Council Meeting 12 May

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Apologies and Leave of Absence: Cr Surace has approved leave of absence for this meeting

Declarations of Conflict of Interest: None

Presentations: Cr Nation spoke about IDAHOBIT Day this Sunday 27 May and encouraged all MV residents to wear purple to make MV a more inclusive and accepting society.

Petitions and Joint Letters:

Replacement of trees on Fenton Street, Ascot Vale: tabled by Cr Cusack with 43 signatures asking for Ornamental Pear or Crepe Myrtle trees to replace the paperbarks. Carried unanimously.

Abandoned/unused/unregistered cars on Knight, Aberdeen, Hedderwick, Buckley, and Vida street, Aberfeldie and Essendon: tabled by Cr Sharpe. Carried unanimously.

Public Question Time

Question from Marina re parking in Columban Ave Strathmore: why does the officer’s recommendation fail to take into account the Council’s Parking Strategy regarding street categories? The CEO said the road is category B. Parking on both sides is typical for roads like this in the municipality.

Question from David re Buckley St report: LXRP have ignored questions and have asked me to stop asking Qs. What can Council do? The CEO said MVCC has no jurisdiction, although tried to negotiate to have input into post-works monitoring. Council has been involved in some traffic mitigation. Council would like to write to the Minister and suggests David seeks information via Freedom of Information.

12 Pascoe Vale Road, Moonee Ponds Construction of a multi-storey building in the
Activity Centre Zone and use of the land as offices

Cr Nation moved the officer’s recommendation. Cr Sharpe seconded.

The application is for an 8-storey building in Moonee Ponds Activity Centre. There were no objections from agencies. Cr Nation says he is “not overly excited”.

“This application does comply with our preferred height controls on this site,” he said.

Cr Nation said the mandatory height does not apply to the equipment on the roof, and the objectives for the precinct have all been met.

“Although the application is big and bulky … MV2040 says this is where we want this growth. As councillors we need to assess applications against the rules we have set.”

Cr Marshall spoke: “If you don’t like the rules you change the rules.” She questions whether 8-storeys is the correct height for this site.

She said she is concerned about the use of stackers – but this is limited to the lowest level and there will be queuing in the lowest level. The Right of Way will also be managed.

She said this is much too bulky from the northern side and will exacerbate the narrow feel of Alexandra Ave.

She also queried whether the development allows for equitable development for the light access to the site on the south.

She said there are few grounds for refusal and so will support the proposal.

Cr Cusack said he is concerned about the site to the south: there will be a “theft of light.” He said the north side is “painfully bulky”. He said it should be 5-storeys high.

All in favour except Cr Cusack and Cr Sipek.

386 and 392-398 Racecourse Road, Flemington

This application was for a hotel in a General Residential Zone, construction of a multi-storey building including alterations and additions to the existing hotel (Newmarket Tavern) with an extended area for the sale and consumption of liquor, and a reduction in car parking requirements.

Note – I did write to councillors asking if they could consider tighter restrictions on the proposed hours for the roof top bar which was set to be open 7am to 1am all days of the week, as well as better management of the car parking for hotel guests – similar to the strong conditions imposed for 320 Racecourse Rd. Some of these changes have been made below, although the car parking condition for 320 Racecourse Rd is much stronger.

Cr Marshall moved the officer’s recommendation with additional conditions:

  • for lighter colour in the façade,
  • roof-top bar external openings to be closed from 9pm,
  • all noise attenuation measures to be endorsed through acoustic report,
  • extended hotel use may only operate between 7am to 9pm Monday to Sunday in roof-top area, 7am to 11pm inside – and the western courtyard to be closed from 5pm near the aged care home.
  • must not use parking in surrounding streets for guests.

She said there have been some changes to the advertised plans and the change are primarily to protect the residents of the adjacent aged care home.

Cr Cusack supported the introduction of a business into the area, as did Cr Nation.

Carried unanimously.

2 Leslie Road, Essendon – Additions to St Columba’s College

Cr Cusack moved the recommendation with amendments: a no left turn sign at Lorraine St; outdoor recreational areas not to be sued in the evening; associated screening trees to be added; and some other additions.

Cr Marshall sought clarification about one of the conditions: 7 a).

Cr Cusack asked if an officer is present, but he’s not. Cr Cusack said he’s running out of screens. Cr Lawrence seconded.

The proposal allows the school to develop the building for food and hospitality, but they need a masterplan for the whole facility to move further and deals with traffic movements before they can have a certificate of occupancy.

Cr Lawrence talked about the large number of students in the area

Cr Sharpe said parts of the application are illogical and that the absence of a Masterplan obscures the important future information for the Council to consider. She said the process is illogical.

She was concerned about signing off on the plans without the Masterplan being provided as a preliminary step.

