GE Transport


It has taken council no less than 4 weeks to fulfill its promise of answering ALL questions posed by residents at the 20th August Zoom meeting on planning.

What is concerning about the responses is:

  • The failure to answer some of the questions posed
  • The reliance on more and more motherhood statements that are meaningless
  • The unwillingness to engage directly (and honestly) with what the questions actually asked.

We’ve uploaded council’s version of the questions and their responses HERE.

Even more significant is the number of questions that remain unanswered. We list them below. We have edited out comments and only included what can be regarded as ‘questions’.

How many homes has the State govt required GE to provide over what period of time and how are we on track for that? At some point can we say ‘that’ it, we’ve built  our allocation and we can stop now’?

Can you define housing and how the current repeat building of shoe boxes is meeting the needs of older Australian’s or young families

Ron’s  photo with title”the right housing in the right place” is shops and apartments at corner of Glenhuntly Road corner of James St in Glen Huntly. But this development has a step at shop front doors and disabled access is only by pressing buzzer through apartment entry in side street. Does Glen Eira Planning Scheme now require universal access for all new shops and ground floor apartment ? Especially as Ron noted aging population wit likely greater accessibility needs.

How is planning going to fund adequate open space into activity centres, areas of need, increased population to ensure resident recreation, mental health and a decent Urban Forest policy as if 5.7% open space levy has not increased open space, 8.3% may well also be inadequate.

in regards to the Elsternwick Structure Plan, particularly as it relates to the Urban Renewal North Area. In Dec 2018 we were provided with a step-by-step process by the Mayor. Where are we at right now specifically in that  process that was presented?

How does bulldozing one heritage home after another present has proctection

In Feb 2018, Council endorsed max. of 5 stories in all Neighbourhood Centres as recommended by the Planning Officers.  To have made this recommendation Planning Officers must have undertaken statistical analysis that supported that decision.  Please advise when the Amendments supporting a request for interim height controls for 5 stories was submitted to the Minister

You mention diversity but there seems to be little diversity in  what’s being built that’s new… lots of tiny apartments.  What about townhouses, low cost housing, well equipped house sized apartments for downsizers …??

what is the status of the Caulfield North Activity Centre planning? has it been discussed with the community because the area is a real dogs breakfast at present

how do the conditions imposed on planning permit applications get enforced and followed through by Council?

When will ESD LPP be introduced and when will Council include zero net emissions from buildings  and transport by 2030 in the Planning Scheme? Is Council considering water sensitive design and biodiversity sensitive design? How will council prioiritise active transport and reduce car-dependence and car-parking provision?

how do the conditions imposed on planning permit applications get enforced and followed through by Council?

It sounds like the Planning team is under-resourced, having to put important work on hold while attending to other work – do you need more staff?

Sorry Matt but if the council isn’t listening to the community why spend money on so called “consultation”.

Caulfield South is a Neighbourhood Activity Centre, which, in the Glen Eira City Plan 2020, height limits of buildings in commercial zones are designated as 5 storeys.

 As we meet this evening there are 5 developer proposals heading to VCAT:  one of 9 storeys, one of 8 storeys and three buildings of 7 storeys in Caulfield South Neighbourhood Centre. Caulfield South is not a Major Activity Centre. Developments of this nature will seriously impact the neighbouring properties and destroy the concept of what is presently a neighbourhood centre.

Residents should not be expected to fight these battles on their own. As there are no structure plans in place for Caulfield South, and there are currently no mandatory height limits for Caulfield South Neighbourhood Centre, residents will struggle to win at VCAT.

Will Council commit to defending its City Plan by providing external legal representation to help residents oppose these developments when each of these proposals goes before VCAT?

CONCLUSION(S)

The questions that weren’t answered are important. Some seek information on status of policies and structure planning; others seek specific statistics that council should have at its fingertips. In terms of council’s needs is it really that difficult to provide a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a straight forward question of ‘do you need more planning staff’?

Given the sheer number of questions that didn’t receive an ‘answer’, it is impossible to accept the possibility that missing all of these was nothing more than an ‘oversight’. So why weren’t they answered? And why does council keep promising things that it has no intention of fulfilling?

This is a very, very brief report on last night’s council meeting. It represents in our view one of the most shameful performances in living memory. Inconsistencies in argument abounded, as did the continuation of council policy in NEVER, but NEVER answering residents’ questions that are deemed ‘embarrassing’ to council. And God forbid that any councillor actually has the balls to criticise or even question such responses or the substandard officer reports that are continually tabled in chamber.

The true highlight is Athanasopolous’ comment that councillors should not appear to be in the ‘pockets of residents’. Esakoff and her cohort were guilty of this very thing – but only when it suited. On the one hand they supported the 9 storey development in Selwyn Street in the face of massive opposition, and then when it came to the Glen Huntly Structure Plan, the argument suddenly changed to we ‘have to listen to our residents’.

Each and every one of these councillors has failed the community time and time again. It is definitely time for change.

