Category Archives: Planning Permits

Resident’s petition against overdevelopment: please sign!

The following blurb and petition has been forwarded to me by a resident.  Please feel free to print as many petitions as you can get your relatives, neighbours and friends to sign.  Once you have the completed forms email EMonashU@gmail.com and I will email you the address to forward them to (for privacy reasons I don’t want to put private addresses online).

Email from Monash Resident (name and address provided)

If you are worried about over-development in Monash – huge houses on tiny blocks, trees and gardens disappearing.minimal – you may be interested in…
…A petition which has been started by an Ashwood resident concerned with overdevelopment in Monash.  So far Fiona has collected around 200 signatures from ordinary Ashwood residents concerned about overdevelopment in Monash.  (The link is via Friends of Damper Creek reserve.)
*Background:
Many Monash residents are concerned about the Council’s current stand on building regulations.  Most of the originally proposed “garden city” protections* from new oversized buildings (e.g. minimal rear and side setbacks, minimal open space, required canopy trees, special Neighbourhood zones along creek lines/catchments) were watered down or abandoned in wound back by Council’s “in-principle” position, (unfortunately)  passed at the Council meeting of 31 May.
In our street in Glen Waverely for example, there are only a handful of original houses with gardens remaining;  the new houses are huge, mostly one enormous house covering almost all the block, sometimes two large units.  Existing trees are mostly felled; new “gardens” are minimal/notional, and rarely include any plants which will grow over 2 or 3 m high.
Fortunately, the Council voted to pass this issue on to a Panel hearing, at which non-Councillors with appropriate (e.g. town planning, environmental) experience will be hearing submissions from residents as well as others in a calm and orderly way.
Many believe that the bulk of our residents’ wishes to preserve Monash’s “garden city” character & objections to current over development have been sidelined by pressure on councillors from a very small but vocal minority of developers and property owners.
In fact the original “green” C125 Amendment originally came about precisely because of concerns expressed to Council by residents!  As stated in the Council’s April 2015 newsletter foreshadowing the “new” green regulations,  the issue came up “in response to concerns raised by residents about potential over-development and the loss of neighbourhood character and vegetation” (April 2015 Council Newsletter).  At that time, Council was spurred into action, aiming to develop stronger guidelines to preserve Monash’s “garden city” character, including increased rear and side setbacks, requirements for canopy trees, and some high protection in Neighbourhood zones, including along creek lines/catchments areas.
If you have a petition and you are a Monash resident, please:
– sign – also maybe your partner /family
– maybe run off some extra copies and sign up some neighbours if you feel like it –

The Petition

Note: For the petition to be accepted by Monash Council you MUST provide your name, address and sign the form. See: http://www.monash.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Council/Governance/Policies-and-Procedures/Guidelines-for-Petitions-to-Monash-City-Council for Council requirements for petitions.

PETITION_c125_2016

Click on the text above, save to your computer and print (hopefully!)
petition from Monash residents 001
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Development or Devastation?

My walk to work, a mere 2.5km through Glen Waverley’s northern corner, is increasingly challenging as I negotiate yet another broken, illegally fenced, car blocked, mud covered or flooded footpath as another home site is bulldozed of every last blade of grass before being swamped under a monstrous concrete box.

Council has reached an “in-principle” position on Amendment C125 which is supposed to provide some degree of control over what gets built where and what happens to the vegetation which comprises the “garden character” of the City of Monash.  You can see the position they reached and how it changed on March 29, 2016 on page 7 of the meeting minutes of the Council meeting.

On May 3, many residents attended the public submissions evening to offer their opinion on the “in-principle” position.***  There are no minutes currently published on Council’s website but it is fair to say that a significant percentage, probably a significant majority, of speakers were strongly opposed to the weakening of the controls by Cr Lake’s amendments to the proposals in the original C125 report.

Council is due to adopt, or amend then adopt, the “in-principle” position at the next meeting on May 30.  After that, the amendment goes before a State government planning review panel before being finally presented to the Minister for Planning for his approval.

NOW, is almost your last opportunity to influence the outcome of the process.

