Council meeting agenda 26 June

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Flemington Neighbourhood Plan to be incorporated into the Moonee Valley Planning Scheme

There are some significant items on this week’s Council agenda. I’ve tried to summarise the key issues below:

76 Fenton Street, Ascot Vale – Construction of four dwellings

The plans have been amended from five dwellings to four, with a third storey removed from a dwelling on Hockey Lane.

There appear to be residual set-back and overshadowing issues that have not been ironed out by the new plans. These could probably be addressed through permit conditions.

Since MVCC lost some earlier cases at VCAT, the development along Hockey Lane has generally occurred in a consistent manner with modern two and three storey homes. Where sub-divisions and development on the remaining blocks is well designed and doesn’t over-step the rules, there are probably very few planning grounds for rejection.

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35 Eglinton Street, Moonee Ponds – Construction of two dwellings

The recommendation from planning officers is to address concerns about the rear set back and neighbourhood character through conditions on the permit. I’m not sure if these need to be tightened even further to achieve the compliance sought.

I’m finding the shadow diagrams confusing and not sure if the additional height makes a significant difference to overshadowing of neighbours’ open space, and whether this needs to be addressed.

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Council Plan 2017-2021 (Annual Review)

Officers are seeking councillors’ approval to undertake a review of the Council Plan given the likely adoption of MV2040.

The question is whether MV2040 should be designed to align with the adopted Council Plan – or whether the Council Plan should now be amended to align with the new MV2040.

It depends on the inconsistencies that exist between the two documents and perhaps these should be illuminated prior to MV2040 being adopted.

Budget 2018/2019

The 2018/19 Budget and associated Long Term Capital Works Plan (LTCWP) have been on exhibition and submissions were made on 5 June – including one from me and others concerned about low levels of funding for the Arts in Moonee Valley, and a concentration on the Clocktower and Incinerator centres.

Some variations have been made as a result of submissions, although not all submissions appear to have been responded to – including the request from PEGS for additional traffic safety signage in Fletcher St (notes this parent of PEGS Middle School students).

Changes to the Budget and LTCWP from the draft include:

  • moving Fairbairn and Maribyrnong Park pavilions  to short term delivery in the LTCWP (in line with MV2040)
  • allocating the unspent funds 2017/18 community grants of $20,000 to the Trieste Social Club
  • allocating $13,000 to the Moonee Valley Toy Library for the Avondale Heights branch
  • including investigating opportunities to fit out facilities for performing Arts in Council’s operating budget (Yay! – although much more to be done to provide for the Arts in MV).
  • $800,000 for temporary change facilities at Fairbairn and Maribyrnong Parks – which sounds like a lot of money for temporary facilities – maybe Council could explain this further to make sure that’s getting best value for $$.

I made a number of other comments by submission which don’t appear to have been taken up:

  • only $200K to implement the cycling and walking strategy
  • fees and charges are increasing by an average of 4% rather than being capping at 2.25% or CPI 
  •  fees and charges for community hall and room hire appear reduced to ‘0’ which is, of course, not the case
  • unclear how the environmental plans have been captured in the Long-Term Capital Works Plan
  • spending $50M on EKLC (in the LTCWP) is an excessive investment in one facility
  • items appear in MV2040, but not in the Long-Term Capital Works Plan including highball facility, integrated development near Essendon Station; a new community gathering space in the Essendon North/Lincoln Road activity area; reinvigorate the Airport West industrial area; Essendon community hub.

A 22 year capital works plan is ambitious and I question the merit of approving something that will need constant review and revision. Do we want to be locked into these ideas for the next 22 years in Moonee Valley?

MV2040 Final Strategy and update of the Moonee Valley Planning Scheme

It’s hard to know where to start on this one.

This agenda item includes a planning scheme Amendment that locks in MV2040 and all of its 160 initiatives into the MV Planning Scheme.

It also changes that whole MSS which prescribes the way MV planning is decided – including housing intensity, transport and environmental considerations.

