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April 2014

Submission to City of Melbourne Residential Planning Zones

By Melbourne City Council, Planning


24 April 2014

Mr David Mayes
Manager Strategic Planning
City of Melbourne
City Planning & Infrastructure
PO Box 1603


Dear Sir

Residential Zoning Changes – a golden opportunity

It is the view of the Melbourne South Yarra Residents Group Inc that the City of Melbourne has never had a better opportunity to permanently protect and preserve the heritage and neighbourhood characteristics of large parts of South Yarra and that the initial step taken by Council’s planning officers to merely categorize all of South Yarra as “general neighbourhood” failed to take advantage of this opportunity.

  1. While the planning minister has the power to intervene, his overriding concern has been to ensure sufficient land is set aside for “growth”. However in the case of the City of Melbourne this cannot be an issue having regard to the enormous concentration of apartments in the central district, a development that the minister has been driving most recently by once again intervening and approving five apartment towers.
  2. Furthermore, having regard to the impact of this enormous increase in city dwellers as well as the growing influx of residents from other areas into the city upon the City of Melbourne, its facilities and services it would be entirely inappropriate for the minister to insist that additional growth areas should be set aside in nearby areas such as South Yarra or Carlton. Indeed we would have thought the City of Melbourne should be seeking a contribution from State Government for the additional burdens it has to deal with.
  3. As a consequence of bad laws and/or bad implementation of those laws, important and attractive historic parts of South Yarra have already been impacted by inappropriate houses and blocks of flats. It is time to bring that to a halt and to preserve those historic areas from further degradation.
  4. While property developers will no doubt be unhappy if large parts of South Yarra were zoned Neighbourhood Residential it is high time the planning and development of this city was undertaken by those with expertise rather than developers as has so often been the case in the past. The Minister has now given Council the golden opportunity to do just that.
  5. Accordingly, we enclose a plan in which all of the areas the Melbourne South Yarra Residents Group consider have important historic and neighbourhood characteristics that must be preserved and protected from further over development by re-zoning them as “Neighbourhood Residential”. These comprise all of the properties fronting the following streetsDomain Street
    Hope Street
    Millswyn Street
    Mason Street
    St Martins Lane
    Park Street
    Toorak Road West – Park to Domain Streets
    Leopold Street
    Domain Road – between Hope and Domain Streets
    Domain Road – between Walsh Street and Punt Road
    Pasley Street
    Park Place
    Airlie Street
    St Leonards Cour
  6. Council should not take the view that as there may be inappropriate existing developments in a street, that that street should not be protected as “neighbourhood residential”. These streets are stable precincts in which the dominant characteristic is low level, historic, diverse and interesting buildings that contribute significantly to the feel and style of South Yarra as one of the early parts of Melbourne to be settled. These streets should each be looked at as a whole and if its characteristics are important they should be protected.
  7. It is also our view that the maximum building height should be fixed at 8 metres and the number of dwellings per lot at two.
  8. Reclassifying these precincts “Neighbourhood Residential” and fixing the maximum building height and number of dwellings will provide clarity and certainty that is rare and a great deal more than is currently provided by heritage overlays and other means.
  9. Other councils have been bold in protecting significant parts of their municipality and so should the City of Melbourne. A recent letter from our local member Clem Newton-Brown encourages and indeed tells us to do just that.
  10. There are constant complaints about outsized and inappropriate building in South Yarra to which Council and VCAT often respond “we can do nothing as it is allowed by law”. Well this is the opportunity to change that and for the City of Melbourne to take control.

The Melbourne South Yarra Residents Group urges Council to take full advantage of this opportunity and designate the marked streets “Neighbourhood Residential”. It would be a significant step by the City of Melbourne that the minister should not argue about.