Featured below is an interview with a Caulfield South resident on what is happening to this neighbourhood centre. As we have stated numerous times residents have never been given a clear unequivocal answer as to whether or not Caulfield South, Bentleigh East and now Caulfield North will have structure plans with mandatory heights, or merely Urban Design Frameworks that are nothing more than ‘guidelines’. More to the point, even if structure planning is undertaken, it will still take years and years for these plans to have any legal effect.  In the meantime these suburbs will, and are already, having high rise plonked alongside one and two storey dwellings.

Council is of course playing the blame game – ie it is all the government’s fault. Nothing could be further from the truth. Had council done what every other council has for the past decade, such as structure planning, design and development overlays, and decent strategic planning, we would not be in the mess we are now. Residents are the true victims of this councils inaction and pro development agenda for the past 15 years!!!!!

Please listen to this interview since it reveals fully the impact on residents.

At Tuesday’s meeting, council will consider an application for a 9 storey building opposite the Woolworths application for a 14 and 10 storey apartment/supermarket complex. The VCAT decision on the latter is imminent.

In regards to the current application the officer recommended a permit. Please note the following:

  • The application includes provision for a maximum of 600 people attending the building at the same time. Hours will be up to 10pm on most days
  • The parking shortfall is 231 and this is considered ‘acceptable’ given the availability of public transport. There will be NO ONSITE PARKING available.
  • The height of the proposed building is equivalent to what the Woolworth’s proposal is
  • Overshadowing and overlooking is ‘acceptable’ according to the report because this is an ‘activity centre’ and hence can’t have the same safeguards

The one sentence in this entire unbelievable report which is completely insulting and dismissive to residents and objectors reads:  Each of these matters (ie objections) have been considered in this report and there are no outstanding objector concerns to consider.

Our take on this report is that resident objections have NOT BEEN considered in any meaningful way. The entire report is designed to justify the unjustifiable. We do not deny the importance of a Jewish cultural precinct, nor the fact that both state and federal governments have provided millions to ensure this happens. What we do object to strongly is the failure to assess this application on pure planning matters and current council policies.

For starters the actual permit conditions concentrate almost exclusively on what most residents would regard as ‘minor’ compared to size, bulk, and traffic management issues. We get pages and pages about preserving the Kuldig stained glass windows and the bass relief. Pages and pages about ‘updated’ traffic and acoustic reports – but only after development has already been done! Of course there is the usual Construction Management conditions but hardly a word about setbacks, heights, etc. All of the latter remain ‘acceptable’ in this report.

Much is made of the current interim structure plan and the Design and Development Overlay No.10. Yet in this report basic features are easily pushed aside. For example: on street wall height the DDO requires 13 metres and upper level setbacks of 5 metres. The application is for A four storey, 17.39m high street wall is proposed along the Selwyn Street frontage. In determining that this is okay, we get this gem:

Whilst this is higher than that envisaged by the DDO, it is consistent with the recently approved street wall height of the Holocaust Centre immediately to the north at number 13-15 Selwyn Street. 

In the first place council granted the 13-15 Selwyn Street permit in June 2018. Amendment C157 was gazetted in 16th August 2018. That is two months after council granted the permit. Hence there was no DDO at the time of this decision. Also worthy of noting is that council’s structure plan had already been accepted with a three storey street wall height in February of 2018. Council’s incompetence at that time in ignoring its own structure plan and Quality Design Guidelines therefore paves the way for this application to get the nod and the pathetic argument is that because one building has a four storey street front it is okay for the entire street to look like this – ie. the podium is acceptable and will provide a consistent street wall character. 

We next come to the issue of overall height and again the variance with the current DDO –

The roof height complies with the DDO, whilst the architectural feature that serves to screen and integrate the plant equipment extends more than 4m above that the preferred height. It is important to recognise that the architectural feature is curved, so its encroachment is softened. It is considered that the curved design of this feature is an important design element as it not only serves to screen the plant equipment, but also adds visual interest and a more sculpture look to the tower 

Does this mean that anything that is of ‘visual interest’ or ‘curved’ can attain any height the developer wants – in spite of what planning law states?

One of the most questionable ‘conditions’ comes with the issue of overlooking. Instead of requiring the developer to alter his plans, council comes up with the following ‘solution’ –

To limit overlooking impacts from these areas, expanded metal mesh cladding is proposed to cover the entire windows of these areas. The cladding will only be 23 per cent visually permeable. This affords a higher degree of protection than if the Clause 55 overlooking standard was applied. 

So we get to the ludicrous situation that where ‘convenient’ for the developer, Clause 55 does come into play and is ‘improved’ upon – even though it carried no real weight given the proposed height.

The best part is the finding that a car parking waiver of 231 spots is just fine! Why? –

The proposal generates a requirement for 231 car parking spaces and 17 bicycle parking spaces based on the Scheme requirements. No car parking is provided as this is not achievable on this land due to both the shape and size of the lot, however 40 bicycle parking spaces are provided.  

And

It is recognized that there are no options for providing any on-site parking and this must be balanced with the broader benefit of the building. 

Really? So local residents are nothing more than ‘collateral damage’????!!!!!!! And since when are there ‘no options’. There are no ‘options’ only when it doesn’t suit council and the developer and the objective is to have a 9 storey building! 

Apart from this nonsense we also have to take the word of transport assessments that state:

Car parking surveys of the area demonstrate that throughout the day there are at least 100 spaces available with typical occupancy rates of approximately 20% at the busiest times which increases to approximately 50% outside of peak times. 

