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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Re-zoning Drysdale & Clifton Springs (2)

'Re-zoning Drysdale 1' mentioned a forthcoming meeting between officers of DCSCA and of the Clifton Springs Golf Club. The meeting took place, but the participants were there as residents of the Springs Street area (where the Club is situated), rather than as members of the Club (although some were). DCSCA President Doug Carson takes up the story.

'The residents of the Springs Street area are very upset at the City of Greater Geelong's proposals to rezone the area to "Residential 1" (high-density residential). 180 of them signed a petition to CoGG objecting to the proposed rezoning of the site, which they believed had been designated as parkland or open space. The residents say that the site has a history of flooding in heavy rain, with Springs Street being awash with run-off; and that creating high-density housing would only increase this tendency. The residents couldn't understand why the Council wants to create this high-density 'mini-estate' of around a dozen houses in an area distant from other houses at a time when 1,500 houses are due to come online from the Jetty Road development. The Council has given no explanantion for its proposals.'

Doug Carson also said that very few local residents have received a formal letter from the Council setting-out its proposed rezoning of the area; and even those who had received such a letter pointed out that it came just eight weeks before the closing date (18 January 2010) for submissions and at a time when many people were away on holiday. This means that people on holiday were either prevented from commenting or, at best, had a very short time in which to do so.

This isn't the first time that the Council has undermined the idea of public consultation in this way. It exhibited its draft Drysdale and Clifton Springs Structure Plan over an equivalent period - December 2008 and January 2009 - with the same implications for public consultation. It was criticized for doing so in the submissions it received, but clearly it learnt nothing from the episode. Now, as it proposes to implement parts of that Structure Plan through Amendments C103 and C194, it is showing similar disregard for the views of the local pople it is meant to represent.

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