Kensington Soviet Style 9 story housing developments

The Melbourne City Council has proposed changes to the Melbourne Planning scheme to allow for soviet style high density nine story developments in the City Council’s  Planning Amendment C190 Arden-Macaulay

Supported by the Greens Rohan Leppert and Cathy Oak the proposed development plans will transform the inner Melbourne Kensington suburb with minimal provisions for community open space or amenity.

Unlike soviet high rise developments the Melbourne planning scheme will allow for closer overshadowing developments creating a canyon of tall apartment buildings

To add to the folly of the City Council’s development plans the City of Melbourne rejected the proposal to consider an overlay that would allow the Council to collect contributions from developers who fail to provide the requisite car parking provisions, forgoing a potential $400 million in loss revenue to pay for infrastructure and open space not provided by developers.  Costs that will have to be born by future generations and ratepayers.

By forsaking the opportunity to impose a Parking Contributions overlay the City of Melbourne has removed from its arsenal significant financial incentives to encourage good design outcomes for Melbourne. A developer could be exempt from paying the Parking financial contribution if it could be demonstrated that the proposed development has an overwhelming community benefit.  Likewise it could apply the imposition of the Parking levy to discourage inappropriate poor outcome developments.

Instead of considering this option as part of the Planning Scheme Amendment C208 Development Contributions Plan (which covers the Arden- Macaulay, City North and Southbank precincts). Our Melbourne City Councillors sat dumbfounded and remained silent. These contributions can only be recouped at the development stage and if the mechanism and schedule is not in place then the Council and the community misses out.

Future generations will pay for the mistakes and oversights of our ideologically driven Green Councillors

Melbourne Planning Scheme

45.09 PARKING OVERLAY

45.09-6 Financial contribution requirement
A schedule to this overlay may allow a responsible authority to collect a financial
contribution in accordance with the schedule as a way of meeting the car parking
requirements that apply under this overlay or Clause 52.06.
A schedule must specify:
?
The area to which the provisions allowing the collection of financial contributions
applies.
?
The amount of the contribution that may be collected in lieu of each car parking space
that is not provided, including any indexation of that amount.
?
When any contribution must be paid.
?
The purposes for which the responsible authority must use the funds collected under the

schedule. Such purposes must be consistent with the objectives in section 4 of the Ac

 

Kensington Soviet Style 9 story housing developments

The Melbourne City Council has proposed changes to the Melbourne Planning scheme to allow for soviet style high density nine story developments in the City Council’s  Planning Amendment C190 Arden-Macaulay

Supported by the Greens Rohan Leppert and Cathy Oak the proposed development plans will transform the inner Melbourne Kensington suburb with minimal provisions for community open space or amenity.

Unlike soviet high rise developments the Melbourne planning scheme will allow for closer overshadowing developments creating a canyon of tall apartment buildings

To add to the folly of the City Council’s development plans the City of Melbourne rejected the proposal to consider an overlay that would allow the Council to collect contributions from developers who fail to provide the requisite car parking provisions, forgoing a potential $400 million in loss revenue to pay for infrastructure and open space not provided by developers.  Costs that will have to be born by future generations and ratepayers.

By forsaking the opportunity to impose a Parking Contributions overlay the City of Melbourne has removed from its arsenal significant financial incentives to encourage good design outcomes for Melbourne. A developer could be exempt from paying the Parking financial contribution if it could be demonstrated that the proposed development has an overwhelming community benefit.  Likewise it could apply the imposition of the Parking levy to discourage inappropriate poor outcome developments.

Instead of considering this option as part of the Planning Scheme Amendment C208 Development Contributions Plan (which covers the Arden- Macaulay, City North and Southbank precincts). Our Melbourne City Councillors sat dumbfounded and remained silent. These contributions can only be recouped at the development stage and if the mechanism and schedule is not in place then the Council and the community misses out.

