Category Archives: Property Development

Residents rally over plans for Marriott Pde

Glen Waverley residents have been quick to rally over plans for five storey development in a residential street near the central area. They are wondering whether ‘public participation’ and ‘community consultation’ were just election promises by hopeful candidates in the recent Council election or the way forward for the newly elected Council.

The proposal is for 63 one and two bedroom apartments with 74 car parking spaces provided in a basement car park.  Once again the applicant has sought permission to do away with some of the required visitor car parks.  Given the extreme difficulty parking in Glen  Waverley the author’s view is that no property should be allowed to reduce visitor parking.  Previously many properties have been allowed to do so.

The traffic from the 74 car parking spaces will be entering Bogong Ave and probably heading to Springvale Road. Springvale Road is one of the most dangerous traffic spots in this municipality  if not Melbourne.  More traffic, more congestion and more risk to motorists, cyclists and pedestrians will result from more apartment development.

Bicycle parking is provided at the rate of 0.46 bicycles per apartment. This is inadequate in meeting Council sustainability goals.

The residents claim the current residential zoning does not allow for such development and a re-zoning has been proposed.  As Council claims the community were consulted over residential zones how can they now turn around and re-zone this property to meet developers needs?  A rezoning extends the Glen Waverley Central development area into a residential street.

And what of the needs of the Monash community?  Who is going to live in one and two bedroom apartments?  Retiring couples are demanding single level residences to ‘scale down’ to. Three bedroom apartments are in demand for this purpose.  This location would be an ideal location 3 bedroom apartments in a garden setting.  It would place ageing people near the resources they need to access.

Currently the corner location fits well into the ‘garden character’ of the area leaving an open feel to the area surrounding the Glen Waverley Cenotaph. If the proposal proceeds the Cenotaph will be even more closed in and residents will lose the character of the area they live in.

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The residential street has a ‘garden character’ leaving an open view to the Cenotaph.

Read the full submission from residents by clicking on the link below:

Residents’ objection to planning permit in Marriott Pde

Read more and place your own objection here:

Have your say on this development

 

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Are you sick of over-development and loss of greenery? Then sign this petition before it is too late!

Save Us! Sign the petition!
Save Us! Sign the petition!

If you are worried about over-development in Monash – huge houses on tiny blocks, trees and gardens disappearing, then you have an opportunity to stop this from happening by signing this petition!

The petition was created by an Ashwood resident concerned with over development in Monash.  Link to more information relating to this matter – Petition against over-development. So far some signatures have been collected by community members, but need more to make a big impact! If you are a Monash 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.
Click on image to open up petition document to print and sign!
PETITION_c125_2016
PETITION_c125_2016

Brandon Park Secondary College site development – ensure its community friendly petition

Council has informed the community about a proposed development plan for the former Brandon Park Secondary College site. Proposal for Developing buildings (3-5 storeys in height) which will be for independent retirement living, and aged care facilities. The applicant is Ryman Healthcare, which developed and operates the Weary Dunlop aged care and retirement complex in Wheelers Hill.

The Brandon Park Residents Action Group has created a petition to ensure any development on the site did not dilute the liveability of the neighbourhood, especially the loss of open space. The Petition is asking Council to ensure that Ryman Healthcare address the requirements in the Development Plan Overlay for the site, such as open space, drainage, trees, traffic and parking.

To support them please click on link provided to direct you to petition. Feedback needs to be provided to Council by 26 September 2016, so please sign petition before then.

Link to petition: Brandon Park Secondary College site development – ensure its community friendly

Related information:

Proposed Development Plan: Former Brandon Park Secondary College site

Brandon Park Residents Action Group

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

How To Vote – Preference Deals and Whisperers

There’s a Federal election coming soon and there’s a good deal of debate and confusion about preference distributions and the new Senate vote counting process.  This post, hopefully, will clear that up for some people and answer a few questions.  There’s more information in the FAQ section on the Australian Electoral Commission‘s website.

How Many Votes Are Needed To Be Elected?

In both the House of Representatives and the Senate the number required is calculated by the following formula:

q = 1 + f/(v+1)

Where “q” is the number of votes required (the quota), “f” is the number of formal votes cast and “v” is the number of vacancies to be filled.

In the Reps, there is only one vacancy to be filled (v=1) in a given seat so a candidate needs one vote more than half those cast – a simple majority.

