Planning Process Pains Perpetuated in Fullarton

A sitting of Unley’s Council Assessment panel last night saw how Planning Process Pains Perpetuate. This was in evidence with the approval of a 2-storey development on the corner of Culross Avenue and Fullarton Road.

Approved Development for Culross Avenue and Fullarton Road.

Neighbouring residents turned up on mass to protest a development proposed for that site. They left disillusioned by the Planning Process.

Several neighbours made verbal representations, backing up their written submissions. Unley MP David Pisoni, likely to be the planning minister in the new Government, also made representation.

The Panel approved the development. They did so because the application because it was not significantly at variance to the development plan. This was much to the dismay of the gallery.

Much of their dismay centred on understanding that development plans are not prescriptive, but a guideline. They felt that a minimum in the plan should be just that, a minimum.

Planning is not an exact science. This can even confuse those in the industry.

Opportunity missed in the Planning Process

Most of their dismay centred however in an arena they had control over a few years back. Last year this section of Fullarton Road was rezoned. The then Planning Minister signed off, as part of the planning process, on a development plan amendment.

Residents had an opportunity some 4 to 5 years ago to make representation at this stage of the planning process. Back then there was a proposal to alter our development plan to contribute to the Governments 30-year plan.

Not many did, unlike those in the west. The people in the west turned up in force to protest the changes. More to the point they were successful.

Back then, Jennie & I doorknocked all affected residents in Black Forest. We did so to ensure they received and understood the advice provided them by Council. We found many had not bothered to check the mail. Many also did not understand the potential impact on their neighbourhood. Our mentoring helped them, obviously with contrasting results to what happened in Fullarton.

Ultimately the DPA was split into two. The east was approved by the minister with the west left to be argued later (indefinitely).

This has resulted in a development approved that may not have been contemplated had the east been as informed and proactive as the west obviously was. One of many to come, one suspects.

Please Minister, Follow Unley’s Lead

As the government tries to take the lead on Planning Reform I implore them to follow Unley’s lead.

 

The Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure (DPTI), on behalf of the Minister, wrote to us late last year. They put a proposition to us  to co-operate with them as they push ahead with the Government’s planning agenda.

In attempting to take the lead on planning reform they have asked councils to collaborate with them. They are asking us to sign a formal agreement to work with them. An agreement intended as a living document that will adapt as things evolve and change. An agreement recognising the need for a more “formal” elected member involvement and direction.

I implore them to simply follow Unley’s lead. They have agreed with Unley’s approach to good design but this has yet to occur in other council areas.

This week our City Strategy & Policy Committee will be making a recommendation to Council in response to the Government’s request. I expect the committee (of which I am a member) and indeed council to agree to work with them. To facilitate the efficient and effective development and implementation of the new planning system, the co-operation and contribution of local government is pivotal.

In a spirit of continued co-operation and as an investment in better “local” outcomes, a genuine commitment to involvement is warranted. However, this must work both ways.

They (DPTI) need to recognise our understanding of the local environment. They need to follow Unley’s lead. Furthermore, other councils need to follow Unley’s lead.

We have already, with a series of DPAs, achieved the population accommodation required by the Government’s 30-year plan. We achieved this with selective rezoning. It has been achieved with planning principles for transitioning to adjacent residential zones not achieved anywhere else.

Please Minister, whoever you may be after the upcoming election, follow Unley’s lead.

The State Commission Assessment Panel not a rubber stamp

News fresh at hand would suggest the State Commission Assessment panel is not a rubber stamp. I have just received advice on there most recent decision. The new proposed Cremorne Plaza development has been deferred.

At their recent meeting they resolved as follows:

The State Commission Assessment Panel resolved to defer consideration of the proposal by Future Urban Group for DA 090/M008/17 at 244-246 Unley Road, Unley subject to the receipt of amended plans and documentation in relation to the following:
·          A review of the height of the development in the context of the planning policy and surrounding character of the area.
·          A review of overlooking impacts.
·          A review of the amenity of the south facing apartments and balconies in light of potential development to the south of the property.
·          A review of the visual bulk of the building.
·          Further examination of the finishes and materials proposed particularly on the podium.
·          A review of the parking provisions in light of the loss of available street parking arrangements on Hart Avenue, and the shortfall of carparks on site related to the provision of retail space.
·          A review of the Unley Road frontage and the Unley Road/Hart Avenue corner of the site to ensure feasible activation of the ground floor and public realm, especially as the outdoor dining area is unlikely to be supported by Council and DPTI Transport’s requirement for a 4.5m by 4.5m corner cutoff, under the Metropolitan Road Widening Act.
·          Consideration of the inclusion of areas for deep rooted plantings on the development site.
·          An updated waste management plan.
It is strongly suggested that further engagement be made with ODASA to resolve some of the above matters.

