WHY THE DELAY?

Contrary to what Mayor Pilling stated at the Caulfield Village planning conference, namely that council would make its decision on the development plan on April 8th, there is no item set down for decision this coming Tuesday night. What makes this omission even more fascinating is that Schedule 2 of the C60 amendment states – 

The responsible authority must make a decision on the development plan or amendment to the development plan within 60 days after the completion of the display.

The submission/advertising period ended on the 26th of February. The next scheduled council meeting exceeds this 60 day limit – admittedly by only one day. However, given the ‘legalities’ that this council is so keen on, we have to wonder what is really going on. Surely 4 months (at least) to ‘assess’ the submitted plans should be sufficient for our fabulous planning department? Or is there possible dissension in the ranks? Perhaps another conveniently supplied ‘loophole’ for the MRC to ‘negotiate’ to their advantage? All conjecture of course, but given Council’s track record (pun intended) on this issue we have to wonder. Perhaps council might for once furnish residents with an explanation?

RECORDS OF ASSEMBLY

The Records of Assembly make for some more interesting conjecture on the Valuer-General item from the previous two council meetings.

At the 11th March meeting both Hyams and Esakoff declared a conflict of interest. Lipshutz (who was present) DID NOT DECLARE AN INTEREST. Presumably he therefore partook in the discussion.

A week later, on the 18th March meeting on the same item, he apparently changed his mind and did declare a conflict of interest.

OPEN SPACE LEVY

Council is finally making a move after 11 years in hiking up its open space levy to 5.7% across the board by seeking permission to ‘prepare and exhibit’ Amendment C102. Whilst most welcome, and certainly a vast improvement on what the Open Space strategy initially proposed (ie 4 to 5%) we have to note the following:

  • Stonnington, which has the second lowest proportion of open space, is currently seeking an 8% levy and more for its commercial precincts. Glen Eira with the lowest proportion of open space is, in contrast, only seeking a 5.7% levy for all developments – commercial, residential or mixed use.
  • Instead of clapping themselves on the back in relation to the $4m levy achieved from the proposed Caulfield Village we have to wonder why this council settled for so little given that this 5 hectare bit of land is going to be the most densely populated area in the municipality.
  • There are claims of ‘analysis’ in a paper that is mooted to become a ‘reference document’ to the Amendment. That of course has not as yet been made public. Other councils (ie Whitehorse, Bayside) don’t seem to have had any problems in publishing their detailed analysis prior to the actual Amendment process. Even worse is that the officer’s report claims that the objective is to meld the Open Space Strategy with the proposed Amendment when there was absolutely no detailed discussion, nor analysis provided in the now accepted Open Space Strategy.

PS: And for the sheer heck of it we’ve pinched the following (slightly edited) from Abbattoir Facebook.  

fraser

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