Parking squeeze probe

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THE squeeze on available carpark spaces around Kingston amid the rise of multi-unit apartment blocks will be investigated by Kingston Council.

North Ward councillor George Hua introduced a notice of motion at council’s latest public meeting on 25 June asking council officers to review planning rules.

“There are new units being built and a lot of new cars being introduced into the area,” Cr Hua said at the meeting.

Building four or five units on land where one property previously stood means vehicle parking overflows onto streets, Cr Hua said.

He said council possibly needs to revise its planning scheme rules and ask the state government “to ensure mandatory parking requirements in areas of most need”.

Cr Hua hoped council and the state government “can work together”. He noted the state government ultimately has final approval on planning matters and councils can be “powerless” to stop overdevelopment.

Fellow councillors unanimously backed the move to ask officers to prepare a report on car parking problems.

South Ward councillor Georgina Oxley noted a lack of car parking was not restricted to main activity hubs throughout the Kingston municipality.

“We’re seeing these huge high-density developments coming in that don’t have the infrastructure on site to cater for car parking, the bins, water or sewerage,” Cr Oxley said.

“Sites that no longer have that infrastructure will have that spill out onto the streets, particularly with car parking.”

She said bins in the South Ward area often take up potential vehicle parking space.

“I think the state government is going to play an incredible role here in ensuring that we [council] are able to manage multi-unit development in our city,” Cr Oxley said. “Because, at the moment, I don’t think we can.”

Cr Oxley noted streets near train stations are almost impossible to drive through since so many cars are parked on street.

Central Ward councillor Ron Brownlees also noted the state government needs to help council if there is going to be any improvement in car parking availability.

“They, in the end, control it. There’s no good us having our local law when we get overruled at VCAT every time.”

Council officers will prepare a report “on the impact of multi-unit development on-street parking, local traffic and emergency services” for a future council meeting.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 4 July 2018

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