Sunday, September 11, 2011

community meets to say no to mcdonalds

Today I attended the Say no to McDonalds meeting organised by the Tecoma Village Action Group (TVAG). I was there to provide advice to community members opposed to the application on the sorts of things they could consider in their objections. Community members numbering around 150 were keen to learn more about ways they could fight the application.

I reported back to the meeting that council had already received over 500 objections from concerned community members, however I had noted that some objections have not included names and addresses or dealt with matters that cannot be considered within a planning framework.

If an objection does not contain your name and address it will not be included as a valid objection so it is important to do so if you want to make sure your voice is heard.

I explained that the Yarra Ranges Planning Scheme provides the legislative framework to allow council to determine the application, therefore anything outside that scope could not be considered as a planning matter.

The sorts planning matters that could be entertained include:
* traffic - how the application might affect traffic on major thoroughfares as well as local streets
* hours of operation - the application currently seeks operating hours of 24/7
* residential interface - the way the application integrates with the residential areas
* amenity - how you think the application impacts on your local amenity
* neighbourhood character - how the application fits in with the local character of the area
* built form - how the building itself fits within the town and the impact it has on the buildings/residences around it

The sorts of things that aren't part of the planning scheme but I've seen come through on objections already:
* Childhood Obesity
* Global MultiNationals
* Effect on local businesses
* Effect on viewlines

I urged those who wanted to object to ensure that they sent their objections to all councillors, I've noticed that many objectors are sending their submissions to just myself and Cr Cliff, however all councillors vote on the application so it is important to include all councillors.

I advised community members that the council meeting date of 27 September to hear the matter, is an indicative date, if there's no hold ups it will be that date, but it could be later, but it most certainly won't be earlier.

I talked about the process at council, that both the supporter and objector get 5 minutes to speak to Councillors about the application and only one person from each side gets to speak.

I am very certain that the application will end up at VCAT, one way or another, so I also confirmed to those there that every objector will become a party to the matter at VCAT.

It was good to be able to clarify some outstanding questions community had, I think it's important that community have a good understanding of the role they play in the planning process.

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