Future generations will pay for the mistakes and oversights of our ideologically driven Green Councillors

Melbourne Planning Scheme

45.09 PARKING OVERLAY

45.09-6 Financial contribution requirement
A schedule to this overlay may allow a responsible authority to collect a financial
contribution in accordance with the schedule as a way of meeting the car parking
requirements that apply under this overlay or Clause 52.06.
A schedule must specify:
?
The area to which the provisions allowing the collection of financial contributions
applies.
?
The amount of the contribution that may be collected in lieu of each car parking space
that is not provided, including any indexation of that amount.
?
When any contribution must be paid.
?
The purposes for which the responsible authority must use the funds collected under the

schedule. Such purposes must be consistent with the objectives in section 4 of the Ac

 

Sept 11: City of Melbourne – Lack of sensitivity in Citizenship ceremony planning

The City of Melbourne has scheduled September 11 for the holding of a Citizenship Ceremony.

Citizenship  ceremonies, like birthdays and anniversaries, are a date to remember.  Those unfortunate new citizens  who are scheduled to become citizens at this ceremony will have to endure the rememberance of this date for the rest of their lives.  A date for money not celebration.
 

Stephen Mayne endorses new Commercial 1 planning zone Gaming Venues as of right use

Melbourne City Councillor and Deputy Chairman of the Planning portfolio has endorsed the proposed new planning regime and the “as of right use” “No permit required” Gaming venues and Taverns under the new Commercial 1 zones that will replace Business 1 zones

Under a current Business 1 zone Gaming venues and Taverns require a planing permit.  Under the new revised Commercial 1 zones Gaming venues and Taverns no longer require a planning permit

Stephen Mayne, who is known to campaign on concerns about the impact of gaming venues, has stood by complacently on his watch as Deputy Chairman of Planning and allowed the establishment of the new planning zones, which come into effect on July 1, 2013 to pass by without comment. 

The Lord Mayor Robert Doyle; Steven Mayne, Greens Councillors Rohan Leppert and Cathy Oak and ALP member and Chairman of the Community Welfare portfolio, Richard Foster, stood silent and remained complacent and negligent by not calling for written a detailed report on the new planning changes in particular the new  Commercial 1 zones and their effect in Melbourne.

The changes to the planning scheme means that applications for use of premises as a gaming venue or tavern within a commercial 1 zone will not require a planing permit. Neighbouring inner city residents will not have any appeal rights and Councils will not be able to object or refuse the proposed use, instead the Council would have to rely on heritage overlays and built form permits to protect residential amenity.

34.01 COMMERCIAL 1 ZONE

Shown on the planning scheme map as B1Z, B2Z, B5Z or C1Z.
Purpose
To implement the State Planning Policy Framework and the Local Planning Policy
Framework, including the Municipal Strategic Statement and local planning policies.
To create vibrant mixed use commercial centres for retail, office, business, entertainment and community uses.
To provide for residential uses at densities complementary
to the role and scale of the commercial centre.
34.01-1 Table of uses
Section 1 – Permit not required

  • Retail premises (other than Shop)
  • Shop (other than Adult sex bookshop)

The defination of retail premises includes:

  • Food and drink premises
  • Gambling premises
  • Landscape gardening supplies
  • Manufacturing sales
  • Market
  • Motor vehicle, boat, or caravan sales
  • Postal agency
  • Primary produce
  • sales
  • Shop
  • Trade supplies

The defination of Food and drink premises includes:

Convenience restaurant

Hotel
Restaurant
Take away food premises
Tavern

Previously Business 1 zone (To be phased out on July 1) listed under

34.01  BUSINESS 1 ZONE

34.01-1 Section 1 – Permit not required

Food and drink premises (other than Hotel, Restaurant and Tavern)

34.01-2 Section 2 – Permit required

Retail premises (other than Betting agency, Food and drink premises, Postal agency, Shop, and Trade supplies)

Tavern

Blind Faith: Council accepts verbal assurance that new planning regime will not adversely effect residential amenity

Chair of Governance and Deputy Chair of Planning, Stephen Mayne reneges on previous undertaking for the City of Melbourne to provide a comprehensive report on the impact of the State Government’s proposed new planning zones which comes into affect on July 1.

