Unley Central DPA has finally been put to bed

The Unley Central DPA has finally been put to bed in what has been a lengthy process. A process of continual community consultation stretching between 2 and 3 years. Hopefully.

Council last night sat to decide on the final draft of the Unley Central DPA and in so doing, the Unley Central DPA has finally been put to bed. The final draft that will be submitted to the Minister for his decision.

The Minister may yet come back to us and seek a change or changes. It is my belief that if he does it is unlikely to concern our recommendations on the east side of Unley Road, the Civic Centre and Village Green site.

Looking back at my blog post of 21 February I can say that Council and its community have worked together. The input of two representative groups, FOCUS and SOS Unley Village Green, were invaluable.

They both recognised that we needed to be careful not to put something to the Minister that would prompt him to reject our work and take the DPA over. They have contributed to a result I trust is acceptable to the Minister, John Rau.

Those two groups showed leadership with their revised submissions at last Monday night’s council meeting. It took “guts” to do this. It did displease some of the FOCUS members. That is leadership.

We will be submitting the following to the Minister focusing on maximum building heights in each of the following areas:

  • west of the Soldiers Memorial Gardens – 18.5 metres (5 storeys).
  • north of the Memorial Gardens and south of Arthur Street – 18.5 metres (7 storeys)
  • north of Arthur Street (Target, Bazaar and Haddad sites) – 32.5 metres (9 storeys)
  • east of Unley Road north of Oxford Terrace – 18.5 metres (5 storeys)
  • on the northern side of Oxford Terrace – 11.5 metres (3 storeys)
  • Council Civic Area – also 11.5 metres (3 storeys) with 1 storey to Edmund Avenue, Rugby Street & eastern end of Oxford Terrace – the Committee recommended 5 and 2 storeys respectively

We also determined to keep the Village Green in its current location and to exclude residential development from the Community Area east of Unley Road to the south of Oxford Terrace.

The question on everyone’s lips is, Is the Mayor going to resign

I have been asked often recently is the Mayor going to resign? This refers to his Liberal preselection to the State seat of Badcoe I reported on Saturday. So! Is the Mayor going to resign?

This morning the Mayor has answered that question. He has advised his intentions to both members of Council and to the Executive.

First up, the Local Government Act provides for this.

Clause 54 (1) (e). A member of council must resign when that member becomes a member of an Australian Parliament. It does not require this if he or she is campaigning to become a member.

Clause 54 (8) deals with a casual vacancy that exists in the Office of Mayor on or after January 1 on a year in which a periodic election is due. It indicates a member chosen by Council may act in the office of Mayor until the conclusion of the election. The next periodic election for Council is November next year.

If the Mayor were to resign prior to January 1 next year the ratepayers of the City of Unley would have to fund a by-election. Not so if he resigns after that time.

Beyond this should the Mayor take a leave of absence the Deputy Mayor will become Acting Mayor during that absence. Under the Act any elected member can take a leave of absence for up to 3 consecutive regular council meetings without the approval of Council.

Lachlan has indicated his intentions to us.

That all said, our Mayor has advised that it is his intention to take a leave of absence in October this year. He then intends to resign as Mayor in January of next year. This is pretty much in line with the provisions noted above.

In his letter to us he believes a Councillor as Acting Mayor from January will provide the greatest stability in leadership of the Unley community. He notes too it is also considerably less expensive than a general election. This he believes is his best option.
As the current Deputy Mayor I will therefore become Acting Mayor from October thru’ January. It means also that Council may elect from within our numbers an Acting Mayor. That position will occur from January through to the completion of the periodic election in November next year.

 

Residents who are Land Locked West of Goodwood Road

With all good intentions it seems Council has not recognised those residents who live west of Goodwood Road. When designing the improvements to Goodwood Road from the tram line to Victoria Street we have not consulted them. We have not in other words recognised a group of residents who are land locked west of Goodwood Road.

The Goodwood Road redevelopment, which is well underway, promises to add life to an already vibrant precinct.

Council has a vision for this section of Goodwood Road. We want to make it more of a destination rather than a commuter thoroughfare. We are looking to make it a more pedestrian friendly environment.

As you would no doubt be aware, we’re in full swing of construction and local company. Local Company Outside Ideas are putting out a good pace.

Hope you like the result that’s been achieved so far!

Works on the eastern side moving south from the tram crossing commence Tuesday after the long weekend. Work on the western side has been interrupted however.

Some residents have identified a concern with the design. They are those who live west of Goodwood Road and who use Victoria Street to commute from home to work etc.

These residents believe the narrowing of the junction of Victoria Street into Goodwood Road will cause significant delays for motorists accessing Goodwood Road. This is whether turning north or south.

This conflicts with our administration’s view. Their focus is to improve pedestrian movement and safety at the intersection. Their study indicates that there is only room for one car to access Goodwood Road at a time. I admit my own assessment was similar. That has been, as a regular user of Victoria Street, my experience.

A number of residents do not see it this way however. They believe there has always been room for those turning right and left to both access Goodwood Road at the same time.

