From last week Age, this article continues the discussion on the state government's proposed new residential zones:
On 17 July 2017 approximately 130 residents attended including former Councillor, Jenny Mulholland, and State Member for Ivanhoe, Anthony Carbines, both who were actively involved in the formation of the Ivanhoe Structure Plan.
Half the residents at the meeting were there to hear submissions, comments and Councillors' vote on the 40 UHR application.
As per previous correspondence Council officers had recommended to refuse the planning permit as it did not not comply to the majority of guidelines for Higher Density Residential Development or the Design and Development Overlay.
On 17 July Councillors agreed unanimously with the Council officers' recommendation and voted against granting a permit. The developer now has the option of submitting the application to VCAT.
A number of residents and Councillors spoke on the topic. A fully recording is on the Council website. Some key points:
Cr Phillips commented that as the application deviated so much from the planning guidelines it left Councillors with no room to propose a compromise.
Cr Castaldo noted that the bulk and mass is significant, and a "bit frightening, especially from the railway side." Cr Castaldo continued; "the most important thing is precedent, no matter what anyone says, every building becomes a precedent for the future buildings of the area and I want to create certainty for the residents of Ivanhoe. That when we have a structure plan it is taken seriously and I think mandatory heights is necessary to avoid the pain and fears and everything that goes with these developments that are going to impact people for the rest of their times in their homes in Ivanhoe"
Cr Garotti commented that the applicant did not do any pre-application consultation with Council, nor was there engagement with Council on community concerns.
Cr Langdon, who was heavily involved in the formation of the Structure Plan, concurred with the other Councillors. He mentioned the 1200 submissions and 3 years of hard work by the community. He, like most residents, would welcome development at the site as it has been an "eyesore' for years and also liked the concept of mandatory heights.
Cr Zandegu's simple advice to all developers seeking approval was to "stick to the heights" and "just follow the rules."
The Ivanhoe residents appreciate Council's efforts to engage with the community on these type of applications and keep development within the guidelines agreed to in the Ivanhoe Structure Plan.
In other news Banyule looks set to participate in a pilot program for the Ivanhoe Activity Centre to explore options to establish mandatory height limits and give more certainty for other development guidelines in Council’s adopted Ivanhoe Structure Plan. More on that in the coming weeks.