Even if this were true, it does not include the resultant traffic and parking issues created by the Woolworths development and the potential supermarket traffic and that of 173 apartments in the complex. More importantly, since this application wants attendances until 10pm at night then the argument about other developments wanting ‘long term car parking’ spots goes out the window. How many visitors attending a function until 10pm that starts at say 7pm will want to travel home by public transport – especially the elderly?

Basic questions have simply not been addressed or brushed under the carpet. The so called developer’s answer to traffic and parking includes a majority of ‘promote’ options with no empirical evidence provided that these have a chance in hell to be successful.

All in all, this is a deplorable officer’s report and should be condemned for what it really is – an excuse to give the developer everything he wants. This council is simply going from bad to worse in order to facilitate its pro development agenda!

With the advent of Trump a new industry has evolved – ‘fact check’. We believe that a similar process should apply to the regular diatribes of Hyams in particular.

Below we quote some of the comments he has put up on social media in response to one of our earlier posts on C184.

Our objective is simple:

  • We want residents to judge for themselves how much of what he writes is ‘tripe’; how much is ‘dishonest’ and how much is guilt by omission – ie only revealing partial ‘truths’.

 POINT NO.1As Glen Eira “Debates” also knows, when we put our proposed planning scheme amendment, based on the structure plan, to the Minister in January 2019, it sat in his office until nearly the end of the year, and then he came back to us and said there would need to be major changes for him to give us permission to exhibit.

COMMENT: The implication of the above is that council was left sitting in the wings awaiting Wynne’s permission to exhibit for over a year. Nothing could be further from the truth. Council knew as early as the 22nd January 2019 that there were problems with the submitted amendment. Furthermore, the proposed amendment DOES NOT go straight off to the Minister but to the Department.

Following this extensive ‘review’ by the Department (DEWLP), council received the following letter from DEWLP which showed up the glaring errors in the proposed amendment. It makes us wonder once again at the competence of the planning department. Did they understand Plan Melbourne? Did they know what the VPP actually stated? What was their ‘strategic justification’ for ‘special circumstances’ relating to mandatory heights? How hard did our planners try on this point? Until today, no ‘evidence’ has been produced that council fought tooth and nail.

POINT NO.2 – It is also tripe that that the NRZ areas will now revert to what was there in 2004, because in 2004, there were no mandatory height limits in those areas, as there is now – a height limit of two storeys. It is also tripe that the zones that came in in 2013 are “notorious”. The zones gave us mandatory height limits in all but the commercial zones where previously there had been none. They also restricted development in the NRZ to two dwellings on any block, until the current government removed that restriction and put in the minimum garden requirement instead, and allowed us to require greater permeabilty and less site coverage, and increased setbacks.

COMMENT : Whilst it is true that prior to 2013 there were no mandatory height limits anywhere in Glen Eira, it is quite disingenuous to claim that the secret introduction of the zones was not the spark that caused the destruction of many residential areas in the municipality. We remind readers that many residents awoke one morning to find that their streets could suddenly go from a 9 metre discretionary height limit to a 13.5m height limit.

Hyams’ claim that these mandatory heights were ‘in all but the commercial zones’ is another furphy. Any site zoned Mixed Use and these are classified in all planning schemes as ‘residential’, remained without any height limits. Another example of ‘dishonesty’ is the statement that in 2013 sites in NRZ were restricted to ‘two dwellings on any block’ and this only changed when the MInisier removed this last year.

The zones were introduced under Amendment C110 which clearly stated:


Hence any site that was larger than your ‘conventional’ size lot became a target for multi dwellings.

Hyams’ third misrepresentation of the truth in the above comment relates to his assertion that the zones introduced greater site coverage, setbacks and permeability in the areas zoned NRZ. Not so! In 2004 with amendment C25 council achieved variations to the ResCode requirements of 50% site coverage and a 4 metre rear setback. Permeability did increase to 25% in 2013. Thus council’s proposed new zone of NRZ2 reverts back to what we had PRIOR to 2004 in terms of site coverage.

POINT NO.3 – . Also worth noting is that the new NRZ2 areas are GRZ and RGZ under the current planning scheme, and so will be getting increased protection, another reason why labelling this as negative and retrograde is tripe.

COMMENT: As per usual Hyams fails to reveal the full picture. Reducing the heights for various streets does not erase what has already been developed in these streets. When these ‘reductions’ are compared to the number of sites that are suddenly allowed to have increased heights, we can see exactly how much ‘protection’ has been introduced via this amendment. All the areas in Green below or dark blue were zoned NRZ (ie 2 storeys). Green is now zoned for 3 storeys and the dark blue for 4 storeys!

CONCLUSION

We regard it as really tragic for the residents of Glen Eira that conducting a fact check on what comes out of the mouths of our elected representatives, or council officers is even necessary. Living in a democracy one should expect that organisations answer criticisms honestly,fully and are completely transparent with their constituents. Spin, obfuscation, and deflection onto individuals rather than the issue, is the enemy of good government. It belongs in the world of Trump and his tactics. Not in a municipality that likes to portray itself as listening and acting in accordance with its residents’ aspirations.

