C96 Internal Parking and Compliance in High Density Developments

A great submision here by Frank, focussing on Internal parking issues, and compliance. <Surnames & Address etc withheld for privacy>

 MANNINGHAM PLANNING SCHEME – AMENDMENT C96

            Submission to Planning Panel Hearing Commencing 27th. February, 2013

Presented by Frank X.

1.   Introduction

I am a long time resident of Doncaster, having lived at my present address in Winbrook Court for over 30 years and prior to this for over 11 years in Council Street.  Both of these addresses are in close proximity to Doncaster Hill and I have seen vast changes in the time I have lived in the area.

I fully support the submission made by Mr. Leslie Clark on behalf of RAIDID, but for the purposes of this submission I have confined my comments to internal parking and site access.   I am a retired Civil Engineer, and whilst I do not profess to be an expert in traffic engineering, my many years in the construction industry, working both underground and at heights, have made me very aware of safety issues.

2.   Compliance with Australian Car Parking Standard

Over the last 3 years, I have made submissions to VCAT in respect to 3 separate projects, and in each case a planning permit has been granted despite the fact that there have been a number of instances of serious non-compliance with the relevant standard for off-street car parking, AS/NZS 2890.1:2004.  In at least two of these cases, it is my opinion that it is not possible to overcome the non-compliances without making major changes to the plans upon which the planning permits have been granted.  It would appear that under the Manningham Planning Scheme as it currently stands, there is no obligation for either the Council or VCAT to take this into consideration when determining whether or not to grant a planning permit.

I have given brief details of these 3 projects below:

(a)  1 Grosvenor Street (VCAT Ref. No. P2113/2009)

This development consists of 185 apartments requiring 204 car parking spaces.  The requisite number of spaces have been provided, but there are various non-compliances with the code including insufficient head room, excessive gradients where parking spaces are located on ramps, and spaces in blind aisles which require excessively long reversing.  Whilst these may be regarded as relatively minor infractions in themselves, the location of this project in the immediate vicinity of Westfield Shopping Centre means that there are already severe parking restrictions in the surrounding streets.  It is therefore essential that all on-site parking is fully usable, with no concessions allowed.

(b)   5-7 Curlew Court (VCAT Ref. No. P2383/2011)

            This development consists of 30 apartments and the number of parking spaces proposed exceeds the minimum requirement.  The problem here, however, is a very serious and dangerous non-compliance with the code in respect to the entrance ramp.

I assume that this is not the forum to go into a great deal of technical detail and will summarise as follows:  The entrance ramp is curved to an outer radius of approximately 10m. for part of its length and is presently 6.1 metres wide as per the requirement for a straight ramp.  The code, however, requires it to be designed as 2 one-way carriageways separated by a median strip, giving an overall width of 8.4 metres.  The requirement for a median strip can be overcome by increasing the outer radius to a minimum of 15 metres, but even then the overall width is required to be 7.3 metres and the curve would extend for a greater length.  With the existing site restraints, both of these alternatives are impossible to achieve without a major rearrangement of the layout of the building.

The existing situation, apart from being clearly non-compliant with the code, represents a serious safety hazard.  Two cars passing on such a tight bend would have very little clearance between them even if keeping hard against the kerb.  The situation is exacerbated by the fact that the doorway occurs in the middle of the bend, and a vehicle leaving the building must negotiate a 1:4 gradient, resulting in very limited visibility.

 

(c)  20-24 Hepburn Road and 1 Short Street (VCAT Ref. No. P3568/2011)

            This development consists of 188 apartments requiring 286 car parking spaces.  There are a number of instances of relatively minor non-compliances with the parking code, but I will confine my comments to one very serious problem.

The sole vehicular entry to the site is from a very steep section of Short Street which has a gradient of approximately 1:6.  Even at the centreline of the entry ramp the gradient as designed is 1: 3.256, which exceeds the 1:4 allowable under the code.   However, due to the cross fall of the ramp to accommodate the severe gradient of the street, the gradient of the entry ramp at its northern (uphill) side becomes approximately 1:2.4.  Even with the requisite transition sections which have been provided it is impossible for the average vehicle to negotiate such a severe change of gradient.  The problem can of course be overcome, but it would require a rearrangement to the layout of the building.

            In summary, I wish to state that the purpose of all of the above information is to demonstrate the necessity for the planning scheme to require that, in considering an application for a planning permit, the Responsible Authority must take into account the Applicant’s ability to satisfactorily comply with all codes at the planning stage.  It seems logical to me that the planning stage is the appropriate time to do this for the benefit of all parties.

In particular, I wish to submit that Amendment C96 should clearly state that “All parking must comply with AS/NZS 2890.1:2004 except as varied by the Parking Overlay (number as appropriate)”.
 

3.  Basement Car Parking

             I note the following statement in Clause 12.36 of Manningham City Council’s submission:

“In relation to the request for a maximum mandatory single level of basement car parking, the number of basement car parking levels provided as part of a development is not a planning issue.”

I find this to be a most incredible statement as the number of car parking levels in any development is surely a most important planning issue.

Whilst I accept that multiple basement car parking levels are necessary in high rise developments such as occur in the Main Road sub-precinct, I submit that there should be no need for more than one level of basement car parking in 2 and 3 storey developments such as are allowed in Sub-precincts A and B.  An inability to provide the requisite number of parking spaces in such cases is a clear indication that the site is being over developed.

I therefore submit that Amendment C96 should state that the number of basement car parking levels be limited to one in Sub-precincts A and B.

 

Frank X.

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