Archive:   Cash In Lieu Policy

Last Updated  14/10/06



Council Adopts Cash-In-Lieu Of Parking Policy Even Though It Isn't (Legally) Worth The Paper Its Written On

(17/9/06 - P)  But will it end up costing residents more than it 'earns'?

MRRA's call for Council to reconsider going with this policy fell on deaf ears.  Even though everyone - officers and Councillors - agreed the policy was flawed; illegal; and unenforceable, most Councillors saw having it as better than having nothing.  Cr. Noel Harvey (West) moved, saying it didn't matter if the guidelines depended on good will, and Cr. Sandra McGregor (East) seconded, a motion to adopt the policy as 'guidelines', and it was supported by Crs. John Letchford (South) who said VCAT would regard the policy as a seriously entertained document, Helen Relph (South) who felt the policy matched strategies put out in other towns and supported it as long is it wasn't something plucked out of the air, and Geoff Neil (East).  Adopting the policy was opposed by Crs. Tom Gyorffy (West) who said Council was putting the cart before the horse and the unenforceable policy was a mess, Rob Guthrie (South) who said Council had had since August 2000 to do a parking plan and by the time it did one, everything would be destroyed, and Henry Bleeck (East) who said the policy was a waste of time; market forces would sort it out and private parking facilities would become a business in their own right.


MRRA Says:

Our fears went further than our now usual concerns about Council cutting corners and process to get development, and not complying with legal requirements.  There is real potential for this policy to come back and bite Council - and ratepayers.  MRRA believes, and there seemed to be general agreement at the meeting, that the policy won't stand up at VCAT, so there is opportunity for a permit applicant to successfully challenge being asked to hand money over to Council, which would leave Council with neither the money nor the required parking spaces.  But even more than that, VCAT has shown it will on occasions punish Councils who have blatantly and knowingly done the wrong thing.   And in that regard, even Blind Freddy could see Council is off to a flying start.


MRRA Says Council's Cash-In-Lieu of Parking Policy Steps Outside What's Possible

(19/8/06 - P)  Do the work needed before going down this path

MRRA has made a submission to Council on its recently-exhibited draft Cash-In-Lieu of Parking policy.  The policy attempts to halve the planning scheme's parking requirements for shops in Gisborne, and proposes to take cash from developers if parking can't be provided.  The planning scheme says Council needs to undertake traffic and parking studies, and prepare Precinct Parking plans (and put them in the planning scheme through a scheme amendment) before it can do what it proposes in this policy.  Council has not yet even done the necessary studies.  The draft policy also proposes to bind applicants to cash-in-lieu payments through an agreement prepared under Section 173 of the Planning and Environment Act.  Mmmm...  The Act says an agreement can't be about doing anything that breaches the planning scheme.  Council hasn't done what the planning scheme says has to be done before Council can do what it wants to do in the policy, so our conclusion is Council can't make such an agreement.  So it looks like it might be back to the drawing board on this one...  Click here to see MRRA's submission.


Council's "Cash-In-Lieu Of Parking" Policy Up For Comment Until 11 August

(16/7/06 - P)  Who's kidding who?  After years of abysmal, ad hoc Council decisions on parking issues, shouldn't the 'House Full' sign go up in Kyneton and Gisborne right now?   Residents should have some fun with this one...

Macedon Ranges Shire's Website starts off by saying: "Located within an hour's drive of Melbourne, the Macedon Ranges Shire is renowned for its semi-rural lifestyle, unique natural features such as Hanging Rock, and local heritage townships."  MRRA thinks Council should add: "..AND RENOWNED FOR NO PARKING IN SOME OF ITS TOWNSHIPS"   It's a situation continuously made worse by on-going bad planning decisions (in the absence of parking precinct plans) that are focussed on 'getting the development' rather than 'getting it right'.  These build on past bad decisions, to the point where there's a real risk of people thinking shopping (and spending money) in Gisborne and Kyneton isn't worth the hassle.  Now Council is floating a proposal that will make it Council policy to reduce parking requirements for commercial developments and/or let developers pay for not providing parking...  


You can grab a copy of the draft policy from Council's website


MRRA Says: 

We will be taking a good look at this one.  Mmm, we might start with working out whether Council can in fact legally halve the planning scheme's parking requirements without parking precinct plans in place (and we know of no such wee beasties in Macedon Ranges).   As someone recently said, you can't 'lose the plot' if you don't have one in the first place.