From the desk of the Mayor

Matthew Koce

The Mayor in question, Cr Matthew Koce.

This email arrived Tuesday February 5, 2pm-ish… At last night’s council meeting it was decided to defer consideration of the Panel Report on 590 Orrong Road until the next Council meeting scheduled for 18 February 2013. It is important that elected Councillors listen to their community and it was felt that a deferral of 2 weeks would allow more time for the community to digest the report and to provide important feedback.An issue as significant as this should not be rushed and all Councillors are fully aware of the long term ramifications regarding 590 Orrong Rd and are working hard to try and get the best possible outcome achievable under the State Government’s planning laws.

Unfortunately we cannot extend beyond the next council meeting because under recently introduced Ministerial Directions, Council must submit a response to the Planning Minister on 590 Orrong Road within 40 business days which is Wednesday 20 February 2013.

While the Panel supported much of Council’s proposed Amendment including controls over setbacks and transitioning to surrounding small residential houses to reduce the impact on established areas, we are very concerned about the removal of overall height limits, which was one of the biggest issues that came through the extensive community consultation. We are also extremely disappointed that our proposed open space requirement for the site has not been supported.

Alongside the consideration of the Panel Report, it is important to note that we are also returning to the Supreme Court in April to appeal VCAT’s approval of the 12-storey development for the site.
It is important to understand that the State Government is responsible for Victoria’s planning laws and not Council. It is also important to understand that the Independent Panel was established by the Planning Minister. Therefore I would strongly encourage you to please share your views, opinions and experiences with planning directly with the responsible Minister, Planning Minister Matthew Guy MLC. You may also want to contact your local State Member of Parliament.

I have attached a copy of the Panel report and Council’s response (refer page 125 of Notice Paper) for your perusal. I have also included a link to a recent article that appeared in The Age newspaper on Orrong Road that may be of interest to you and a link to Council’s submission to the Victorian State Budget that touches on some of the challenges that increased densification is placing on our local infrastructure.

I fully appreciate the concern that this issue has created and I can assure you that all your councillors are working very hard and diligently, as part of a cohesive team, to try and achieve the best possible outcome we can under the present State Government planning laws.
Yours sincerely

Cr Matthew Koce
Mayor, City of Stonnington

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