28 September 2011

How to track a Development Application

So often I am asked to assist a resident in trying to find out more about what their neighbours are building or planning to build. Sometimes this question is out of curiosity and at others the development is right next door and they have genuine concerns.
Each Development Application lodged with Council is categorised as;
Cat 1; no notification required
Cat 2; next door neighbours only with a specific time in which to lodge a representation
Cat 3; everybody can make a representation as the development is non-complying.
To find out whats happening you need to log onto the Council website, click on Development and then onto Development application enquiries. Then click List of Development Applications or Developments on Notice, next, if you know the exact address type this into the proforma. Then press the search button, a list of all recent development applications will come up for the address you typed in. Details of each can be found by clicking on each application number. If you don't know the exact house number you can you the advanced search function.
If you need to see the plans for developments on notice you can view these at the Council or library during office hours. If you want to talk to a planner after viewing the details it is easier if you make an appointment to see a planner.
Hope this is useful information?

Local Heritage Listing for the Brownhill Creek Lining

Sometimes the Eastern Courier just can't get it right. In the article headed Heritage Battle Over Brownhill Creek the articles implies that Council is not supporting heritage listing. If you read to the last sentence you find the truth. That is that the Council could not find evidence to support State heritage listing but it could support Local heritage listing. Both offer protection to the stonework that is so valuable. While State listing would afford more protection even this could be challenged if the situation warranted it (most likely flood mitigation). I asked over 4 years ago now for staff he investigate the heritage value of the stones and was told at that time the evidence did not support any listing at all. So, this item will be added to the heritage DPA that currently is waiting for the Minister to sign off. There is no battle here between Council and anybody else, just a sensible solution. It is possible that they stones could be State heritage listed if the government (not Council) sees fit to do so.

New CEO for Unley

Here's what the Eastern Courier had to say;

TOP JOB: Peter Tsokas will be Unley's new chief executive.
PETER Tsokas has been named the new Unley Council chief executive.
He will replace outgoing CEO Ray Pincombe in late November.
Mr Tsokas, 50, has been Unley’s city development manager for the past 18 months.
More than 50 people applied for the position.

Peter was able to convince the Council, making a presentation to all Councillors, that he was the best person for the job. This leaves his own position vacant and this should be advertised in the near future. The remuneration package includes an agreed value for a vehicle and superannuation. He will begin in the job in November, immediately after Ray Pincombe vacates the position.

27 September 2011

Mayor faces court

What the Eastern Courier had to say:

Unley Mayor fronts court
Local News
23 Sep 11 @ 03:00pm by Daniel Frangos

COURT APPEARANCE: Unley Mayor Lachlan Clyne.
UNLEY Mayor Lachlan Clyne made a brief appearance in the Adelaide Magistrates Court today (September 23).
His appearance related to charges of dishonestly dealing in documents, improper use of another identity, criminal defamation and publication of misleading material arising from last year’s Local Government elections.
He was not required to enter a plea and the case was adjourned after only a few minutes.
He will reappear in court on November 29.
Outside the court, Mr Clyne said he would not be stepping down as Unley Mayor.
His lawyer stopped him from commenting further.

24 September 2011

Pocket Park can be constructed for less

The most recent information from staff is that the 2 way driveway link can be constructed for $86,000. This is similar to the amount originally budgeted for this park. I am still waiting for information from staff as to the open space provided in pocket parks already constructed to compare with the 460m that this proposal will provide.
If we were to return to the road closure the estimate for this is now $76,000 and some of the costs could be offset with grant money.

Full Council meeting Sept 26th 2011

The Agenda for the 26th was quite full, some items reserved for further discussion from other committees and plenty of other items; They include

  • Further discussion about Kelvin Ave: I moved the motion that I intended to move at the committee to allow for a two way driveway link. This should meets the needs of everybody that wrote to the Council and all petitioners, it allows for an increased green space for water capture and trees as well access both from and to East Ave. Further consultation will follow this proposal to a larger area.

  • Further discussion about Culvert St Unley: Crs Salaman and Hudson wished Council to consider reversing the recent traffic flow changes that caused Culvert St to be made one way at it's junction with Unley Rd. The cost of reversal is, in my opinion, prohibitive at nearly $200,000. As this measure would only be temporary until the state government were prepared to pay some money toward a Pedestrian Activated Crossing at the same location I do not believe it warrants support. However, given the improved amenity of having the new walk lights on Goodwood Rd I would give consideration to Council making a greater monetary commitment to getting these installed. this motion lost.

