By Tyler Wright
Yarra Ranges Council’s decision making and project priorities for Monbulk in the coming years will be guided with the help of the Monbulk Urban Design Framework (UDF) which was adopted at the recent council meeting on Tuesday 28 November.
The draft document received more than 2,300 pieces of feedback during the community consultation phase.
From that, more than 20 changes and recommendations were made to create the final document.
While the UDF was adopted, an alternate motion was made which was to update the final document with a removal of the annotation referring to “Potential future residential development” at the north-west corner of the proposed village green, following community feedback.
Some of the changes resulting from the community feedback include:
• Consolidating and improving pedestrian crossings in Main Road
• Introducing an improved intersection treatment at the east end of Main Road
• Provision of additional car park locations, and
• Identifying a location for a new pump track opposite McAllister Road.
Stan Giles spoke against the motion. suggesting the council had not listened to volunteer community groups during the consultation process.
“MADCOW [Monbulk and District Community Working Group]’s, the instigator of the whole project, final preferred choice for the use of the open land is now no building, completely at odds to what the council proposed,” Mr Giles said.
“They prefer a public space and an amphitheatre used by the locals in the same ideal atmosphere and key space that people from inner Melbourne come to Monbulk and the Dandenongs to experience and enjoy; it’s why most of the residents live in Monbulk.
“Planners, when asked, stated they hadn’t noticed this disparity in how their options were displayed on board at the public meetings, with the council preferred option four times the size of all others, and that the wishes of this local volunteer group who actually started the project was actually not in favour; that they were being ignored.”
Co-president of the Monbulk and District Community Working Group (MADCOW), Aimee Teboekhorst, who spoke in support of the item, said consultation has been broadened adequately throughout the community.
“I was part of the [session] at MADCOW, we opened that up to the entire community; we have 129 just on our own email list, and we had probably close to 50 people that attended that meeting, and it was really well done by council,” Ms Teboekhorst said.
“We’ve been really open and transparent in our advertising out to the community, and also there was letters sent out, and there were also multiple drop -in centres in the community to hear the community talk.
Ms Teboekhorst spoke against the future development option in the green space.
“MADCOW has a representation from the Rotary Club, we have a representation from the police, we have a representation from the CFA, we have a representation from the Monbulk produce market, from the tribe youth organisation, from the traders association, there are general community members as well and the RSL,” she said.
“From the beginning, we’ve lobbied to have an open community green space free of housing and our stance stays firm on this.
“If we allow for future housing on this space, it will hinder the ability to build structures on certain areas and will not achieve the outcome that the community would like to see in Monbulk.”
Ms Teboekhorst also shared a note from Jenny Holmes, chair of the board of the Monbulk Bowling Club, who supported the document without the proposed housing on the green space.
“They are pleased with the parking on the southern side of the bowling club, and they would like council officers to ensure that the angle parking does not prohibit the drive way.”
Chandler Ward Councillor David Eastham thanked the community for their input into the document.
“Given the substantial amount of interest and feedback into the UDF, there’s been a lot to collate, but I can’t thank the community enough for getting involved and sharing their thoughts, ideas and concerns with us,” Cr Eastham said.
“The feedback was broad and wide-ranging, so much so that you can see in the consultation report there are 20 different themes that this feedback filtered into.”
A number of the key actions identified in the UDF would be subject to future community engagement in the future.
“Now it’s adopted, the UDF will be used as a tool to advocate to different levels of government as we look to have these projects funded,” Cr Eastham said.
“I’d really encourage everyone to take a look at the UDF now it’s complete, including the comprehensive engagement report, and would like to again thank everyone who provided feedback and input into the final document.”
Ryrie Ward Councillor Fiona McAllister seconded the alternate motion.
The motion was carried unanimously.
The final adopted Monbulk Urban Design Framework is set to be available to be viewed on the council’s website in the near future.