This may be evidence that the Unley Development Plan is succeeding.

Succeeding in restricting the ad hoc development we have seen elsewhere. It certainly goes to the heart of our Development Plan and our submission to the SCAP.

Time will tell if the SCAP is not a rubber stamp.

There is no end in sight to DPA’s as the Minister makes announcement

There is no end in sight to DPA’s as the Minister announced today that he has been listening to us. Demonstrating this he has announced two DPA’s pertinent to the City of Unley.

I attended on behalf of the City of Unley.

Minister Rau explained that he has been listening. He accepts he and indeed the City of Prospect have failed to provide quality developments along Churchill Road.

I heard him to say that good design is not all about getting the maximum financial result from a development. Good development must relate to its neighbourhood.

This has been the core of what we have tried to achieve here at Unley. We can all take great heart that we have led the way toward better design outcomes.

What has been learnt has been incorporated into a new “Inner & Middle Metropolitan Corridor (Design) Development Plan Amendment”.In so doing he is recognising the work that the City of Unley put into it’s corridor plan and more recently into the Unley Central DPA.

Much of the DPA focuses on the interface with surrounding suburban residential zones  and the street interface. It addresses too, environmental issues.

It would appear on the face of it that this is being incorporated in to the other DPA relevant to Unley. That is the “Inner & Middle Metropolitan Corridor (Sites) Development Plan Amendment”, which is the subject of another blog.

Both DPA’s are open for public consultation as of tomorrow. Submissions are required by 25 July. A public information session has been set for City of Unley participants on 22 June between 4.00 pm and 6.30 pm. It will be held at the Latvian Hall, 4 Clark Street Wayville.

I encourage all who have shown an interest in the recent series of DPA’s to take the opportunity to look at this one, and take part in the consultation.

Sorrybut there is no end in sight to DPA’s.

 

Unley Community responds to the Unley Central DPA

What a night it was last Tuesday. Council hosted the community around the Unley Central Precinct. A night of emotion. A night to remember.

Unley Central PrecinctIt is back to the drawing board as the Unley Community responds to the Unley Central DPA.

Last Tuesday night Council’s City Strategy and Development committee hosted a public forum. The forum allowed rate payers to further clarify their written submissions to Council’s Unley Central DPA.

Approximately 200 people provided written submissions and around 40 backed up these submissions on the night. Most but not all were against the draft proposals.

We received some valuable input from many. Input as to how we might change the draft before putting it to the Minister for approval.

I am sure the Committee and indeed Council will take these on board.

We must be careful though not to allow ourselves to get sucked into accepting misplaced submissions. There were several these. I have thoughts on this that will be the subject of another Blog post.

Many rate payers have forgotten that we (Council and rate payers alike) all agreed back in 2006 to put a proposition to the Minister. The proposition was to protect our historic conservation zones and our streetscape zones. We offered the Minister increased density in the main street corridors and in Unley Central.

What we have found as we have rolled out the various localised DPA’s is that many in our community have forgotten this. We have also found that the keep forgetting that this is not Council driven but Government driven. Our ongoing communication, written and verbal,  is probably responsible for this.

I remind our community that if we don’t conduct these DPAs the Minsiter will do it on our behalf. If this were to happen we lose all control and the result will NOT be to anyone’s liking.

We have also found that our rate payers inevitably believe that we should be focusing on other areas to rezone. In other words, they are in opposition to rezoning their area in favour of rezoning other areas. What these people do not understand is that all areas of council apart from the zones including the Le Cornu site which was raised several times in the submissions received.

What do you think of Unley Council? That is what I was met with this morning by one of our Rate Payers.

