Michael Buxton on Proposed Vic Planning Zones 4 – Commercial Zones

Michael Buxton is a well published expert on Planning.

Search for him On the web and you will find a wealth of content, these excerpts are his review on the new proposed Victorian Planning revamp – and they are significant and in some cases scary. some topics you will have heard, but the extent of impact is Huge. We will break his report into several sections dealing with each Zone.  Section 4

Issues:  Commercial zone Impacts on activity centres

The substitution of the two new commercial zones for the existing four business zones will affect strip retail centres (activity centres) in two ways: it will undermine their function as retail centres by creating dispersed (“out-of-centre”) retail areas, and it will lead to the demolition of historic strip centres particularly in the inner and middle ring suburbs.

These zones will disperse a wide range of commercial uses but will lead to further intensification of mixed commercial/accommodation/residential uses in centres. Both these impacts will change fundamentally the current functions of strip retail centres.

Out-of-centre uses:  The new commercial zones broaden the range of allowable uses Continue reading Michael Buxton on Proposed Vic Planning Zones 4 – Commercial Zones →

Michael Buxton on Proposed Vic Planning Zones 1

Michael Buxton is a well published expert on Planning from RMIT.

Search for him On the web and you will find a wealth of content, these excerpts are his review on the new proposed Victorian Planning revamp – and they are significant and in some cases scary. some topics you will have heard, but the extent of impact is Huge. We will break his report into several sections dealing with each Zone. This is the Overview section.

PROPOSED NEW VICTORIAN PLANNING ZONES       Assoc. Professor Michael Buxton, RMIT   18.9.12

  The Victorian government’s proposed new planning zones are the most radical review of planning schemes in the history of Victorian planning. They will lead to fundamental changes in the way Melbourne operates, change the fabric of the city and its hinterland, and remove an extensive range of existing citizen rights. Every citizen will be affected.

The new zone proposals will Continue reading Michael Buxton on Proposed Vic Planning Zones 1 →

Michael Buxton on Proposed Vic Planning Zones 2 – Residential Zones with Offices Hotels Etc.

Michael Buxton is a well published expert on Planning from RMIT.

Search for him On the web and you will find a wealth of content, these excerpts are his review on the new proposed Victorian Planning revamp – and they are significant and in some cases scary. some topics you will have heard, but the extent of impact is Huge. We will break his report into several sections dealing with each Zone.  Section 2 

Issues:  Residential zones:

The new residential zones and the changes to the Mixed Use zone and Township zone will allow an extension of commercial activities such as a shop and office into residential areas. In the General Residential and Residential Growth zones, shops, food and drink premises other than convenience restaurant, hotel and tavern (for example restaurants and cafes) to 100 sq mt will be allowed “as-of-right” (without the need for a permit) Continue reading Michael Buxton on Proposed Vic Planning Zones 2 – Residential Zones with Offices Hotels Etc. →

Michael Buxton on Proposed Vic Planning Zones 3 – GoodBye Green Wedge

Michael Buxton is a well published expert on Planning from RMIT.

Search for him On the web and you will find a wealth of content, these excerpts are his review on the new proposed Victorian Planning revamp – and they are significant and in some cases scary. some topics you will have heard, but the extent of impact is Huge. We will break his report into several sections dealing with each Zone. This is the Green Wedge section.

Green wedge areas

The amended Green Wedge zone will remove restrictions on current non-urban uses leading to the use of the zone for a wide range of commercial uses. In effect, the new zone will render the urban growth boundary (UGB) irrelevant by allowing a wide range of urban related uses on either side of the UGB, effectively removing the differentiation between urban and rural land. Continue reading Michael Buxton on Proposed Vic Planning Zones 3 – GoodBye Green Wedge →

New development designed with traffic mayhem around shoppingtown

There is a new proposal for the Corner of Tram Rd and Doncaster Rd, opposite Shoppingtown where the current AutoBarn and Officeworks are. (602 Doncaster Road, Doncaster)

And if you have ever shopped there, you will know how hard it is to get out of the site, as the only direction available is south down Tram rd. There is no alternative entry and exit facility.

Traffic departing from the development, travelling North, East or West will have to U-turn on main road or navigate through residential streets,

Proposed entry and exit point will impede the Tram road traffic flow,

The proposal also seeks a 42% reduction of its parking space requirement, which considering there is no on street parking or public shared parking seems inappropriate. will visitors park in Westfield Shoppingtown?

To learn more about this, see some plans, or make a submission to Council about it – refer to this page.

Emergency Manangement Plan above 25m

From Kelvin, his case at VCAT, and the proposed process for council to ensure emergency arrangements are in place before planning permits are approved.

I spoke at VCAT on the Access and Egress issues for the development at Hepburn Rd Doncaster.   For several other articles on this type Hepburn into the search space above.

A couple of notes:     Building Code of Australia (BCA)

The BCA has a stipulation that stricter rules apply when a building is above 25m high. This is because:

As explained by the BCA Guide to Volume 1 the provision regarding an effective height of 25 metres recognises the effective operating height for fire brigade ladders and other fire-fighting and rescue equipment. Above this height, fire?fighting, rescue and egress
problems increase considerably

The point that is not immediately obvious is that the Building Code requirements for Access and Egress are not only for the provision of safe escape for residents, it also protects emergency services personnel when entering the building to assist. The MFB, Police, Ambulance and SES have a primary responsibility to ensure the safety of their members. They will not be able to assist if the rescue path within in the building is unsafe.