***Editor’s note:  Check out the comments to read one of the presentations to Monash Council on 3 May.

“The area in question should remain NRZ4”

Residential Zoning Winners or Losers

Monash City Council has proposed changes to the city’s planning scheme.  The changes are formally known as Amendment C125.

Don’t assume your silence will be considered as support for the proposals!  Have your say and make sure your views are known – you can be sure others will and you might not like what they say!

AnotherBitesDust
Another One Bites the Dust!

During the October meeting, a motion to adopt the proposed changes to the planning scheme was deferred for further consultation.  You can read more about it on Council’s planning information page.

Prior to the October council meeting there were a number of community information sessions which were fairly well attended by opponents of the amendments.  Council also received a considerable number of submissions opposing the amendments.

When we attended some of the information sessions it was mentioned to us that either those who supported the amendments were very few and far between or they were not commenting because they assumed their silence would be taken as assent to the changes.  Officers at the information sessions and councillors at tonight’s meeting made the point very clearly that if you support the changes you must take advantage of this consultation period to say soyour silence will NOT be considered as a vote in favour of the amendment.  It goes without saying that people opposed to the amendment are not silent – there was a very vocal section of the public gallery present to object in October.

Changes proposed in C125 restrict the density of development within what are called “Neighbourhood Residential Zones”.  They also restrict the percentage of an allotment which can be built on, impose larger than before rear setbacks (you won’t be allowed to build right up to the back fence) and set minimum percentages of a site which must be water permeable (grassed, gardens etc.) rather than sealed to cause rainwater runoff.  See more, in great detail, at Council’s dedicated web site.

Consider whether the restrictions on development might be good or bad for you:

  • will they reduce your property value by preventing you subdividing to build multiple dwellings or will they boost your property value by ensuring your neighbour’s property doesn’t become an apartment block overlooking and overshadowing your back yard?
  • what will be the effect on parking in your street if the amendment goes through or is wound back?  Will you still be able to get in and out of your driveway?
  • will the canopy tree requirements provide you and your neighbourhood with a green, shady environment or will they just be a nuisance dropping leaves in your gutters?
  • will the permeability requirements stop you developing your outdoor living space as you choose or will they protect you from stormwater runoff from your uphill neighbours’ properties?  Can your street’s gutters and drains cope if everybody paves their whole block and directs rainwater to the street?
UpTheyGo
Hooray and Up She Rises!

I know that between my home in Glen Waverley and my office in Syndal, a 2.5km walk, I pass three sites on which one developer wishes to build a total of fifteen dwellings.  And those are only sites where planning permits are required to be advertised.  On the same route in the past three weeks at least six sites are being developed into McMansions and another three sites have been bulldozed from fence to fence.  I can repeat those statistics on each of a number of alternative routes to work.

 

 

And Now The Glen. A proposal for three towers – 8, 12 and 23 storeys – of one and two bedroom apartments.

The Glen, 2013

A planning application has been submitted for “Alterations and Additions to The Existing Shopping Centre”.  That’s one way of describing building three apartment towers reaching up to 23 storeys above Springvale Road.

GlenPlanningApplicationNotice

See the full application at www.monash.vic.gov.au/planninginfo and follow the links to the Advertised Planning Applications.  The redevelopment’s application number is TPA/43692 (currently near the bottom of the first page but may well move).

If you wish to object to the planning application, full details of the process are listed at http://www.monash.vic.gov.au/Building-Planning/Proposed-Developments/Objections where you will also find the online and downloadable versions of the objection form.

It’s hard to find in the 80 pages of documentation but the short form is that there is a proposal to build one eight storey apartment tower above Kingsway, a second 12 storey apartment tower above Snedden Drive and a third 23 storey tower overlooking O’Sullivan Road opposite the approved 15 storey Village Walk redevelopment.  Disturbingly, the development documentation continues to refer to their “Signature Tower” as 19 storeys “above podium level” rather than describing it as a 23 storey tower comprising 19 storeys of apartments above four storeys of retail and commercial properties. The towers will contain 275 single bedroom apartments and 240 two-bedroom apartments.  This, combined with office, retail and visitor parking requirements will result in a total of 3631 parking spaces on the site by project’s end.

Given the community opposition to the 15 storeys at Village Walk, it’s little wonder the developer appears to be keen to play down the scale of this development however they can.