 

We’ve received this comment on the draft Amendment C184 and feel that it deserves to be highlighted –

Below is an email I have sent to the CEO of Glen Eira Council on this issue (rmckenzie@gleneira.vic.gov.au). I will post a response when received.
_______

Dear Ms McKenzie

I am writing about Planning Scheme Amendment C184 Glen Eira – Bentleigh Activity Centre (“Proposed Amendment”).

I am owner of XXXX Road, Bentleigh. If the Proposed Amendment is implemented, all of the properties that neighbour mine, which are currently one to two stories, will suddenly be eligible for the building of developments of up to 4 stories.

Many other residents of Bentleigh (and, of course, Carnegie) are facing the same situation.

I’m so surprised and disappointed that this is being proposed.

Over recent years I’ve witnessed the many documents and social media posts published by Glen Eira Council, in which the Council continually professes to be examining responsible and appropriate ways to improve the lives and amenities of residents. The Council’s website refers to you, personally, as a person who is passionate about creating “liveable communities” with people who have “pride of place” (https://www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/about-council/our-organisation/meet-our-chief-executive-officer).

Yet if you asked anyone in Bentleigh whether they think changes in the nature of the Proposed Amendment would achieve those stated aims, I would sincerely doubt anyone would believe so. Certainly not after witnessing the impacts of developments in a location such as Bent Street (Bentleigh) in recent years, such as the jamming of the street with cars (creating an effective ‘one way’ street situation), and the shadowing and loss of privacy at adjoining properties. I will leave out comments on the impact of the suburb’s “character” (despite my concerns about this), as I know this can be subjective. The other factors referenced are plainly more objectively measurable – and there can be no doubt seriously adverse impacts have occurred.

Of course, what those developments and the Proposed Amendments create is financial opportunities for the Council. No-one begrudges the Council the opportunity to chose its financial targets and boost its budgets, but to do so for its own sake at the expense of the residents the Council is supposed to support and service, is just so disappointing.

I note the Council has been separately consulting in recent periods about building a multi-story carpark off Centre Road – for purposes that include, amongst other things, freeing up some of the other carpark space for other purposes. If it is considered that this is necessary, why not use some of that space that would become available for multi-story residences? If the changes are about accommodating more people in the Council areas, utilising ‘empty space’ is surely a better option?

Perhaps most distressing of all, we have had numerous car accidents in the past 2 years at the corner of XXXX and XXX, with high volumes of traffic turning quickly into or from the busy roads – resulting in cars crashing through front fences and gardens. One can only imagine how this would exponentially increase as a result of the Proposed Amendments. Surely it can be recognised that this is a major health and safety issue? If mass developments are permitted in this area, and there are more accidents following traffic increases, will the Council accept some responsibility?

Ms McKenzie, I have young children who are learning about local government in their local Bentleigh school, and when I explain to them what is being proposed despite the impacts on residents and the risks, they can’t reconcile it with the messages they see on your website about developing “the best possible health, safety and lifestyle for the City” and having an emphasis on “community wellbeing” (https://www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/about-council/our-organisation/our-guiding-values).

In this context, can you please explain to me how, specifically (not in generalities), areas like mine were chosen for these proposed planning amendments? Do any Council members live in properties that are now proposed, under the Proposed Amendment, to be allowed to be surrounded by 4 store developments? Would you like this to be applicable to your property? Do you really believe there is no other solution to whatever issues this is proposed to solve – or is the message to residents of “sorry, you’re the unlucky ones – but think of the money!” really what is intended to be communicated to residents? Are the salaries of senior Council staff linked to financial metrics that effectively incentivise accommodating mass developments like this, directly or indirectly (such as by being tied to overall financial performance)?

I know this is a proposal only, and that ‘consultation’ is occurring. I will of course make a submission. But I did want to reach out to you directly as I feel these issues are exactly what a CEO who doubtless embodies the values of the organisation should be weighing in on. I would be very grateful for your personal response.

Finally, can I ask you to – just for a moment – imagine if you were in my position. Imagine how powerless and let down you would feel by the process (being one of apparent inevitability, given what has occurred in recent years despite residents’ objections) playing out around you. I love Bentleigh dearly, but the steps to removing so much of what it is that attracted people like me to the area appears to have been set in motion. I’ll fight it every step of the way, but I really hope that is not necessary and the Council lived up to its professed values. Is reclassifying large swathes of residential area for the development of enormous buildings towering over existing homes, shadowing them and boxing them in, all in the apparent primary name of dollars, consistent with those values? If so, how? Or is the main value that is being applied one of “Growth at all costs”?

I have no doubt you are a caring and logical person who has excelled in their profession. I note you are also a Board Director at Zoos Victoria – a wonderful organisation. I am quite sure in your role relating to the zoo the approach you advocate for is not ‘fit more and more enclosures into the existing space, so we can house more exhibits/animals for the people to pay to see!’.. Rather, I imagine the focus of an organisation like the zoo is largely to improve the existing amenities and look to accommodate development and new exhibits only where it does not unfairly compromise existing enclosures. I wonder at how to reconcile the apparent approaches in Glen Eira to those in this other organisation you are part of overseeing.

