26 March 2017

Lets put it off for another day!!

Residents who come to tomorrow's Council meeting may come away very disappointed. After months of discussion and meeting after briefing after meeting after workshop Council may still not be ready to make a decision.
Over a dozen people have asked to make a deputation, some for the first time but many having a second shot at it. Each will have an opportunity to speak for 5 minutes and may then be asked questions by Councillors.  After the deputations Council then need to make a decision.
However, the Agenda is long and there are other deputations.
Do we debate the DPA where it currently sits on the Agenda or defer the item for another day so we can get through the other items?
It is my preferred option to debate the DPA and then deal with the other  options later. However, many of my colleagues want to defer the DPA debate (after listening to deputations) and debate the other items as scheduled tomorrow.

What is the better option? Residents have told me that they will be even less happy about our performance with the latter option  as  it will be seen as waiting for another day and maybe so many people won’t be there.

Council Meeting:27th March 2017

Once again this month's agenda is full of interesting items and their should be some good debate. There are deputations that have been recived to support the arguments either four or agaist  at least 4 items. These incluse Motions on Notice:

  •  Land Swap at 42 Ferguson Ave: Seems like a sensible solution to give the landholder a piece of land that they can builsd on and a more useable open space for residents.
  • Traffic management in Mills St; following a depuation last moth I have put a Motion on Notice to reflect the solution desired by residents. This is tough in that Mills St is clearly used as a thouroughfair for non-council generated traffic (others call them rat runnners) and yet the diverted traffic must go somewhere. It is always Councils wish that the traffic stays on the main arterial roads. The staff have been asked to further investigate issues that may arise from the proposed right hand turn bans before proceeding to implement.
  • Cr Salaman and I worked on addressing concerns for the proposed changes at the intersection of Porter and Young St. He has proposed a motion that calls for a complete safety audit.
  • The final debate on the Development Plan changes for Unley Central. The blog before this one demonstrates what the committee thought was desirable. With at least a dozen deputations, both in support and against, this will add over 2 hours to the meeting length. I am already quite clear in my mind as to what residents want, we will need to weigh up if what they want is in the best interests of the City or not
Other items include:   
  • 270 rights of review. An interesting topic if you like this sort of thing.
  •  Footpath Level of Service Review. The question is what service do our residents want and what will a higher level cost?
  • Buying Local: Will you be more likely to buy local if there is a campaign?
  • Sunday closures on King Willian Rd: A great idea if the traders want it. Certainly needs a lot more people visiting and shopping.
  • Promoting Greater Awareness of Council Services: Inspired by a LGA review to get people interested in Local Government. It also involves rate capping and campaigning to get all political parties to  abandon any ideas that it may be of benefit to anybody. That is other than a few poorly informed would be politicians that may think it will make them more electable!
There is some interesting correspondence for John Rau. This may speak well for the rezoning of Black Forest that will be back on the agenda again soon. 
It identifies particular sites worth having a look (not in Black Forest)  to achieve the multi storey development he wants to see.

16 March 2017

What has the Development Strategy and Policy Committee decided to recommend to Council?

District Centre Zone
Existing Policy
Original DPA Proposal
Amended DPA
West of Unley Road north of Arthur Street.
No height limit.
39.5 metres (11 storey).
32.5 metres (9 storey).
West of Unley Road south of Arthur Street.
No height limit.
 39.5 metres (11 storey).
32.5 metres (9 storey).
West of Unley Road adjacent to Thomas Street.
No height limit.
39.5 metres (11 storey).
18.5 metres (5 storey).
Memorial Gardens recognised and building setbacks specified.
East of Unley Road north of Oxford Terrace.
No height limit.
18.5 metres (5 storey).
18.5 metres (5 storey).
East of Unley Road Community Area encompassing Oxford Terrace and Civic Centre.
Existing residential scale.
No recognition of Village Green.
29 metres (8 storey).
18.5 metres (5 storey).
Retain, reconfigure and enlarge a ground level Village Green.
Surrounding residential areas interface.
No building envelope.

Minimum setback 8 metres, except for Unley Road, and no building envelope.
Building envelope of 30o at 3 metres above ground level from adjoin sites.
Specified setbacks from residential streets based upon 30o envelope to opposite front boundaries.
Building envelope of 30o at 3 metres above ground level from adjoin sites.
Minimum residential street setbacks and building envelope of 30o at 3 metres above ground level from the zone boundary at street centre-line.

What is the Unley Central Precinct Plan?

13 March 2017

Why do misconceptions become truths?

