31 December 2019
I read in yesterday's paper of the outcome from the court case between Unley Council and persons who had removed part of two trees in Commercial Rood, Hyde Park. Council was sure legislation would not allow the removal of a neighbours tree without their consent and without Council approval. Nevertheless, The ERD Court found last week that they could. At any time the removal of up to 30% of a tree canopy is legal if the tree has dead wood, unsafe branches, etc that need to be removed. You can see in the photograph that the trees were cut off at 6 metres above the ground! I find it difficult to conceive that this is not more than 30% of the crown. And yet the judge found that he could not make a Beyond Reasonable Doubt decision that this was the case. This legal decision has cost Council considerable money in the hope of protecting trees in the council area but has now left all trees at risk.
27 December 2019
Not long ago I was at the playground in Forestville Reserve (near the pool) to fill in some time between our train and tram trip on the way to Glenelg. Also at the playground were other grandparents with a child and a young Mum with her young daughter. It wasn't long before the boy had his grandparents sitting under the structure in his train, the boy was driving and they were enjoying the ride. My granddaughter wanted to join in and decided to get on the train and really enjoyed the ride as well. Soon enough she asked if it would be OK if she drove the train for a bit and the boy became the conductor. They had a ball tooting imaginary horns and hanging out of windows. The other little girl joined in in due course. When it was time to leave the children seemed to be firm friends and walked back to the Forestville tram stop holding the grandmothers hands and waved us goodbye. The moment was magical and no doubt happens everyday in every playground.
23 December 2019
19 December 2019
Schiavello Construction SA has been awarded the contract to construct this much needed building. While preliminary works are underway it will only be after 17th January that fencing will be constructed around the building. Demolition will begin soon after this date. The oval will be available for resident and club use during construction. I must thank, once again, Jayne Stinson, Member for Badcoe, for the $2.5 million contribution that she was able to provide during her election campaign. It has been most appreciated by the Community.
18 December 2019
I spoke at length yesterday with planning staff about the effects of the proposed new planning code will have on Black Forest and Clarence Park (west of East Ave). This area has been included as a General Neighbourhood zone with no heritage overlays that most of the rest of Unley will enjoy. A higher level of protection would be afforded if the zone was considered to be Suburban Residential as a Technical Numeric Variation (site area) would be allowed. The current zoning for the entire area is 350 square metres per block, the new zoning would be reduced to 300 in most areas and even allow for row housing with 200 allowable. The other concern, and this is across the city, is that new development will be able to be approved by private certifiers. Despite continued promises that these people could only approve if the development proposal met the Code in every way, we are now told that near enough will be considered good enough and that approvals can be given if they are not considered to be seriously at variance. Given that recent approvals have indicated that 285 is close enough to 350 I wonder what will be close enough to 300?
12 December 2019
This survey has been designed by SGS Economics and Planning on behalf of Public Libraries SA (PLSA), and is being facilitated by six representative libraries across the state. It will produce a quantitative data set describing the costs, benefits and net benefits (or community welfare gains) generated by SA public libraries, and the economic value added and employment generated by public library services in their local economies. This study aligns with work undertaken in NSW and Victoria and will help to benchmark the performance of SA libraries. It is intended that this information will support PLSA in their upcoming negotiations with the State Government for libraries funding.
I would sincerely appreciate promotion of and your own input to the survey, which you can access on a PC in both Unley and Goodwood libraries, in hard copy, or via the following link: https://737.sawtoothsoftware.com/cgi-bin/ciwweb.pl?studyname=737&Fromlink=5&UID=L5
07 December 2019
At the regular council briefing last Monday staff outlined their interpretation of the new planning system in the way that it affects Unley. While most of Unley is likely to be covered by a character overlay that will protect, to some extent, the Heritage Conservation Zones and Landscape Zones it is wanting in any protection from infill development east of Fullaton Rd and west of East Ave. This means that some of Clarence Park and all of Black Forest are again in the firing line for development. My co-councillor and I have asked to meet with staff on this matter as soon as practicable to discuss Council's intended response for the area in Clarence Park Ward. We will then target letterbox drops if necessary to garner community support.