The officer’s report –

A recent example was the Alma Club where Council officers attempted to secure land for an additional local open space in Caulfield North but, owing to the impact on the design, suitable land could not be made available and a cash contribution was made instead.

The Public Question –

Item 9.8 of the agenda cites the Alma Club site as an example of a cash rather than land contribution. For this site, I ask:
1. What was the undeveloped land value placed on the site?
2. What was the full cash contribution that council received?
3. Was this amount paid in one lump sum?
4. Why was any contribution paid prior to subdivision and as stipulated by law?

The ‘Answer’ –

The report at item 9.8 was correct in saying that Council tried to secure agreement to an open space contribution of land at the former Alma Club. It was right to say that, following a period of negotiation, that was not feasible and the open space
contribution will be in cash.

The report was mistaken to say that the contribution had been paid. What has been paid is back rates of $67,430. That was paid on 30 May 2014. (Back rates are payable when a property ceases to be eligible to be rated under the Cultural and Recreational Lands Act and becomes rateable under the general rating system. )

The misunderstanding between the payment of the back rates as opposed to the open space contribution was made during the writing of that section of the item between the Planning Conference on the evening of 25 June and the Item being finalised on 26 June. Council apologises for the mistake. The open space cash contribution will be payable in cash at the time of subdivision and calculated according to the value of the land at that time. If Amendment C120 is in effect, it would be 5.7% and could not be appealed to VCAT. While Amendment C120 is not in effect, it would be 5% or less and could be appealed to VCAT.
A difference of 1% would equate to approximately $75,000 for this one subdivision.