Hearing from these residents has highlighted a glitch in our original public consultation. With most of the side street renovations being on the east side of Goodwood Road, only residents living east of Goodwood Road were directly consulted. Had I known this was our administrations intent, I would have intervened. I would have asked for council to support a wider public engagement.

Having lived in Cromer Parade previously I am only too conscious of this. Of having been one of those residents land locked west of Goodwood Road.

Error identified we will now being doing just that. Seeking the input of those of us Land Locked West of Goodwood Road.

If you are one of those land locked between Goodwood Road and the tram and train lines you will get a chance now to contribute. You can assist us to determine whether narrowing Victoria Street where it meets Goodwood Road is a good or a bad thing. You will get the chance to tell us whether or not two cars can access Goodwood Road safely turning right and left concurrently or not.

Please take the opportunity to contribute. While we (Council) are hoping to make this precinct a more pedestrian friendly environment, we don’t want to cause inconvenience and anguish to those who use this intersection as a motorist.

Save Our Village Green

I have been made aware of a public event that has been organised to Save Our Village Green.

The Friends of the City of Unley Society (FOCUS) has organised the event. They are calling it Appreciation Afternoon at the Historic Unley Village Green. It will be held next Sunday 19th February between 4pm and 6pm. If you are passionate about all things Unley you might want to come along and see what is on offer.

On the back of my earlier blog today the event and claims on their website raises concerns for me. Concerns that Council and our residents appear not to be working together.

The focus of their afternoon appears is to protest to Council.

They claim on the Save Our Village Green website we are demolishing the cottages and building a 8 storey building in their place. This is simply not true as is a previous claim made on the same website until this weekend. That claim indicated we are about to build an 8-storey building ON the village green.

As any responsible leadership body should do, Council is examining whether the expected new planning rules provide an opportunity to redevelop the civic centre site. Council made this known publicly late last year. We invited our community to sit down with us and have a discussion. A discussion to find what possibilities for redevelopment may be possible. Rather than take up our request to talk we have what appears to be a protest against a development that does not exist.

They are calling the green historic implying it has been here since settlement days and not just 30 years old. The photo shows the new Civic Centre building. The cottages back yards are still intact.

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Oxford Terrace and the Village Green

On a personal note, if Council and its community were working together, I would like us to have a conversation about the village green in isolation. That conversation would focus on how best could the village green be redeveloped to improve it. Yes. Improve it. Let’s not just Save our Village Green.

Let’s make it more accessible to more people, including those locals who don’t know it exists.

For mine we should consider if it would be better relocated to front Oxford Terrace and take advantage of the potential conversion of Oxford Terrace into a Boulevard.

Why not have this conversation. I ask both Council and the Residents. Do you want to be part of the solution or part of the problem?

If you want to know what our Mayor is thinking check his blog on the same subject here.

Are Unley Council and their residents working together to design the future?

Are Unley Council and their residents working together to design the future or not? I trust and hope that they still are. We will find out during the next month or so.

Council has been working on a series of Development Plan Amendments (DPAs) over the last 10 years or so. These DPAs have systematically been working through changes to our development plan to accommodate the State Governments 30-year plan.

Legislation requires us to develop and adopt development plans that are in accord with the State’s overarching development plan. If we fail to do this the Government, through the Planning Minister, can do it for us.

Throughout the 10 years we have consulted widely with our ratepayers. When the process began we and our community where clearly of one mind. That was to prevent our heritage conservation zones and our streetscape zones from being highjacked in the name of development by the Government. We were also of the same mind in avoiding wholesale 2 for 1 development throughout our suburbs.

My understanding is that our community understood that there was a price to pay for these protections. I was not on Coucnil back then. The price was that there would be high rise development potential made possible in the major corridors and in what we call Unley Central.

We won those protections. The State Government is therefore placing their trust in us to deliver as promised. To date our commitment has been partly met. The development plan now caters for higher development in the two main corridors. That is namely Unley Road and Greenhill Road.

Unley Central

The next step is to deliver on Unley Central. Are Unley Council and their residents working together on Unley Central?

I implore our community to remember if the Government is not satisfied with our recommendation they can amend the plan. They will do that in a manner of their choosing. We won’t get a say in it.

That could be to not change the unlimited heights possible now and simply facilitate development by allowing mixed use. Mixed use I suggest is the element that has probably prevented any redevelopment in this area to date.

No-one other than the Government (oh and developers) would want this option to win the day.

During March, Council will have three meetings at which the Unley Central DPA will be discussed. All three will be open to the public to attend and watch us go through our deliberations. Watch as we power our way through the results of a recent public consultation to determine what recommendations we put to the minister and his government.

Without pre-empting the result, I am sure that Council have listened. Adjustments are bound to be made to the draft plan. Heights will surely be reduced in some areas.

Whatever changes are or are not made I trust our community will respect what we do.

Applications for Community Grant funding is now open

Did you miss the public notice in last week’s Eastern Courier? Then check this. Council’s March 2017 Community Grant funding is now open for applications.  