There is no information or announcement on public display anywhere obvious throughout the entire shopping centre.  Usually a shopping centre is quite keen to announce their plans to become a bigger, better, brighter centre with all the public benefits they argue are attendant upon that change.  Why the big secret before Council considers the plans?

Public information sessions will be held on Monday, May 4 between 5.30pm and 8.00pm and again on Tuesday, May 5 between 2.00pm and 4.30pm.  Both meetings are at the Glen Waverley Civic Centre near the library.

It seems that this application may be operating on an accelerated timeline – the planning application notice says that Council will not decide on the application “before 12 May 2015” which is only 3 weeks after erection of the notice boards.

Glen Waverley: Up She Rises

Objection to the 15 storey Village Walk proposal

Is Monash Council ignoring the Monash community? 15 storeys high!

A supporter of  EM&U has sent this letter to Councillors:

Dear Councillors

Thank you for your time at the recent Listening Post and Public Meeting.

I write to seek your support opposing the proposal to grant approval for a 15 storey building at 52-54 O’Sullivan Road, Glen Waverley, at least in its present form.

Last Monday’s public meeting at Mt Waverley demonstrated considerable community opposition to the scale of the proposal – a matter which has not been addressed in the officers’ report.  Last Saturday morning, Prof Kim Dovey, from the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at Melbourne University, suggested on 774 Melbourne radio that a 20 minute city can be achieved with no more than five to eight storeys.  This proposition is borne out in many European cities.

Setting a precedent of 15 storeys for this development will only encourage more, very tall buildings on Monash’s high points.  Already there is talk of the RSL site as the next skyscraper.  Concern has been expressed about this as a precedent for other “activity centres” such as Syndal, Mt Waverley and even Pinewood.  This is an opportunity to set a precedent which says we won’t allow developers to compete to see who can build the biggest – set a realistic limit today and it can be used to control and manage the future.

A major justification for approving the height is that it is consistent with the “opportunity for heights in excess of 10 storeys” in the draft structure plan about which there is still considerable detailed community consultation to be completed.  That same plan includes a sustainable transport plan which does not appear to have been considered when providing for transport options other than private motor car.

  • There’s one fifth of a bike parking space per apartment vs one whole car space; it seems unlikely that five families will share just one bicycle!
  • There’s NO on-street bike parking for visitors to the shops and businesses on the ground and podium levels.  Bikes parked out of sight are frequently subjected to mindless vandalism so, unless there’s a chance to keep an eye on the bike, most people won’t ride and shop thereby undermining the sustainable transport plan.
  • The pedestrian space on the western side appears to be a walkway 1.5m wide with an additional street trading area between the path and the kerb.  Stroll down Kingsway and it quickly becomes apparent that this is insufficient space to provide for “active and vibrant” pedestrian traffic.

The proposal requests a reduction in car parking provision and Council appears to be willing to grant this on the basis that the rules haven’t been applied in the past so it’s not appropriate to apply the rules now.  Last month’s Council meeting should have put officers on notice that Councillors do not condone that approach and nor do residents.  In defence of the reduction (25 car parks) the report notes the proximity the Euneva Avenue car park as an alternative.  Given that traffic officers and Mayor Lake reported recently that there are only six unencumbered parking spaces in Euneva Ave (thereby explaining that the currently unused parking space cannot be used as a temporary revenue source or to provide relief to commuters and Syndal and Glen Waverley residents during next year’s temporary closure of 150 spaces at Syndal railway station) it seems inconsistent to suggest that these six spaces can provide a permanent replacement for the missing 25 spaces in this development.  Once again, it seems that council is allowing developers to use ratepayer funded parking for private use instead of protecting it for public access when needed.

Last Monday night council officers suggested that an additional 200 vehicle movements per day will be unnoticeable.  That presupposes that the residents drive out in the morning and return at night but makes no allowance for school runs (buyers’ children will not be within easy walking distance of secondary schools – GWSC is full!), visitors to the site (reduced parking provisions notwithstanding) or any other traffic.  The GWAC structure plan speaks of “activated laneways” – the alleyways which will provide access to this tower will be heavily trafficked and incapable of “activation”.  I fear that traffic congestion at the Springvale Road entry to the laneway and the alternative into O’Sullivan Road – these are likely to become major congestion points at peak times.  The exit route westward on O’Sullivan Road will conflict with the existing pedestrian crossing between The Glen and Village Walk – no provision appears to have been made to address this already congested and busy crossing.

