We feature two related items in this post that totally explode the Council propaganda and mistruths about the residential zones. Firstly, (over)development is very much a direct result of the zones and secondly Burke’s claims are shown as sheer bunkum via a resident’s analysis that came through as a comment and which we’ve repeated here.




“The Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ) has been directly translated from the Minimal Change Areas and covers 78% of Glen Eira” is the current mantra from our Local and State politicians. A similar mantra was created in 2002 as shown below:

“Glen Eira’s housing diversity areas can meet the majority of its City’s demand for the next 20 years. The remainder of the demand will be met in the minimal change [housing] areas in the form of single dwellings and dual occupancies. Through this combined and balanced approach the City can meet its housing needs but also protect neighbourhood character of 80 per cent of its City.”

The quote is from the draft Housing_and_Residential_Development_Strategy still available on line. The statement is wrong in so many ways. Let’s enumerate them:
1. The statement is clearly about housing areas. The minimal change housing areas have never been at an 80% level. The misleading map and calculation includes all Glen Eira’s road network (465km), but conveniently excludes all VicRoads road network (51km in white). Can you imagine residing on your local road, planting a vegie patch on the nature strip or cutting a tree branch from the footpath? All roads, kerbs, nature strips and footpaths are for public use and not a residential zone;

2. Glen Eira local road network is 465km long and is about your average house property frontage wide. It makes up for at least 25 % of City’s land area. So, in 2002 the Minimal Change Housing Area was less than 55% of the City;

3. Not taken into account are laneways, as these are not recorded. But you try to use them for residential purposes and you will soon be fined. Glen Eira sells those frequently. The laneways are public use areas and should not be included in residential zone calculations. This further decreases the NRZ (Neighbourhood Residential Zone) area size;
4. By now, the minimal change areas is suggested to be 78% of the City as Virginia Park was excluded (Height_Controls_New_Zones_Guide_for_Community 2013). There were many other successful rezoning applications since 2002 e.g. Bentleigh, Caulfield. As well, unique sites multi dwelling developments in minimal change areas were substantial from 2006 to 2012 (~ 800 dwellings). Such sites are still shown as NRZ (see cnr Hudson St/Booran Rd 3 storey mansion). The area size of NRZ is further decreased;

5. The existing zone boundaries are not set in concrete. Developers can always ask for rezoning, particularly if several properties are combined to become unique sites within the current definition (e.g. recently sold Bentleigh, Glen Huntly sites) further decreasing the NRZ;

6. The City has 27 Local Activity Centres, all shown as part of NRZ. A number of such Centres have developed 3 storey buildings (e.g. Caulfield South, Bentleigh East) and should be classified as General residential Zone. This again further decreases the actual NRZ;

7. The City has also many sites with non-residential uses in residential areas. These public use and amenities like kindergartens, schools, hospitals, churches etc are needed in the City, but are not residences. They create traffic congestion and should not be counted towards NRZ protection;

8. The amazing assertion that “residentially zoned land comprises 95% of Glen Eira’s area” does not coincide with facts. The other 5% is assigned to 3% commercial zone and 2% industrial zone. No allowance is made for any of the white areas of the map (Amendment C110). The 54ha Caulfield Racecourse Reserve, all parks, Caulfield and Monash Hospitals do not have areas allocated to it or simply do not belong to Glen Eira City!


Let’s consider the implication of the new zones with a growing population and traffic.

9. “The housing diversity area is to meet majority of Glen Eira’s demand for housing i.e. population growth until 2021”. The predicted increase of population was from 126k in 2001 to 130k by 2021, a mere 3% in 20 years. The population has reached 137k by 2011, a whopping 8.9% increase from 2001. The population increase and housing needs has exceeded all forecasts at the time by a substantial amount. The population by 2021 is to be 150 k (forecast.id.com.au/glen-eira) nearly 20% increases from 2001;

10. Plan Melbourne, successor to Melbourne2030 expanded Melbourne growth to 7.7 million by 2050. As part of this Plan the population of Glen Eira by 2031 will be 163k, 20% more from 2011;
11. The neighbourhood character is changing substantially already, just ask your neighbours. Will your neighbourhood character, your suburb be protected with a further 26,000 population increase from 2011?;
12. The population increase means more cars on the roads, more parking spaces required on streets, in shopping strips and railway stations. Is your neighbourhood ready for it?

13. More population requires more kindergartens, schools, parks, sport grounds, and other amenities. Traffic will be increased within Glen Eira City and to other parts of Melbourne. The size of roads is not gong to change; only the traffic will increase. Will your suburb be protected from it?

14. Some population increases (http://forecast.id.com.au/glen-eira) are:
Caulfield North/East 29%; Elsternwick 17%; Carnegie 11.3%; Bentleigh East 9.8%; Caulfield 7.8%; Bentleigh 6.6%; Caulfield South 6.5%; St Kilda East 6.3%; Murrumbeena 5.9%. What it will actually be depends on developers and the non-targeted approach (liaise fair) by the Council. It seems residents have no influence;

15. Glen Eira Council knows and understands those issues (see Plan Melbourne Council Comments), but insists that 78% of the City is and will be protected!

Why bureaucrats make misleading presentations!


Save Our Suburbs, stir like hell and demand that State and Local politicians and Officers tell it how it is and ensure that the zoning system reflects the reality on the ground and can be understood by an ordinary citizen.