Item 9.2 – 487 Neerim Road – 7 lot subdivision (Esakoff on leave and Magee late to meeting)

Hyams moved motion with amendments requiring 4 metre setbacks to some of the units to the east and that there must be council approval to ‘vary envelopes’ (ie building envelopes) like ‘variations to a restrictive covenant’. Also included that there could be variations to garage placements and this would need a planning permit amendment. Lipshutz seconded.

HYAMS: went through the past history and the VCAT approval for a 3 storey development. Permit has now ‘expired’ and the site is in minimal change (NRZ1) so there can’t be a new application because the new zones only allow ‘two buildings on site’. Hence ‘the sensible response to that’ for large sites is to ‘apply for subdivision’. Hyams then said that the developer would currently be paying a 4.25% open space levy instead of 5.7% ‘which is due of course to our amendment being held up’ by people who are ‘being good friends to the developers’. He hoped that ‘those people know what they are doing’. Went on to say that planning permits are required for ‘the actual buildings’ because of the Special Building and Design Overlays. Objectors thought this was all a ‘bit vague’ but that the ‘clarity will come later’. But the ‘application does come with building envelopes’ and once that is approved then things are set and that’s why he moved the amendment about setbacks. Objectors were worried about the trees but they will be ‘protected’ via a Section 173 agreement which ‘will require a tree management plan’. ‘That will ensure’ that the trees ‘are looked after’. Neighbouring units will be ‘protected’ because of the 4 metre setback. Said that other standards like permeability and site coverage have been met and that there will be 3 visitor car parking spaces and 2 resident spots for each unit. Overlooking ‘will be addressed at the planning permit stage’ and he’s confident that this can be resolved by ‘treating’ the windows. Thought that this was ‘good use of the land to subdivide’ and that it also ‘protected the amenity’ of neighbours.

LIPSHUTZ: said that the developers had ‘extensive discussions’ with officers before the application went in and that’s ‘a good thing because it allows things to progress pretty easily’. Said that setbacks weren’t discussed with officers but now that it’s realised the developer can ‘deal with the setback quite readily’. Said the ‘building envelope is quite important’ because buildings are ‘planned a particular way’ and ultimately ‘council has control over it’ with the next planning application.

DELAHUNTY: endorsed Hyams’ comments and his amendment because they do ‘strike a balance’ between protecting the neighbourhood and getting the ‘best outcome for that parcel of land’. Said she ‘completely supports’ this motion.

SOUNNESS: thought this was the most ‘comprehensive’ subdivision he’d seen and was very pleased about the emphases on protecting the trees. Recognised that this does ‘constrain’ how many units can go on but that there are also ‘trade offs’. Hoped that the developer will support the conditions and ensure that the trees are maintained even though it will come at a financial cost.

LOBO: said that ‘initially’ he wasn’t ‘happy’ with the application because 7 units means that it will be ‘too congested’. But with Hyams’ amendment ‘I feel more comfortable’ but ‘yet not sure that I will vote for it’.

PILLING: thought that the amendment goes ‘a fair way’ to addressing resident concerns and does ‘strike the right balance’.

HYAMS: said that Magee also ‘expressed’ support for increased setbacks.