storey’. The zones are ‘protecting our neighbourhood, we are protecting our municipality and that’s important’. Congratulated officers and ‘the government’ because the latter ‘had the guts’ to do something about an issue that has been going on for years.

ESAKOFF: stated that in the past VCAT only had to ‘consider’ policy and now it is mandatory. Was sure that there ‘would be far less applications to VCAT’. Noted that there are ‘other zones’ but they’re not included in the amendment and ‘they will be treated the way they have always been treated’.

MAGEE: Apart from commercial zones, there is now a ‘sense of security’ for developers because they know what they can do and get a loan easier. Developers can therefore plan better. Said that the 4 storey buildings around tram lines is only 2.2% ‘of our city’ and ‘you might actually struggle to find a block big enough’ to build 4 storeys because of ‘setbacks’ on top floor. So a lot of these could ‘end up being 3 storeys’. Said it was a ‘really good outcome for the residents of Glen Eira’. Said he bought his house in minimal change and away from main roads but his back door neighbour built 3 units and he can touch them ‘with a broom’ and that ‘this won’t happen again’ with these zones. Congratulated officers on ‘getting this through’ and didn’t think it ‘was a surprise because that’s the sort of work we do here’…’we are very good at what we do’. In the future council can say ‘no, it’s wrong’ and ‘go away’ to developers because they haven’t got it right. Also have to thank the state government in ‘being proactive and helping us get this in place’. ‘I think the outcome for Glen Eira is superb’

DELAHUNTY: ‘generally’ supports that this is a ‘good outcome’ but the ‘Minister sought different zoning’ for the Alma Club site and ‘that was done without any consultation with Council’ and she ‘finds this a little bit disappointing’ because he zoned differently there and could have also looked at the ‘old Open Space Strategy’. ‘It would have been a fantastic opportunity to have had that conversation’ with the Minister. The same goes for the ABC site. Also ‘at the start’ she had ‘reservations’ about the ‘lack of public consultation’. She ‘lost the argument’ on that one but ‘I have to say I deserved to lose the argument’ but since she wasn’t part of the 2010 consultation and ‘that doesn’t mean that the community’s views have necessarily changed’ so people got what they wanted. She’s just left with the ‘inkling of bad taste’ about the Alma Club and ABC sites.

OKOTEL: congratulated for the ‘very hard work’ by Newton and Akehurst and team. It was a ‘very quick turnaround to make sure this happened’. The old system was ‘plagued by inefficiencies and uncertainties’ for planners and residents so it’s ‘pleasing’ that there are now height limits and that will ‘certainly’ eliminate the uncertainty.This is ‘exciting and well overdue step’. Said that she ‘maintains’ that a ‘consultation process would have been appropriate’ and that since this was in 2010 this wasn’t the direction prior to the  ‘submission being made to government’ and it ‘was a submission put to government and ultimately it was the government’s decision in terms of what the new zones look like’. But ‘despite that’ the decision is ‘very pleasing’