In the Senate, we’ll be voting for 12 Senators from Victoria (v=12) so a candidate must get 1/13th of the formal votes plus one.  Once 12 candidates have that quota there will be 1/13th minus 12 votes available which means nobody else can beat those already elected.

How Are Votes Counted?

In order to achieve a quota all formal ballot papers are distributed to the candidate allocated the number 1 on the paper (the first preference) and then counted.  If no candidate has achieved the quota above, the candidate with fewest votes is eliminated and those papers are distributed to the remaining candidate with the next lowest preference.

In the Reps, the process continues thus until a single candidate has an absolute majority and there it stops.

In the Senate, it’s a little more complicated because we need to elect more than one Senator.  So, once a candidate attains a quota s/he is declared elected but any excess votes beyond the quota are redistributed at reduced value.  If this didn’t happen, there would not be enough votes in the pool to create 12 quotas.  (You can find the full explanation on the AEC website here: http://aec.gov.au/Voting/counting/senate_count.htm.)

So, let’s say the quota is 10 000 votes and Ms Bloggs achieves her quota but has 12 000 votes at that stage.  The 2000 “surplus” votes are redistributed to other, as yet unelected candidates.  But which 2000?  In fact, all 12 000 papers are now redistributed to the next preferred candidate but at a reduced value of s/q where “s” is the surplus; in this case, the transfer value would be 2000/10 000 or 0.2 – every one of Ms Bloggs’ papers would be redistributed at one fifth of its value to other candidates.

Counting continues eliminating unsuccessful candidates and redistributing their votes and the fractional surpluses of elected Senators until all 12 vacancies have been filled.

You Can’t Waste Your Vote!

It’s the redistribution process which ensures YOUR vote is not wasted if you choose an unsuccessful candidate.

Let’s say you have strong views on a specific issue and there’s an independent candidate standing on that particular issue.  “Single issue” candidates are rarely successful but if one represents your view you can indicate that to whoever is ultimately elected by giving your champion your first preference.  On the assumption that your champion is eliminated, your vote then goes to your next preference so you still influence which of the more likely contenders is elected but they receive the hint that there’s an important issue to which they should attend in the electorate.

It should be noted that in the Senate, if you select only the minimum number of preferences required (see below) and all those candidates are eliminated, your vote will be “exhausted” and won’t contribute to electing a senator.  You should consider the chances of your preferred candidates being successful when deciding how many votes to cast above or below the line since only YOU ultimately determine where your preferences go.

Party Preference Deals and Your Preference

Much has been made in recent days of preference deals being done between Labor and Liberal Parties to put each other ahead of The Greens.  Both of the major parties are worried they may not win government in their own right and may have to rely on preferences but neither likes the idea of a third party spoiling their duopoly.  You will see these deals reflected in their respective “How to Vote” cards.

“How to Vote” cards are parties’ suggestions to voters.  Apparently about 75% of voters follow HTV cards, there’s absolutely no obligation to do so – YOU number the boxes on YOUR ballot paper and YOU should do so according to YOUR preference for the various candidates and/or their parties.

In the Reps, you number ALL candidates according to your preference.

In the Senate you must number either AT LEAST six boxes above the line (there are 38 boxes plus a column of independents this year!) or AT LEAST 12 candidates below the line.  If you number only six boxes above the line and you don’t include one of the three major parties (ALP, LNP coalition or Greens) you’ll only nominate about 12 candidates and your vote will probably be exhausted before all senators are elected.  Similarly, if you choose only 12 candidates from the smaller parties below the line.  If you don’t want votes going to the major parties and you want to maximise your influence, mark more boxes.

Why, and How, Has Senate Voting Changed – The Preference Whisperer?

At the last Senate election a number of minor candidates and parties got together with a “preference whisperer”.  They agreed on a series of “group voting tickets” which were so constructed that a single “1” vote above the line (the old way of voting) channelled all their preferences to the same place.  As each of these less likely candidates were eliminated their votes flowed together to elect, most famously, Senator Ricky Muir from the Motoring Enthusiasts Party.

Some people have argued that this meant he was elected on fewer first preferences than others who were eliminated and that’s true.  However, it’s also true that a full “quota” of voters indicated, whether they knew it (having researched their nominated party’s group voting ticket) or not, they would rather have him than anyone else.