She was clearly distressed. They are tearing down the Council Chamber she declared. “We have to stop them” she said repeatedly.

 

central-squareHer concerns related to Council’s recent announcement about investigating redeveloping the Civic Centre Site. She understood Council was about to demolish the Town Hall and the Library. She believed that Council had sent her a letter confirming this.

Newspaper articles have refrained from identifying the Civic Centre site. They have used words like “towering over Town Hall”.  Words like “radical proposal to cannibalise its own Council Chambers”. Ratepayers and others are also distributing flyers indicating Council WILL be building 8 storeys on the Village Green.

Please, please, please! Pay no attention to this alarmist dialogue. It is untrue. For the truth I invite you read my recent blog post.

And let me stress:

1    The Council is only considering whether or not to redevelop the Civic Centre Site. The Civic Centre site houses Council’s administration.

2   We are not demolishing the Town Hall or the Library. They are State Heritage listed buildings. As anyone who knows, we are very proactive in protecting our heritage.

3   We are not going to build over the Town Hall or Library.

4   We have no intention of building an 8 storey building on the Village Green.

5   We have not sent any letter saying otherwise.

6   We are simply looking into what opportunities a redevelopment of the Civic Centre site will provide to better serve the community of Unley.

7   The investigation will take some 12 months.

8   Our community will be asked to contribute what they believe we can achieve in considering such a redevelopment.

We will soon be asking you to help us determine what would be the best use of the Civic Centre site for our future community.

Can I close by asking you this question. Do you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution?

 

Unley Central Precinct DPA is ready for final consultation

After nearly two years of deliberations, the Unley Central Precinct DPA is ready for final consultation. This the final chapter in shaping the future potential of the Unley Central Precinct.

The DPA encompasses the recommendations of the Development Strategy & Policy Committee. I am proud to have chaired this committee.

The criteria adopted is the result of all previous consultation with our community.  It includes what we learnt earlier this year from the successful Design Lab . We do not need to go to the extent many (including the government ) thought was needed. We believe the DPA will be approved by the Minister. It should achieve his government’s goals. We trust it will be acceptable to our community knowing we have to achieve the governments population forecasts.

shaping_the_future_unley_central_precinct_brochurep1

shaping_the_future_unley_central_precinct_brochurep2

There is no limit currently to the height of buildings in this precinct. Building heights in the precinct will now be limited. They are to be kept within our previously successful high street 30 degree envelope strategy. Keeping inside this envelope will provide the best interface with surrounding residential areas we could expect to achieve.

Significantly the area will now become a mixed use zone. Development will no longer be limited to retail or community opportunities. Opportunity for residential development in the upper floors of the buildings will now be possible.

Walking zones through the precinct have been created. This will provide for safer access than exists now, in both the north-south and the east-west directions.

Traffic flow management is not included as it is not a planning consideration under the Act. This will be addressed separately by council after the DPA is approved by the Minister.

The Unley Central Precinct DPA has commenced.

You have until November 18 this year to contribute. Another chance to input into the final draft before it is presented for the last time to DPTI and the Minister. Please take the opportunity. There is still room for fine tuning. Your input may prove pivotal to the best outcome.

 

Unley Central draft DPA considered by DSP committee

The Unley Central Draft DPA was considered last night by the Committee I chair. We considered a very in depth report from our administration and URPS, the consultants.

Unley Central DPA draftAccompanying the report was the Unley Central draft DPA. Both documents required significant reading. In my case I devoted the weekend to so doing. It is my belief the report has captured well the concerns and opinions of the public involvement to date whilst addressing the Minister’s requirements.

The report and the draft DPA can be found as attachments to the meeting agenda. This can be found here on our web site.

With strong input from independent and elected members alike the committee was quite supportive of the work that has been done. They did make a number of minor observations.

They highlighted appreciation in particular for the work done to ensure a gradual transition from existing neighbouring residential zones. The detailed work done to arrive at appropriate set backs and envelopes was appreciated.

Concerns were almost unanimously expressed regarding infrastructure needs and traffic flow. Infrastructure improvements is of course a council responsibility. A study is under way as we speak investigating this. It does not impact directly on the Unley Central draft DPA however as the DPA is purely planning.

