It’s bad enough when council releases documents that misrepresent community views or only tell half the story. But it is even worse when council allows straight out porkies to form part of their strategic planning in the hope, we surmise, that these lapses won’t be discovered.

One of the latest documents is the Bentleigh Background Report with the wonderful subheading of Building Transition Plan. On page 9 of this ‘report’ we find the following:

We are told (twice) in the above that council’s proposed changes are to limit current streets zoned for 4 storeys  and change this into 2 and 3 storey townhouses. Nothing could be further from the truth. The areas earmarked for change along Vickery, Godfrey, Oak, Blair, Bent & Nicholson are NOT ZONED FOR 4 STOREYS. All the proposed changes are currently in the neighbourhood residential zone (ie 2 storeys) and with a huge flood listing (SBO). That means the buildings can be even higher!

Here is what is proposed. All sites filled in with yellow are currently zoned NRZ and will now be rezoned to GRZ.

The overall rezoning from these few streets alone plunges another 40 or so properties into the General Residential Zones. No strategic justification is supplied – except the admission that the current zones themselves have been a disaster – and nonsense such as this – ….the plan seeks to introduce a greater spread of housing type, with a particular focus on medium density terrace housing within the suburban streets. This housing type is a good transitional building form linking the lower scale residential areas with the core of the activity centre. So council’s ‘solution’ is to allow more three storeys in ‘suburban streets’ instead of ensuring that those areas zoned for 4 storeys are either dramatically reduced or include provisions in the associated schedules that safeguard amenity.

Nothing but nothing can excuse a council that repeatedly disseminates information that is inaccurate and deliberately misleading.