The following screen dumps and quotes all come from council’s consultant’s report – Glen Eira Transport Analysis & Forecasting. (Uploaded HERE).

The examples we’ve chosen whilst concentrating on Bentleigh apply to all centres and make it absolutely clear that:

  • Council intends to flog off public land for multi-storey parking lots
  • Traffic management/parking plans will see a reduction in the current regulations for both commercial and residential development in our activity centres (more on this below)
  • The agenda has always been, and remains more and more development and less and less car parking and decent development levies.

Currently the State Government ‘standards’ are clear (ie 1 car space for single bedroom, 2 car spaces for 3 and more bedrooms, plus rates for commercial enterprises depending on their nature and floor size). Council has the right to introduce what is known as parking overlays and thus change these requirements. Currently Glen Eira’s handful of parking overlays only concern student accommodation. We do not have any that control the commercial areas, or our activity centres. Council is now set to introduce such overlays.

We certainly have no objections to fostering greater ‘walkability’ or increased use of public transport. Our concerns relate to what is currently proposed and the spurious arguments that accompany these proposals. The central issues are:

  • Parking overlays that include MAXIMUM rates instead of the current MINIMUM rates. If a maximum rate is imposed that means that developments can supply anything up to the maximum – ie a lot less! By contrast a minimum rate sets out the standard that must be met!
  • Introducing a levy on developers for car parking waivers is fine in theory. It is not ‘fine’ however when the recommendation is a ‘reduced’ waiver so as not to deter development!

When for year after year residents have complained about the lack of adequate parking provision for residential and commercial with shop-top housing, then the intention to further reduce the meagre current demands is totally unacceptable.

We urge readers to carefully consider the following and what they could mean for Glen Eira!

Here are some quotes from this ‘discussion paper’. Again, please carefully note the implications and how some of these comments even contradict what is in council’s ‘Parking Analysis’ paper for Bentleigh, Carnegie & Elsternwick!

While this analysis suggests parking is sufficiently or perhaps slightly undersupplied in Bentleigh, consideration of some additional best practice benchmarks for parking supply is instructive, and highlights the extent to which parking may in fact be oversupplied in Bentleigh (page 18)

the Bentleigh activity centre has a significant oversupply of car parking, relative to best practice guidance on appropriate parking supply for centres well-served by public transport (page 19)

The expanse of parking to the north of Centre Road, however, has a much greater negative impact on the public realm, as shown in Figure 4-8. The space allocated to parking is disproportionate to the size of the public space available on Centre Road, and significantly reduces the potential residential catchment within a walkable distance to local retail, restaurants and public transport. Additionally, the large carpark dominated environs lack quality shaded footpath links, ‘eyes on the street’ and visual variation, further reducing the safety and appeal of active travel (page 25)

Cl. 52.06 rates are designed to provide parking supply that matches demand, essentially ensuring parking does not become a scarce resource. This however removes a potential signal to encourage people to alter parking behaviour and travel choices. The unintended consequence of this is that the extent of parking supplied in adherence to minimum parking rates significantly detracts from the vibrancy and quality of the public realm, and excessive space allocated to parking can crowd out the potential for greater active travel participation. (page 28)

As intensification and redevelopment of the activity centre occurs, there is likely to be some demand for car-free housing options. Planning policy that does not cater to this demand will impose unnecessary costs on housing provision and may encourage higher car ownership and usage (Page 29)

The substantial drop in population density with a 5-minute walkable catchment in comparison to a 10-minute catchment is also of concern, and suggests some additional main street shop top housing options would be welcome, as well as some infill development of existing surface car parking sites. (page 31)

Ahead of development of multi-story parking buildings or other replacement uses, Council should improve its understanding of the current use of existing parking facilities. Replacement of parking spaces on a like-for-like basis may not be required, depending on occupancy of current facilities and the future use of management tools such as pricing that may reduce parking demands. Benchmarking of parking supply at Bentleigh against best-practice guidelines (see Section 4.3.1) suggests parking supply may be significantly higher than levels that are appropriate in locations such as Bentleigh with high levels of public transport accessibility. Review of occupancy data further suggests that like-for-like replacement of parking spaces would be unnecessary and probably inappropriate (page 45)