Last night’s zoom meeting on the Housing Strategy feedback was a marked improvement on the previous council effort. This time participants could see who was present (49 individuals at one point) and the chat function was also available so questions could be posted to all. Unfortunately, the responses to questions remained vague, jargon ridden, and merely repeated the practised council rhetoric. As for councillor attendance, there was Magee, Esakoff, Zyngier and Zhang.

Below we feature one question in particular given that it is acknowledged as encompassing the most contentious issue – ie the proposed removal of the GRZ mandatory garden requirement. The response is provided in the uploaded audio. It’s worth pointing out that council stated the recording of the evening will only be used for ‘internal’ purposes!


How will removal of the minimum garden size result in better open space and tree canopy outcomes? Given that trees and landscaping was of most concern to your feedback responses, as new dwelling types do not guarantee improvement.



Torres does not answer the crucial question of how things might be improved. Instead we are again privy to the nonsense about the legislated function of the mandatory garden requirement. The current legislation provides for the following according to land size –

If we assume an average 500 square metre property, this would then require 125 square metres of ‘garden area’.

Torres notes the ‘exclusions’ from this requirement such as land under ‘eaves’. We would posit that most GRZ 3 storey developments do not have eaves – instead they are predominantly flat roofed – whether this be in GRZ or even in NRZ sites.

As for pergolas, barbecues, etc. yes they are excluded from the garden area requirement. But these must have a roof in order to be excluded, and many do not. Furthermore, the following cannot be included in the calculation – driveways, car parking spots, sheds that are more than 10 square metres in size. Whilst tennis courts and swimming pools are exempt from the garden area calculation, we very much doubt that any new dwellings in GRZ zoned areas will have the space to include swimming pools or tennis courts!

Thus, even if we add up the areas for roofed barbecues, eaves, pergolas, etc. there is no way that these would amount to even half of the required mandatory open space in the GRZ. Inevitably, the proposed removal of this requirement will mean LESS open space, less area for canopy trees, and other vegetation. The only objective is to provide the capacity to ensure more development!

Finally, it is beyond belief that we are in the process of creating a housing strategy without first of all reviewing the current residential zoning. These have been in place since 2013. Given the rate of development in Glen Eira and its ‘capacity’ council should be asking – do we need 13% of the municipality to be zoned GRZ? Do we need to revert back to the conditions PRE 2004 for NRZ areas? None of this has been done!

We’ve uploaded the full audio of the meeting plus the submitted questions –

These are the submitted questions –

My interpretation of the feedback presented in these slides is that residents are worried about the future liveability of Glen Eira. While more people will likely move into Glen Eira whether or not the housing zoning laws are changed, how does the current housing strategy aim to improve the liveability of Glen Eira? Or is it more a question of managing an inevitable reduction in liveability as the city grows to house more people than infrastructure was ever intended to?

How will removal of the minimum garden size result in better open space and tree canopy outcomes? Given that trees and landscaping was of most concern to your feedback responses, as new dwelling types do not guarantee improvement

A 4-storey above ground, with 2 floors below ground apartment building has been approved on the corner of Wanda and Hawthorn roads. This is clearly higher than the mooted 3 storey limit for this area. Can approval for  this development be reversed?

Is there capacity for the Housing Strategy to include specific actions to support the around 500 people experiencing homelessness in Glen Eira?

Thank you for your time tonight. I see some areas in Bentleigh near the station have both a heritage overlay and also a residential overlay and a design and development overlay. Which of these for example will take precedence?

Can planning notes be updated in a future amendment to the planning scheme clauses about respecting land with SBO’s in minimal change areas of GRZ zones where inappropriate development proposals are lodged with council?

I see no justication for some of the areas identified for more medium density housing. I specifically questioned the selection of Redan Road and have yet to hear a response. Has anyone looked at this area? It already contains mainly small houses on small blocks plus a couple of houses that should be heritage. Please explain

Council’s stated objective is more ‘diverse housing’ – especially in the proposed new NRZ2 zones. Given that council has no control over what developers desire to build, there is  potential for simply more dwellings of 1 or 2 bedrooms instead of the anticipated smaller townhouses? Please comment.

Thanks for the answer. Just another question: both the Draft Housing Strategy and the Social and Affordable Housing Strategy don’t mention the issue of housing insecurity. Is there any capacity for the Housing Strategy to address this issue, particularly for groups that are most vulnerable (such as single older women, LGBTIQA+ people, etc)?

What about drain along Rothschild street Glen Huntly???We have no drain , but council continue to release permits to developers, despite that council aware , that we have flooding . How leak of infrastructure  will address and how council going to act , taki g into consideration, that nothing done regarding absent drain on a street till now?

Sorry but this is no closer to an activity centre than many others not included – and it’s just not a good candidate!!

One of the slides showed a timeline for various structure plan reviews. I think Carnegie was among those listed. I did not notice any timing indicated for a Murrumbeena sturcture plan. Is there no plan in the medium term to consider Murrumbeena, that could result in a review of the Zone interfaces? Council is aware of the difficulty at the interface of GRZ & NRZ near the Murrumbeena Primary School which involved Council ntat two VCAT hearings concerning a proposed develepment.

And what role does VCAT have, when it overturns what residents and council want?