Small McKinnon street sandwiched by large developments

Sam Bidey, Moorabbin Glen Eira Leader

October 18, 2016 12:00am

PEOPLE living in a small McKinnon street feel they are being overrun by major developments which are changing their neighbourhood character.

Foster St runs parallel to Claire St, where a three-storey 33 apartment block is set to be built, and adjacent to Adelaide St, where a 34 unit, three-storey dwelling has just been approved by Glen Eira City Council.

All but two of the original homes on Claire St have been snapped up by developers who have taken advantage of the new zones which allow a three-storey height limit.

Steve Toth, who has lived in Foster St for 21 years, fought against both the builds that will leave him and his neighbours sandwiched between two major developments.

Mr Toth said he was more understanding about the need for developments than most of his neighbours, but was put off by the size and style of the builds.

“I accept that we are a developing suburb but there has to set backs and it doesn’t have to look so industrial,” Mr Toth said.

“The side facing me (of the Adelaide St development) which is the one I can comment on — looks like the back end of a power station and that’s something we don’t like.”

Mr Toth said the “butt ugly” building proposed from Adelaide St took away from the character of the neighbourhood.

“If you have a look at Adelaide St now you have five of the most unique, nice houses with each one creative and each one different.

“That’s what I find very disappointing — there are five beautiful houses and now we’ll get Lego land in their place.”

Councillors Jamie Hyams and Jim Magee opposed the Adelaide St development at last week’s council meeting.

Cr Hyams said the proposal was “out of touch” with the character of the opposite side of the road and surrounding streets.

He suggested it would be more appropriate if the townhouses were two stories nearest the street with a setback to a third story at the rear of the block.

Mr Magee said the main issue was VCAT would always allow these developments unless the State Government introduced legislation to make them apply the Glen Eira Planning Scheme to their decisions.



We have had a gut full of the hypocrisy, contradictions, and straight out mistruths that this council and in particular Hyams and Magee keep inflicting on residents via their statements. This is an election period and current councillors are definitely panicking – most noticeably in Tucker Ward. The blame VCAT game continues, as does the promulgation of half truths and deceptions.

Shortly after the zones were introduced, Magee on one application in Centre Road Bentleigh, voted for a permit whilst saying – MAGEE: He will support the application because ‘you can support it without liking it’ and ‘developer does have the right’ to go for ‘the maximum’ and ‘the planning scheme allows that’. So that’s the policy and he will ‘support it’.

VCAT has not set the ‘maximum’ – it is council and its zoning of properties in the GRZ or RGZ. Developers go for broke because of the zoning and because VCAT must resort to what the planning scheme says!

As for Hyams, we repeat his statements from before the introduction of the zones and after their introduction. Contradiction and opportunism certainly don’t appear to worry this councillor who, we remind readers, played an integral part in the introduction of the zones in the first place!

Prior to the secret and devious introduction of the new zones, which is repeatedly heralded as Glen Eira’s crowning achievement strictly because of its height limits, Hyams proclaimed the following (dates are from our postings)

HYAMS: Said that a problem was that if you set height limits then ‘people will build up to that height and you can’t stop them’ but if you don’t have height limits and let each application be ‘judged on its merits’ then you could get ‘better outcomes’. (from our post of 6/2/2013 – ie on application for Glen Huntly Road – 6 storeys and 45 dwellings which got a permit from council.)

Then post zones we get this diametrically opposed statement –

Hyams – ‘The new zones are limiting development’ because of the height limits and that ‘anyone who tells you otherwise doesn’t know what they are talking about’ or ‘is deliberately seeking to mislead you’.(25/9/2014)