Glen Eira Council has sat on its backside for the past 13 years and basically reneged on all its promises. Two years in and the impacts of the zones are obvious to everyone – especially those residents living in the ‘sacrificial’ suburbs where there is inadequate protection, no design guidelines, no preferred character statements, no structure planning, no parking precinct plans. And yet Council and its sycophantic coucillors will not do a thing to correct one iota of its countless errors and slipshod strategic planning.

We have pointed out time and time again how other councils are rushing through amendment after amendment in order to redress their zones and the mistakes they now identify. Glen Eira is waiting until high tide when every suburb is thrashed and it is too late to do anything!

Even Greater Dandenong, which was the second council to rush through its zones in November 2013, is starting to see the error of its ways. It is now advertising and seeking community input on a new amendment which will substantially change much of the zoning that was introduced in 2013.

Below we feature extracts taken from the officer’s report (minutes of June 25th 2015) and a screen dump of the suggested changes. Please take careful note of these changes and the additional research undertaken. In Glen Eira the Housing Strategy (circa 1998) belongs in the dustbin of history as does most of the current planning scheme for its inconsistencies, its irrelevance and its lack of detail and concerted effort to protect neighbourhoods. We’ve bolded certain sections for greater emphases and ask residents to compare these statements to what has come out of Glen Eira.

The new residential zones were applied with the understanding that the Residential Growth Zone (RGZ) near the major shopping centres of Dandenong, Springvale and Noble Park would be reviewed to achieve preferred design outcomes for particular areas, better manage growth and continue to balance the needs of the community and landowners.

However it was identified that further policy, planning controls and research work was required in the Residential Growth Zone / Substantial Change Area to clarify the preferred urban landscape in these areas. This will increase certainty for local residents and the development community and improve built form outcomes. Planning consultants, Planisphere, were engaged and commenced this work, including comprehensive community consultation through the Greater Dandenong Residential Planning Policy and Controls Project

In particular, the Project:

Examined the new residential zones and accompanying schedules and the opportunity they present to give clear direction to Council’s housing objectives; and Aimed to improve the quality and amenity of new housing development by strengthening the urban design policies in Council’s Residential Development and Neighbourhood Character Policy (Clause 22.09); and Where appropriate, recommended additional variations to the ResCode standards and building height controls.

The review of the current planning provisions found that not only are the areas designated for ‘substantial’ change expansive, but the purposes of the new residential zones imply a degree of change for that area exceeds the built form outcomes anticipated in the Municipal Strategic Statement and the Residential Development and Neighbourhood Character Policy. These findings led to the preparation of a refined Residential Framework, a revision of the Substantial Change Areas boundaries, improved design principles in the local policy, additional variations to the ResCode standards and the specification of building height controls for different residential areas.

Planning Scheme Amendment C182 proposes to:

Amend the existing Schedules to the Residential Zones and introduce a new Schedule 3 to the Residential Growth Zone;

The amendment seeks to rezone identified areas in Dandenong and Noble Park from Residential Growth Zone to General Residential Zone to reflect the revised Residential Framework and achieve a transition in built form while ensuring that the identified valued neighbourhood character and amenity of established residential areas is protected.

Direct notification of the proposed changes will be provided to all owners and occupiers of land within the current Residential Growth Zone and land proposed to be rezoned (approximately 9,000 letters). In addition to the minimum notifications prescribed by the Act, the above notifications will be accompanied by an explanatory brochure that will provide a summary of the proposed changes for the community

As this is a complex planning scheme amendment, a range of materials will be provided to help explain the proposed changes to the community:

Four Information Drop-In Sessions will be held in Dandenong, Noble Park and Springvale during the exhibition period to provide residents with an opportunity to talk directly with planning officers and ask questions about the proposed changes;

Notice on Council’s website will include an interactive map where residents will be able to check if their street is affected by the proposed changes