Yours faithfully,

Michael Butcher


cc        Lord Mayor Robert Doyle; Councillor Richard Foster; Councillor Rohan Leppert; Councillor Kevin Louey; Councillor Stephen Mayne; Councillor Cathy Oke; Councillor Ken Ong; Councillor Beverley Pinder-Mortimer; Councillor Jackie Watts; Councillor Arron Wood


Proposed Neighbourhood Residential Zones - Melbourne South Yarra

Proposed Neighbourhood Residential Zones – Melbourne South Yarra

Residential Zone Amendments – Report to Members

By Committee, Melbourne City Council, Planning



State Government

1.   The Victorian State Government is in the process of amending residential planning zones and at the end of the process they will be classified either:

(a)   Residential Growth Zone close to transport and services and suitable for higher density living;

(b)   General Residential Zone which allows modest housing growth and diversity in keeping with neighbourhood character; or

(c)    Neighbourhood Residential Zone which limits housing growth and density allowing predominantly for single dwellings with a maximum building height of 8 metres.

City of Melbourne

2.    Our South Yarra postcode area has been initially assessed by the City of Melbourne planners as a General Residential Zone which in a planning sense is similar to the existing requirements.

3.   However, Council is seeking the opinion of and submissions from ratepayers and this has been the subject of considerable thought and discussion by members of the committee of the Melbourne South Yarra Residents Group. The committee believes significant parts of South Yarra should be a Neighbourhood Residential Zone (NRZ). The criteria specified by Government and Council for the NRZ are the following.

(a)    In a heritage precinct with heritage overlays.

(b)   In a stable, settled area.

(c)   Large contiguous streetscapes consisting almost entirely of single dwelling lots.

MSYRG Committee

4.    It is the view of the committee that large parts of South Yarra satisfy all or some of these requirements and have significant heritage value and neighbourhood character that should be recognised and protected.

5.   It is the view of the Committee that the streets marked on the attached plan are those that should be zoned Neighbourhood Residential and preparation of a submission to Council in those terms has been commenced.

MSYRG members

6.   However, before making any submission to Council the Committee wishes to bring these facts to the attention of all of its members so that they have the opportunity to consider and comment upon what is occurring. Further information can be obtained on the City of Melbourne website at:


7.   Accordingly, if any member wishes to express a view about the conclusion currently formed by the committee or any relevant issues about what should or should not be included within the Neighbourhood Residential Zone they should communicate in writing to msyrg3141@gmail.com or telephone Michael Butcher on 0411 722 635 between 1.00pm and 2.00pm any day.

Urgent response needed

8.   As our submission to Council must be completed by 25 April 2014 if a member wishes to express a view he or she must respond to this notice no later than 22 April 2014.


My apologies for the short time frame.


Michael Butcher
Melbourne South Yarra Residents’ Group Inc


Proposed Zoning plan

Helicopter noise levels unabatted

By Environment

View report written by local resident Angela Mackenzie who has been investigating the problem of helicopter traffic and associated noise over South Yarra

Helicopters MSYRG

Article published in the Herald Sun

Residents call for light aircraft to buzz off from their skies

East Melbourne residents including Sebastian, 2, are unhappy about the loud flights over

East Melbourne residents including Sebastian, 2, are unhappy about the loud flights over their inner city suburb. Picture: Janine Eastgate Source: News Limited

EAST Melbourne residents say the suburb is being buzzed by hundreds of noisy aircraft and helicopters and they want it stopped.

Shelley Faubel, of the East Melbourne Group, said the “onslaught” of aircraft over the suburb in recent years (200 flights were recorded in one weekend last April) was causing headaches.

“We are woken by planes early in the morning and at night,” Ms Faubel said.

“Some fly so low the doors shake and it’s hard to have a conversation. It’s like living near an airport.”

Ms Faubel said most of the aircraft were small planes and choppers, with training and joy flights, media and traffic choppers all drawn to the MCG and surrounds.

The East Melbourne Group has collected about 200 signatures on a petition and wants aircraft to travel over freeways or waterways so as not to disturb residents.

But the issue seems to fall into a regulatory black hole, with both Airservices Australia and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASE) passing the buck.

Airservices Australia provides air traffic control and registers noise complaints, but spokeswoman Amanda Palmer said the aircraft were in uncontrolled airspace and “not under the control of Airservices’ air traffic controllers”.

