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 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.

What new programs should we run with young people this year?

Unley Council is asking our youth via our have your say website what new programs should we run with young people this year?

 

Only a handful of ideas have been put forward thus far. The consultation has been open just a month so far and closes 16 November. I encourage you to either contribute because you can or ask those who should to. You can access the Have Your Say webpage here.20151027_104147

Of interest to me is one from the west which I like and it appears has attracted interest thus far from the majority of observers.

That is to provide additional infrastructure to the recently revamped skate park in Forestville Reserve. I like what “Seabrookbridge” has to say. Logical and appropriate. A user for sure. Find out what “Seabrookbridge” suggested here.


What ideas do you have?

 

Good News for Mobility Scooters in Unley

The City of Unley has good news for users of Mobility Scooters and Electric Wheelchairs. We just joined this scheme the RECHARGE Scheme Australia Ltd through the Community Passenger Network Program. This scheme is about businesses signing up to be identifiable recharge points for mobility scooters.

 

Background:

RECHARGE Scheme Australia (RSA) was officially launched in 2006 in the Shire of Nillumbik in Victoria, it was developed to support people who use a mobility scooter or electric wheelchair.  An increasing number of mobility scooters and motorised wheelchairs are being used in our communities but the people who use them often worry about becoming stranded due to flat batteries, therefore possibly becoming isolated within their communities.  Most electric wheelchairs and scooters can recharge at a standard power point for a very low cost (the cost to recharge an electric mobility scooter or wheelchair for one hour is under 30 cents).  Councils and businesses across Australia are choosing to partner with RSA to offer accessible recharge points in public areas and businesses.

Scooter charging up at home

Scooter charging up at home

The Project:

The Eastern Metro Community Passenger Network (CPN) Coordinator (auspiced by and based at the City of Unley) looks after the transport information and coordination needs for six Council areas being, Unley, Burnside, Norwood Payneham & St Peters, Prospect, Campbelltown and Walkerville.

 

The CPN coordinator will be responsible for implementing the RSA across five council areas (Walkerville have already joined the Scheme) using the comprehensive Start Up Guide and Better Practice Kit provided by RSA.

 

Recharge points would be introduced across the eastern metro area of Adelaide beginning with Council buildings ie libraries, Community Centres etc and expanding to include local businesses.  The Recharge points will be recognizable by stickers in the windows of participating buildings/businesses. All RSA branding and associated information is consistent, thereby ensuring that the community can recognise this initiative wherever they live, work or visit.  The RSA website lists the recharge points in the participating councils and businesses and a phone app is also being developed to enable residents to easily locate their closest recharge point. In Unley we will be starting this in the Community Centres and the Libraries, the next step will be to encourage local businesses to participate.

 

If you would like further information please contact the Eastern Region CPN Coordinator, Sue Aplin, on 8372 5472 or [email protected].

Higher Focus on Higher Density Development

Higher Density Development is back on agenda for the City of Unley. The Minister for Planning John Rau has announced stage 2 of the State Government’s Inner Metro Growth project.

 

It appears the minister is in hurry to get his inner metro plan down. While the City of Unley is about to commence our next DPA he is ready to role out a plethora of others nearby. It appears it is likely that Unley will experience a frenetic period of DPA’s.

While we focus on Unley Central it looks like we are going to be competing with a bunch of ministerial DPA’s. This will include one each for the following areas:

Goodwood Road,

the remainder of Unley Road,

Anzac Highway,

King William Road,

and Leader Street.

Higher density development by way of higher density DPA’s Hope this does not confuse everyone.

His press release follows.

stage2dpaconsultation

 

stage2dpaconsultation2