Petitioning Legislative Council of Victoria

Protect the Dandenongs: 2 Storeys not Tall Stories

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All visitors to the township of Upper Ferntree Gully (UFTG) enjoy unobstructed views to the beautiful surrounding hills and ridgelines.

Mandatory 8.5 metre building height limits are needed to preserve these views by ensuring that any future development is appropriate and considers the town’s unique setting.

We urgently need your help to formally request the Planning Minister to intervene and approve Amendment C141 to the Knox Planning Scheme, with ALL the recommendations of the independent Planning Panel.

The community has worked with council staff for two years to develop and implement an amendment to the Knox Planning Scheme that will guide the future growth and development of the activity centre in UFTG, and also protect it from inappropriate development, this is known as Amendment C141.

Some councillors have been inexplicably determined in their attempts to modify the C141 Amendment against community wishes and against the Planning Panel recommendations. These councillors wanted 12 metre building heights plus roof form. If implemented the councillors plans would obscure views of the hills and ridgelines from many viewpoints though-out UFTG.

An independent Planning Panel Hearing was held to consider ALL of the available evidence to properly consider the C141 Amendment. After very careful consideration this State appointed panel of planning experts produced a report which recommended 8.5 metre mandatory heights through-out the commercial centre of UFTG, and they provided proper justification for their decision.

Mandatory 8.5 metre building heights in the UFTG commercial zone will satisfy ALL of the relevant planning strategies and ALL of the relevant zone and overlay controls.  This is what the community wants and this is what the independent Planning Panel recommends.

But a group of councillors have turned their back on 2 years of constructive engagement with the community, turned their backs on $400,000 of hard work by the council's planning staff, and turned their back on the recommendations of the independent Planning Panel...all without providing a single supportable FACT to justify their position in supporting 12 metre building heights. Now they have abandoned the C141 Amendment because THEY want control over what is built.

We formally request that the Hon Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning exercise his power of intervention and approve the C141 Amendment with all of the independent Planning Panel recommendations.

PETITION TO PROTECT THE GATEWAY TO THE ICONIC DANDENONG RANGES

To the Legislative Council of Victoria

This Petition of Residents of Victoria,

draws to the attention of the House, the independent assessment and recommendations of Knox City Council Amendment C141 Upper Gully Strategic Plan, by Planning Panels Victoria.

Attention is also drawn to the community's grave concern that after two years of extensive consultation and expenditure of public funds in excess of $400,000, Council officers, Council legal representatives and professional consultants, AGREED with the Knox Community and the Panel that in order to protect the iconic Gateway to the Dandenong Ranges and protect the vistas for future generations, MANDATORY height controls were required.

The Panel agreed with the community that a maximum mandatory height limit of not more than 8.5metres (2 storeys) in the Upper Ferntree Gully Activity Centre should be embedded into the Knox planning scheme.  The regional significance of the Dandenong Ranges foothills is demonstrated by existing policy that DIRECTS that urban consolidation objectives MUST NOT OUTWEIGH the environmental and landscape objectives, recognising the Foothills metropolitan landscape significance by maintaining uninterrupted view lines and ensuring that buildings sit below the dominant tree canopy.

Knox Councillors have resolved to ABANDON Amendment C141 WITHOUT DUE CAUSE and revert to discretionary height controls. 

We draw attention to the fact that this would place Upper Ferntree Gully, the Gateway to the Dandenongs, as the ONLY ACTIVITY CENTRE in the Knox Foothills without MANDATORY maximum building height controls. 


The petitioners therefore request that the Government INTERVENE on behalf of the community and approve Amendment C141 with the MANDATORY maximum building height controls of 8.5M as recommended by the independent panel.

 

 

 

 

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