Traffic flow was also considered in the report. It included an analysis by another consultant, Infraplan. They have made a number of observations. Once again this will be the province of council and have no direct bearing on the Unley Central draft DPA. Our independent members were supportive of the analysis by Infraplan. Elected members had concerns over such things as no right turns along Unley Road.

Council still has much work to do in these areas. The committee was keen to recommend Council pursue this. They did this by including an amendment inspired by myself to the motion (item 4 below) which was passed unanimously. The motion is below:

1.             The report be received.
 
2.            The URPS Unley Central Precinct DPA Summary of Design Lab stakeholder consultation documentation be noted.
 
3.            The draft Unley Central DPA (and the summary of proposed minor amendments) be noted.
 
4.            It be noted the traffic investigations supporting the current DPA proposals indicate there are no significant implications in the short-term. The issues identified for the longer-term should be considered via  Council’s broader strategic planning processes.
 
5.            A finalised draft Unley Central DPA (addressing the minor amendments) be prepared and presented for endorsement as suitable for public consultation to Council at its meeting on the 22 August 2016.

Now — Over to Council to endorse the Unley Central draft DPA with changes to come back to council in August. We are one step closer to public notification. I suggest this is looking like October/November. Over to council also to separately continue to pursue answers to infrastructure needs and traffic flow challenges.

Unley Central to progress to Design Lab

My Development Strategy & Policy Committee and subsequently Council have been briefed on the results of the recent public consultation. Council has accepted the encouragement of the Committee to move to the next stage of the DPA process.

After some confusion over the public conversation in December the Committee the considered whether or not it was pertinent to continue general consultation before engaging with stakeholders. They felt that we received worthwhile feedback from the public and of sufficient quality to proceed to the next step. Council concurred.

Unley-Central-Concept-Image-for-YSUThe next step is to conduct what we are calling a “Design Lab”.

Staff are busy preparing now for the Design Lab. They are taking on board the information solicited from both the public and the committee. Again we received a rich contribution from the independent members of the committee.

Public feedback was quiet constructive. People recognised the need for may I suggest “controlled” high rise redevelopment. What we did hear among other things was an eagerness for us to take into consideration such things as traffic flow, shared roads with safer bicycle and pedestrian access, parking, and a soft interface with surrounding residential zones.

The Design Hub which is likely to occur mid April will take the form of a long workshop. Participants will be encouraged to provide some input into detail. We can then progress the Development Plan Amendment to a point where it can be presented to the public for final comment. This I expect will be somewhere between June and November. It can then proceed to the minister.

Participation will be by invitation only. They will be drafted from what you might call key stakeholders. This would include as I see it:

selected major property owners,

potential developers,

community,

heritage and environmental groups such as FOCUS,

bike user groups,

representatives of The Unley Business and Economic Development and Infrastructure and Sustainability Committees,

the Unley Road Traders Association,

Council staff and Elected Members

and relevant State Government departments.

 

The ‘Design Lab’ will be structured to test a number of potential design and land use options for the precinct.

The intent of the Design Lab is to identify a preferred option that best meets stakeholder and community aspirations within the Governments objectives.

That is our challenge. Wish us luck.

Reminder to have your say on Unley Central

A month ago today I blogged on the Unley Central Precinct project and asked for your input. That blog can be viewed here.

 

Thank you those of you who have already responded to the survey with the letter we sent you on the 5th of this month. The feedback we have received will be very useful when later next year we start putting together a Development Plan Amendment.

Unley-Central-Concept-Image-for-YSUThose of you who have not yet responded to the survey we encourage to so do. Your thoughts on such matters as traffic, transport and parking will be essential as we attempt to create a Development Plan that meets Council’s vision for the Unley Central Precinct and the goals of the State Governments 30 Year Plan.

We have received some very worthwhile input from residents thus far and look forward to receiving more. We ask those of you have yet to respond to do so.

What we are looking for from you are your thoughts on the importance of a variety of impacts higher density development will have on the centre or heart of our City. This will provide us considerations on how to plan for the desired urban design, built form, land use, traffic, transport, and parking to guide the preparation of a Development Plan Amendment for the area. This DPA we hope to work on and present to the minister late next year after consulting with you on its contents.

