Guest Speaker – Tony Collins
Guest Speaker Tony Collins presented a comprehensive report on the work of the NRA team commencing with the loss of Rob Jones to Bayside Council and his replacement with Lee James. A Green Corp Project, a training scheme for ten 17-18 year old students on work experience aims to fence the spinifex area at Bay Street. Work continues on the south bank of Mordialloc Creek with funding provided by Melbourne Water. Mordialloc College Years 9/10 students are involved in this project supervised by the NRA team. Plans include extending the riparian zone. Friends of Mordialloc Creek will assist with a planting day 5th June. Friends of Chicquita Park met with Tony Collins, David Digby and Jeff Yugovic as part of the community consultation to cost a vegetation management plan for the park. Concern at a statement made at an open council meeting that, “there should be a councillor on the committee who is opposed to the retention of the park in order to provide balance!” There is also reluctance to including the 2.4ha per 1000 people ARCUE measurement in the Open Space Review to give an accurate estimate of the lack of open space in Kingston. Met with Catherine Costello from Biosis on site to plan for the hand over of Epsom’s Herb Rich Grassy wetlands in January. 8000 plants per year are planted on the foreshore from Carrum to Mentone. A trial with geo-textile sand bags is planned to attempt to arrest erosion at Bonbeach. Still concern at the vandalism of foreshore vegetation in Kingston and Bayside. Request to write to Council asking for signs to be erected at the scene of tree vandalism. Discussed the siting of the Bay Trail Bicycle Path. This will involve a consultation process June 7th at Brindisi Street. Thank Tony for keeping us informed of the valuable work of the NRA team.
VCAT Hearing re four town houses in an Incremental Change Area in Chelsea. KRAMMED was an objector on behalf of residents. This development is 800 metres from Chelsea Station.
541 Main Street
1259 proformas collected during the campaign opposing the 5 storey development were sent to Mary Delahunty and presented to council by Nina and Brian. The architect /developer of 541 didn’t waste any time, the precedent having been set. A similar application is now before council for 334-337 Station Street, Chelsea. None of the three State Government reps. have shown any interest in preventing inappropriate development in either Mordialloc or Chelsea. The June edition of the VLGA Bulletin asks a pertinent question. “Do we want activity centres or congestion centres? Certainly traffic congestion will be increased both in Mordialloc and Chelsea shopping strips if these developments proceed with 21 apartments and four retail outlets proposed for Chelsea and 16 apartments in Mordialloc.
Pitrones Retirement Village
Pitrones Retirement Village in a Green Wedge was supported by Council’s Strategic Planner but opposed by Councillors so will now go to VCAT.
541 Main Street, Mordialloc Decision
The VCAT determination for 541 Main Street, Mordialloc, not surprisingly for we cynics, has approved three storeys with the fourth storey set back, for the old police station site. Those of us attending the four days Hearing believe that Council’s special witness, Craig Czarny, damaged the Council’s case by admitting that he had been engaged by Council to model height limits for the core commercial area between Main St, Beach Road and Owen Street. In his submission to the Hearing the consultant stated that “the plan envisages a maximum height of 4 storeys for the central precinct? Under cross examination by Ms Brennen, for the developer, Czarny stated that his views of an appropriate development of the subject land would be a 3 storey street wall recessive above“. Making four storeys and thus setting a precedent for four storeys in the Mordialloc Activity centre. In their summation the Members found that, “We note that he, Mr Czarny, did not recommend a two storey built form as suggested by some objectors, but rather he conceded that a higher form of development was possible on the site.’ The member continues, “We have taken the step of lowering the building(from 5 storeys to 4) generally along the lines recommended by Mr Czarny.”
Three Blue Wedge Coalition members attended a Gateway Process meeting at the Port of Melbourne Authority offices organised by the Government. The ‘gatekeepers’ were appointed to assess
the business justification for channel deepening. The gatekeepers came from Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide! Channel Deepening Meeting at Chelsea RSL Monday 3rd.
541 Main Street, Mordialloc (continued)
Mr Czarny is still employed by council and states in his sub. to the Hearing that “work is underway to determine an appropriate scale (of development) for this and other land in the activity centre” He specifically mentioned in his submission that the arc of Beach Road would be an “appropriate site for higher forms of development. The Housing commission units perhaps? The question then is why are 4 storey height limits still being considered when councillors (we believed) and the community have consistently objected to 4 storeys in Mordialloc? What is the process at work here? Are the councillors and the community’s preferred options being ignored? Who in council is making decisions which ignore the community’s preferences despite the DOI directive in the General Practice Note for Structure Planning for Activity Centres. “Consultation with stakeholders throughout the process is essential…Community engagement is a key element at all stages of preparing a structure plan… Each stage will need specific stakeholder engagement and community consultation.
Mordialloc Skateboard Facility
Despite over 30 objections from nearby residents and others it seems certain that the site in Attenborough Park will be chosen for the 8-14 year olds’ skateboard facility. The park has been the subject of an extensive Draft Master Plan as a passive recreation area. The site is in close proximity to Doyles hotel with people parking on the park in the evening, close to the creek where vandalism of boats is a frequent occurrence, and will increase littering of the area especially if a kiosk is included.