Council has finally released its draft Housing Strategy. The proposals will impact hundreds upon hundreds (if not thousands) of residents – without the necessary justification or evidence. Why do we think so?

  1. The various documents state over and over again that Glen Eira has the land CAPACITY to meet our projected housing needs of roughly 13,000 net new dwellings by 2036. If this is the case, then why do we need to rezone and facilitate more and more development?
  2. Much of the data provided is highly tenuous and conflicts with both Victoria in Future prognostications, as well as the Bureau of Statistics data.
  3. The assumption that building more and more will reduce prices is a fallacy and there is plenty of published evidence that would refute, or at least challenge this claim.
  4. Council has an Urban Forest Strategy, a declining tree canopy,  and a Climate Emergency policy, yet paradoxically is prepared to reduce setbacks, remove mandatory garden and parking requirements, and tellingly, instead of attempting to reduce the height island effect, council is prepared to reduce permeability so that more dwellings can occupy certain sites.
  5. Our conclusion is that this Housing Strategy is Amendment C184 in disguise – except that it will now extend to all of the municipality instead of only Bentleigh and Carnegie.

The important detail is presented below.

What the above implies about the potential zoning and schedule changes are:

  • Currently land zoned NRZ has a 50% site coverage, a 25% permeability requirement and a 4 metre rear setback. The above screen dump makes it clear that the new NRZ zone will in all probability become 60% site coverage, 20% permeability, and a removal of the 4 metre setback entirely.
  • The current GRZ zoning allows an 11 metre height maximum plus various setbacks for the upper second and third level of the buildings. There is also a mandatory garden requirement of 25% to 35% depending on the size of the property. Again, council is proposing to remove this so once again we can have more development on the site. Rear setbacks are also likely to go.

Council has provided the following map that is now the Framework Plan. Surely far more detail could have been provided such as clear differentiation of colours rather than what is shown as gradations of pink. Why not clear blues, greens, yellows that stand out? Or would this reveal too much to residents?

From this map it would appear that all Neighbourhood Centres zoned GRZ will have the mandatory garden requirement removed. Please consider the above map carefully and try to decipher whether you will be impacted by these changes.

There is much, much, more that could be said about this and council’s overall approach to consultation.  4 weeks is not enough to plough through 589 pages on the housing strategy itself. Consultation requires more than a ‘survey’ that in the past has not asked the right questions. Nor is it appropriate that council publishes a 1000 page agenda several days before vital decisions are to be made. How many more times will it be necessary to remind this council that the ombudsman recommended at least 5 working days for the publication of agendas?

We urge all residents to contact their councillors and to lobby hard for the rejection of this Housing Strategy!