Under the proposed new planning regime all ‘Business zones” will be transferred into a new comprehensive ‘anything goes” “Commercial 1” zone which includes an “as of right use” (No planning permit required) for a tavern and gaming venue.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, Stephen Mayne and other Councillors accepted in blind faith a verbal undertaking given by the Director of Planning, Geoff Lawler, in closed session of council that existing “overlays” in Melbourne’s planning scheme would protect and prevent the establishment of taverns and gaming venues that adversely affect adjoining residential precincts. 

(Clause 22.12 of the City of Melbourne Planning Scheme outlines “Policy” in relation to Gaming venues  and Clause 22.22 which outlines “Policy” in relation to Licensed premises which both reference Business Zones which are being phased out on July 1)

Geoff Lawler in response to requests for a written report reassured the council and public gallery that “developments such as the one proposed for 157 Domain Rd South Yarra and the establishment of a restaurant/tavern last month would not proceed under the new Planning zone provisions”

Mr Lawler failed to outline exactly which overlays and in what way they would protect the residential amenity of South Yarra.

Clause 22.12 and 22.2 are policy guidelines that apply to the consideration of any new Planing permit application. Under the new Commercial 1 zone a planning permit is no longer required for a licensed Food and Beverage premises such as a Tavern, Gaming venue or Nightclub

If, as is feared, a new application is made after July 1 for a change of use and the developer seeks to exercise his new “As right of use” and reinstates a request for a tavern and it later shown that the advice given by Mr Lawler was false then we can expect calls for both Robert Doyle and Councillor Mayne, along with Geoff Lawler, having mislead the public to resign.

Prudence is the best policy not complacency

A verbal nod and a wink is not satisfactory and fails to instill confidence in the City Council administration of planning.

The onus still lies with the City Council and it’s administration to provide a written assessment outlining in detail which provisions of the Melbourne planning scheme Mr Lawler is relying on when giving his advice.

Any Councillor that is prepared to accept verbal advice should also put their job on line.

New Commercial 1 zone to replace Business 1, 2 zones

34.01 COMMERCIAL 1 ZONE

Shown on the planning scheme map as B1Z, B2Z, B5Z or C1Z.
Purpose
To implement the State Planning Policy Framework and the Local Planning Policy
Framework, including the Municipal Strategic Statement and local planning policies.
To create vibrant mixed use commercial centres for retail, office, business, entertainment and community uses.
To provide for residential uses at densities complementary
to the role and scale of the commercial centre.
34.01-1 Table of uses
Section 1 – Permit not required

  • Retail premises (other than Shop)
  • Shop (other than Adult sex bookshop)

The defination of retail premises includes:

  • Food and drink premises
  • Gambling premises
  • Landscape gardening supplies
  • Manufacturing sales
  • Market
  • Motor vehicle, boat, or caravan sales
  • Postal agency
  • Primary produce
  • sales
  • Shop
  • Trade supplies

The defination of Food and drink premises includes:

Convenience restaurant

Hotel
Restaurant
Take away food premises
Tavern

Previously Business 1 zone (To be phased out on July 1) listed under

34.01  BUSINESS 1 ZONE

34.01-1 Section 1 – Permit not required

Food and drink premises (other than Hotel, Restaurant and Tavern)

34.01-2 Section 2 – Permit required

Retail premises (other than Betting agency, Food and drink premises, Postal agency, Shop, and Trade supplies)

Tavern

The way things are going, Doyle may as well ban cars altogether. – Bruce Guthrie Sunday Age

Illustration: Matt Davidson.Illustration: Matt Davidson. 
Source The  Sunday Age – June 2 2013

Honestly, why doesn’t Robert Doyle erect barricades, put up signs and establish checkpoints around the city to reinforce the obvious? If you’re not on two legs, two wheels or public transport, Melbourne doesn’t want you any more. Our city no longer likes motorists or their cars and it would be better for everyone if the lord mayor just came out and said it.