I’d be very grateful for your written reply, including responses to the questions posed, so I can share this with my neighbours – who are equally concerned, and in many cases quite elderly and thus feeling even more powerless and reliant on your living up to the Council’s professed values. Like me, they see this as a moment where we’ll truly get a chance to see your and the Council’s real values in action. We look forward to seeing the professed values upheld in this regard, and thank you in advance with this expectation. I also appreciate you taking the time to read this letter.

Kind regards,

Our apologies for this long post. It is however a very important one. Our objective is to inform the community why Amendment C184 represents another cave in by our councillors and why residents should object strongly to the continued erosion of their amenity.

The image presented below represents the zoning changes that Amendment C184 is seeking to introduce. In summary:

  • Areas marked as red are supposed to represent a REDUCTION in height of 2 storeys
  • Areas marked as yellow/orange are supposed to represent a REDUCTION in height of 1 storey
  • Areas marked as green are supposed to represent an INCREASE in height of 1 storey, and
  • Areas marked as blue are supposed to represent an INCREASE in height of 2 storeys.

The most important aspect of the above image is the number of INCREASED property zonings. If one were to calculate how many untouched properties had their heights reduced and how many of the green and blue labelled properties had their heights INCREASED, then the increase far outweighs the effective reductions. Even more important is the fact that what will now be zoned as GRZ5 has had the ‘mandatory’ garden requirements removed and that those properties zoned NRZ2 will have an increase in site coverage permitted and a decrease in the permeability requirements currently tagged as belonging to the Neighbourhood Residential Zone.

Whilst it sounds wonderful that Heritage is now reduced from 4 to 2 storeys, and that previously zoned 3 and 4 storeys will also be reduced, we maintain that the horse has well and truly bolted given council’s abject failure to introduce sensible and judicious zoning in 2013. Mavho and Loranne in particular are now gone and no amount of rezoning can remove the 3 and 4 storeys already in existence. The following image reveals exactly what has happened in these two streets whilst council sat on its backside and welcomed such development. Mitchell street, with its Heritage Overlay is also another victim of four storey developments.

Finally, we wish to illustrate our previous allegation that the zoning which was introduced secretly and by stealth in 2013 has been an absolute disaster and is now explicitly acknowledged as a failure. The architects of this zoning are still there – namely, Hyams, Magee, Delahunty and Esakoff. They are part of the problem – not its solution!

The following screen dump taken from one of Council’s exhibited documents makes it absolutely clear how illogical the 2013 zoning was/is. Heritage areas were zoned RGZ (4 storeys) and some were even under a Special Building Overlay. This was done in spite of the fact that the Planning Practice Notes stated clearly that Heritage Areas were to be excluded from Activity Centre borders. Yet the Libs and Guy rubber stamped the ineptitude of Akehurst and his complicit councillors. Residents have been paying the price ever since. And remember, Wynne had to order this council to undertake structure planning. It was not something that our woeful council wanted to do!

CLICK TO ENLARGE

So 5 years down the track we have another abomination to contend with. Gone are mandatory height limits for all areas as was the case in 2018. Not once, in any document produced by this council has there been clear and unassailable evidence that the municipality needs more and more growth to meet its projected housing ‘quota’. What we have been presented with is more scapegoating onto State Government. Opposition, public commentary and fight to oppose more and more development has been deafening by its absence. Conclusion? This council has always been and remains a pro development rather than a residents first council. It is definitely time for a change in October!

In what can only be described as the most retrograde and negative step this council has taken since the introduction of the notorious residential zones in 2013, we now have a further erosion of residential amenity. All thanks to the proposed C184 amendment. The main documents can be accessed via this link! https://www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/services/planning-and-building/planning-scheme-and-amendments/current-planning-scheme-amendments/c184glen

Whilst we still need to go through all the documents with a fine tooth comb, here are the main things we’ve noticed at this stage. Please note:

  • Properties zoned NRZ 2 (Neighbourhood Residential zone) will revert back to what was there in 2004. What this means is that instead of a requirement for a 50% site coverage this will now become the ResCode vision of 60%. Permeability will also go from 25% to 20%.
  • Here is the zoning map for Bentleigh. Please note the number of GRZ5 and NRZ2 dwellings to be rezoned. Also GRZ5, will no longer have to have the mandatory ‘garden requirement’ as recently introduced by Wynne. In other words, more room for development with less open space.
  • Carnegie will now have a RGZ4 where site coverage is 90% and permeability is 5%
  • Please also note that some of the above ‘thinking’ was never, ever made public. How typical of this council!!!!!!

CLICK TO ENLARGE

Council held its ‘information’ evening on the draft Glen Huntly structure plan this evening. There were over 40 residents plus only 2 councillors – Esakoff and Hyams. City Futures was represented by officers.

Sadly, the first 25 minutes was devoted to a powerpoint display pretending to explain the intricacies of the draft structure plan. Amazingly this officer did not once explain the most important aspect of the plan which was the fact that the proposed heights were currently designated as ‘discretionary’. The terms ‘discretionary’ and/or ‘mandatory’ did not pass her lips. Instead we got the usual platitudes, generalities and absolutely no justification for the suggested heights.