 
Each year Council provides chances for community groups to seek assistance in funding their community programs. I always enjoy the chance to see what our community groups are getting up to. A chance to be inspired by my neighbours. A chance to be enlightened. Consequently I find the Community Grant program as energising.
If you are participating in a community project this is your chance to secure funding support from Council. Funding will be available to successful applicants in early June 2017.
In submitting an application for your project please note the following:
 
1.       If your project commences prior to 1 June 2017 sorry, it is not eligible.  
2.       Projects involving renovations or capital works are not eligible.
3.       If your project requires support, approval or permissions from other areas of Council please make sure you have done this before submitting your application. This includes such things as Development Applications, traffic management issues, etc. Also include any relevant documentation with your application. 
4.       Applicants must reside within the City of Unley and/or be principally providing a service to our residents.
5.       If you have previously received funding for another project, have you must have spent your grant funding?
 
 
Guidelines and application forms are available from the Civic Centre. Alternatively you can also download one from Council’s website http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/community-culture/grants-sponsorships#hash-slide-community-grants-program-89,. If you would rather you can contact Pam Hocking on her phone 8372 5108 or by emailing her at [email protected].  
If you need assistance with your application afternoon or evening workshops will be held for you to assist you. Furthermore, if this is your first time applying for a grant I encourage you to take advantage of this. Our staff are always keen to help you qualify.
Finally, applications close on Friday 31 March 2017.
 
 

Make a splash and help us to raise funds for people living with MS

Make a splash and help raise funds for people living with MS. Join in this 24-hour relay challenge at the Unley Swimming Centre, Forestville, either on your own or as part of a team!

The Annual MS Mighty Swim is on again this Saturday at the Unley Swimming Centre. You are invited to come along to make a splash. What an ideal day out. Probably the best option available on the day. The weather is forecast to be 37 and sunny. A cool change from what we expect in the next few days.

MS Mighty Swim encourages individuals and teams to compete by swimming the longest distance in a set 24 hour period!

The concept of the swim is simple. Each team (up to 30 swimmers) must have a member swimming in the pool at all times. Grab some mates and join in the fun! You can also get in some training in the heat of the next few days.

If you don’t have a team, you can still take part. Register online, set yourself a swimming goal and join us on the day, even if it’s just for an hour or two. It’s a great weekend event to get the whole family involved and support people living with MS in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

I did this with the Mayor and the Minister from my Church a couple of years back. While it was great fun this year my focus will be to be there and support those supporting MS.

For more information, please visit www.msmightyswim.com.au

The Temperature in Badcoe is Rising but the Start line is a long way away

The Temperature in Badcoe is Rising even though the Start line is a long way away. The news yesterday that Jayne Stinson has resigned her role with Channel 7 & 5AA keeps the new Seat of Badcoe in the news headlines.

Steph Key’s retirement (refer my last blog) has opened the door for Jayne to have a dip at the new seat of Badcoe.

Jayne would be well known to most residents of Badcoe, which covers the Council Ward of Clarence Park (and Goodwood). She is seen regularly on Channel 7 News and heard on 5AA as a political journalist.

The Temperature in Badcoe is Rising with her nomination.

She is a high profile candidate who has put her hand up for Labor. She has to win preselection of course. There remains a chance that Annabel Digance from the nearby seat of Elders could secure preselection.

So while we wait for news as to whether our Mayor, Lachlan Clyne wins preselection for the Liberals Jayne’s candidature provides some early spice in the race which is yet to start. Subject then to both Jayne and Lachlan winning preselection the good people of Badcoe have two high profile personalities fighting it out over the next 12 months and a bit.

With set terms the next election will be held on Saturday March 17.

And all this before the Supreme Court hears the Labor Challenge to the boundary redistribution.

I understand that nomination for Liberal Preselection ends at the end of this month. Have not heard when Labor’s ends.

yes! The temperature in badco is Rising.

 

Steph Key Retires as the Battle for Badcoe Emerges

Steph Key retires is the news of the day. This week has been a big news week for the State Seat of Badcoe (to be) or Ashford (as it is until the election).

 

First the news of the Liberals announcement on GlobeLink. And now the news that Steph Key retires at the next election.

This will come as a shock to many who reside in the old seat of Ashford. Steph was much loved by many and she carried a significant personal vote on election day.

I have enjoyed working with her. Always ready with a big hug.

But times change and the fight for the new seat of Badcoe should be enthralling.

Most of you woudl be aware that Council’s Mayor, Lachlan Clyne, has put his hat in the ring for preselection as the Liberal candidate. We should hear soon I believe (maybe the end of this month) whether or not he has been successful.

With Steph’s departure the Labour Party must now go through a preselection process to find their next candidate to represent them in this seat. I wait now with baited breath who they may choose. I look forward also to meeting with their candidate so that I can ascertain what they may offer the local community in the future.

There are many things that I look forward to putting to both candidates whoever they may be.

Well Done Steph on your career and all the best as you take on your next life challenge.