Residential intensification is a necessary fact of the future and, done properly, can add vibrancy and livability to a city.  I suggest this proposal needs to go back for more careful consideration before being done properly and with sensitivity to the needs and wishes of existing residents of our city.

Residents in the 276 apartments will use this lane off Springvale Road to enter the apartments
Residents in the 276 apartments will use this lane off Springvale Road to enter the apartments

 

The planning permit will go to Monash Council for approval on Tuesday 25 November 7.30 pm. 
Residents and ratepayers of Monash may submit questions to Public Question time by 12 noon on Monday 24 November. 
The public are welcome to attend the meeting in the Council offices, 293 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley, 3150

Well done Monash Council!

At this evening’s Monash Council meeting Cr Bill Pontikis successfully put an amendment to a motion on a planning permit.  The motion was to the effect that the Council will not approve planning permits requesting a reduction in the number of visitor car parking spaces.

Property developers frequently ask to build with less visitor car parking spaces than the standard: 1 visitor space for 5 apartments. As I understand it the Council will not approve any such applications in future.  Developers will have the right to appeal to VCAT and VCAT can overturn the Council decision.

It was great to see our Council voting for a standard that has community support.

Councillors voting for the amendment; Crs Pontikis, Dimopoulos, Davies, Paterson, Nolan, Klisaris, Little.

The Mayor, Cr Geoff Lake voted against on the grounds that VCAT is likely to overturn the Council decision and it is difficult for developers to change their plans at this late stage.  Cr Zographos had other objections to the planning permit so voted against the whole proposal.

Crs Drieberg and Lo were absent.

The property in question tonight was in Oakleigh.  However it is anticipated that the precedent will carry through to planning permits for Glen Waverley.

Planning permit requesting reduction in visitor car parks
Current planning permit requesting reduction in visitor car parks

 

 

 

Glen Waverley: Up she rises!

Walking through Glen Waverley this week I noticed two property development notices.  What particularly caught my eye was the proposed height of these buildings and the reduction in car parking spaces. Feeling not well informed I decided it is time find out more about the planning process encouraging others to do the same  and to have a say.  YOUR view is important!

Information on ALL applications for planning permits is available on the Monash Council web site at: https://epathway.monash.vic.gov.au/ePathway/Production/Web/GeneralEnquiry/EnquirySummaryView.aspx

What questions do we, the people of Monash, need to ask Council? Whatever question you have is valid and should be asked!

  • What will the quality of life be for the increased population living in apartments in these areas?
  • How will the experience of Monash community using these areas change?
  • Can developers be required to provide facilities for pedestrians and cyclists?
  • Will developers be permitted to reduce car parking spaces?
  • How can the community have more input into development in their area?
  • Can councils play a more educative role in the area of property development?
  • others (please leave a comment!)

Application for planning permit 1:  15 storey building in O’Sullivan Road

There are to be two public information sessions about this application
Thursday 18 September 6 – 8 pm  & Tuesday 23 September 2 – 4 pm at the Council Offices 293 Springvale Road Glen Waverley

2014-09-12 13.44.49
Notice of Application for planning permit for O’Sullivan Road.
Planning_report_extract_13092014
Copy of page from planning documents on Monash Council web site – the pink building is the proposed 15 storey building. The ink blue buildings in front of the IKON building are on the current Central Car Park site and appear to represent the developer’s vision of a possible future for the Glen Waverley Activity Centre.

Application for Planning Permit 2: five storey building in Springvale Road

2014-09-12 14.14.47
Notice of Application for planning permit for five storey building on Springvale Road

What do YOU think of these proposals?  Leave your comments to let us know. Note this is not communicating with Council so make sure you respond through the channels on the posters above if you wish to do so.

My view?  With the potential for high rise development in Glen Waverley the Central Car Park should become ‘Central Park’ i.e. NOT be built on.  They quality of life for people living in apartments in Glen Waverley and those shopping, walking and cycling through will be much improved by a large community open space.