By the time this part of the meeting was completed, there was only about 25 minutes for resident questions and comments. Hardly enough we say! However, this did not stop tonight’s participants from presenting their views via their ongoing comments throughout the rest of the meeting which Zoom allows.

We feature these comments in full below. They certainly provide readers with a clear indication of what the community thinks of the draft structure plan. We have removed the names of the participants from the various questions/comments

Why Equinox sun, when the December Solstice is more important ???

06:57 PM

good question

From Glen Eira City Futures to Everyone:  06:57 PM

Verbatim question here everyone – I live 3 houses away from the proposed 6 story development on the Booran Reserve side of Booran road and Glen Huntly road. There seems to be a lack of transition from the existing tram route 3 story and 2 story side street height limit to what is proposed specifically in the opportunity site (West) corner Booran and GH street on the Booran Reserve side of the street. The proposed 6 story development will impact privacy and light to surrounding homes as well as parking, traffic, and the suburban character of the area as well as the general quality of life for residents. Why has the development been extended so far down GH road (to Emma and Heatherbrae) and not concentrated in the existing shopping and train district? Why is a 6 story development being considered- in a neighbourhood that has nothing higher than 2 stories. When was it decided that Glen Huntly was flagged as a high density major activity hub? My understanding was that is was not flagged as such- Caulfield and Els

06:58 PM

So is Ormand…. which has 6 lane road

06:58 PM

Is there going to be a heritage plan for Glen Huntly shopping strip, and wouldn’t it be better to have heritage protection in place before the structure plan

06:58 PM

Please explain your plans for car parking around the station. Thanks.

06:58 PM

Bentleigh is the other major activity centre which has shops spanning over 1km…

From Glen Eira City Futures to Everyone:  06:59 PM

Verbatim question here folks: Is the councils preference for the 3 railway lines to be lowered. If it is, will the pedestrian crossing at Macgowan / Wattle Avenues be retained.

06:59 PM

Will the bike path on Queens Ave be on the outside of the racecourse at ground level and if so how will the road / traffic be treated?

06:59 PM

yes please provide a further response

07:29 PM

totally agree with xxx  regarding Glenhuntly should not be a Major Activity Centre !

07:29 PM

Who is the proposed builder of these towers

07:29 PM

Great points xxx has made – still want to know where all the profits are going

07:29 PM

I think our area has been hijacked by developers,

07:29 PM

Yes xxxx- good on ya

GLen Huntly is much smaller and much more similar to Caulfield South and MicKinnon and Murrumbeena and Hughesdale which are all neighbourhood activity areas

06:59 PM

(statement) I think 10 stories is far to high

07:00 PM

Agreed

07:00 PM

Agreed

07:00 PM

Absolutely

From Glen Eira City Futures to Everyone:  07:00 PM

Verbatim question from Kate: Is the bike path / running track on Queens Ave inside or outside of the racecourse and how is it accessed from the trail bike path from Carnegie?

07:00 PM

AGreed

ie re 10 storeys being too high.

07:00 PM

No tall buildings should be built in a residential area – it’s certainly NOT consistent with the character and feel of the area

07:01 PM

Hi Glen Eira Council. Just wondering if any of the housing developments within the Glenhuntly redevelopment is planned for social housing?

07:01 PM

There is no development higher than 3 stories in the immediate area including the commercial site on the corner of Booran and GH road. A move to 6 stories bordering on residential houses is very high with no transition

07:01 PM

agreed re 10 storey limit being too high and need to clarify heritage streetscape first

07:01 PM

are the bulding adjacent to Glenhuntly station on royal ave demolished

07:01 PM

is there an option to reduce the 10 storey building to 4-6 storey

07:01 PM

what happens to Woolworths parking?

07:02 PM

Ormond rail station ended up being a real mess that stills hasn’t been resolve. We have to do better than this.

From Glen Eira City Futures to Everyone:  07:02 PM

Thanks for all these additional questions everyone – we will follow up on these and make sure we send answers around

07:02 PM

What planning is there re parking and traffic…none has been presented that I have seen…does any exist or is Council allowing massive over-development first and worrying about parking and traffic later?

From Glen Eira City Futures to Everyone:  07:02 PM

Verbatim question from xxxx I think it’s fair to say that locals in general are concerned about the significant changes proposed along Glen Huntly Road which will completely alter the character, feel and visual impact of the area – please advise what residents have to do to prevent these drastic and unwanted changes to the local area, and how councillors will assist in this process.

07:02 PM

Will the plan be looking at the potential impact of Covid-19 or (let’s hope not) future viruses.  Eg. if there is less usage of public transport

07:03 PM

Agreed

From Glen Eira City Futures to Everyone:  07:04 PM

Question from xxxx: Provide additional information on the potential to rezone residential areas from 3 storeys to higher mandatory height limits?

07:04 PM

For the high density development in the current Woolworths carpark you talked about shadows on Glen Huntly Rd, however you didn’t mention the shadows falling west onto Station Pl / Huntly St. Has this been considered if there is to be no setback against the railway line?

07:04 PM

xxxx  I wanted to discuss the opportunity site 4 bookend sites on huntly street and watson grove. Thanks

From Glen Eira City Futures to Everyone:  07:04 PM

High density housing (many blocks of units / apartments are being built around Glen Eira). Will this be the “new look” for Glen Huntly?