Cr Marshall said she has no issue with the extension to the building, but that the school has only recently purchased 145 Buckley St, and this may alter the Masterplan. She said the existing cap on student numbers was breached and it is important that the new cap is not breached in the future. She wanted to see the school do a proper review of the site.

Cr Gauci Maurici moved an amendment to condition 7a replacing ‘ensure’ with ‘encourage’. Cr Marshall seconded.

Amendment carried unanimously.

Carried on the Mayor’s casting vote with councillors Shape, Sipek, Marshall and Nation voting against.

Neighbourhood Plans and implementation of the reformed residential zones

Cr Sharpe moved an amended motion limiting the plans to Airport West (removing Keilor Road/North Essendon) as the Keilor Rd Structure Plan was devised only recently and included the DDO for Mt Alexander Rd. Cr Sharpe argued these areas are covered by recent strategic plans and she would prefer neighbourhood plans to be developed for areas that don’t yet have strategic plans (eg … Flemington! – editor’s note!).

Cr Nation said he would support the amended motion. Cr Nation said 75% of MVCC was previously located in NRZ zones – with mandatory, rather than preferred, controls. MVCC was asked to undertake more work before the zones would be implemented – six years ago. He said it was hard to consult with the community and decide on zoning. Because the zones weren’t approved, most of the municipality still sits in General Residential Zone. He said the work to be done will enable more areas to be put into more restrictive zoning. He said he is happy to concentrate on one area and get it done properly.

Cr Marshall said there are pros and cons and the neighbourhood plans are dealing with residential areas. She said previously, none of the strategic work had been done. She said some residents want zones to be implemented. She said she was unsure about delaying the process further.

Just a note that the vision and audio are really out of synch at this point!

Cr Sipek said there is a lot of connection between Airport West and Essendon North.

Cr Lawrence said he supports separating the areas. Cr Cusack said he is unsure which way to vote. Cr Gauci Maurici wasn’t sure either. She was aware of the necessity to move quickly on all neighbourhoods.

Cr Sharpe said she does not want to put residents through the structural planning again so soon. She said it is not just about residential zoning, but all zones. She pointed out there are 13 neighbourhoods to get through.

Lost on the casting vote of Mayor Byrne, with councillors Marshall, Sipek, Cusack also voting against, as they wanted Keilor Rd to be included.

Because there was no foreshadowed alternative, another option could not be put forward and the neighbourhood plans will need to come back for another vote before the process is initiated.

Buckley Street Level Crossing Removal – Post Opening Traffic Study and response to petition

Cr Lawrence moved the motion and pointed out the safety issues and traffic issues in Sherbourne St. He was concerned about council having to accept a sum of money to get information and be involved. He said it was a tricky situation.

Cr Gauci Maurici said Council requested information in 2017. She said previous traffic projections missed issues that were bound to arise in surrounding roads. She said FOIs and requests for information have been ignored. She said the request for money for a traffic report for information that should have been received well before now. She said she could not support the motion although she is pleased residents who raised the issue by petition are getting a response.

Cr Nation said it is bizarre that council officers have assessed the reports and found information missing, and then have LXRP say that Council can only have the information if council accepts $165K for the works. He said it should be a partnership. Council has not been consulted properly. “It speaks to the entire project in general … it is deeply disturbing.”

Cr Sharpe read an email from a resident listing traffic and safety issues, particularly around Sherbourne Street.

Carried with councillors Gauci Maurici and Nation against.

Response to petition – traffic and parking management on Albion
Street, Essendon

Cr Sharpe moved the recommendation. Carried unanimously.

Response to petition – Traffic speeding along Phillip Road, Keilor East

Carried unanimously.

Response to petition – Columban Avenue Strathmore

Cr GM moves an alternative motion – that a report be sought for an alternative solution for the parking given the width of the street varies. Carried unanimously.

Proposed Road Discontinuance and Sale of Land from Right of
Way and Road Reserve abutting rear of 20 Clarence Street, Flemington

Carried unanimously.

Proposed Discontinuance and Sale of Land from Road Reserve – abutting 8 and 6 South Road, Airport West

Carried unanimously.

Proposed Discontinuance and Sale of Land from Right of Way – abutting 22 Church and 35 and 37 Bryant Streets, Flemington

Carried unanimously.

Councillor Expenses – Training and Development

Cr Marshall said it had taken four years to disclose all the information and this creates a good platform for transparency. Cr Sipek said he is comfortable with the transparency and how it has been reported.

Cr Cusack explained that he has accessed training via work and he has also participated in informal training. He said the key providers of training are the MAV and VLGA and he has been blocked by the inflexibility of the organisations to deliver training via means that are accessible. He also noted courses he has applied for have been cancelled.

I do note that MVCC has spent $20K on media and executive training for councillors – so someone is profiting from councillors’ training!

Carried unanimously.

Assemblies of Councillors

Carried unanimously.

Close of Meeting – nothing more.


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