  • Footways Asset Management Plan : This report was presented to the Audit Committee. I reserved this out as I wished to draw the attention of all Councillors to the report. The staff have produced an excellent report that would enable, if adopted, all the footpaths to be paved by 2019. The report also recognises that the footpaths on the main roads also need replacing, this would occur after the footpaths were completed on all streets. The savings to this, yes savings and not additional cost, are well over $6 million dollars. The savings are achieved by the reduced necessity for footpath repair and savings identified on how Council currently maintains the footpaths. The link is ; http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Item_30_Audit_August_2011.pdf

  • Keswick and Brownhill Ck Draft Stormwater Management Plan for Community Consultation; the final cost of this to Unley is likely to be $14 million. For Goodwood South the only streets that will see works are Arundel and Cranbrook. However, the total works will reduce the flood risk in all our suburbs substantially.

  • Rail Freight Advisory Group; This will be set up with Cr Saies and Cr Sangster being the Council representatives, 3 members of the community have also been selected after applying to be on the committee.

  • DPA3; Final changes have been made to this, it is ready to be presented to the Minister for endorsement and the consultation. If endorsed this will give approval for buildings to be built on Unley Rd to 5 storeys and Greenhill Rd between 7 and 10 storeys.

  • Development Assessment Panel Annual Report; this gives information about approvals and refusals of development applications and also the outcomes achieved from appeals to the ERD court.

We also debated in confidence the remuneration package for the new CEO. The report on this is in this weeks Eastern Courier. The new CEO will be Peter Tsokas who is currently employed by Unley as a General Manager. The proposed sale of 39 and 41 Oxford Tce was also discussed but remains in confidence.

We also discussed and passed motions from Cr Koumi to increase the size of a small park in Parkside and to investigate further possibilities for Development Planning Amendments regarding the use of lane ways.

17 September 2011

City Strategy meeting 19th Sept 2011

The full Agenda can be found at; http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/CSP_Agenda_Sept_2011.pdf
I encourage you to read the full report on anything that is of interest to you.

  • Kelvin Ave pocket park- I was not allowed to put my motion as it contravened the rules of debate. However, as no one still supported the original motion I moved for the matter to be debated at the full Council meeting. I can then foreshadow my motion and, hopefully, it will gain the support of the majority of Councillors. There are links to the new proposed plan in the next blog.

  • Animal Management Plan- This is a detailed Plan that has been widely consulted and is to be endorsed. This was endorsed. Debate centred around consultation about further control of cats and around what dog parks are and where they should not be located (Orphanage Park)

  • State Heritage Listing of Brownhill Creek- the recommendation for this is to add the lining stones to the local register of heritage items and to include the listing on the heritage DPA that is presently on the Minister's desk waiting approval. If successful this would protect the stone linings into the future as a Local Heritage item. Council could not find evidence to support State heritage listing.

  • Review of the Open Space Recreation Policy; this largely endorses the current policy, however, it does note that increasing population density as required by the government will continue to add pressure onto our open space area. This was endorsed.

  • Code of Practice Meeting Procedures; this seeks to tidy up a few areas that needed greater clarity. This matter was debated for quite a while with debate mostly around whether one Councillor should be able to seek clarification of a matter being debated from another Councillor. I was more interested in the rules around who can make deputations and when they should be allowed.

  • Development Plan Amendments- where are they now?
DPA2; Residential character and regeneration areas- The final draft will be reported to Council in Oct/Nov.
DPA3; Main road Corridors- this is now concentrated on Unley Rd and Greenhill Rd- a full report on this will be presented to this month's Council meeting before submission to the Minister.
Local heritage DPA; This is on the Minister's desk, but will have Brownhill Creek added to it before final approval.

  • Waste Management and Disposal Services; Council is seeking to award new contract for this service. (details are confidential).

  • Proposed Sale of 39 and 41 Oxford Tce.(details are confidential)

16 September 2011

Kelvin Ave Update for debate 19th Sept.

The new report is now on the web as Item 60 for discussion at the City Strategy meeting Monday 19th September. You can find the full report at;


I intend to move a motion that will support the two way driveway link as described in Attachment 6 (at the back of the report).


At this point in time I believe that this option delivers what residents have requested, both a safe exit and entry point to Clarence Park from East Ave and a pocket park. It would require a further round of consultation with local stake holders, with a wider consultation area than previously used (East of Frederick St) and still have to be formally approved by Council after this has been completed. My motion will read as follows;

1.Kelvin Avenue between Frederick Street and East Avenue not be closed to through traffic

2.A revised design be prepared for Kelvin Avenue that includes a driveway link to maintain two-way vehicle access between East Avenue and Frederick Street with the remaining area not required for vehicle and pedestrian access to be landscaped
3.Community consultation be undertaken on the revised design and the outcome of the community consultation be reported to Council at its meeting on 12 December 2011.
4.The area of consultation to include all residents and businesses previously consulted and in addition, the residents of Culley Street, Francis Street between Frederick Street and Churchill Avenue, George Street between East Avenue and Churchill Avenue, William Street between Mills Street and George Street."

