10 May, 2014

Update on the additional Growth Zones Hearing

The panel hearing commenced on Monday the 5th May with council presenting to the three panel members for most of the day. Council's Lawyer argued against the Amendment C199.
BRAG presented the next day for one & a half hours also arguing against  Amendment C199 which identifies additional growth zones as "requested" by the Minister for Planning. Our thanks to all our Members who came to the hearing to support us, much appreciated.
There were 665  written submissions lodged with the Residential Zones Standing Advisory Committee (RZSAC) of which 130 opted to present personally to the Panel. All submissions are read and considered. Presenting personally to the Panel allows for submitters to make additional points or expand upon their submission. 
A copy of our Update email to BRAG Members on the hearing is attached above which provides more detail.

04 May, 2014

Alert - Changes to Boroondara's Residential Zones - More Growth

An Advisory Committee has been appointed to consider changes to the new residential zones which comprise  extensions to provide more Growth Zones following a request from Planning Minister Matthew Guy.
Many of the new Growth Zones are around Boroondara's neighbourhood shopping centres but some have been applied to main roads such as Canterbury Rd., Camberwell Rd., Studley Park Rd., etc.
Further details with a map showing the new Residential Growth Zones (RGZ)are attached -see above- click on "skip to content" and for the map go to the download - C199 Areas subject to amendment)
Residents in the affected areas have been notified by Council but these changes will also affect residents adjoining or nearby the RGZ because this zone allows for four storeys ( a mandatory height limit of13.5 metres)  which will result in overlooking, will affect the local ambiance and there will be overflow parking in nearby streets etc.
The Residential Growth Zones under a draft amendment C199  are in addition to the Growth Zones already identified under amendment C190. Applicants for development proposals in the RGZ will be required to demonstrate  compliance with neighbourhood character local planning policy and the relevant Boroondara Neighbourhood Character Precinct Statement and Guidelines.
Brag understands that there will be no ability to appeal to VCAT to exceed the mandatory height limit but appeals to VCATwill be possible in regards to disagreements with assessment criteria for neighbourhood character precincts. However, BRAG has reservations about appeals to VCAT as these are yet to be tested. We say that developers have pushed their rights to appeal to VCAT to the limit in the past and that we do not expect any change in their attitude. Would you trust VCAT to do right by the residents, they haven't in the past have they?
Council says it has chosen these new RGZ's because it considers them to have the capacity to absorb change and transition to a denser character based on proximity to large Activity Centres, proximity to shopping centres and commercial corridors, location along key transport routes. an emerging change in character or development potential based on allotment size. This is nothing short of just following the concepts in the discredited Melbourne 2030. We thought M2030 was dead but obviously it is not yet buried.
What Action Can you Take ?
Make an online submission to the Residential Zones Committee at www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/residential-zones-advisory-committee by 16th April 2014. You will be able to appear before the panel if you wish to further push your arguments against the changes and perhaps you can ask the members hearing the presentations to take off their planner's hat and ask them to pretend that they are a resident affected by these changes and think carefully how they would react. We are pretty sure that if they are honest they will react just like you and argue against these ridiculous changes. The hearing starts 5th May in the Hawthorn Town Hall at 10am. Come along even if you aren't presenting to show support for those who are.
Suggestions to help you to prepare your submission are set out in the following post
Go ahead and make a submission, BRAG can't do this for you, it is up to individual householders who will be adversely affected to tell the Panel (and the Minister) to approve the council's original proposal without these changes.