Saturday, June 14, 2014

Confidence in Council Planning in serious decline

Following on from the City of Melbourne's disastrous haphazard careless approach to the implementation of the State Government new Commercial 1 planning zones in which the City Council failed to fully assess or consider the impact of the new planning zones, the Council has once again ignored ratepayers concerns and opinion in the adoption of new Residential Planning zones.

In the Commercial One Zones (CZ1the City Council failed to address residents' concerns related to protecting residential amenity and the need to stem the tide of loss of residential retail shopping and the proliferation of licensed premises and cafe's in local residential shopping strips. An issue that took the City Council months to acknowledge and even then they still have not adequately addressed.  Incompetence or deliberate deceit on behalf of the city planning department is any ones guess..

The process of implementing the new residential planning zones has been not much better. Unlike the the implementation of the Commercial/Business zones the City Council did embark on a pretense of consultation, but the process has left a sour and bitter taste in minds of the local community groups.

The extent of dismay and frustration can be seen in the response provided by the Melbourne South Yarra residents Group president, Michael Butcher  to Melbourne CEO Dr Kathy Alexander

Micheal Butcher in his letter stated a number of concerns that are shared by numerous resident and community groups throughout Melbourne

The handling of this process has in our view been disgraceful and it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that from the outset  council decided they did not want any change or restrictions upon development and that this process would ensure that outcome. Ratepayers were given only eight days to consider the final and only substantive report with no opportunity to discuss it or to have any input.
The motion to adopt the unfettered recommendation was passed by a resolution of six councillors for: (Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, Deputy Lord Mayor Susan Riley, Crs Arron Wood, Kevin Louey. Beverly Pinder-Mortimer and Steven Mayne)  and five against: (Crs Richard Foster, Jackie Watts, Rohan Leppert, Cathy Oake and Ken Ong)

Copies of the audio and minutes of the June 3 meeting can be accessed on the City of Melbourne's web site.

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