Your comments are most welcome.

I encourage all of you to post comments on this proposal.

14 September 2011

Smoking on footpaths

Seems this has got an interesting reaction from Cafe owners on King William Rd. I for one will be looking to find a smoke free environment in which to enjoy my regular coffee after work. I will take the time over the next couple of weeks to chat to those interviewed and others on the strip to consider that they may attract more customers by taking up the option than they have the potential to lose. The following is from this week's Eastern Courier.
Ban's slow start
AN INCENTIVE for cafes to have non-smoking outdoor areas, proposed by Unley Council, has received a mixed response from cafe owners and patrons. Following the council's push in January to ban smoking in parks, the council last month announced cafe owners would get a
50 per cent reduction on their outdoor dining fees if they chose to introduce nonsmoking outside.
There are 12 cafes in the Unley area eligible to receive the outdoor dining rate reduction,with the average outdoor licensing fee being about $1000 annually. Cafe owners and patrons contacted by the Eastern Courier Messenger were divided on the plan. Cafe Kibbi's manager Alessandro Fadda said his Hyde Park business would not apply for the discount. "A lot of my regulars here are smokers so if I brought it in it would turn a lot of my customers away," he said. "A 50 per cent cut on our outdoor rates is not that much in the scheme of things. Cafe Luna Rosso manager David Milky said, if given
the choice, he wouldn't introduce smoking bans. Nonsmoker Ros Davies, who works at Dulwich and regularly goes to cafes in the east, said he would be "thrilled to see that ban come in".
"Wherever food is served... smoking should be banned." But Unley worker and
smoker Joe Ercegovic was against the idea. "This will only lead to groups of smokers huddling
around in packs on the boundaries of cafes," he said. Earlier this month, Unley Council sent letters to cafe owners advising them of the incentive scheme.

FOCUS AGM Sept. 20th

FOCUS (Friends of the City of Unley) will hold its AGM at the Unley Citizens' Centre,
18 Arthur St, Unley, on Tuesday September 20, at 7.30pm. Presentation by Commissioner
for Integrated Design, Timothy Horton. Visitors are welcome to this graphic presentation on an integrated design strategy for inner Adelaide Inquiries:
Ros Islip on
8272 3007.

This should be very interesting if you are interested in how the City of Unley is likely to develop in the future.

11 September 2011

Traffic Data Report

You should find the report to the Road Safety Committee particularly interesting, there has been data collected in Goodwood South. For detailed data please go straight to the report;


Black Forest
Aroha Terrace recorded traffic speeds that were lower than those in 2010 although traffic volumes are similar. However, the 85% speed and the percentage of vehicles exceeding the speed limit are sufficiently high to warrant SA Police attendance and the information was forwarded to the Police on 26 May.
In Byron Road, the number of vehicles recorded was lower than that recorded in 2009, possibly due to the completion of the South Road Tram Overpass and the Gallipoli Underpass. However, both the 85% speed and the percentage of vehicles exceeding the speed limit remains at the same level as recorded in the earlier data and therefore this information has been referred to SA Police for attention.

Clarence Park
Data was collected from five streets in this suburb. There was no significant change in traffic volume in any of the streets. There was a reduction of 3.6km/h in the 85% speed recorded in the Churchill Avenue, compared with the last set of data taken in 2009. By contrast, the speed in the section of Francis Street between William and Hammond Streets increased by 2.9km/h since 2009.
There have been no changes to the traffic conditions in these streets since the earlier traffic data was collected so it is not possible to attribute the variation in 85% speed to any particular factor.

Of the six streets in this suburb in which traffic data was collected, only Allenby Avenue recorded an increase in the 85% speed of 2.6km/h. The speed remains below the point where SA Police involvement is deemed necessary. In three of the other streets, the speed was lower while there was virtually no change in the remaining two streets.

10 September 2011

Significant trees and the Development Assessment Panel

Some observations from the DAP Agenda this week.