We expect to invite your further input between now and commencing on the DPA once we can tabulate and prioritise the feedback we receive from you on this first consultation.

Councils vision as part of complying with the State Governments 30 year Plan recognised not just the built form but identified opportunities to improve the public realm and the movement through the area. A copy of this plan is available at www.unley.sa.gov.au/major-projects. This has prompted the series of questions to help guide your input.

Now it’s your turn. Please help us create a city of the future that can and does accommodate population growth but in a way that enhances the lifestyle of those living there.

Residents contribution to planning and development

A major change in the current reform as noted in my earlier blog posts today is taking away the rights of individuals, neighbours to make representations on developments that will impact on their property.

 

On the surface this is not unreasonable as I put my Builder hat on. What has frustrated me as a builder are such things under the current system as when a permitted development (ie 2 storey in a 2 storey zone) is delayed to allow the neighbours to represent against the development because it is 2 storey.

Public notification on a project that complies is a nonsense in that representation will not change the minds of those charged with deciding whether or not to approve the development. It gives the representor an unrealistic expectation that they may influence the decision and extend the time it takes for the inevitable approval.

This is a Government issue not a council issue because Schedule 9 of the State Government’s Development Regulations 2008 triggers the call for public participation. If council did not do this then a neighbour could contest any decision made on that application.

The regulations SHOULD change to address this.

Problem is with the ministers proposal is that there will be no ability for the public to respond if the development proposed does not comply with the relevant development plan.

Here is the dilemma. Four years on our DAP qualifies me to suggest that many (if not a majority of) applications exceed the provisions of the development plan. His bill takes away your right as a neighbour to have a say on a project say 2 storey in a single storey zone.

As a builder I always tried and inevitably did design developments that complied with the relevant development plan. The result of this is most of my applications were passed in a very short space of time. Surely those who choose to push the boundaries should expect the process to take longer to ensure due process has been applied.

The minister is justifying his bill by indicating that people have the chance to contribute at the time a development plan is being implemented or undergoing an amendment. Look out for a subsequent blog for my thoughts on this.

 

 

Some thoughts from my dual hats of Planning Reforms

I have watched with interest the debate that has prevailed in recent times over Minister Rau’s planning reforms.

As a builder I have great empathy for the lengthy times it takes to get the most minor of projects through the planning system. As a councillor on the other hand I have true respect for the role the community plays in ensuring that development in their area is appropriate.

 

Interestingly the people frustrated at both ends can be the same people on different sides of the fence for the next development.

Builders and therefore their clients (you and your neighbours)  are rightfully frustrated by the time it takes to get an approval for their development, more often than not an addition to their own home. Councils have borne the focus of the angst that has created, often seen as the meddling cause of the delays. You are likely to have been a council critic. I know I have.

The truth is the system, as designed by the state government, is the cause not councils. There have been many changes proposed in the bill the minister has put before Parliament that are good. They will definitely help to improve the system significantly.

There are changes proposed that need to be at the forefront of change but which will be delayed due to I understand the cost of implementing them. I speak specifically about setting up a date based development plan regime. This is an area that should have  a focus long before those who may participate ion the approval process are questioned.

A major focus for the ministers bill is focused unfortunately on who may be involved however. He is set on  removing both residents and elected members of council out of the approval process.

I intend in the next 24 hours or so to put my thoughts on the removal of both residents and elected members from the process in separate blog posts.

So watch this space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minister Rau picks up the Planning Reform Pace.

While Unley Council’s recent focus has been on Brownhill Creek the area that I have a passion for has been simmering in the background.

 

Our Deputy Premier & Minister for Planning has been working on his various planning strategies and a number of them are coming to a head as he picks up the Planning Reform Pace.

Here is a summary of what is happening as we speak.

 

Development Plan Amendments – Ministerial Initiated

 

Inner and Middle Metro Corridor Infill DPA – This DPA is to extend the Urban Corridors Zoning much further across the cities major transport corridors.  Council has just received the Draft DPA from DPTI and is in the early stages of analysing the detail. Council has made some observations about this DPA which have already been taken on board by DPTI and therefore the Minister, such as leaving Goodwood Road’s heritage precinct alone for us to address in our own DPA sometime in the near future.

