Below is an overview of Glen Eira facts that has been compiled by residents.  It makes for interesting reading. 

This document will be updated as and when necessary 

DEVELOPMENT

 

  • Victoria in Future 2019 includes projections of a required 18,000 net new dwellings from 2016 to 2036. That is an average of 900 new dwellings per annum. Glen Eira during the period from July 2016 to the present is experiencing 1400+ new subdivisions per annum, thus exceeding the required development ‘quota’.
  • Glen Eira is the 5th densest population in the state behind Melbourne, Yarra, Stonnington and Port Phillip. These other municipalities have up to 3 times the commercial zoning that Glen Eira has and that’s where their development is going. In Glen Eira it is largely going into our residential streets.
  • Amendment C11 (2002) and C25(2004) established the Urban Villages and ‘minimal change’ and ‘housing diversity’ policies. The Planning Panel at the time recommended that council immediately begin work on structure plans for all centres. 16 years later we still do not have height controls for the Commercial and Mixed Use areas in our neighbourhood centres.
  • Community consultation on the various structure plans revealed that the majority of residents were strongly opposed to heights above 4 storeys. This has been totally ignored. Carnegie went from discretionary 6 and 7 storeys in 2017 to 12 storeys mandatory in 2018. In 2020 council revealed that many mandatory controls for Bentleigh and Carnegie would be changed to discretionary via Amendment C184. In this amendment, 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%. In Bentleigh, swathes of GRZ5 and NRZ2 dwellings are 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%. Also note that some of the above ‘thinking’ was never, ever made public.
  • The introduction of the residential zones in 2013 was done in secret and without any community consultation. Council has repeatedly used Section 20(4) of the Planning & Environment Act which allows them to go directly to the Minister for his approval of the amendment and thus bypassing the community.
  • The failure of the 2013 residential zones is now admitted by council in their rezonings of heritage in Bentleigh and Carnegie from RGZ (4 storeys) to NRZ (2 storeys). Sadly, other areas that were 2 storeys have now been altered via the interim structure plans to allow 2 and/or 4 storeys.

OPEN SPACE/SUSTAINABILITY

  • Glen Eira has the least amount of public open space per capita in the State.
  • In the past 10 and a half years council has collected $52M in developer levies and only spent $8M on the purchase of new open space (ie 5 properties). The amount of open space is decreasing and not growing. Council refuses to commit to any recognised international and national ‘standards’ insisting on ‘quality’ of open space!
  • The 2020 Open space strategy recommends a levy rate of 8.3% whereas other councils are opting for 10%
  • Council does not have a tree register or any controls incorporated into its planning scheme. Glen Eira’s tree canopy has reduced from 20% to 12.5% in 2018. Our tree canopy needs to increase significantly to meet expected levels.
  • Council has not amended any of its schedules to the zones to ensure that residential amenity is protected ie other councils have permeability requirements of up to 40% in its General Residential Zones. Glen Eira has 20% and is now thinking of introducing a 5% requirements for its Residential Growth Zone 3 in Carnegie.
  • No Water Sensitive Urban Design, or an Environmental Sustainable Policy exists in the planning scheme. At least 28 other councils have succeeded in incorporating such measures into their planning schemes.

COMMUNITY CONSULTATION/GOVERNANCE

  • Community consultation is historically nothing more than lip service in Glen Eira. It meets the legislated requirements but that is all. For example, council admits that not one single suggestion that residents have made regarding the budget documents have been accepted.
  • Consultation is designed to produce ‘evidence’ to support the decisions already made. This is evident in the questions that are asked on the various surveys ie. for structure planning residents were asked ‘what do you love about your shopping strip?’!
  • Over the years, transparency and accountability have been further eroded via changes to public question format; lack of a notice of motion; failure to publish business cases, feasibility studies or cost benefit analyses for major infrastructure projects.

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Council elections will be held in October, 2020.

Glen Eira needs Councillors who hold transparency and accountability as part of their responsibility to residents. Councillors who are prepared to openly question and challenge the Administration and its officers and ensure that residents’ views are factored into Council’s decisions.   (Under the Local Government Act Councillors are responsible for setting the “rules” and monitoring the compliance of all Council officers with those “rules”).

 If you are considering standing, please feel free to contact us to further discuss any of the above issues or any area of special interest to you.