Residents need to take careful note of what happens tomorrow night, especially what councillors say and how they vote on the so called Planning Scheme Review. If this is passed as it stands, then it is a clear message that councillors are not the community’s real representatives. They have to be gone in October!

The euphemistically entitled Planning Scheme Review, is anything but a professional and comprehensive review. It continues the tradition of pro-development, anti-community, and the ‘ let’s do nothing’ mentality that has so bedevilled this council since its inception.

Here are our reasons why this document is not worth the paper it is written on:

  • Does not meet the legal requirements associated with planning scheme reviews (ie the relevant Practice Notes and the ‘continuous improvement kit’.
  • Does not present full and comprehensive figures (ie very selective editing)
  • A work plan that is literally ludicrous and designed to only delay and then delay some more
  • The absence of any data in this review which assesses the actual performance of the planning scheme.

Questions that should be answered of councillors:

  1. Why is it that practically everything is lumped together under the umbrella of a ‘structure plan’? Plenty of actions can be taken without the need for a structure plan! Parking overlays can achieve the same result. Council had no trouble with Amendment C99 that introduced another student parking overlay to assist the Caulfield Village! No structure plan was needed here!
  2. Why is it that the issue of basement car parking is lumped under the ridiculous category of Water Sensitive Urban Design? Again, a simple amendment to increase basement car park site coverage can be done immediately via a change to the schedules – ie. Stonnington for both its Residential Growth Zones and General Residential Zones has this Basements should not exceed 75% of the site area.
  3. Why is it that the zones themselves do not rate a mention when this has been the constant cry from residents? Why is nearly half of Ormond zoned as GRZ1 – telling developers they can put in 3 storeys to their hearts’ content? Why aren’t the zones themselves a priority for ‘review’ – especially since Glen Eira has quadrupled its population and housing targets? This of course is not mentioned anywhere!
  4. Why does the section on Local Policy simply state ‘develop new policies where gaps are identified’ and the time span is given as 2 to 3 years? Any decent ‘review’ should already have identified all the gaps!
  5. Why is there no mention of Mixed Use Zoning, or Local Centres, where there are no height limits? Will council only look at Activity Centres and nothing else? Why isn’t this spelt out fully?

There is plenty more that could be said about this effort. We will desist and simply urge all concerned residents to write to the Minister and local politicians and demand that this Planning Scheme review be consigned to the rubbish bin and that Minister Wynne intervene directly and bring in interim measures. If council is incapable or unwilling to do its job properly, then the State Government needs to know and to act now. Glen Eira simply cannot afford another 3 to 4 years of doing nothing!