 

Existing Activity Centres DPA – The draft has recently been released by the Government for public comment until 21 October 2015.  This has significant implications for Unley and again DPTI woudl appear to accept our take that with a number of conflicts with the Corridors DPA that this shoudl not be considered in the inner rim councils.

 

30 Year Plan Update

 

Our officers having been working with Departmental Staff on an updated 30 Year Plan, which is the Metropolitan Adelaide Planning Strategy.  Officers will be provided with further briefings and invitation for feedback in the first half of October, with the expectation that a Consultation Draft of the 30 Year Plan Update will be released prior to Xmas.

 

Planning Reform Legislation

 

DPTI_Planning_System_header_560x200The Planning Reform Bill has been introduced into Parliament.  As is often the case, consultation on the Bill has opened for 30 days from 8 September – a very tight consultation period not really cognizant of Council meeting time frames. For the Masochists amongst you can access the Bill at http://dpti.sa.gov.au/planning/planning_reform and let me know what you think.

 

Latest Regulatory Changes

 

More changes have been made to Development Regulations to make the Coordinator General the relevant agency with which to lodge Development Applications for dwellings and associated land division proposals in relation to the redevelopment of existing Housing Trust properties.

Development Plan Amendment Update

TakingUnley-Council-Development-Plan-30-January-2014 a break from Brownhill Creek I thought it appropriate, after advice from our administration, to provide you with a Council Development Plan Amendment Update.

It is a busy time coming up for the Development, Planning & Strategy Committee. For this councillor it will be a good change from dealing with the politics of Brownhill Creek.

 

DPA 2 – The portion east of Goodwood Road has been progressed and we expect that the Minister will authorise this before the end of the year.  The remaining areas to the west of Goodwood Road have partly (Anzac Highway) been captured in a ministerial DPA. Areas in Everard Park, Black Forest and Clarence Park are wrapped up in a Part 2 (West) of the DPA.  This is currently expected to be pursued by DPTI, but there is no urgency (yet), and there may be a review of some elements required, particularly Leader Street in light of the Corridors DPA described below.

 

District Centre Zone (Unley Central) DPA – Consultants have been appointed and will be meeting with the DSP Committee on 21 September to discuss the proposed Community Engagement Plan for this DPA.  This DPA looks at changes to the District centre Zone to more overtly encourage residential development, and possibly make minor amendments to the zone boundaries.  It is anticipated this DPA will be completed by early 2017.

 

General DPA – This DPA was designed to address a number of anomalies and required updates in the Development Plan.  Many of these have now been captured in the Ministerial DPA’s.  Council resources have been diverted towards providing feedback/input into the Ministerial DPA’s (which was unplanned and extensive) and consequently the General DPA has not progressed significantly.  Once it becomes clear the exact extent of how other DPA’s have subverted this one, it may need reconsideration of whether, or how, to proceed with this DPA.

 

Goodwood Oval Phone Tower a litmus test for Council’s DAP

I will be watching with interest the upcoming decision by Council’s DAP on the Goodwood Oval Phone Tower proposed proposed by Vodafone. It may well prove a litmus test for the Government’s proposed changes to the Development Act.

 

A number of residents have been confused as to Council’s role in this process. In particular some are of the belief that our elected members should be standing up to whoever is proposing this and saying hands off. They say this on the understanding that there will be only one view without and before knowing if that is in fact the case.

Having said that, if I were a betting man, I would say that is the case.

The fact of the matter is there is a due process that must be followed under state legislation. Council must receive the application and cannot refuse to receive it. That said the Act does allow means for public participation in certain circumstances and the phone tower is one such circumstance.

Beyond that the process provides a mechanism by which the application should be judged. In some cases this is the responsibility of the paid officers of the planning department of council. In others, including this one, that responsibility is vested in the hands of a panel known as the development Assessment Panel or DAP.

It is their job to read and understand the application and the planning officer’s report and recommendation. They must also read and understand any representation made by the public on the matter. They have to determine if the observations made in any representation, whether supporting the application or rejecting the application, is valid under the terms of the development plan.