07:05 PM

I agree 10 storeys is too high for the woolworths area 😦

07:05 PM

Can we request a review of the Glen Huntly allocation as a Major Activity Centre? I think we see ourselves as a “neighbourhood activity centre”

07:05 PM

the council web site say that Glen Huntly is already 74.4% medium to high density,,why, wasn’t this stated in the plan, and how much is to much? 80%, 90% 100%?

07:05 PM

Growth can be accommodated without inappropriate high-rise.

07:05 PM

For the two carparks on Huntly St, wouldn’t open space fit better into the current feel of this part of the neighbourhood compared to 3 storey residential living? The surrounding streets all have low-medium density housing and a strong community feel

07:06 PM

Has this draft been voted on by council- if so has council approved this as it is. If that’s the case is this a done deal

07:06 PM

Well said xxx

07:06 PM

Can Council identify any level of support among local residents for 6-10 storey towers in what is already the densest population centre in Glen Eira?

From Glen Eira City Futures to Everyone:  07:06 PM

Question from xxx How the car parking on the two opportunity sites on Huntly street will be maintained if housing development is permitted on those sites

07:07 PM

Will all these questions be answered in an open forum?

07:07 PM

Looking map of interchange – what is proposed? Map shown crosses the railway tracks and opens the possibility of development (SkyTower?)occurring above the railway tracks.

Verbatim question from xxxx: Is there any community support whatsoever that Council can identify for allowing 6 + storey buildings turning large sections of the Glenhuntly Road shopping strip into a sunless canyon for much of the year, or for 10 storey apartment blocks in the area, or for residents one block from Glenhuntly Road to have 4-6 storey apartment blocks overshadowing and overlooking their houses and back yards?

City Plan cites max 5 storey max so why is anything higher than that even being mentioned in Glen Huntly

From Glen Eira City Futures to Everyone:  07:08 PM

Please provide details of Council’s intentions to re-zone residential  areas in Glenhuntly.

“Quite a lot of people opposed to increased building heights” – there’s your community feedback, Council!!!

I worry that residents voices won’t be heard

Is the idea of having all this development 10 storeys, 6 etc – is it to make money for the council? Who benefits financially from all this real estate developement?

What is the justification for 10 storey height behind Woolworths? What will it do to traffic flow? Light? setting a precedent for high rise? Insufficient green space in the area?  What are the plans to add green space in an area that has not nearly enough – despite wonderful Booran reserve that caters to kids primarily

car park next to woollies – who owns this land?

07:10 PM

For existing residential properties -what do you mean by a  housing assessment will take place- are there any plans to rezone current residential homes

The feedback here is that people are very concerned about the building heights. DOes this mean a new plan will be developed with residents input taken into consideration?>

Traffic movement in GH is already poor – how will the big increase be managed?

What does mixed housing mean- large buildings with mixed use is not enough detail.

From Glen Eira City Futures to Everyone:  07:11 PM

Question from xxxx:What’s the height restriction for the car park on the corner of Watson Grove and Huntly Street? How is the impact assessed?

07:11 PM

I’m Interested in the justification for 10 storeys, which seems excessive.

Did you do any community consultation when you changed it from a neighbourhood centre to a major activity centre? or decided for the residents that it would be okay to add 10 storey height limits?

07:12 PM

The corner of James street and GH road is already a mess, how can this under sized corner cope with all this proposed development.

1)           Why has the Activity Centre’s core shopping strip been extended from Booran Road to Heatherbrae and Emma Streets ? What forms of commercial activity will be permitted in this area adjoining residential housing ?

07:12 PM

Will Council compensate residents whose solar panels are shaded by potentially 6 storey towers shading their rooves?

From Glen Eira City Futures to Everyone:  07:12 PM

2)           Why have the sites at the Cnr of Booran and Glenhuntly Roads been proposed with a building height of 6 stories adjoining a low density housing area ? What forms of commercial activity would be permitted at this location ?

3) What is proposed for the rail siding area north of the current Glen Huntly Road car park adjoining Nerrium Road ?

Was anyone on this call part of the consultation process changing our suburb from a neighbourhood zoning to a major hub zoning

I was at the planning meeting

what is the plan for building adjacent to Glenhuntly train station on royal ave.

07:13 PM

Was there support for the rezoning

07:13 PM

I came away with the understanding that the character and feel of the area would be retained. I don’t believe this plan is consistent with that intention.

What are your specific plans for the area around U3A and the car park near Glenhuntly Woolworths?

This plan appears to be Half baked- lots of  development but no thought as to how local residents are affected

07:15 PM

One of the stated reasons for allowing denser high rise development is to provide accomodation for the projected Melbourne population growth. In view of the recent abrupt change in the Australia – China relationship and growing opposition to population growth as a driver of economic growth surely the projected population growth (one of the inputs to the plan) has to be reduced ? When this is considered along with the devastating impact of the pandemic in dense high rise dwelling surely the proposed revision upwards of some of the areas to four and even six levels is both unwise and inappropriate given there are additional other major reasons for not changing current height limits (including traffic congestion and parking) ?

