Council Meeting March 13

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 4.53.48 pm

Image: Google Maps

Here is a summary of this week’s meeting. The Council voted that extra watering of Council’s trees does not need to be given urgent consideration – despite there being barely any rain in MV for 46 days. Also, there is a plan for spending $900M in MV on facilities that residents might like to read and give feedback on.


Cr Surace, Cr Cusack is on approved leave of absence.

Confirmation of Minutes: Ordinary Meeting of Council held on Tuesday, 27 February 2018.

Kudos to the Mayor who has correctly followed the meeting procedures to confirm the minutes! No opposition to any item – so minutes are confirmed.

Declarations of Conflict of Interest – NIL

Presentations – NIL

Petitions and Joint Letters 

Cr Marshall presents a petition from 39 St James St and  Grandison St residents in Moonee Ponds requesting the lane-way be repaired and restored.

Cr Nation presents a petition from 23 residents from heritage St Moonee Ponds requesting permit parking.

Public Question Time

  1. Q = Parking is considered acceptable in permit for Ardoch St proposal on the agenda. A = reduction of car spaces is considered acceptable given the proximity to train station and provision of bike spaces. An assessment of Ardoch St parking was recently undertaken and found 85% of car spaces consistently unoccupied. Parking levels will be continually monitored.
  2. Q = Given Cl 58-03  of MV Planning Scheme, how does Council justify approving disruptions to northern light to existing windows? A = building will impact on light and energy efficiency to existing properties, the proposal impacts are considered reasonable and zoning allows for the impacts.
  3. Q = how will MVCC allow over-development of site affecting neighbouring residents? A = the proposal complies to an acceptable level. The ROW to rear provides a buffer.


9.1 38 & 38A Ardoch Street, Essendon (Lot 1 TP439978L)   – Construction of a three storey building in a Commercial 1 Zone and a reduction in car parking requirements

Cr Gauci Maurici moves, Cr Lawrence seconds a motion to refuse the proposal on the grounds of:

  • fails to meet objective of urban design, urban character
  • fails to meet objective of heritage conservation
  • height, form, scale and massing are inconsistent with urban design objectives
  • not an acceptable outcome in terms of urban context, set-back, POS, room depth
  • impact on neighbouring land
  • insufficient car parking
  • adverse traffic and safety
  • overdevelopment of site

Cr Gauci Maurici says the retail space on the site has no kitchen or bathroom or car parking. The stackers are unlikely to be used. There are significant impacts on neighbour’s light-well. There are poor outcomes with respect to noise, storage, light and accessibility.

Cr Lawrence speaks. There is some issue with the Mayor’s timer which is beeping before Cr Lawrence has commenced his time. Cr Lawrence speaks about heritage – despite the commercial zoning. Cr Lawrence says proposal has poor urban design outcomes and is close to a station but has inadequate set-backs, and the impacts of the natural air-flow and the windows are not adequate. Increased noise are also an issue.

Cr Sharpe says she understands her colleagues’ position and she has been informed of the residents’ concerns. She can see the implications with respect to over-shadowing. But she says that the zoning of the area allows for more overshadowing. She says it is a difficult proposal because of the zones abutting each other. She wishes to hear from other councillors.

Cr Marshall says something not captured by the microphone.

Cr Byrne says she is tempted to stick to the officers’ recommendation based on the commercial zoning of the site. She says the two things that are not compliant (room depth and POS) are considered reasonable. no doubt it is a narrow block, but it is zoned commercial and close to public transport. She says it is lucky this is not 4 storeys and that MVCC would be laughed at for taking it to VCAT.

Cr Marshall says Council faces challenges where there are residential interfaces. She says the small block, 50m from the train station with existing built form of 3 storeys just metres away – the balancing act suggests it is better for Council to try to condition the proposal to mitigate some of the impacts and concerns, and that 4 storeys would be more common for a site like this.

Cr Nation says this is a hard application to decide on. It’s the zones and local and state planning framework make this a viable planning framework. He says heritage advice is that contemporary buildings are more desirable rather than mimicry of heritage buildings.

Cr Gauci Maurici says she would prefer to see something well designed on the site.

For: Cr Gauci Maurici, Cr Lawrence

Agst: Crs Sharpe, Marshall, Sipek, Nation, Byrne

The refusal is lost.

Cr Marshall moves the officer’s recommendation. She says the conditions deal with some of the acoustic and waste concerns. Cr Sharpe also speaks saying the commercial zone changes the impact of the proposal and a refusal can not be supported, but she acknowledges the impact the development will have.

Cr Lawrence speaks against the motion and is disappointed for the residents. “Sure, it is a commercial zone,” but to keep the trust of the local residents, they do have cause for major concern, that the area is being transformed by an apartment block. “They creep, and they creep and they creep.”

Cr nation speaks and says planning decisions can be emotive, but Council needs to decide on the basis of planning rules.

Cr Marshall says that residential zoning with a heritage overlay is about the strongest protection Council can provide – and homes in the street enjoy this protection. Except that this site at one end near the railway station has different rules. People love their homes and want to protect them.

Agst: Cr Gauci Maurici, Cr Lawrence

For: Crs Sharpe, Marshall, Sipek, Nation, Byrne

The Mayor says the timer is not cooperating so he will rule on 3 mins and 5 mins at his discretion. He also welcomes Mayor Ross from Cardinia.

9.2 Response to NoM 2017/16 – Developments in Moonee Ponds

Cr Marshall moves the report is noted and that a report is brought back setting out a timeframe for the implementation of the measures. Cr Nation seconds.

