Sunken Apartments To Get Past Building Height Limits.

How many ways can heights be described? A clear example of  what happens when the rules have ambiguity – take note for the C96 amendment vote coming up
May 28th.

…To further example the uncertainty, the proposal (below) in sub-precinct A, at 185-187 Foote Street Templestowe, for a three/partial fourth storey, on a land area of 1548m, will be debated at a submitters meeting tomorrow the 18th April, 6pm at council offices. The proposal, which is actually 13.2m high, is to be sunk beneath the natural ground level by excavating to a depth equal to at least 3 meters (one storey, conform to the prescribed height of 9m above the natural ground level, (plus 1m extra to help minimise earthworks) despite the current  schedule which states; developments be designed and sited to minimise the need for earthworks (excavation) by either siting the building on the flattest part of the site or by designing the building to step with the land. … Full letter

In regard to 185-187 Foote Street.

Given the relevance of the above and the submissions re the height/storey criteria, I was keen to learn of how the Panel would respond to the rationale of council’s submission, (page 23) that height alone was a more precise measure rather than in conjunction with storeys, which they maintain is problematic. The panel, while appearing to take middle ground, only added to the ambiguity when it concluded;  Height should generally be specified in metres, with an additional commentary on the number of storeys permitted to help communicate the intent or outcomes of controls.

The council submission that developers might contemplate attics (which requires a pitched roof) or sacrifice height for mezzanines and higher ceilings, at the expense of apartment yield, appears contradictory. This rationale would  be more logical if it were applied to the current schedule concerning Sub-precinct B where multi-unit development up to two storeys is encouraged and where no height limit or minimum land area is prescribed.

To further example the uncertainty, the proposal in sub-precinct A, at 185-187 Foote Street Templestowe, for a three/partial fourth storey, on a land area of 1548m, will be debated at a submitters meeting tomorrow the 18th April, 6pm at council offices. The proposal, which is actually 13.2m high, is to be sunk beneath the natural ground level by excavating to a depth equal to at least 3 meters (one storey, conform to the prescribed height of 9m above the natural ground level, (plus 1m extra to help minimise earthworks) despite the current  schedule which states; developments be designed and sited to minimise the need for earthworks (excavation) by either siting the building on the flattest part of the site or by designing the building to step with the land.  

The panel did concede that the statutory provisions in the DDO8 control, and the Municipal Strategic Statement (Clause 21.05), make reference to number of storeys in addition to a maximum building height specified in metres.

  Sunken apartments foote St

The dark line represents the natural ground level

The criteria was first presented in press releases during 2004 and confirmed 12 months later in 30,000 letters addressed to affected parties, (paragraph 1, Page 2), three storey buildings (apartments) could only occur on sites larger than 2,000m2 (later reduced to 1800m2) with two storey permitted on smaller sites. There was also FAQ document released in the same period.

 

Below are examples of varying statements communicated to the community over the period since 2005

Manningham Leader April 2004

Under the blueprint, three-storey developments, with a maximum 11m height, are encouraged on consolidated lots of a minimum of 2000sq m, around neighbourhood activity centres.

Less intense development is preferred outside shopping centres and away from major roads and a maximum of two dwellings is allowed on an average-sized residential lot, under the guidelines.

The community were later informed the minimum land area had been reduced to 1800m2.

 

April 2005 letter to affected Parties (sent to 30,000 residents)

In these areas, three-storey developments are encouraged on sites with a minimum area of 2,000m2, which generally equates to three residential lots. If a minimum area of 2,000m2 cannot be achieved, Council would consider an application for a multi-unit development with a maximum of two storeys.

April 2005 FAQ  

Amendment C50 proposes to introduce a maximum height control of 9 metres (that cannot be varied) over the majority of the area affected by the Amendment. In areas around Activity Centres and along Main Roads, three-storey development up to a maximum of 11 metres can only be considered if it is proposed on a consolidated lot of 2,000m2 or more, which equates to three (3) average sized residential lots.

September 2005 (attachment 3)   (prior to panel C50)                                               

Sub-precinct A is an area where two storey units and three storey ‘apartment style’ development are encouraged. Three storey, contemporary developments may only occur on consolidated sites with a minimum area of 1.800m2 The area of 1.800m2 cannot include a 1ot(s) from a precinct where only two storey development is promoted. In this precinct, if a lot has an area less than 1.800m2 ,a  multi-unit development proposal can still be considered, but development should be a maximum of two storeys and have a maximum site coverage of 60%.

Higher developments on the perimeter of Sub-precinct A should be designed so that the height and form are sufficiently stepped down, so that the scale and form complement the interface of sub-precinct B.

Sub-precinct B is an area where single storey ‘and two storey units are encouraged. There is no minimum land area for such developments.

Form of development February 2006

Sub Precinct A is defined as an area where two storey units and three storey apartment style development is encouraged. Three storey contemporary

developments, however, can only occur on consolidated sites with a minimum area of 1800 sqm.

Information sheet pin 252 February 2011

Sub-precinct A is an area where two storey buildings and three storey buildings, including ‘apartment style’ developments are encouraged. Three storey, contemporary developments are encouraged on consolidated sites with a minimum area of 1,800m2. Higher developments on the perimeter of sub-precinct A should be designed so that the height and form are sufficiently stepped down, so that the scale and form complement the interface of sub-precinct B.

Proposed to C96 panel October 2012.

“Sub- Precinct A is an area where two storey units (9metres) and three storey (11metres) “apartment style developments are encouraged. Three storey, contemporary developments MAY only occur on consolidated sites with a minimum area of *1,800sqm. The area of 1,800 must all be in the same sub-precinct. In this sub-precinct, if a lot has an area less than 1800sqm, a multi-unit development proposal CAN still be considered, but the development SHOULD be a maximum of two storeys and have a maximum site coverage of 60%”………….(*previously 2000sqm)

(MAY could, might, perhaps. CAN means capable and SHOULD might be a recommendation, a desire or expressing the likelihood)

 

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