The State Minister for Planning (and Deputy Premier) John Rau has sited often that elected members sitting on Council DAPs are making politically expedient decisions on planning matters rather than assess the application on is merits against the development plan. This is one of the core reasons why he wants to see councils and in particular elected members removed from the planning assessment process.

Many people in the street, frustrated by perceived delays in getting their 2 storey addition passed through council would probably agree with the minister. The very same people are critical then of Mr Rau for having already taken the power away from councils on high rise developments.

Our DAPs handling of the Goodwood Oval phone tower may well prove a litmus test on the minister’s move to take Council out of the development process. How the individual members of the DAP vote will at least.

Will the elected members vote the same as the independent members? Will the elected members be split in their vote? Will the independents be split in their vote? Will the elected members vote one way and the independents vote the opposite way?

Hmmmmm!

Where we are with DPA 2

Further to my post on this website today about Council’s program of Development Plan Amendments I can comment more specifically on where we are with DPA 2.

 

After the strong contribution to DPA 2 by you, particularity those residing in Back Forest and Clarence Park, we conducted a preliminary review prior to the Council caretaker period for the November 2014 elections. The elections unfortunately delayed further progress until a complete review was presented to the new Development, Strategy & Policy Committee and then to Council in April 2015.

The review took on board your contribution and in respect of Black Forest and Clarence Park has all but recommended we maintain the status quo. In other words the proposed changes have been withdrawn almost in their entirety. Higher Density is still contemplated for the aged accommodation precinct at the South Road end of Norman Terrace, Everard Park.

Council also agreed with a suggestion from DPTI to split the Residential DPA into two parts:

Part 1 – east of a line along Goodwood Road, tram-line and East Avenue for final approval by the Minister for Planning

Part 2 – west of a line along Goodwood Road, tram-line and East Avenue for approval to release for re-consultation.

Part 1 was submitted in June 2015 for approval by the Minister for Planning. Approval is anticipated later in August 2015.

The necessary preparation of a revised DPA Part 2 (for the western areas – excluding Anzac Highway and Leader Street as these areas are now part of the Corridors Ministerial DPA) is being prepared.

Conclusion and submission of a revised draft DPA Part 2 to the Minister for approval to release for public consultation should occur by August 2015. The timing and coordination of the public release of the Residential DPA Part 2 will need to be considered in the context of the Minister’s Corridors DPA, and also with the Council’s General DPA, to avoid confusion and convergence of resource demands.

Where we are with DPA 2 right now. Watch this space as time marches on.

Where are we with our Development Plan Amendments

With the recent announcement by the Minister that he plans a wide reaching Development Plan Amendment (DPA) focused on Activity Centres it is timely for me to report how we are going with our Development Plan Amendments.

 

The three current DPAs being pursued by the Development, Strategy & Policy Committee I chair are progressing as follows:

1   DPA 2

This has been split into 2 parts as you may remember from previous posts on this website.

– Part 1 (EAST) submitted for Approval of the Minister – June 2015. We await his rubber stamp on this.

– Part 2 (WEST) is being prepared for submission for approval to release for further public consultation, probably in August 2015. I will comment further on this DPA in a separate blog post. If you live in Goodwood or Clarence Park Wards this should be compulsory reading.

2   General DPA

The draft proposal was examined during this committees workshop in May 2015. We are now refining some of the proposals and the final draft being prepared subject to resolution of Minister’s DPAs on Activity Centres and Corridors.

The recently announced Activity Centres and Corridors Ministerial DPA’s will however affect the General DPA non-residential zones proposed revisions. It may slow this one down. This in turn may slow down DPA 2 as well as we had planned to take both out together to the community for your input.

3   Unley Central Precinct DPA

Our statement of Intent submitted in January 2015 was approved by the Minister on 31 May last. A tender is currently being processed to appoint a consultant team by August 2015 to engage stakeholders and the community and to prepare a draft DPA. We would expect to see this being completed by say March 2016. This is presuming that the Ministerial DPA I spoke of back on the 26th May does not require us to redirect resources to contribute to the Ministerial DPA.

The committee is poised ready to work through the next stages of each of these Development Plan Amendments.

Ministerial DPA to challenge Council

By speeding up the process of DPA’s to accommodate their 3o year plan the State Government has created challenges not anticipated by Council. All have the potential to compromise us publically and impact our bottom line budget.

