A comment has been received from a resident which we feel should be highlighted here as a separate post. The suggested questions are excellent and the recommendations sound and pragmatic.

We have commented numerous times on how many dwellings have already gone into Glen Eira in the past 5 years and how we are well ahead of projected population growth if this trend continues much longer. (See: https://gleneira.wordpress.com/2016/09/25/more-on-hyams/

We have also highlighted how the recent planning scheme review and its ‘workplan’ will take up to 20 years to complete if this council has its way. That is literally much too late to save the neighbourhood centres such as McKinnon, Bentleigh East, Ormond, Caulfield South, etc. We are already seeing 7 storeys in Hawthorn Road, Caulfield North.

Thus, instead of producing a meagre 2 structure plans in 4 years (and somehow Elsternwick has already been written off without any community consultation), action is required now. That means reorganising the budget, setting aside funding for outside consultants and beginning the work immediately. We also have to question why, when the Minister ordered council to move its butt way back in December 2015, the first structure plan isn’t already on the drawing boards and in the public domain for consultation.

We repeat again. These councillors have failed its residents and do not deserve to be re-elected.

Here is Mr. Ptok’s comment in full –

I was not able to attend, but am grateful for the information provided here, and the comments.

As someone involved in objecting to a number of developments in Carnegie (including appearing at VCAT at the recent 90-94 Mimosa Road application, which got approved today), I have penned a few questions I emailed the candidates in Rosstown Ward. Still waiting to hear back from some of them, but the following includes some key steps which, I believe, will help strengthen council’s position in VCAT hearings. Especially in light of today’s decision, I have concluded that the only hope of preserving anything of our neighbourhoods, is implementing the full Planning Scheme Review Work Plan in the coming term of council. This may require paying external consultants, but if it’s not done, looking at the speed of development in Carnegie, there won’t be much left of the old Carnegie come 2020.

Please feel free to circulate / ask your candidates, if you think any of the following can help strike a better balance between competing needs:

Dear [candidate],

I am a resident and voter in Carnegie.

I believe that whilst development is necessary, it needs to strike a balance between the needs of existing community, the developers, and future residents. Having been involved in a number of VCAT hearings, I believe there are things council can do to better manage the developments.

Could I ask which, if any, of the following actions you are willing to initiate and support, if elected to council:

1. Regular (at least quarterly) reporting on net dwelling approvals and dwelling type. This should include retrospective reporting, at least to 2013 when the new residential zones were adopted, ideally to 2003 when the municipality adopted policies to differentiate the municipality into housing diversity and minimal change areas.
This will allow comparison of dwelling approvals to population targets, and confident answering of the question: “is Glen Eira doing its fair share of meeting new housing required in Melbourne?”

2. Council’s VCAT watch report should include, where decisions went against council, a section on “actions council can take to avoid a similar outcome in future”.
This will give Councillors a clear idea of what would “strengthen” the Glen Eira planning scheme to ensure council decisions stand.

3. A review of the Planning Scheme Review Work Plan, including a presentation of council’s representative at VCAT. As the workplan currently spans more than a decade and relies heavily on internal resources to be completed, the concern from a resident point of view is that by the time the workplan is completed, the municipality will no longer be recognisable. As resident and ratepayer, I would be very happy if council used funds to pay external consultants so the work required can be completed in the next term of council.
A review of the work plan will give the newly elected Councillors an early opportunity to shape the management of development in Glen Eira.

4. Seek an amendment to the planning scheme to better manage change in neighbourhoods and where different planning zones meet. The amendment I am suggesting is that the maximum building height of any new development be the lower of:
– the height of the lowest adjoining property (including across the road) plus two stories, or
– the maximum height permitted under the zones.
This approach strikes a balance between the needs of neighbours (who would prefer a 1 storey increase) and developers (who would prefer going straight to the maximum), and allows for more managed change of neighbourhood character over time.

I am asking the same questions of all candidates in Rosstown Ward and look forward to your reply. If you require any further information on any of the points raise, I am of course happy to answer any questions.

Kind regards,

Greg Ptok