CASE spokesman Peter Gibson said his organisation was accountable for safety issues and “do not cover ­environmental issues”.

Ms Faubel said residents were upset no one was looking out for their interests.

AGM Minutes – 20 March 2014

By Association, Meetings


Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Thursday 20th March, 2014

 at South Yarra Senior Citizens Centre, Fawkner Park, South Yarra.


Present: Over 100


Apologies: Brian Tighe, Shadow Minister for Planning, David Baillieu,Louise Green,Cr. Louey, Cr Richard Foster, Cr Jackie Watts, James Matthies, Martin Drerup, Cr Oke, Cr Leppert. Elizabeth Douglas, Dianne Berlin
Welcome: by Michael Butcher, President


President’s Report:

1                     A report on the VCAT decision regarding 155-157 Domain Road development. MSYG was involved in objecting to this development which has now been approved by VCAT, with 35 conditions to be fulfilled.  Issues that continue focus on liquor licenses, traffic counts, the waste disposal programme and noise and MSYG will continue to liaise with CoM  about these issues being addressed

2                    MSYG is persisting in strongly voicing concerns about the change to the Commercial Zone 1 for 3141. The principal concern is the CoM will no longer have any capacity to stop development in Commercial Zone 1, particularly in the shopping strip of Domain Road

3                    MSYG formally objected to  the East-West Tunnel proposal

4                    MSYG successfully lobbied for the new Japanese restaurant in Park Street to downsize its advertising street signage

5                    Membership of MSYG is important for all residents as gives the group a better voice


Guest Speakers:

Mr Neil Pharaoh, Preselected Labor Candidate for Prahran

Spoke of the State Opposition’s commitment to education, transport and liveability, the latter including planning issues and on-going developments.  He values community engagement and looks forward to active contact with 3141 residents over matters of concern

Mr David Mayes, Manager – Strategic Planning for the City of Melbourne

Spoke in detail about THE NEW RESIDENTIAL ZONES FOR THE CITY OF MELBOURNE paper. Currently 3141 is zoned Residential 1 Zone and it may become General Residential Zone.  He urged everyone to read the pamphlet and go on the website and make a submission: www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/participate  This opportunity closes on Friday 25th April 2014 and a report will be made to Council for a decision in June 2014

In discussion it was agreed MSYG make a submission to CoM and attendees urged to go onto the website and put in a submission.


Financial Report:

The Financial Report was tabled. It was proposed as received by Anthony van der Craats, seconded by Douglas Butler. Motion Carried
Election of office bearers:

Nominations were accepted by Anthony van der Craats and seconded by Douglas Butler.  Motion carried
President: Michael Butcher
Secretary: Andrew Bennett
Treasurer: Pam Dethridge
Committee: Jan Armstrong-Conn, Phil Lukies, and Anthony van der Craats.

1.  Adoption of the new rules of the Association in accordance with the Associations Incorporation Reform Regulations 2012: the revised rules were proposed by Phil Lukies, seconded by Douglas Butler.

Motion carried unanimously.

2.  Change of name of the Association from the Melbourne South Yarra Group Inc. to Melbourne South Yarra Residents Group Inc: the change of name was proposed by Phil Lukies, seconded by Douglas Butler.

Motion carried unanimously.

Other Business

1                    Member for Prahran, Clem Newton-Brown MLA spoke about the Victorian Government’s  introduction of the three new residential zones

2                    A resident, Paul McSweeney, spoke about “GoodRest’ (corner of Leopold Street and Toorak Road West) and the Permit Application from Christchurch Grammar School to convert it to an Early Learning Centre.  Local residents are very concerned that this is an inappropriate development in a residential area.  He requested the meeting that those concerned file an Objection to CoM

3                    Angela Mackenzie spoke about the disturbing increase of heavy helicopter traffic over 3141.  She has been advised that the issue can only be address by a group voice contacting the Ombudsman.  It was agreed that this matter would be discussed at the next MSYG committee meeting.


Meeting Closed