 

I indicated in an earlier blog post that Minister Rau is seemingly hell bent on rushing the DPA reforms necessary to implement their 30 year plan. This is particularly so in relation to the inner metropolitan areas. He has advised an Inner and Middle Metropolitan Corridor Infill DPA is to be undertaken at this time.

This urgent priority for an unusually rapid progression of the re-zoning will require substantial effort by Council if we are to positively influence the outcome on your behalf.

Obtaining the best outcome for our rate payers means full cooperation with DPTI. It will require some contribution to the formulation of appropriate policy outcomes. It will also require some involvement in community engagement. This will require significant resourcing and will unfortunately put us in the public eye on the same page as the Government.

We risk being tainted by appearing on side with the Government’s broad brush approach. This is an approach which has been seen as confrontational.

Our approach is to take a more empathetic local approach bringing our citizens along with us rather than in opposition. Our forward DPA program (of some 5 years) is being ignored by the Minister however as it is taking too long. Ensuring detail always does of course.

Full cooperation will test our resources and significantly impact on our budget. Doing nothing and divorcing ourselves from the process will mean we abrogate our responsibility to our citizens by vesting complete control in the hands of the Government.

We have already felt the impact of his decision. We have had to divert the focus of our senior planner to address his request for observations from us and to advise how we might assist them. He required this from us with minimal time to respond.

This has meant we have delayed bringing our General DPA to a point where it can be consulted with publically. Returning DPA 2 to the public arena has also been delayed.

The next challenge is how much do we participate in their DPA with our have limited resources.

We can choose to co-operate fully including in the public consultation process. We can choose to simply respond from a council point of view as part of the public consultation process. or we can do nothing I guess.

Whatever we choose on Monday night there will be implications on our budget.

I will report on what decision we make after the minutes of the Council meeting are made available.

Development Strategy & Policy Committee. First cab off the rank

The Development Strategy & Policy Committee, the committee for which I am the Presiding Member, is the 1st section 41 committee to meet.

 

The first meeting of the Development Strategy & Policy Committee will be on Monday 20th April in the Civic Centre.

As I have previously reported this committee has the biggest forward agenda and biggest challenge of all Council’s section 41 committees. We have some urgent business to contend with as well.

I am looking forward to working with the members of this committee and Council’s support Management &  Staff. We have what I consider to be a strong committee, with the necessary cross section of skills and experience to provide Council with sound and constructive advice. To see who is on this committee check out my blog post from earlier today.

The agenda will be available on councils website from next Thursday.

One of the first issues to come before this committee I expect will be the return of Development Plan Amendment DPA 2.  So stay tuned to this blog site for news on where DPA2 is.

Should Cremorne Plaza or any high rise development be judged on storeys or height?

To better understand the likely reasons why the DAC have approved the building proposed at the Cremorne Plaza site we need to understand it could have been as high as it is without it being 7 storeys.

 

A 5 storey therefore, indeed a 4 storey development (all of which I suggest would have been accepted publically even if only begrudgingly) could still have been proposed at the height of the approved development. This could be if each storey or at least the ground floor retail space had higher (even significantly higher) floor to ceiling heights.

Those arguing that the development should have been only 5 storeys therefore have, I would suggest, a tenuous argument at best. I say that firmly believing that they would not have an argument if the height remained the same but less storeys were provided.

What this development did do however was increase the height of the development from what the development plan understood a 5 storey development would be, justifying the public concerns. But a height that was not governed by the number of storeys but by the space available to it by the envelope defined in our development plan.

The height of development on this site was governed therefore by the depth of the development site. The plan stipulates a 30 degree slope from a height of 3.0 m on the boundary bordering the adjacent zone, remembering that council was overridden during the development plan amendment a year ago on its proposed 2.0 m starting height.

This site being significantly deeper than that envisaged by the plan has enabled a height greater than anticipated and this I believe is the real issue for not only the approval but the disquiet among the community. The block depth is 76 m, well in excess of the (from memory) 50-60 m the development plan was based on.

This depth has allowed for greater heights than that envisaged by the plan. With the height available and low floor to ceiling heights the developer was able to get more storeys than the plan stipulates.