Item 9.3 – Dandenong Road, Carnegie – 4 storey, 22 dwellings

Esakoff moved to accept with the addition that balconies be moved so that there is no overshadowing. Okotel seconded.

ESAKOFF: said she chaired planning conference and that objectors complained about the car parking entrance as being ‘too close’ to the service road along Dandenong Road. So conditions ‘have been put in place to widen’ the exit. Residents also concerned about balconies overlooking into their private space but since not within 9 metres ‘planning controls don’t apply’. Site coverage is 87% and therefore brings up ‘permeability concerns – the height on the otherhand’ is within the zone limits. There are commercial sites abutting and this is ‘quite acceptable on Dandenong Road’ but amenity ‘impact’ on residential homes ‘is quite another matter’ so there are conditions for this and there is ‘already overshadowing’ due to an ‘overhang’ from the balcony above but ‘at least this particular condition won’t make that any worse’. Said that she would prefer a refusal because of ‘the site coverage’ which ‘is excessive’ but ‘there wasn’t support to refuse it’. However she hoped that the imposed conditions would ‘alleviate concerns’ that anyone living to the south would have.

OKOTEL: thought that the application was ‘appropriate in the context’ in that it ‘abuts commercial zones’. Also it ‘does meet largely the requirements’ for the ‘character of that area’. Thought that the amended motion was good because it means that residential properties to the East won’t be impacted so much. The application is ‘sensitive to this being a very busy area’ so ‘parking meets ResCode requirements’. Even though there is 87% site coverage there is ‘sufficient private open space in terms of balconies’.

LIPSHUTZ: supported the ‘motion reluctantly’. Has an ‘issue’ with site coverage which he thought was ‘inappropriate’ even though it ‘ticked all the boxes’ in regard to locality. There are also a ‘whole lot of other reasons why you couldn’t refuse it’ and Esakoff’s motion ‘goes a fair way’ to improving things but his ‘preference would be to refuse’.

HYAMS: ‘understood’ Lipshutz’s worries but this was an ‘unusual site wedged between shopping centre’ and residential zones. With Esakoff’s motion being ‘appropriate’ he supports it.

MOTION PUT and CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY (APPROXIMATELY 7 MINUTES)

COMMENT:

  • The site is roughly 1500 square metres. Allowing 7% more site coverage (ie it is 87% and should be 80%) is roughly the equivalent to another 2 units that council has turned a blind eye to.
  • We recommend that councillors refrain from citing ResCode as ‘prescriptive’ and how they can do nothing but adhere to these ‘standards’. There is plenty of evidence that when it suits, ResCode goes out the window in their decision making!
  • How two councillors can state that they favour ‘refusal’ and then vote in favour is beyond comprehension.
  • Okotel needs to re-read the planning scheme since there is no ‘character’ statement for housing diversity in Glen Eira.
  • Does this mean, according to Hyams that because the site is located next to commercial zones, that these future residents should not even be granted the most minimal amenity standards in terms of site coverage, permeability, open space, etc?

Item 9.2 – Balaclava road, Caulfield North – 3 storey, 32 dwellings

Hyams moved to accept with addition of the requirement that the body corporate (when established) be responsible for maintenance of car stacker and that a car parking management plan be produced. Seconded Pilling.

HYAMS: chaired conference. Main issue the laneway entrance and contamination of land. Admitted that the report ‘doesn’t refer in great detail to the laneway’ but there are conditions imposed to ‘ensure’ that car parking complies with the planning scheme. Said he spoke with Torres who ‘assured’ him that council’s engineers ‘are happy’ that the laneway access to the car park ‘is appropriate’. Said that ‘it is one of the widest laneways I’ve seen’. On contamination there will be an environmental audit to ‘certify that the land is appropriate for use’ as residential. Currently the site is vacant and ‘looks very ugly’. It’s in the General Residential Zone, so 10.5 metres ‘is appropriate’. There will be a ‘lift overrun’ but ‘that’s allowed’. A previous permit allows for 18 dwellings and a cafe so ‘it’s not a great change from what’s there now’. Parking meets Rescode, but ‘we all know’ that some residents have more than one car but the application meets ResCode so ‘that’s what we’re stuck with’. There will be ‘increased setbacks’ to allow more landscaping. Went on to regurgitate some of the other imposed conditions – ie overshadowing, Waste Management Construction Plan, etc. Thought that ‘this is an appropriate recommendation’ overall.

PILLING: had ‘nothing further’ to add.

LIPSHUTZ: supported the application and thought that ‘the architect should be congratulated’ because there is a ‘central courtyard’ and that’s not ‘something that you see’ in such dwellings. Thought that some of the setbacks for Balaclava and Kambrook Roads were unnecessary since there was ‘no overshadowing’ and the only benefit would be to ‘reduce the impact’ of the building on the ‘streetscape’. Overall ‘it’s a very good design’ and this ‘area has been an eyesore for many, many years’. ‘A well designed building and will add very favourably to the streetscape’.

MOTION PUT AND CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY. (APPROXIMATELY 6 MINUTES)

COMMENT

  • Staggering that Hyams does not think that a near doubling of the number of units permitted represents ‘not a great change’.
  • Does the new architectural guru (Lipshutz) now see setbacks as only required in case there might be overshadowing on adjacent properties?
  • How many more errors will go unnoticed in officer reports? For example: the site is GRZ2 and hence has a height limit of 10.5 plus lift over-run maximum of 1.5 metres. Yet, Point H of the ‘notes’ states – Written confirmation by a Licensed Land Surveyor must be provided to the Responsible Authority verifying that the development does not exceed 13.5 metres height above natural ground This must be provided at frame stage inspection and at final inspection. Surely with so many ‘professionals’ being paid, it is not asking too much that proper proof reading be done and the tendency for sloppy ‘cute and paste’ work be deemed unacceptable?
  • Council does not appear to have learnt its lesson for here we go again – the demand that the developer puts up notices about buyers not being granted parking permits is again part of the conditions. As far as we know, VCAT has laughed this condition out at least twice. But here it is again! Slow learners at council!
  • Residents need to take careful note of the following ‘new interpretation’ of the zones – The site has two frontages and two side boundaries. The requirements of Schedule 2 of the General Residential Zone, which seeks increased rear setbacks, is more appropriate on non-corner properties.
  • On aother important issue, we have uploaded Council’s right of way policy. We believe it is still current. Throughout the report the term  ‘laneway’ is used – yet does not appear on the register. Thus, if it’s a right of way, then the policy applies and it states categorically that upkeep, maintenance, etc. is the responsibility of the developer. Nothing of this appears in the officer’s report, nor does any councillor mention it. Another significant amenity issue that has been allowed to go through to the keeper!

Finally, on another issue entirely, we wish to alert residents that council has now gone into the business of selling ‘air space’ – Item 9.18!!!!!!

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