23 December 2014

Heritage: worth protecting?

Council recently one a case in the Environment, Resources and Development Court over a proposed demolition of a 100 year old home in Salisbury St, North Unley. The owner had argued to Council's Development Assessment Panel  that the cost to restore the house far outweighed the cost of demolition and replacement. However, the applicant in her appeal failed to convince the commissioner  and the matter was summed up, “The appellant has failed to show that the property was unsafe or so unsound that it could not be economically rehabilitated. Whilst the house is not in an Historic Conservation Zone, and the house is not a state or local heritage place, it seems to us that the Development Plan seeks to those elements of the streetscape, such as the house, which demonstrate the desired attributes”. The villa concerned sits in the middle of 3 identical properties that are now all on the Local Heritage register (although number 8 was not at the time the application was lodged).
This was an important decision for Council as it gives greater protection to all homes within the heritage conservation areas. However, in light of mooted changes to the development assessment process currently being considered by the state government this may all amount to nothing if the heritage zones are removed at the sweep of John Rau's pen! 

22 December 2014

Best dressed streets!

Meredyth Ave must be in the running to be a winner. Lots of variety and festivity is evident.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. I have a few things I would like Santa to deliver, if not for Xmas then definitely as early in the new year as soon as possible.
My list includes:

  • getting the graffiti along the rail corridors removed often enough that the perpetrators feel they will getting longer lasting results somewhere else.
  • that people talk to and get to know their neighbours better
  • that effective flood mitigation solutions are agreed to and able to be implemented
  • that more trees are planted in Unley that have the potential to become significant
  • that the state government does not proceed with legislation to remove planning assessment from Councils
Please add a few of your own if you have time!

20 December 2014

Protection for outdoor diners!

Will bollards become mandatory?
Earlier this year Council spend quite a while discussing the safety of outdoor diners in relation to allowing Cotto (King William Rd)  to have there now existing outdoor dining. It seemed, at the time, that the rules and regulations had not been applied very well in  many of the existing restaurants and cafes. As an example the tables must leave the footpath  clear  for a distance of 1.2 metres and should be closer to the street than the shop. If you think of your regulars you'll note that the tables are generally placed hard up against the shop: this practice is not allowed in the regulations. This then leaves diners exposed to a scenario similar to what happened at A Mother's Milk on Unley Rd  recently.. Luckily there were no outdoor diners when a car mounted the footpath and caused damage to the shop. So where does this leave Council in issuing licenses for outdoor dining but failing to adequately protect them from accidental damage? Council will consider a report on this early next year. What are your thoughts on this?

19 December 2014

Undergrounding of powerlines in Goodwood Rd

 Goodwood Road undergrounding power lines (PLEC) project should be ready to start in Marcch 2015. Council have put together some answers to what they envision will be frequently asked questions. These can be found on the Council's website or here.  The project stretches from the tram line to Victoria Street. Construction will be undertaken by SAPN. Part of the PLEC project is also to undertake streetscape improvements for the area. This should be a vast improvement for Goodwood Rd and will, hopefully, eventually extend to Mitchell St.

18 December 2014

Bikeway under Greenhill Rd

This bikeway has now been completed and should enable much easier access for  cyclists into the city. This is much belated but also much appreciated. It was promised as part of the Goodwood Junction upgrade. More information can be found at here

Bike repair stations

Two bike repair stations have recently been completed; this one at the junction of the bikeway with King William Rd. The other is near Ultratune on Unley Rd.
The project was  one the Council endorsed in the community grants programme. It is another example of how our community grants can seed high impact projects out in the community.
Putting public art in the public realm is not always an easy process but the outcomes of these bike art repair stations has been worth the process. They are functional but quirky. They are also the first of their kind in South Australia.
They are well worth checking out.

Some thoughts from my recent travel in China. The level of new development is seemingly unbelievable and appears to go ahead without any concern for heritatage, liveability or amenity. One sees new elevated roadways built on top of the existing roadway at heights of 3 to 8 storeys going right past apartment buildings! The level of retail amenity is outstanding, while many things are cheap, there is also malls that would make Burnside Village seem to be selling trinkets. The green walls were amazing as were the many green statues: some positive lessons could be learned from this. I suspect, however, in Australia's climate that the maintenance of these would be difficult in many situations.

An elevated roadway

The Bund green wall

10 December 2014

Sorry, I'm taking a holiday

I have been able to update my blog it seemed everywhere that I have been so far while it has been active. Seems that China and gmail are totally incompatible. I'll be back next week and actively into blogging again; daily if I can think of any thing of interest. Don't forget the big movie in the Page Park (Frozen) this Friday. Given the current temperature here is about as cold I don't think I'll miss it.