A significant tree ( >21/2 metres in girth at 1 metre above ground level) can be removed if a resident applies to have it removed from their property and they can prove that either the tree poses significant risk to persons or to property. The dilemma too often faced by the DAP is that people apply to build or extend on their property with every intention of being able to save the significant tree on their property. However, at some time during the building process the tree either shows rapid decline or it is found to be inconvenient to the concept. If the application was put in at the same time as planning consent was sought it would almost certainly have been refused. At the stage they are put in the applicant clearly thinks that the chance is much greater of gaining consent. The link is to a development applicant in Malvern. In this month's Agenda there are applications to remove 9 significant trees, most are recommended for approval for very valid reasons although some are recommended for refusal. At this rate the City would loose over 100 of these trees every year. It is Council's responsibility to find ways to replace these, either by encouraging homeowners to replace trees removed or to find places they can plant them on Council land.

07 September 2011

Where does your rubbish go?

If you have ever pondered on this topic you might be interested in participating in a tour of the facilities that process our rubbish. KESAB environmental solutions and the City of Unley are offering a fascinating FREE bus tour to visit the places your materials are taken to after they have been collected from your kerb. This tour will start at Fullarton Park Centre, 411 Fullarton Rd on Thursday Sept 22nd. The tour will start at 9.45 am and conclude at 3.30pm. If you want to participate please RSVP to Margaret on 8234 7255 or email margaret@kesab.asn.au

03 September 2011

Kelvin Ave pocket park update 3rd Sept 2011

Today I revisited the site but this time with over half the elected members and a few senior members of staff. Staff have been busy and I saw a plan, still confidential, that will allow access both ways through Kelvin Ave and allow a larger area for planting that in any pocket park already approved. The road way would be designed such that after entering the street cars would have to ascertain that no one was coming in the other direction before continuing. Safe exit and entry to East Ave would still be allowed, ETSA are happy and the Surveyor General has no further role to play. This should be seen as a win, win for all interested parties; it meets the requirements for those who want the park and those that had issues with safety. I hope when the plan becomes public we can all agree that the proposal should now be supported. People I spoke to on site this afternoon that happened to be walking past were delighted.

02 September 2011

September 2011 Update

This month has been busy for me so there is plenty to report. I am putting out a newsletter this week, for people who regularly read the blog you might find little new, for others there will be lots of interesting things to catch up on.

  • GAP water; Purple pipes are currently being laid between Goodwood Oval and Orphanage Park, this may have caused some disruption for people. The water will allow for watering of both areas in the summer without any use restrictions.

  • http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=773&c=19071
    Commercial Fitness training on Council land. This policy is currently being consulted. If you wish to have your say check out the link above. Council are intending to charge commercial fitness operators to pay a small fee to use Council land.

  • Cross Road footpaths; The footpaths west of East Ave, although paved are in a pretty bad shape and will be repaired in the near future.

  • CEO recruitment; a list of shortlisted candidates will be presented to Council at a Special meeting on Monday 5th Sept. Interviews will take place over the next couple of weeks.

  • Entry and exit from Mills St and George St to East Avenue; KEEP CLEAR signs will be painted on East Avenue in the near future and better line marking on the approaches to the street. This should allow safer movements into and out of the streets.

  • DAP3 almost completed;The final outcomes for this project will be presented to Council this month. It will still need state government approval and public consultation. This is likely to enable 3-10 storey developments on Greenhill Rd and 5 storey development on Unley Rd as far south as the shopping centre.

  • Fairfax Ave and Graham Ave; There is some concern about parking on Fairfax St, I have asked staff to call a resident meeting, this should happen in early October.

  • Graffiti; This remains an issue, please let me know where it has occured and I'll get staff to paint it out quickly.

  • Kylies shop;The barricades have been removed and both pedestrian and car movements are back to normal.

  • Saplings in Brownhill Creek; These will soon be removed in Orphanage Park. Permission to remove the saplings had to be gained from the heritage branch before work could begin.

  • Merlon St; Council staff have agreed that the southern footpath should be repaired and the northern footpath replaced as soon as practicable and funds allowed. New street trees will also be planted.

  • Neighbourhood Watch; the next meeting is at the House Next Door at CPCC, the guest speaker will speak on crime prevention and cyber bullying This is at 7pm on September 27th.

  • Page Park Toilet; this is now due for installation in November.

  • Significant tree replacement register; This will be set up so that trees planted as a direct result of planning approval to remove a significant tree from a property can be monitored and protected into the future. The DAP is increasingly conditioning the removal of trees with the requirement to replace and nurture a new tree on the same site.

  • Kelvin Ave; there is no new news on this, I will upload into my blog new plans when they become available.

  • Footpath replacement acceleration; please read separate blog. I would love some comments on this one. Do the benefits out weigh the costs? The cost being an extra 2% rate rise in the initial year of acceleration. However, there are significant savings in reduced repair costs.