Parking is without doubt a central concern for Glen Eira residents. Council’s ‘solution’ has been to either waive parking requirements (especially for commercial uses) or refuse residential parking permits forcing car owners to park their vehicles in surrounding local streets.

Despite the Planning Scheme stating that Parking Precinct Plans will be devised, and that Public Acquisition Overlays will be introduced to provide public parking Council has done absolutely nothing on these matters. They have not purchased land and converted this into public car parks – rather they have ceded space in Centre Road in exchange for a yet to be built public toilet! Nor has council done anything in terms of introducing Parking Overlays that really address the issues.

Glen Eira has basically two Parking Overlays within its planning scheme:

  • One for the Caulfield Village Development, and
  • One for student housing in several areas throughout the municipality

We note that the Caulfield Village overlay has no visitor carparking in its mandate and the student housing overlays stick to the minimum allowable.

WHAT CAN BE DONE

At last council meeting Hyams claimed that Council is powerless to change ResCode parking standards. Not so! Council has the power to introduce schedules to any Parking Overlay that outstrips ResCode. (Clause 56.02-5). This would operate in the same manner as schedules to the residential zones. Basically, councils have been given the right to determine what parking provisions go where in their municipalities. Glen Eira has chosen to do bugger all in stark contrast to what countless other councils have achieved.

What is even more galling is that under the legislation councils can also exact a monetary payment from developers for any car parking space that council decides to waive. Glen Eira does not have such a clause in its existing overlays. Here is what some other councils collect if they decide to waive one spot –

Campaspe – $2000 per space

Cardinia – $16,935 (excl. GST) per space

Casey – $16,935 (excl. GST) per space

Colac – $13,000 (excluding GST)) per space

Greater Bendigo – $10,000 per space (no GST) per space

Greater Dandenong – $19,000 (excl. GST) per space

Monash – $11,000 (plus GST) per space

The minutes for the last Bayside City Council included the following –

Council has commenced the preparation of Car Parking Plans for the four Major Activity Centres of Bay Street, Brighton; Church Street, Brighton; Hampton Street, Hampton; and Sandringham Village, Sandringham to better manage car parking in these centres. The Car Parking Plans will provide the basis for Parking Overlays, to form part of the Bayside Planning Scheme. A Parking Overlay can be applied to a geographic area and can regulate financial contributions (such as cash in lieu scheme) amongst a range of other car parking management improvements.

We have been told that under the old Caulfield City Council regime developers paid $10,000 per car park waiver. This is now gone. How much money could Council have collected in the last 14 years? How much public car parking space could have been purchased to assist in alleviating what is now a nightmare for residents?

But it gets even worse once comparisons are made with the finer points of the various schedules that other councils have introduced. Councils can determine the number of spaces for various commercial uses. Glen Eira in its 2 parking overlays has basically stuck to the minimalist ResCode guidelines. They even argue in their planning officer reports that since a shop is ‘small’ that no parking is required, or that loading bays can be waived. Not so other councils. Here are some examples that show what can be done when there is the will to protect local amenity –

Office

Boroondara – Office 3.5 spots to each 100 sq m of net floor area)

PLEASE NOTE THAT for the Caulfield Village Council has 2 per 100square metres for office.

Manningham 2.5 per 100 square metres

Casey – 3.5 per 100 square metres

Restaurant

Manningham – 0.36 for every seat available

Monash – 0.45 spaces to each seat available .

Shop

Monash – 4 To each per 100 sq m of leasable floor area

Banyule – 4.6 for shop

Casey – 4 for any shop under 2000 square metres

There are plenty more categories (ie offices, supermarkets) where other councils have far exceeded what ResCode states. Not only has Glen Eira done literally nothing to address the parking concerns of residents but they have literally squandered the opportunity to garner hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars over the years which could have been used to purchase property (as the planning scheme states) and alleviate the congestion in activity centres and the flow on effects to local streets.

The failure to act is in keeping with so much that is amiss within Glen Eira. Of course, introducing Parking Overlays that actually address the problem would mean:

  • Current and effective analysis and possibly decent structure planning
  • It would also go against the grain of a council that is so developer friendly!
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