I agree- all of us support a beautification process for the existing shops in GH that has been neglected over the years, the height of proposed buildings is causing concern

07:15 PM

I agree – I don’t think GLen Huntly should be considered a Major Activity Centre. This will enable changes that are not consistent with it’s current character.

07:16 PM

I agree with you xxxx

Q What were the considerations that determined the height and density of developments in the Glenhuntly Road and Booran Road precinct and what effect will this have in the surrounding streets?

Q: What were the considerations that determined the height and density of developments in the Glenhuntly Road and Booran Road precinct and what effect will this have in the surrounding streets?

I agree with you

07:17 PM

Could you talk about the $$$ profit all this development will make and where it is going?

07:17 PM

There is no transition from 3 to 6,or more stories

will u3a  survive in its existing site?

Are these building heights to be mandatory or discretionary….will 4 stories turn into 5 or 6 stories if developers make noises in this direction?

Why do you not create mandatory maximum height limits for some of these commercial developments to stop the loss of amenity, loss of light, overshadowing issues and detrimental effect on surrounding green areas?

07:18 PM

The answers is getting very repetitive, more development and more development .

Why do you not create mandatory maximum height limits for some of these commercial developments to stop the loss of amenity, loss of light, overshadowing issues and detrimental effect on surrounding green areas?

Balance that’s a joke, I see no balance here

07:20 PM

What sort of community and cultural services and venues will be incorporated?

The 2 car parks in Huntly Street were paid for “by the Glen Huntly Traders and Landowners back in 1980’s, with a fifteen year levy paid.” How can you replace these carparks with high rise dwellings?

Could Council provide justification and details of the amendment to the Glen Eira Planning Scheme that is needed to accommodate the draft Glen Huntly Structure Plan?

8 stories storeys  is too high for  for a neighbourhood centre   It will change the atmosphere of the area.   It is not carnegie or elsternwick    Please explain?

Hi Matt we don’t have an answer to the height- you can see the level of concern. Can the heights be changed or are they a given

07:22 PM

City Plan may be high level, but residents are angry about the persistent applications for mega storey developments.  Council should be listening to residents and applying significant pressure on the state government in regards to planning.  Acid test is:  would you want to live next door to a mutli-story apartment block.

Mandatory max heights would stop the VCAT merry go round that Council currently face, wasting huge amounts of residents money on legal fees.

It seems that the stricture plan allows rampant development with discretionary height limits but mandatory heights are in the too hard basket

If this structure plan is rammed down local residents throats now….what more will we have to fear from the “Housing assessment” alluded to by the speaker…when will this assessment be and will it allow 4-5 storey buildings next to 1-2 residential houses?

07:26 PM

I have pushed raise hand button to ask a question – can’t see if it’s up. Would like to ask a question

Yay xxx we need Council to represent US, not developers

07:29 PM

agrred

07:29 PM

If GH is a neighbourhood centre in the GE planning scheme, how can Plan Melbourne just override this?

Council have ticked the box for consultation but seem to be deaf to residents not wanting high rise extremes in their neighbourhoods. Not good enough,

07:30 PM

I wonder if any of the Council speakers would like a 6 storey monstrosity overlooking their back yards???

07:30 PM

Has council votes on this plan

07:30 PM

No, it’s still a draft

07:30 PM

By the time we get there it will be too late to object

07:31 PM

Yes

Given the way Caulfield Village grew and grew way past the initial proposed development, I fear that GH will go the same way

07:31 PM

If council addresses the height issues a large percentage of public concern would disappear

07:31 PM

the council is to represent the rate payers and it looks like the council has not listened to its people

07:32 PM

To keep in touch, contact https://savegleneira.com.au/

07:32 PM

Re Height limits and justifying them using the sun’s position. I’m asking why they’ve used the  Equinox sun ‘s position and not the Winter Solstice position which is lower in the sky?

good point Helen

07:32 PM

I think this draft plan is a mess and it should be started again with more sympathy for the existing built form

07:32 PM

it’s a draft ok

07:32 PM

count me in

07:32 PM

Is Council “consulting” with developers too?

07:33 PM

Development is great. It just needs to be appropriate.

07:33 PM

agree

07:33 PM

count me in too

07:33 PM

yes it looks like they are

07:33 PM

How much money is this proposed development making and where is the money going?

07:33 PM

Can we simply develop to Neighbourhood levels then?

07:34 PM

Scrap this plan , consult with residents, and start again please. If not, maybe we can elect councillors who are willing to do so.

07:35 PM

Why propose 6 to 10 storeys, knowing the minister will like this – can’t Council propose what the community wants, and take it from there?

07:35 PM

Is GH now a designated Major Activity Centre due to the cost of level crossing removals?

I am keen to further challenge our Major Activity Centre – can you please guide me?

disappointing meeting not enough time allocated for questions

07:36 PM

the level crossings were the numbers 3 and 4 in priority – why so long?

surely as a collective group you can challenge the Planning minister?

07:36 PM

This is a sham consultation.

thanks

07:37 PM

why are they still smiling about it all despite everyone’s concerns?

Maybe they know the final outcome and this is a charade?

Let Council know what you think of this by attending their zoom session tonight at 6.30pm. The link is: https://www.haveyoursaygleneira.com.au/GlenHuntly

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