Under the new Senate voting rules parties are no longer permitted to create group voting tickets and votes at the top of a column distribute preferences down the column then stop – a party or group on the ballot paper cannot cause preferences to flow to any other party or group.  This makes it somewhat harder for minor candidates to get elected but it also makes it clear to voters exactly where your vote is going.  Some candidates have formed voting blocs already to be listed in the same column – that’s legal and it’s transparent to voters.

It’s worth noting too that if you want to vote for the “ungrouped” independent candidates in the Senate, firstly they are at the far right of the ballot paper and, secondly, you must vote below the line as they don’t have a box above the line.

Who Are the Monash Candidates?

The City of Monash is in Victoria for the Senate.  You can find the list of all 38 groups and 16 independent Senate candidates on the AEC site here.

Four House of Representatives seats overlap the City of Monash boundaries: Bruce, Chisholm, Higgins and Hotham.

MonashBoundaries

The declared candidates for each of the electorates are shown below in the order in which they will appear on the ballot paper.

MonashCandidates

Researching the Candidates

Later this week I hope to write an open letter to all candidates listed above and invite them to comment on issues of importance to readers of this blog.  Their answers will be published verbatim and without commentary.

Issues for their feedback will come from any comments received on this post and questions about Aged Care, Refugees and Immigration, and Environment policy.

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”

Recycled Mayor and controversy

Cr Geoff Lake is has been recycled to the position of Mayor of Monash.  The appointment is not without controversy some of which is reported in Hansard:

The Labor Party, which has a stranglehold on the City of Monash, should not delay the filling of [the vacancy arising from Stephanie Perri’s resignation] so that it can use its numbers to elect a mayor before the vacancy is filled.

Mrs PEULICH Hansard 3 May 2016

Furthermore, I understand that the resignation of Cr Klisaris, who is also the Labor candidate for the federal seat of Aston, is being delayed to facilitate the installation of another Labor mayor, thereby creating a stranglehold again.

Mrs PEULICH Hansard 3 May 2016

 

Featured Image: Dandenong Creek escarpment east of Srpingvale Road

Cr Geoff Lake has recently proposed the following changes to the Monash Planning Scheme Amendment C125:

  • a reduction in the number of canopy trees required to a minimum of 2 across Monash
  • removing the proposed 5 metre rear setbacks in GRZ3 & 4 and NRZ 1 & 4
  • removing the steepest part of the Dandenong Creek escarpment (see photo above) from NRZ4

On 3 May at a special meeting, not attended by Cr Lake, speaker after speaker made it clear to Council it did not agree with this proposal.  Will Cr Lake head the advice of residents in his own ward, Glen Waverley?

Further information:

http://hansard.parliament.vic.gov.au/isysquery/ccc88094-391e-47b0-8c91-bbe55595f021/6/doc/

The Economic Case for Protecting Trees in Cities

A recently published article reports on the research of US Forest Service’s Northern Research Station makes the case for the economic benefits of trees in cities.  Given the current planning scheme amendments under consideration, this makes for an interesting and relevant read…

David Nowak whittles down 30 years of studying the economic value of forests to this advice: If you can only plant one tree, plant it in a city.

After all, in an era of overwhelming need for urban infrastructure improvements, trees offer cities some of the best bang for their buck. Trees remove carbon dioxide, filter air pollution, and produce oxygen. They absorb rainwater, UV radiation, and noise. They slow down traffic, improve property values, and reduce human stress and mental fatigue. And they provide shade, which means we have to use less energy to cool down.

“Trees help us avoid emissions in the first place, in addition to taking out carbon,” says Nowak, a lead researcher at the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station in Syracuse, New York. “It’s a big problem that they help us solve.”

2014-07-20 14.46.16
No trees?
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Trees or…

 

Council has received feedback arguing that:

  • Canopy trees will increase heating and lighting costs,
  • Canopy trees will cause carbon dioxide poisoning, and
  • Canopy trees are an unnecessary risk, cost and nuisance.

It is perhaps timely to consider some scientifically based research.

If trees bring economic benefits to cities, what is the cost of their removal?  And who pays for that?

The answer to the first question is hard to quantify for Monash but, in qualitative terms, the cost of removal is the economic benefit lost through the absence of those trees.

