More consultation for ‘radical’ housing strategy changes

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A MOTION for Kingston Council to put out a flier with “more information” about their housing strategy and neighbourhood character study has failed.

A flier is already being sent out to residents in the Kingston municipality about the draft housing strategy, which was sent out to consultation at an April Kingston Council meeting. That consultation period will last until 2 August.

Kingston councillor Rosemary West raised a notice of motion at the 24 June council meeting to request that “council officers provide a report for the next special or ordinary meeting and a prior CIS discussion including the following information in an extra flier to go to all Kingston residents”. The proposed flier would state that “about 25 per cent of Kingston’s residential area is proposed to be rezoned from the interim General Residential Zone 3 (GRZ3), with a 9 metre height limit, to a new GRZ, mostly with an 11 metre height limit” and that “in the roughly 50 per cent of Kingston’s residential area that will keep its 9 metre height limit in the new Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ), the provision that has discouraged two-storey development in the backyards of the former Residential 3/GRZ3 areas is proposed to be removed, and the provision for only two dwellings on an average-sized lot, (with proportionally more on larger lots) is proposed to be removed.”

That motion failed with Crs West and Steve Staikos voting in favour.

Cr West said “unfortunately, I had hoped when I lodged this notice of motion that this information could have been provided in what council is sending out. Unfortunately council proceeded in sending out a flier that does not include any more information than what council has already provided.”

“The result of that prior information the council has handed out is overwhelmingly that most people have not heard of the council housing strategy and do not realise it’s going to impact them.

“The proposal that council is putting up, the council’s new housing strategy, is probably the most radical increase in development and density in Kingston that I have seen in my 16 years on council. I think it is really important that all Kingston residents are informed of this so they can work out how they are affected.”

Cr Geoff Gledhill said “what [council officers] are trying to do is they’re trying to follow a process that is designed and is proven to deliver an outcome.

“It’s about time we stuck to the process and brought this back to council when all the consultation is completed, nobody should make assumptions, we will then determine based on what our community wants and what is best for Kingston going forward.”

The mayor Georgina Oxley said council “don’t want to predetermine what any of our residents are going to think. We’ve heard from quite a lot of them already and quite a few of them, particularly down in my ward, aren’t supportive of the three storeys that’s been indicated in a lot of their areas.”

“There are people who do want to engage with us which is why we’re going to send a flier out to every resident so they are aware and so if they do want to engage with us they are given the option, but we’re not going to tell them what to think. It’s up to them to make up their own mind.”

The map inside the draft housing strategy sees the municipality divided into four “housing change areas”. They are labelled as limited, incremental, transitional, and substantial.

On the map: A map of housing changes in Kingston from council’s draft housing strategy and neighbourhood character study.

The draft document states that a limited change area represents “the lowest degree of intended residential growth and change in Kingston. Future housing will predominantly comprise detached houses and dual occupancies, on one to two storeys (nine metres).”

The document states that an incremental change area “will encounter modest housing growth in the form of townhouse and unit development as well as detached houses. New housing will generally be up to two storeys (nine metres) (…) however low scale medium density housing of up to three storeys (11 metres) may be experienced.”

A transitional change area is stated as being “very similar to incremental change areas” with new housing to generally be up to three storeys, 11 metres in height.

A substantial change area is an area in which “housing change will generally be in the form of apartment, shop-top, townhouse and unit developments of four storeys (14 metres).”

Consultation on the plan is open until 2 August. To make a submission or view the draft document, visit yourkingstonyoursay.com.au/HSNCS.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 3 July 2019

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