I've received many emails this week, many on the same topic. This topic being the area bounded by Unley Rd, Edmund Ave, Rugby St and  Oxford Tce. This area contains the Village Green, several unlisted cottages, the Council Offices and Chambers plus a host of heritage listed properties including the Town Hall and Library, the Unley Museum and the Anglican Church buildings. As far as heritage goes the frontage to Unley Rd is amazing.
Two weeks ago Council voted not to go ahead with  the potential sale of the 'air rights'  on the Civic Centre site. This was introduced by the Mayor, supported  by all Councillors excepting myself. In hindsite it was a poorly timed and probably also a poor idea. However, this is a red herring when it comes to discussing and debating what should be approved for the Central Unley Development Plan Amemndment. The two are linked but not the same. The Mayor's motion last  week only agreed to Council not developing the Civic Centre site in the life of this Council, that is until Nov 2018. This is only the new (1970's buildings).
The DPA covers all the area from Thomas St to Mary St on the west and Edmund Ave to Frederick St to the north. All other areas on Unley Rd are already zoned  to allow for 5 storey buildings. The area is as deep as Mornington Rd and Rugby St. This area currently has no height limits. There seems to be little objection to decreasing the height on the western side to between 2 and 11 storeys. However, the area discussed above remains controversial. Options for the Development Strategy meeting to consider are:

  • Is it crucial to keep the village green where it is?
  • Should the height limits on boundaries be 2, 3 or 5 storeys? And if so in what locations? At the recent rally  Sandy Wilkinson (heritage advisor) clearly stated that these height limits can be reached and the cottages retained with sensitive design.
  • Can Council just not make a decision about the eastern side?
The only one I know the answer to is the last one. Council can refuse to make a recomendation for the eastern side and the Minister, John Rau, will make one for us. He is most likely then to zone it the same as the western side, and that could be 11 storeys. Sometimes the devil you know is a whole lot better than the one you don't.

12 March 2017

Goodwood Rd Update

The construction by  Outside Ideas is putting out a good pace. Hope you like the result that’s been achieved so far!
Works will stop short of the GW Institute on the western side as they currently host Fringe shows.
Unley Council has also requested to not undertake further works in Victoria St while consultation
will be held regarding the proposed widening of the footpath in Victoria St. Council have installed a mock-up of the proposed built-out at the intersection to enable traffic monitoring in Victoria St. Council will consider a report in April and they will finish works in this area late June/July when the eastern side has been completed.
Outside Ideas will commence works on the eastern side at the tram coming Tuesday after the
long weekend. Works will move south and also include installation of stormwater systems in side
streets. To accelerate works we might need to close a couple of side streets at a time to enable
separate work crews undertake works.
The new planter boxes are taking shape and Groundplay will install them along the western side by the end of March.

11 March 2017

Good Neighbour Day: March 26th

Come along to the City of Unley Neighbour Day events on Sunday March 26. The day will involve activation of three locations in the style of mini pop up events. They are Clarence Park Community Centre, St Chad’s Church at Highgate, and Soutar Park at Goodwood. These events are intended to create fun and relaxed environments for local residents surrounding each location to get to know each other. There will also be some opportunities for participants to continue fostering relationships with their neighbours after the day.

09 March 2017

Plans for Unley Oval's $4.6 million redevelopment

"STURT Football Club will lodge plans for Unley Oval's $4.6 million redevelopment as soon as next month - stepping up efforts to deliver the longawaited revamp."Eastern Courier this week. While I welcome Sturts's initiative and fully support this in driving a Development Application, I am still very much concerned at the amount of their own money that they are prepared to commit to the project. According to their letter to UCC published in the Feb Council agenda it was as little at $500,000 which is about 10% of what will be needed!

Community Consultation Victoria St.

Residents, some 800 of them will soon be asked to respond to an on-line survey regarding the narrowing of the Victoria St/ Goodwood Rd Intersection. The work on the norther side has been completed. However, following extreme concern for residents, including a petition to Council, the works on the northern side have been put on hold.
Please take the time to respond to the survey when you get a chance. Hopefully  Council will make a decision in favour of the majority view.

The street DPTI forgot

In true form DPTI failed to notify Arundel Ave residents this week that they would be clearing vegetation in order to erect a tubular fence along the train line. This included removing a relatively large tree. Residents have been annoyed by the fragile landscape along the train line being further eroded. While Council have promised to replace athe lost vegetation this should be at the expense of DPTI and not rate payers. This will make the ghastly graffiti on the other side of the railway reserve look even worse. Time for a graffiti management program that works from ARTC and
Kate Ellis.