The answer to the second is much easier.  Ratepayers pay for all council expenses ultimately; either through increased rates (difficult under the present capping scheme) or through reduced services and infrastructure maintenance.

Councillor Brian Little has been watching the tree coverage using overhead imagery available on the “NearMap” website.  I won’t put words in his mouth here but Monash’s tree canopy is diminishing rapidly and that’s something we all should be worried about.

 

 

People’s Park Option for redeveloping Glen Waverley Central Car Park

The people of Monash have given the Council their feedback. The Council has shuffled paper but not heard. “People’s Park” is a great name! This is about a design by the people for the people to use – this is what the residents of the Monash want. Where are the questions for the telephone survey they are relying on so strongly? Why can’t the people see them? Why was there no free answer opportunity? Why is this Council pushing so hard for this to keep moving when they admit it will not be implemented until the new Council is in place in 2017? Use your vote wisely in October 2016.

Thank you to Monash Ratepayers Inc for the post below.

Monash Ratepayers Inc.

The redevelopment saga of Glen Waverley’s central car park has attracted another community option for best value consideration by Monash Council. This new community option, called People’s Park, was developed as a result of consulting local residents, traders, local school parents and other Monash ratepayers and residents and conducting due diligent business case research. The proposal is a substantiated and viable alternative for redeveloping the central car park, in addition to Cr Lake’s option.

This People’s Park option proposes partnership with Apple to build an underground technology retail and multimedia library center with two additional levels of underground car parks.

GWCCP People's Park

It recommends more and viable funding choices than Cr Lake’s option, which only pursues to sell the car park to fund a new library and a small public space, and allow high density developments that will threaten the feng shui of Glen Waverley and increase local population without providing  local…

View original post 357 more words

Save our creek – support NRZ4

Dandenong Creek is suffering from too much water run off over too short a period of time.  As more concrete gets laid and more development occurs on the escarpment the problem gets worse.  Creek life gets washed out in to the bay, our leisure areas become muddy and the developed residential areas flood.  The northern area of the escarpment is particularly subject to flooding as underground creeks run through the area directly to the creek.  The water still builds on the surface even though the creeks are underground.

The problem is too much water run off over too short a time. 

We need large trees to soak up the water and permeable ground to slow down the flow.

2012-07-02 14.28.59
A light shower and the path in Brighton Street floods.  A creek flows underground in this area.

The Melbourne Water area designated as Dandenong Creek Escarpment is bigger that the area decided on by Monash Council. Melbourne Water designates the west boundary of the escarpment as Glen Waverley North Reserve and Mulgrave Street.  The south boundary extends beyond The Glen.

Melbourne water map
The map provided by Melbourne Water shows the Dandenong Creek escarpment boundary running along the Glen Waverley North Reserve and to the south of The Glen.  This is a larger escarpment than the area designated by Monash Council as escarpment.

 

Within the Melbourne Water designated escarpment area we have large developments such as The Glen and Mountain View Hotel.  These developments contain large impermeable areas.  We have a reduction in tree canopy and more development across the whole escarpment.

Ideally water moves slowly to the creek and the water runs at a fairly even pace.  However the creek is running fast after rain and the banks are eroding.  With more canopy trees and more permeable ground the flow of water to the creek will slow down.

A vote for more trees and more permeable ground i.e. a vote to accept the proposed changed to NRZ4 is a vote to maintain our environment for future generations.

How to support NRZ4

  • Go to the community forums being held by Monash Council:

Workshop – Wednesday 10 February, 7-9pm
Oakleigh Hall (142-144 Drummond Street, Oakleigh)

Workshop – Thursday 11 February, 7-9pm
Monash Civic Centre (293 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley)

Response Event – Thursday 3 March, 7-9pm
Monash Civic Centre (293 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley

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Permeable paths are attractive, soft under foot and do not damage the health of the creek.

 

Related Links:

Monash Council http://www.monash.vic.gov.au/About-Us/Council/Have-Your-Say/Proposed-new-residential-zones#feedback

Melbourne 1945 Map http://1945.melbourne/ Use the overlay to compare Melbourne in 1945 to Melbourne today.  The free flowing creeks on the northern escarpment are visible on the 1945 map – and there are many tell tale signs around our community today making it possible to trace the creeks that are now underground.