The extracts featured below, all come (verbatim) from the officer’s report tabled in the minutes of 12th August 2002 on Amendment C25 – ie. the brainchild for the Housing Diversity and Minimal Change carve up of the municipality. Admittedly, it can be argued that times are different and that things have changed. What CANNOT be argued is that this Amendment was sold to residents on the basis of promises that have never been kept. Now we are lumbered with the new Residential Zones that (without community consultation or even forewarning) were rushed through in secret on the basis of Amendment C25.

Please note: the 80/20 Minimal Change/Housing Diversity policy is not only a dud but iniquitous. Housing diversity has grown and grown. Yet this was supposed to be ‘sufficient’ to cater for some nebulous population figures. What we now have is rapid creep into Minimal Change Areas where streets that were predominantly single storey and single dwelling are being transformed into 2 double storey dwellings on various lot sizes. Remember that Council, unlike others, has not limited the size for subdivision! Instead they are working on another amendment to allow more dwellings on larger lot sizes regardless of the fact that these are in Minimal Change.

The ‘proof’ that the 80/20 split is a myth and not working is provided by council itself. Buried in very small print in the Quarterly Report from September 2013, there is this staggering admission – ” 56% of dwellings approved were in Housing Diversity Areas”. So much for 80/20! And it’s getting worse! The rush is on for infill and that means Minimal Change. Yet, residents were told and dare we say ‘promised’, the following in relation to Amendment c25 which set this all up – (we’ve omitted comments regarding open space and that old chestnut – a Significant Tree Register!)

A radical change in character is not envisaged in the residential areas of the housing diversity areas. The most intensive development is sought in the commercial areas where apartments and shop top housing is envisaged. In the residential areas of housing diversity areas, the policy is intended to allow for some multi-unit development to meet Glen Eira’s housing needs whilst ensuring that it does not:

  • Exceed prevailing building heights
  • Dominate the street scape
  • Adversely affect the amenity of neighbouring properties
  • Result in the loss of landscaped front yards (all in accordance with the standards of ResCode)

The Housing and Residential Development Strategy recommends that structure plans and urban design frameworks be developed to manage the specific issues of each housing diversity area. These would examine issues such as the type, form, scale and character of development and would be implemented through further Planning Scheme amendments and other actions. The development of the structure plans and urban design framework will require wide-ranging consultation with traders, developers, residents and the wider community.

Designating these areas as areas of housing diversity does not mean that council would entertain leniency beyond the provisions in ResCode ie any reduction in open space, cr parking standards, etc.

Traffic and parking

While critically important to the viability and functioning of any commercial centre and character of residential areas, traffic and parking issues largely sit outside the jurisdiction of the planning scheme local policy. The proposed policy, therefore, does not attempt to comprehensively address existing or anticipated traffic and parking issues…..ResCode provides parking standards for residential development The Housing and Residential Development Strategy acknowledges that parking and traffic are issues in the city and should be addressed through a number of measures outside the Planning Scheme. These include parking precinct plans in the commercial centres and the surrounding residential areas and the investigation of local traffic management plans in residential areas.

There’s much, much more in these papers, but readers will have got the overall gist by now. The take home message is absolutely clear:

  • Promises have never been kept much less delivered
  • The 80/20 carve up is failing and will only get worse – dwellings are NOT going into Housing Diversity, but increasingly into Minimal Change.
  • Traffic, parking, open space identified as major concerns over a decade ago has not been addressed.