Whilst the most obvious reason for Emergency Exits are for fire, this is clearly not the only reason for having compliant exits.

So additional state of the art fire sprinklers (as proposed by the Architect) may slow down the spread of a fire but will be ineffective if there are other emergencies requiring evacuation (like gas or chemical leaks etc).
The best outcome is still to have the requisite number of emergencies exits as clearly defined by the building code.

The Emergency Management Plan at the planning stages would certainly be useful to help inform the councillors decision when voting on a planning application. In much the same way as a traffic report or environmental impact assessment. The Emergency Management Plan would be submitted at a cost to the developer (not the rate payers).

This Emergency Management Plan would need to also indicate if the planning application complies with the Access and Egress provisions of the BCA directly (Deem-to-Satisfy) or if Alternate Solutions are proposed. Where Alternate Solutions are proposed, MFB is required to provide a report and consent (as per current regulations).

The council planning department are concerned about their ability to enforce. We do not have to rewrite the Building ACT and seek enforcement of the BCA on Access and Egress at the planning stage. This would still have to be the responsibility (and liability) of the Relevant Building Surveyor. All we ask is that as part of the planning approval process that resident safety is adequately considered with an Emergency Management Plan.

If the Emergency Management Plan reviews the development and provides expert advice that the building is safe, the council officers and councillors would be able to make a more informed decision. If the report recommends more exits, then this would only aid the developer as the changes can be made at the planning stages, and not be subject to bandaid fixes at building permit/VCAT stages- or worse still – result in a building that cannot be built.

C96 High Density Decision – Rescinded by Cr Meg Downie – and then Canceled by Management!

Back to where we were on Tuesday Night, Amendment C96 going to the Planning Panel.

Corp. Support Exec Manager Steve Goldsworthy changed his mind after accepting the Rescind motion, less than 24hrs prior.

There is a clause in Manningham’s meeting procedure laws which says they are not able to rescind the motion

Clause 8.36 Rescission or alteration motions are not permissible in respect of planning permit resolutions, planning scheme amendment resolutions or contract/tender acceptance resolutions

Refer Manningham council Website  Meeting Procedures Local Law (PDF, 240KB, new window).

There  are other options to be investigated. We will find out how Meg is following up on them, a good test of her tenacity !

 

C96 High Density Decision – Rescinded by Cr Meg Downie

 Stop Press – Major update from Last Night, C96 Vote : Cr Meg Downie Stepped up today and Rescinded the Motion.

Now the decision of when the C96 goes to the Planning Panel, will be reviewed at the next council meeting in November – by the new Councilors !  Well Done Meg.

Last Nights article: High density C96 passed to Planning Panel

As we always said, we want the improvements to DD08 High Density Regulations to be made, but that doesn’t mean they get rushed or go unchecked at any stage – we think the delay until early next year will allow better outcomes.

No-one really thinks that the Planning Dept will be over-run with un-manageable, excessive submissions during this time, nor that the Green wedge will be developed away as Cr Ellis suggested last night.

For Councilor Downie to stand up today and rescind the motion showed conviction, and that she heard the residents most affected, those from Koonung, those with insufficient representation.

I’m sure Cr Ellis and Macmillan won’t be happy, that their misdirecting and irrelevant speeches were wasted, but it was obvious that the public gallery weren’t buying it anyway.

When the C96 topic was brought up last night, there was an obvious tension between the councilors.

Mayor Gough didn’t even accept the alternative motion put last night by Cr Yang, which is why there was no seconder.  (Cr Yang Moved for the incoming councilors to have a chance to review before passing to the Independent Planning Panel.)
The motion has now been rescinded. The decision whether to accept the recission will be decided at the 27 November council meeting.

High density C96 passed to Planning Panel

Tonight the Manningham council voted on approving the council report, and passing it on to the Independent Planning Panel.

See our article on it here We were hoping to let the incoming council complete the council review, before closing this stage.

Very Disappointing vote; Only Cr Jennifer Yang and Cr Meg Downie Voted to let the incoming councilors have a say. We would like to point out that stand out actions like these are what we want to see from our councilors – now and in the future. Both these Councilors have supported us over the journey so far.

Cr Ellis, Cr Macmillan, Cr LaVella, and Cr Gough all voted to pass it tonight. Our concern is that then finalizes the councils report on residents views and recommendations.

Cr Ellis moved the motion – citing how they should finish the job, and how people wanted to block C96, ( the inference was permanently,) then trotted out the well used   “Ministerial push: Thou shalt move people into Manningham…” and continued with …if we don’t do it in these places it will happen in the low density and Green wedge areas….  He also referred to the 71 submissions, and insinuated the other 598 were insignificant because Continue reading High density C96 passed to Planning Panel →

Missed Annual Report at Special Council Meeting

Comment from the lady beside me at the close of the Special council meeting tonight 2012-10-16  ( and she was sincere.)

“When are they going to do the Annual report?” she said while waving the article from the Leader stating that as the reason for the Special meeting being convened. ” I came here just for that.”

Well I guess she must have blinked, because that was covered in a minute or two, no review, just patted the team on the back for a great report, and moved on. It was as if that wasn’t as important as the C96 vote that took something like 30 minutes, none of the councilors even got excited by it.

Maybe it was because like us they couldn’t read the report anyway, once it was reduced, copied, the color taken away, and placed in the agenda, it was barely readable. I suggested she obtain an electronic copy, to which she pointed out that was very poor presentation.