Big breath.

Firstly, the strategic overview provided by this document is useful, but setting out capital works initiatives for 22 years is just unrealistic.

As previously mentioned on the MV Blog the MV2040 sets a plan for the next 22 years in Moonee Valley. It’s a worthy objective, and the focus on neighbourhoods is strategic and community driven.

But setting infrastructure initiatives for each neighbourhood for 22 years is highly problematic.

There is mention of ‘Neighbourhood Implementation Plans’ to follow. The implementation initiatives should be conditional on further discussions at the neighbourhood level.

The submissions to MV2040 demonstrate the range of detailed ideas that need further consideration at the very local level.

I’ve been saying this repeatedly, and feeling myself turning blue, but I’ll say it once more: please MVCC, hold off on setting a 22 year Long Term Capital Works Plan and Implementation Initiatives in MV2040.

I’ve suggested an 8-10 year plan for detailed capital works would be more realistic. Local plans need more discussion at the local level, and more flexibility over the next two decades. The principles are worthy, the detail should not be set in concrete in this way.

And, yet, the officers are recommending putting it all into the planning scheme. As is.

For the first time, residents are seeing a revised Municipal Strategic Statement (cl 21 in the Planning Scheme) and a request that the Planning Minister approve Amendment C195 to incorporate MV2040 and the new cl 21 into the MV Planning Scheme.

Councillors may have seen this before, but residents haven’t. And with five days to digest all this info, there has been minimal opportunity to read this and provide feedback.

Will councillors pass this planning Amendment:

  • after zero consultation with residents (specifically on the new MSS)?
  • that dictates facilities (eg sporting, community, libraries) for residents?
  • that locks in what MVCC will do for us for the next 22 years?
  • that changes our policy for housing intensification (although I’m not clear how this intersects with state policy)?

Why is Council seeking to prescribe this level of detailed community design through the planning scheme?

Are any other local governments doing this? Has the state government asked Councils to do this?

Further, despite numerous requests from Flemington residents to avoid messages that suggest decisions have already been made about the location and design of a Flemington Community Hub, this picture still appears in the MV2040 document.

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MV2040 Action Plan: Community Facilities

So it turns out I was the only person in MV to make a written submission specifically in response to the Facilities Plan for the next 22 years in MV.

Given that I certainly don’t speak for all Moonee Valley’ans, perhaps a broader consultation process is needed.

Thank you to the officers who responded to my queries.

Here are the facilities planned for Flemington and Essendon for the next 22 years:

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Aged Care Services at Moonee Valley City Council

Councillors will be voting on whether to contract out, with a view to ceasing Council provision of, personal care, respite assistance and respite care services for nearly 3000 aged residents.

I won’t pretend to understand the complex funding and service arrangements, but people in Flemington have often said that there are two good things about being in Moonee Valley rather than City of Melbourne: the green bins … and aged care.

Streetscape Improvement Costing Framework 2018

There are 31 locations across MV flagged for streetscape improvements. The document sets out a framework for which, where and how.

Development Contributions Plan 2018

This is a fairly significant document, but at 154 pages, I haven’t had time to look in detail at the plan for spending developers’ contributions in MV.

Interim and Permanent Heritage Controls – 89 Glass Street, Essendon

Self-explanatory.

Councillor Expenses and Reimbursement Policy

Just a comment about reimbursement for councillors’ transport: the provisions are very generous, and are probably more applicable for councillors who have to travel long distances in rural areas.

If councillors have permits that allow them to park anywhere, Myki cards provided by Council, costs of parking covered, they are not necessarily getting a clear idea of parking issues and costs that residents encounter.

I don’t think many councillors seek reimbursement for transport costs, but I do think councillors should have to live within the transport and parking restrictions and conditions of all residents to better appreciate local issues.

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Confidential Reports – East Keilor Leisure Centre Redevelopment – Early Procurement Program

???

That’s the meeting agenda, folks. Oh boy.

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