Category

Planning

City of Melbourne Act review and Council Elections

By | Local Government, Melbourne City Council, Planning, State Government, Uncategorized | No Comments
Readers will recall that when the State Government announced a review of the Local Government Act and City of Melbourne Act we lodged a submission in December last year requesting an urgent review of the law relating to the forthcoming City of Melbourne elections to be held in October this year.
The City of Melbourne has its own, unique, Act that governs the way that the COM operates. The Local Government Act covers other non-COM councils.
The MSYRG said we did not want a repeat of the 2012 elections when Mayor Doyle and his team received over $400,000 in donations from property developers and others with the resulting taint of undue influence and corruption.
The usual outcome of this large scale conflict of interest by Doyle ticket councillors is that a quorum at important planning meetings is not achieved because those on the ticket have had to remove themselves from participating in the matter they are conflicted upon. This has the effect that rather than the matter being deliberated by councillors, supported by submissions from members of the public at an open meeting, a relevant planning matter is dealt with administratively behind the scenes by officers of the City of Melbourne. Open discussion is effectively stymied and untoward outcomes ensue.
Ratepayers expect that Councillors will do their job and contribute in a fair and equitable manner to critical council meetings and not be struck out because they have accepted donations from entities that are seeking planning approval from the COM.
Despite further requests from us particularly following the reported offer by Councillor Ong to pay the Lord Mayor $200,000 to be part of his team at the coming elections, nothing has been heard from the Minister for Local Government.
We were eventually able to arrange a meeting with the Minister’s senior local government adviser where we again pressed for change, including to the law relating to donations, but it is now clear no change will be made in time for the 2016 Council elections.
Attached is our further submission relating to proposed changes to certain regulations relating to the coming elections and our letter to the adviser following our recent meeting.
We have also been attending Council meetings that allow questions from members of the public and have been pressing Lord Mayor Doyle to refuse donations from property developers and to to disclose all donations as they are  received. Doyle has refused to provide assurance that he will not accept developer donations and and his responses to this important matter upon direct questioning have been sadly inadequate with much ongoing deflection of central arguments relating to clear and transparent processes.
Our letter to the Minister for Local Government can be found here – Hutchins
Our submission to the State Government re changes to the Local Government act can be found here – SubmissionToStateGovt5-5-16

Residential Zoning Review v2

By | Planning, State Government | No Comments

The Andrews Victorian government has commenced a review of the residential zoning law introduced by the previous Liberal government.

The existing law introduced by Mathew Guy, and in particular the new Neighbourhood Residential Zone with its mandatory height limits, provides us for the first time a solid basis for preventing inappropriate development in our heritage areas.

It is essential that the certainty afforded in the Guy review is not lost or watered down by the new review.

Our Submission:

Residential Zoning Review

Submission on Melbourne Planning Scheme – Heritage Policy Review

By | Planning | No Comments
The review of the City of Melbourne heritage policy is about to enter the public phase that will in due course lead to an amendment of the current planning scheme.
The MSYRG committee has reviewed the draft policy and attached is our submission to Council.
We believe the draft is deficient in a number of ways and that the review does not go far enough to protect our remaining heritage areas.
Our submission discusses those deficiencies, sets out the additional work that is so essential and requests that this amendment to the planning scheme be postponed until this further work has been done.
Our submission to the City of Melbourne relating to the Heritage Policy review was lodged on 3rd March 2016 – Click on the link immediately below.

MSYRG Heritage Review

Draft Heritage Report Released

By | Heritage, Melbourne City Council, Planning | No Comments

The City of Melbourne has published it’s long awaited draft Heritage Policies Review which will voted on next Tuesday December 8, 2015.

http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/AboutCouncil/Meetings/Pages/8December2015,530pmviewdetailsanddocuments.aspx

Link to the Report.

 

 

Members are encouraged to review the documents and forward any comments to the executive. Member are also encourage to attend the meeting next Tuesday, Town Hall, Swanston Street

 

Purpose and background

1. The purpose of this report is to advise the Future Melbourne Committee of the outcomes of the Heritage Policies Review (HPR) and to seek the Committee’s endorsement to request the Minister for Planning’s authorisation to exhibit Melbourne Planning Scheme Amendment C258 Heritage Policies Review.
2. The HPR, together with the associated draft amendment C258, is  a 2015-16 Annual Plan initiative and addresses three actions in Council’s adopted Heritage Strategy 2013.
3. In July 2014, Council sought comments from the community on its discussion paper ‘Review of the Local Heritage Planning Policies in the Melbourne Planning Scheme.’ This work identified that the current heritage policies need updating, that statements of significance needed to be created for existing large
scale precincts and that the A to D grading system needs to be phased out.

