Why residents should be concerned

  • Council structure planning background documentation includes an expansion of activity centres from that of the 2013 zone implementation.
  • This proposed expansion will flip the 2003 & 2013 claims of designating 20% of the municipality as medium to high density development (3-4 stories) areas while preserving 80% for low density development (1-2 stories).  It will now be 80% medium to high density and 20% low density.

Council has yet to justify this proposed expansion.  

 

What is an Activity Centres?

A designated suburban centre, close o existing infrastructure, including transport and services, which has been earmarked in strategic planning documents for further development at higher densities than the surrounding region.  As well as residential growth, commercial growth is also expected to docue on activity centres.

 

Source: City of Glen Eira – 2017 Analysis of Housing consumption and opportunities

Structure Planning was ordered by the Minister December,2015.  It is now August, 2019 and commencement/completion dates for the staged implementation of Structure Planning (SP) for all of Glen Eira’s activity centres  has stalled.

  • Stage 1 – originally estimated to be completed in an “aggressive” 12 months, 3.5 years later proposed amendments and scheduled completion dates for Glen Eira’s  3 major activity centres (Bentleigh, Carnegie and Elsternwick)  have yet to be presented to residents. Required amendment preparation was authorized at the 27/2/2018 Council Meeting and reportedly was submitted to the Minister in June, 2018.  Estimated completion date is now end 2021.
  • Previously presented commencement/completion dates for Glen Eira’s 12 other “lesser”neighbourhood activity centres have been exceeded and are estimated to be several years away.  As per Council Meeting 26/2/2019, the proposed start dates for
  • Stage 2 – Bentleigh East and Caulfield South Structure Plans to commence 2022 – 2.5 years away – and duration is unknown
  • Stage 3 – Structure Plans may not be implemented for the remaining 10 activity centres*.  

 

Stage 3 Activity Centres are:

Moorabbin, Alma Village, Caulfield North, Gardenvale, Hughesdale, McKinnon, Murrumbeena, Ormond, Patterson and Ripponlea

  • Progress on the VPA (Victorian Planning Authority) Structure Plans for the Caulfield Station Precinct (now to include Glen Huntly) and East Village is slow with scant reporting to residents.

 

Meanwhile,  GE planning is at a crisis stage and Council has no plans to address the following issues.

  • The planning scheme, which the Minister found deficient in 2015, remains as the definitive planning document. While the Minister has approved interim height limits in place for the Commercial and Mixed Use Zones in the above 3 major activity centres  similar height controls have not been implemented for the other activity centres.
  • Glen Eira’s dwelling development rates are some 40% higher than other Councils and are exceeding forecasts
  • As a result of iterim height limits in the 3 major activity centres, much of this development is now occurring in the “lesser” Activity Centres’ Commercial and Mixed Use zones (ie. main road shopping strips) which currently have no height limit. 

Activity Centres without height limits are:

Glen Huntly, Bentleigh East, Caulfield South, Moorabbin, Alma Village, Caulfield North, Gardenvale, Hughesdale, McKinnon, Murrumbeena, Ormond, Patterson and Ripponlea

Yet at the 27/02/2018 Council Meeting (Item 9.5) the Officers Report included a proposed height limit of 5 stories for these centres.  This proposed height limit was approved by Council at the 6/03/2018 Council Meeting.   In August, 2019 residents are asking where are the interim height limits for all the above centres.

  • Faced with the deficiencies of the current planning scheme,
  • Precedents are being set at heights which exceed the current interim heights of the major centres and are more than double that of the surrounding residents areas ie. General Residential Zone = Mandatory Height Limit = 3 stories.
  • Development which do not comply with the proposed visions for the activity centre are being approved.
  • Residents have limited grounds for objections lodged with Council or at VCAT appeals.

End result

  • diminishing quality of life to residents due to excessive high rise development approvals accompanied by inadequate infrastructure, facilities and services that fall within Council’s responsibility. (Heritage, Neighbourhood Character, Open Space, Traffic, Parking, Drainage, Tree Protection, Social Services)
  • Ever increasing height precedents are being set in the current “lesser” (neighbourhood and local)  activity centres and at heights which equal or exceed that of the major centres.  The “lesser”  AC’s have Commercial and Mixed Use Zones directly abutting the residential zone GRZ with a mandatory height limit of 3 stories. ( Eg. Caulfield North – 7-10 stories, Caulfield South – 9, East Bentleigh – 8  stories, McKinnon – 6 stories).
  • Significant lost revenue due to lost opportunity to increase development levies (eg. Open Space Levy, parking waivers, development contribution).

What does Save Glen Eira want?

  • the  “super re-charging” of Glen Eira’s Structure Planning exercise and
  • the implementation for interim mandatory height controls for all Commercial and Mixed Use Zones  within Glen Eira until
  • Council completes Structure Plans for all of Glen Eira’s Activity centres.