Cr Marshall says this came out of a Notice of Motion. MVCC needs to have a plan to address concerns around development and clearly articulate what is going to happen, when and how it will be paid for. Cr Marshall speaks for quite some time (six minutes) and I haven’t captured it all.

Cr Nation and Cr Lawrence speak as well. Cr Lawrence speaks about the percentages of residents in each suburb whoa re overweight or obese … but the decides the points are more relevant for a later item on the agenda.

Cr Marshall closes saying that human being like to know there is a plan.

Carried unanimously.

9.3 Waste Management Plan Guidelines for Planning Applicants

Cr Marshall moves. Cr Nations seconds.

Cr Marshall says she is worried there is a hidden controversy that she might have missed, as no one seemed keen to move or second the motion. She says the waste management plan outlines Council’s approach to waste management for planning applications, including limiting the number of waste collections per week where private collections are used for multi-unit developments. She talks about the prospect of Council potentially undertaking the collections where this is deemed to be a more effective form of waste management.

Cr Nation says the plan has ideas regarding e-waste and the collection of waste from commercial facilities. He says it is not always the best planning approach to rely on private collections where there are more than six dwellings. He says the use of Council trucks may increase the number of trucks in the municipality. Collection days could also be aligned.

Carried unanimously.

9.4 Community Facilities Policy & Implementation Plan (MV2040 reference document)

Cr Gauci Maurici moves the officer’s recommendation. Cr Sharpe seconds.

She says the report looks at where facilities should be located. Cr Sharpe says the report is detailed, but she says she doesn’t want to miss anything. She says the Niddrie library is mentioned is part of Keilor Rd and it is flagged to upgrade the library, which she is looking forward. She says there is a lot in the report – and a lot of plans are being superseded by the plan. She says that Windy Hill is also flagged for development.

Cr Lawrence returns to the health issues and concerns about obesity. He hopes residents are taking note of the weight issue in Moonee Valley.

Cr Byrne says it is a $900M plan for the city. It is a guide for all infrastructure. She recommends people reading it. Cr Byrne says “Active April” is about to commence to encourage people to get healthier.

She highlights 30% tree canopy cover, Masterplan for Steele Creek, re-energising Airport West – and some more aspects of Buckley Ward. She says it is an amazing piece of work. She encourages people to respond during April.

This is out for consultation during April. the emphasis is on multi-purpose facilities.

Carried unanimously.

9.5 Land Acquisition Committee

Cr Sharpe moves and Cr Nation seconds. She says she is happy to be involved in the committee. Cr Nation says it is formalising some interim controls MVCC put in place last year looking at strategic ways of purchasing properties.

Carried unanimously.

Notices of Motion

10.1   Notice Of Motion No. 2018/04 – Changes to parking restrictions around Flemington Police Station

Cr Marshall moves – she is told she can sit – but says she has stood all this time. She reads the motion and it is seconded by Cr Nation.

Cr Marshall says that there are constant requests for parking changes in Myrnong Ward – mainly restrictions to be introduced. She says since the PSOs came on board there have been pressures on the area around the police station. She says changes had been made to permit conditions. The officers don’t support this motion given that notice of changes was given to residents at some stage earlier. Cr Marshall says this is about fairness.

Cr Nation says he is also frustrated that Crs can only refer parking requests to the relevant body – the Parking Permit Committee. He says the issue is that the Committee can change permit parking and that the policy was is dated 2013. Cr Nation says the policy says that permits for Police cannot be used for all day parking for employees during the day. He says he has not been given answers on why residents have not been consulted, why employees can park with permits when policy says otherwise?

Cr Nation says if our policy does not match current expectations, then let’s change the policy. Let’s not just make the decisions inconsistent with the policy. he says the policy may need to be revisited.

Carried unanimously.

Urgent Business 

Cr Lawrence says he intends to move a motion for extra water to be provided to trees and shrubs during March and April unless it rains.

The officer says firstly Crs need to vote on whether the business is ‘urgent’ – that is whether the item can be listed at the next Council meeting.

The Mayor says the item could be brought back as a Notice of Motion. Cr Lawrence says there have been 46 days of no rain and therefore there is an urgency for this matter.

CEO says the Council needs to decide on whether the matter is urgent.

Cr Marshall asks whether Council has received reports of trees that are suffering.

CEO says the team monitors trees and sports grounds constantly.

Mayor calls for a seconder.

Cr Lawrence reads the motion again.

Seriously – the trees need water! Just water them! Please!

The motion is seconded.

Cr Lawrence speaks to the matter of urgency. But is pulled up. There is some debate about what Cr Lawrence is allowed to say. Cr Lawrence says small shrubs and trees are dying – and this is the reason for the urgency. he says he doesn’t know what the rainfall will be in the next two weeks.

Cr Nation seeks clarification of whether there is a water supply issue. CEO says no.

Cr Nation asks whether this is something that requires the direction of Council. CEO says officers make appropriate arrangements.

Cr Marshall says that for the matter to be urgent that there need to be consequences between meetings. She says in the absence of evidence that trees are dying, the motion is not urgent. She is also not sure how the motion will be implemented.

She says “urgent business” is meant for things that just cannot wait.

The Mayor says it was pouring in East Keilor this morning. He says the CEO and staff will revisit the watering process.

Cr Lawrence says his concern is for the greening is the city.

For: Sharpe, Lawrence

Agst: Nation, Marshall, Sipek, Byrne, Gauci Maurici

The motion is lost.

Confidential Reports

12.1 Community Service Subsidy Funding 2018/19

12.2   Possible Property Acquisition

Close of Meeting


2 thoughts on “Council Meeting March 13

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s