He came close last year, when he wrote in the foreword to the Transport Plan for Melbourne: ”We are a walking and cycling city, and council provides infrastructure to improve the safety and convenience of cyclists and pedestrians.”

I’ll try to remember that when next I’m forced to drive into town because the weather’s foul or the train or tram systems fail me. Which is pretty often.

The latest salvo against drivers came last week when the council announced it would reduce northbound traffic lanes from two to one on the western side of Princes Bridge to make way for ”a wide green bicycle lane”. 
 

It’s supposed to be a three-month trial, with roadworks beginning in June, but I’ll bet the lord mayoral Lycra that we will never get that second lane back. (Yes, he wears it on his bike rides; sorry for that image.)
 
The council says the switch should improve safety by ”moving cyclists from the footpath, which is often crowded, onto their own larger, dedicated lane on the road”.
 
In a tortured attempt at minimising anger and frustration among motorists forced to queue even longer on St Kilda Road approaches, Doyle said it would affect only 22 cars. Strictly speaking, that’s probably true at any given time. But it will be happening over and over again, a fact the lord mayor did not acknowledge.
 
Neither did the council press release, which said disingenuously: ”There will be no significant impact to travel times and, while queues will be longer, the same number of vehicles will be able to pass through the [Flinders Street] intersection.” Really? I suspect it will take less time to crawl across the bridge on hands and knees than it will be to drive.
 
I have no argument with separating cyclists and pedestrians, but I’m not sure it should be at the expense of motorists. Besides, a two-wheeled Fast & Furious plays out every night on the footpaths immediately below Princes Bridge’s south side, and nothing is done about that.
 
Anyone who has walked along Yarra Promenade by Crown Casino or Southbank Promenade’s restaurant strip during the evening peak knows they are at risk from commuting cyclists. The speed limit for bicycles there is supposed to be 10km/h, but few take notice of it. A drugged-up Lance Armstrong would have trouble keeping up with some of them.
 
Indeed, when I was editing the Herald Sun five years ago, we hired a speed-gun expert to monitor bicycle traffic on the promenades and found that many cyclists were travelling at twice the speed limit and, in some cases, more. A recent walk there indicated nothing’s changed.
 
The council has done little or nothing to deal with that – maybe it’s because while they are happy to put limits on drivers, they are disinclined to upset the cycling lobby.
 
The RACV was quick to condemn the council’s Princes Bridge plan, calling it ”yet another solution on the cheap” that would do little to improve congestion or safety. Their roads and traffic manager, Dave Jones, said it proved the council had learnt nothing from the problems it created through ill-considered changes to La Trobe Street traffic flows. He might have also cited changes to Albert Street on the eastern fringe of the city, where similar ”Copenhagen-style” bicycle lanes – wedged between parked cars and the footpath – continue to delay and confound motorists and their passengers, who have to dodge cyclists when they alight from vehicles.
 
The pain for motorists does not end there: on-street parking fees are about to jump almost 40 per cent to $5.50 an hour, while rates in council car parks can be double that. (Our private car parks are already among the most expensive in the world.) All in the name of a glossy Transport Plan. Forgive my scepticism, but it sounds like nothing more than a grab for cash under the guise of greening the place. The council is not the first enterprise to do that.
 
This undeclared war on motorists can’t eliminate cars entirely, though. If that was truly the goal, the council would get rid of on-street parking and turn the space over to pedestrians and cyclists, without penalising moving traffic. But it needs the revenue from parking meters, not to mention fines: it expects to collect $40 million in infringements in the next financial year, aided by those insidious sensors the Doyle administration has been installing in spaces across the city. They mean you can be ticketed even though your meter might show minutes remaining.
 
It’s no wonder people are taking their business elsewhere. 
 
Bruce Guthrie is a former editor of The Age and The Sunday Age.