Report on Council meeting Monday Feb 4, 2013

590 orrong road armadale

OK; so things got a little hand. At least Stonnington is home to a spirited democracy.

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE COUNCIL MEETING 4 FEBURARY ?Council voted unanimously to defer for 14 days, to the next Council Meeting of 18 February, its decision on the Amendment C153 ( also known as the Urban Design Framework) for 590 Orrong Road. A small temporary victory.

Councillors acknowledged the community’s representations and agreed that the community must be given time to study fully the massive package of documents issued on (i) the recommendations from Planning Panels Victoria to not set any mandatory height limits for the site at 590 Orrong Road and (ii) the Council Officers’ recommendations to present an amended document to the Minister for decision i.e to set a height of 8 storeys, no density levels, inadequate setbacks among other worrying points.

The Orrong Group will need to work hard over the next few days to prepare and present to the Councillors a list of issues that we consider vital for an acceptable outcome and to provide facts and arguments to support our case.

Thanks to all who made contact with the Councillors and to all who came to last night’s meeting– you did make a difference. Please keep contributing.

The Mayor, Matthew Koce has sent an email to all who contacted him and we have posted it below. We note his prompt communication.

The Mayor’s suggestion that we make contact with all our local and state politicians is worthy of note and we should all do this and include our Federal member Kelly O’Dwyer and the Upper House members, Andrea Coote and Georgie Crozier.

We will send another message in the next few days when we have complied our thoughts on the issues we need to present to Council and the points to be made to the politicians. Wouldn’t it be great if our elected representatives listened to the voters in this marginal, swinging seat and took all action necessary to get a fair outcome? Currently we are at the mercy of developer-friendly and anonymous panels, tribunals and bureaucrats.

While the Mayor refers to the responsibility of the Government, the Council still has the big responsibility to push for an acceptable outcome for this valuable site. Councillor Sehr stated last night as she has done so on many other occasions, that “the development at 590 will change the look of Armadale for ever and we must therefore get it right.”

Yes- we must get it right. The community has been stating over and over for 3 years that they want a low-level development in sympathy with the low-level surrounds. A maximum height of 5.5 to 6 storeys with a maximum density or 250 units, generous setbacks, a smaller footprint (not 19 buildings as proposed) and at least 50% public open space – not too much to ask for.  We hope the Councillors will listen to their constituents and Council staff listen to ratepayers.

We urge the council to note the outcome of the development approved for the Channel 9 site in Richmond. The developers (Lend Lease) sought an 8 storey height but Yarra Council were able to achieve a reduction in height to 6 storeys.

Surely this is a good guide for 590 Orrong Road.

We would welcome any comments you could make on this Amendment.

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