Goodrest: VCAT Appeal

By | Planning | No Comments

The Melbournegoodrest01 South Yarra Residents Group Inc. has joined local residents in opposing the proposed development of the Goodrest site at 120 Toorak Road West, South Yarra

Residents  have submitted an application for an appeal which is listed to be heard on April 11, 2016 at 55 King Street Melbourne at 10:AM.  The matter is now set down for a 5 day hearing

Statement of Grounds for  Appeal

Goodrest_VCAT-Statement-of-Grounds for Appeal

 

 

 

 

Goodrest – Residents Ignored Again and Worse

By | Heritage, Melbourne City Council, Planning, Traffic | No Comments

After two years of deliberation the City of Melbourne (COM) decided on 1 September to ignore the residents extensive objections and submissions in relation to the planning application for this site. The objections were supported by reports of relevant experts. This was manifest by the COM issuing a notice of decision to grant a permit to Christ Church Grammar School to operate a primary school in the Victorian residence on the corner of Toorak Road West and Leopold Street.

The Councillors who approved the “Goodrest” planning application were;

LM_Robert_Doyle

Robert Doyle  (Lord Mayor)

Cr_Ken_Ong

Ken Ong (Chair)

Cr_Stephen_Mayne

Stephen Mayne (Deputy Chair)

DLM_Susan_Riley

Susan Riley (Deputy Lord Mayor)

Cr_Arron_Wood

Arron Wood (Team Doyle)

Cr_Kevin_Louey

Kevin Louey (Team Doyle)

Cr_Oke

Cathy Oake (Greens)

Cr_Leppert

Rohan Leppert (Greens)

 

Those who opposed the “Goodrest” planning application were:

Cr_Richard_Foster

Richard Foster

Cr_Beverley_Pinder_Mortimer

Beverley Pinder-Mortimer

Cr_Jackie_Watts

Jackie Watts

It was an extraordinary decision for a number of reasons and another meeting where once again, ratepayers and their interests were treated by several councilors in a discourteous manner at best and with disdain at worst. The meeting was conducted in a manner such that most presenters were not given the opportunity to respond to questions and at times facing some councilors who were talking amongst themselves and not concentrating on the presentation being made.

Firstly, the decision.

1. For two years council engineers and planners have been considering and rejecting the school’s application and the school has been making and amending its submission.

2. This rejection was chiefly because of the difficulty in dropping off and collecting 170 young children and the enormous impact that would have on traffic and parking in that already busy part of Toorak Road. The impact would particularly affect local residents in Leopold Street which is unidirectional towards the school and very narrow.

3. For two years local residents have been objecting and submitting expert traffic reports explaining these difficulties in clear terms.

4. Then, within the past few weeks, the school amended its application once again by removing two pedestrian gates in Leopold Street and, to our surprise, negotiating with VicRoads for the provision of five additional parking places on the SOUTH side of Toorak Road outside the Senior Citizens building – approximately 240 metres away. A substantial walk for young children (some pre-school age) and requires crossing an arterial road. There will be additional competition for those new spaces by the pre-existing kindergarten at that very location. It is difficult to fathom that this practically irrelevant provision tipped the Council engineers into support!

5. The removal of the gates does not change the fundamental, and in our view, unresolvable, traffic and parking problems and neither do the additional parking spaces that are unlikely to be used because of the danger of getting young children across the busy road.

6. Nevertheless, for reasons that are in our view unsustainable and unexplainable these two additional and irrelevant changes were enough to persuade those engineers and officers to completely change the view held for the previous two years and recommend approval of the application notwithstanding that in their evidence they were far from confident about the outcome

7. As the officer’s report made it plain that it was these two changes that overcame two years of opposition, an understanding of this and the history would lead any responsible body to the inevitable conclusion that these changes were irrelevant, that the recommendation should not be accepted and that the application should be rejected on the basis that the use of the property for this purpose was unworkable in this residential area.

8. It was the responsibility of councilors to protect residents and reject this application “unless there is a net benefit to local residents and the local community”. It has been plain from the very outset that this activity will cause nothing but difficulties for local residents and that the only member of the local community to benefit will be the school. The application should clearly have been rejected and once again the City of Melbourne has failed in its obligation to residents.

Secondly, the ratepayers.

Over 50 residents attended the council meeting, all except 2 of whom where objectors. Fourteen objectors made verbal submissions. As has been the case on previous occasions, several councillors paid little attention to residents making their submissions and generally gave every indication that what residents were saying was of little relevance or interest to them.

