Council Meeting 9 June

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NB: Here is the PTV report on Newmarket Station received through FOI:  PTV Work Order 52 Report Final Submission STAMPED

Report of Council meeting

It was a frosty morning – the coldest for many months. Tonight’s council meeting was brief, and less chilly.

There’s always a delay with the Zoom meetings coming online, so it didn’t appear on the website until the confirmation of past minutes, which were confirmed, and conflict of interest, of which there were none.

The Mayor and Cr Cusack congratulated three people who received OAMs in the Queen’s Birthday honours: Julie Limbach OAM, John Larter OAM and Bruce Sun-You Lew OAM. Cr Cusack spoke about the extensive community efforts of Julie Limbach.

Three residents have asked questions, read by the Mayor.

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The first question was about waste being dumped at Nursery Corner in Strathmore and what investigation has been undertaken to determine contamination this may have caused. The CEO said soil testing had confirmed the soil was suitable for open space.

The second question asked whether Council will clean up the space to ensure no leeching to the creek. The CEO said a draft plan would be available for consultation later in the year.

Ian Woods asked about the economic crisis currently facing Australians, likely to be felt in September this year affecting rate payers. Has council considered cancelling the proposed car park in Strathmore as a savings measure? The CEO said long term financial planning is adjusted each year according to current financial conditions, including adjusting surpluses.

Nina Franceschi asked about trees being removed in Strathmore – a photo was presented. She asked why Council said there will be no removal of trees for a carpark? The CEO said the plan will need to be considered further and no design has currently been drawn up.

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4 Homer Street and 687 Mt Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds – Construction
of a multi-storey building accommodating a ground floor restaurant, residential hotel and works within a Road Zone (Amendment)

Cr Marshall moved a motion to refuse a permit for the application on the basis of building design, heritage, wind impact, urban design, consistency with the Activity Centre scheme, car parking, residential amenity of neighbouring land, will have an adverse impact on neighbouring properties, and goes beyond the scope of an amendment to the original proposal.

Cr Marshall said she “reluctantly supported” the original proposal, but that this is fundamentally different. The previous development had mixed apartments – whereas the current proposal is now for a hotel. The retail has been replaced by a restaurant. Cr Marshall said the design has changed and is now “overbearing”. The height has been reduced, but the number of levels has increased, suggesting the ceiling heights have been reduced. She was also concerned about wind tunnelling effects.

Cr Nation said he was the only councillor to vote against the application when it was presented in the previous council term (it’s impossible to check as the website only has the past three years of meetings available). Cr Nation said he preferred the current design, and doesn’t mind the change in use. But he said the amendment is substantially different and warrants a new application.

Cr Cusack spoke in favour of the motion. He said he queried whether a 15 storey hotel was right for Moonee Ponds – despite the jobs this might create. Although then he said he would like the building to be a purpose built hotel with the proper entrance, “that becomes something of a landmark” onto Mt Alexander Road. “it’s situated right at the heart” of Moonee Valley.

All in favour except Cr Sipek.

 

Neighbourhood Plans and implementation of the reformed residential zones

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From MV2040

This motion was brought at a previous meeting, but the amended motion was lost and no other motion was foreshadowed. So the issue has returned to Council.

The neighbourhood plans are for the areas established in MV2040.

Thirteen neighbourhood plans are needed that articulate zoning and how initiatives will be delivered.

The officer’s recommendation said:

 

That Council resolves to:

  1. Commence the first tranche of Neighbourhood Plans in order to implement the MV2040 Strategy from a strategic land use perspective and implement the reformed residential zones.
  2. Note the first tranche of Neighbourhood Plans will include the Airport West and Keilor Road/Essendon North neighbourhoods.
  3. Receive a future report in relation to draft Neighbourhood Plans for Airport West and Keilor Road/Essendon North, seeking endorsement of the two plans for the purpose of informal community consultation.

Cr Surace moved a motion to commence the Neighbourhood Plans for Airport West and Keilor East. Cr Lawrence seconded. Keilor Road/Essendon North has been removed and replaced with Keilor East.

Cr Marshall said she’s happy to support this compromise, but that all areas would have to be dealt with and that people would not always be happy with the outcomes. She said Council needs to be clear about what it can deliver, and what it can’t.

Cr Sipek said he wanted Airport West to be dealt with individually because it is an important area for the municipality. He said he wouldn’t support the motion.

Cr Nation reiterated that Council had previously tried to put zones in place, but these were rejected by the State Government at the time and nothing has been put in place to restrict the planning in residential areas since.

Some technical issue while Cr Cusack spoke.

All in favour except Cr Sipek.

Notices of Motion and Petitions Quarterly Report

Only five of the of the 22 notices of motion since July 2017 have been completed. Seventeen are still open, with thirteen reports to council still outstanding.

Of 32 petitions to council, eight are still in progress.

Cr Gauci Maurici moved the officer’s recommendation to accept the report. Cr Lawrence seconded. No other councillor spoke.

Carried unanimously.

Notice Of Motion No.2020/09 – Improving Safety for Cyclists on Mt Alexander Rd

Cr Marshall moved a motion for a report on safety issues on Mt Road in response to the death of a cyclist some months ago.  Cr Cusack seconded.

Cr Marshall said that with more people cycling, greater safety is needed. “We’re obliged to make sure we do something.” She said that Mt Road is currently difficult for cyclists. She said the Connected Transport Plan would help make non-car-based travel safer. Cr Cusack supported Cr Marshall’s comments.

Ed’s note: Firstly, it’s desperately sad that another cyclist has been killed. Secondly, this is not the first accident at that location. In 2015, a man was trapped under a tram at the same location.See this article.

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Interestingly, while the stretch of road is noted in MV2040 for separation of cycling paths, it’s not listed in the infrastructure items for MV2040. The pictures below are from MV2040. Item 85 plans for infrastructure on Racecourse Rd, but not Mt Alexander Rd. So perhaps MV2040 needs to be revised on this one. As someone who has ridden this stretch of road often, it has been treacherous forever, and made much worse when the ALT tower was built in 2009/10. Great that it is being attended to, but I wish it hadn’t taken a death 😦 

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Cr Nation spoke about the difficulty for cyclists of cars turning right into side streets, but I have also stopped to help a cyclist wiped out by a car turning left into a side street at Dickens St. “Let’s try to stop future occurrences”, said Cr Nation. Yep. Absolutely.

Carried unanimously.

Urgent Business

Cr Sharpe moves a motion as urgent business – something that has arisen, and cannot be delayed. Cr Sipek seconded. The Mayor put the issue to the vote to be considered as urgent business.

Cr Sharpe moved the motion that MVCC submit a funding proposal for the JA Fullerton Reserve pavilion for a State Government grant. This motion is carried unanimously.

The meeting is closed for a confidential report on Smart Parking Limited contract update.

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