In typical piecemeal fashion, another Amendment is up for discussion at next week’s council meeting. It involves ‘non-residential uses in residential areas’. Granted that with the new residential zones, there are some changes – ie businesses may set up within 100 metres of a designated activity centre without permit requirements depending on size, etc. Much is still the same however. What therefore needs to be seriously queried is:

  • Why do we need another watered down amendment at this point in time?
  • The Planning & Environment Act states that councils MUST REVIEW their planning schemes “no later than one year after each date by which it is required to approve a Council Plan under section 125 of the Local Government Act 1989”. Council Plans according to the LGA must be approved no later than June 30th after an election. Glen Eira approved its Council Plan last year. That means that it is now due to REVIEW IN FULL ITS PLANNING SCHEME. Why isn’t this happening and why is there this consistent chipping away at residents’ amenity in every single amendment that is being pushed through?

We’ve done what we’ve done in the past – compared the proposed new version with the old. It should be obvious to even Blind Freddy that what this administration now proposes is to expand development and business ‘opportunities’ in residential areas at the cost of local amenity, environment, traffic, parking and all the other components that go into sound planning. For starters, here are just a few of the sentences which have now been dropped completely from the proposed amendment – followed by the more important changes via the table.

Stormwater runoff directed into garden areas to reduce watering and demand on drainage infrastructure

To maintain and protect any dwellings/buildings of historical/cultural significance

To ensure that adequate provision is made for appropriate on-site parking for all non-residential uses

To maintain the garden character of the neighbourhood

Car parking facilities not dominate the development or street frontage

CURRENT PLANNING SCHEME

PROPOSED AMENDMENT

Objectives

To encourage the development and location of new non-residential uses in areas which are compatible with the residential nature of the area and comply with orderly and proper planning principles.

REMOVED ARE THE FOLLOWING important clauses –

  • To successfully integrate non-residential uses into residential areas with minimum impact
  • To ensure that adequate provision is made for appropriate on-site parking for all non-residential uses
  • To ensure that traffic generated by the use of the site is appropriate to the street and the locality and will not adversely affect existing traffic patterns and safety
  • To maintain the garden character of the neighbourhood
Objectives

To encourage the development or extension on non-residential uses, in suitable locations which comply with orderly and proper planning principles.

POLICY

  • The standard car parking requirement will only be reduced where the Responsible Authority is satisfied that the area is supported with suitable levels of public car parking and public transport
  • Loading bays be provided where necessary
  • BOTH OF THESE ARE NOW TOTALLY ABSENT IN THE NEW DRAFT
 INSTEAD THERE ARE THESE QUALIFIED STATEMENTS –

Ensure that the streetscape character of the neighbourhood is respected and maintained, particularly in terms of building height, length, location, setbacks (front, side and rear), front fences and appearance.

 Retain existing dwelling stock, where practical, and any associated extensions/alterations maintain or enhance its residential character.

Performance measures

Do not exist in current version

PERFORMANCE MEASURES

Any buildings are not greater than mandatory maximum height specified in the relevant residential zone applying to the subject land.

(note: does this now mean that a 3 or 4 storey medical centre may be built in a GRZ or RGZ zone?)

LANDSCAPING

The retention of any significant trees or landscape features be a high priority in the design

LANDSCAPING

Retain any high priority significant trees or landscape features within the design where possible.

 

GENERAL AMENITY

The developments not overload the capacity of public infrastructure

THIS IS MISSING IN PROPOSED VERSION
SET BACKS/CORNER SITES

Buildings proposed fronting the long side of a corner site have a side street setback of 3 metres

 

 

 

Where car parking areas abut residential dwellings, and adequate landscape buffer (suggested width of 1.5m) be provided and be heavily planted with large shrubs and trees.

The planning scheme for corner sites now states –

The same distance as the setback of the front wall of any existing building on the abutting allotment facing the side street or 2 metres, whichever is the lesser.

 

 

Where car parking areas abut neighbouring residential dwellings, an adequate landscape buffer (minimum width of 1.0m) be provided and be heavily planted with large shrubs and trees.

HOURS OF OPERATION

Mon-Friday – 8.30am – 6.00pm

Saturdays – 9.00am – 1.00pm

Sundays/Public Holidays – Closed

HOURS OF OPERATION

Mon- Friday – 7.00 – 6.30pm

Saturdays – 8.00am – 6.00pm

Sundays/Public Holidays – Closed