There is an expectation from ratepayers and those presenting at such a meeting that councillors will remained focused and attentive to the task at hand and that chatter between councilors, moving about the room and interacting with portable communications devices is prejudicial to the satisfactory performance of that duty. .

When the offending councillors did have the opportunity to speak to the meeting, it was not to deal with the critical traffic and parking issues but to raise irrelevant issues or make a disparaging remark or implied threat about losing resident parking rights if their opposition went any further. Local residents were justifiably concerned about the issue, had given the matter substantial thought and responded carefully. Regrettably however, several councillors treated them disgracefully.

Residents left the meeting unhappy and angry not just about the decision but about the dismissive and discourteous way they and their views were treated. While the Mayor regularly warns those in the audience about treating speakers courteously, the same rule seems not to apply to councillors.

 

Council Turnaround Approves Development Ignoring Residents Concerns

By | Heritage, Melbourne City Council, Planning, Traffic | No Comments

The City of Melbourne turnaround has ignored residents concerns and in the process Crs Ken Ong and Stephen Mayne threatened to withdraw residential parking permits.

Opposed to Residents Concerns

LM_Robert_Doyle

Robert Doyle

Cr_Ken_Ong

Ken Ong

Cr_Stephen_Mayne

Stephen Mayne

DLM_Susan_Riley

Susan Riley

Cr_Arron_Wood

Arron Wood

Cr_Kevin_Louey

Kevin Louey

Cr_Oke

Cathy Oake

Cr_Leppert

Rohan Leppert

 

Support for Residents

Cr_Richard_Foster

Richard Foster

Cr_Beverley_Pinder_Mortimer

Beverley Pinder-Mortimer

Cr_Jackie_Watts

Jackie Watts

​​

For the last two years the City Council engineers and planners have opposed the establishment of an early-learning centre, on the Corner of Toorak Road West and Leopold Street South Yarra,  supporting residents concerns in relation to traffic management, parking and heritage.

Last nights decision to support the development has come as a surprise given that very little has changed to address the problems foreseen with the proposed development with no net gain to the amenity of the area.

Goodrest is one of South Yarra’s most prized heritage assets, located within a residential neighbourhood zone the proposed construction of a 26 underground car-park with car entrance off Toorak road, demolition of residential apartments at the rear and the construction of a new Commercial building in its place.

Only Two Councillors (Cr Beverly Pinder-Mortimer and Cr Kevin Louey) met with residents on site.  Both indicated at the time they would be opposed to the granting of a planning permit. Cr Louey later voted to approve the development whilst Cr Pinder-Mortimer maintained her position and concerns over safety.

Cr Richard Foster spoke passionately in opposition to the granting of a permit and Cr Jackie Watts who did not attend the meeting on September 1 has also privately indicated that she was opposed to the development.

Listen to / download audio of the September 1 meeting:

Future Melbourne Committee meeting 1 September 2015 (MP3 50MB)

Speaker Time Issue
Michael Butcher 01:04:50 MSYRG
Paul McSweeny 01:08:50 Traffic
James Mathews 01:15:05 Planning Issues
Edward Hogdson 01:18:25 Taffic Analysis
Phillip Lawson 01:21:50 Traffic Amenity
Neil Gunn 01:25:40 Scotch College Judgement/Current Christ Church
Elizabeth Fox 01:29:00 Amenity. Noise Impact
Pauline Hirst 01:32:45 Local Amenity
Dr Leanna Deuval 01:35:45 Traffic Impact
Ken Whiddowson 01:38:08 Heritage
Jennifer McDonnald 01:42:25 Heritage
Judith-Ann Scott 01:46:12 Safety/Heritage
Stuart Black 01:49:35 Local Amenity/Restricted Access Proposal
Anthony van der Craats 01:53:25 Summary/Heritage
Ken Ong (Chair) 01:57:01 Removal of Street Parking
Stephen Mayne 02:04:25 Residential On-Street Parking – Empty
Robert Doyle 02:08:15 No reason to oppose Application
Arron Wood 02:13:10 Compfortable with traffc Management
Beverly Pinder 02:14:15 Opposed to development, Safety
Rohan Leppart 02:15:30 Support of Application/Net Benefit to Amenity/Additional information (Not published)
Richard Foster 02:19:30 Against recomendation/Support for residents’ concerns
Ken Ong (Chair) 02:21:50 Motion put to the vote
For: Robert Doyle, Susan Riley, Arron Wood, Stephen Mayne, Ken Ong, Kevin Louey, Cathy Oake, Rohan Leppert
Against: Beveley Pinder, Richard Foster
Absent: Jackie Watts