Archive for category City Planning

Killing Kingway and Eu Neva want to park here

Ratepayers and residents concerned about Council’s one direction for redeveloping the Glen Waverley central car park should have their say at a Community Consultation session at Monash Council Glen Waverley on Thursday 28 Jan 7pm. A residents’ investigation aka citizen jury report explains why:

Killing Kingsway

Non-residents and political career hopefuls Councillors Klisaris and Lake are once again imposing another monumental and potentially costly mistake in the form of a library and community hub adjacent to yet another inappropriate high rise on the Central Car Park site, in order to justify their disastrous Euneva Car Park. Lacking in business acumen, they did not get it right with the financial management of operating Euneva Car Park, such as ignoring opportunities for it to attract fees for all day parking. With such poor decisions, should the Monash community trust them with another spending spree?

Killing Kingsway

If the proposed library and community hub usage reflects that of Euneva car-park, it will be under utilised from day one.

Glen Waverley property sales turned over $885 Million in the 12 months to Nov 2015, second (in Australia) only to Mosman in Sydney. Like comparing apples and bananas, does our Council seriously think that the Monash demographic,   residing in its 81 sq km, requires ratepayers to upgrade its sixth community funded regional library to mirror the size and criteria of Geelong’s new regional library? Geelong has a lower SEIFA index, higher unemployment and was the recipient of $25 million in state and federal funding for their Regional Library and Heritage (Archive) Centre servicing an area of 1249 sq km. Furthermore, the Geelong library is located on the site of the original 750sq m Geelong library, with views of Corio Bay is adjacent to the large Johnstone Park, and therefore its location does not interfere with commercial precincts. In contrast, Glen Waverley residents and its schools are well equipped to provide technology to those who need it but there will be a lack of open space and social connectedness if all land is swallowed by developers. Open all hours and to everyone, free public open space allows equal access and does not discriminate.

Lifeline received over million calls for help in 2015. “Lifeline Australia CEO Pete Shmigel CEO has said Australians’ emotional well being was not in sync with their material wealth. They have three digital devices and sometimes that technology, as great as it is, can also enhance our feelings of loneliness, our feelings of isolation.” ( Ref: 13 Jan 2016 ABC reporter Eliza Laschon).

For the mental and physical health of all in the community and to facilitate ongoing economic activity in the southern end of Kingsway – it’s imperative we retain the whole of the Central Car Park site a public open space, with free WiFi above ground and an underground car park below, as it will be Glen Waverley’s most valuable asset for all to enjoy for decades to come.

EU (you) NEVA  (never) want to park here

Empty Euneva Car ParkIn attempts to woo motorists to this unpopular 3 ½ year old parking option, Council decided to spend $57,000 on lighting this eyesore, and on the days leading up to Christmas, the Euneva Ave Car Park was advertised on two electronic Traffic Management Signs on either side of Kingsway. However, despite these measures, at 11.20am pre-Christmas on 22 December 2015 Euneva housed 113 cars i.e.35% full and at 2.40pm on Friday 8 January 2016 only 65 cars i.e. 20% parked there. In contrast the popular Central Car Park was full on both occasions.

Therefore, many Monash constituents are increasingly viewing that their self-absorbed councillors are playing ‘Monopoly’ with ratepayers money as if it were their own, to build the new library on the Central Car Park site, in order to force cars of clientele of Kingsway and surrounds, into the inconveniently located Euneva Car Park. Euneva now, and always should have been, available for all day ‘destination’ parking, but it is being reserved for limited parking to satisfy the development of Cr lake’s dream library he imposed on his constituents as his self decided election goal.

In July 2015 the Council approved a $500 million redevelopment of The Glen, and in turn ignored future height controls for buildings along Sneddon Avenue. The ‘new’ Glen will include 3,800 car spaces. Shopping centres very often allow unrestricted parking in order to encourage consumers to increase their time within the centres to maximise spending. Once captured, few will venture outside i.e. to the old Kingsway strip, especially as dining and entertainment has been muted as one of the ‘new’ Glen’s focus.

In recent years Kingsway has diversified from traditional retail to that of food and entertainment strip with late night trading embraced by locals and visitors. To continue to have one hour car parking in front of restaurants and cinemas reflects the disconnect between the council officers who are in control [yet themselves get free parking], and their ignorance of real life consequences as it discriminates against Kingsway traders and their customers. The new one hour electronically monitored constraint does not allow drivers to park one minute late the moment their cars get scanned electronically. This increase car parking penalty fines, as an indirect strategy of new fund raising used by many councils, because of capped rates legislation commencing next financial year.

parking-ticket-timeline

In Sept 2015 parking overstay devices (PODS) were installed in Monash, including in Kingsway, rear of the existing Library and Council Offices, and the Central Car Park to enforce disproportionate penalties on patrons parking overtime in the immediate vicinity of Kingsway’s food and entertainment precinct. The signage associated with these PODS is fastened with flimsy cable ties, not explanatory of the fines that could be incurred and are often at *right angles to the parking signs and not noticed by motorists. Overstay fines jump from $76 to around $100 if left unpaid. Park and display ticketing options would have been fairer and more acceptable.

While Cr Lake has consistently insist that Monash Council will not charge car parking, he also contradicts the GWAC Transport Plan that confirms that the council is considering a car parking fee scheme. The GWAC structural plan also stated the city planning goal is to make GW a primary pedestrian realm and the transport plan indicates that council will cost shift car parking problem management to the state to find alternatives in other public areas.

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How ICT Savvy is Monash Council?

narcissismIn 2012, when Cr Lake thought the world is at his feet, he wasn’t joking about his narcissism. He seriously continues to think the Monash community should share his same dream and have a new library in his ward, Glen Waverley, since he got re-elected in 2012.

Narcissists seldom listen to others. That is exactly how the Monash Community, especially Glen Waverley residents, feel about their local Councillor who doesn’t want to know his constituents do NOT WANT a new indoor library in Glen Waverley. Furthermore, nobody quite understand Cr Lake’s dreamworld of what the state of a library is? It is only in the Expression of Interest (EoI) to sell the central car park (section 3.2.2 pages 3-6) that describes his dream – that the new library functions as a modern community hub space that promotes community learning for the young and old, fosters multi-cultural activities, even serves as an ICT innovation incubation centre that incorporates “technologies that have not yet been developed” (whatever that means) and provides  auditorium/conference facilities that cater for 600 people.  Realistically and with a logical mind, one would say that even NASA personnel would never claim their facilities would incorporate “technologies that have not yet been developed” into their infrastructure.  Competing with Monash University’s real state of the art incubation and startup facilities and expertise appears to be a very ambitious given in this EoI description of the new library / community hub development.

The development specs, even in its conceptual form, is the (most embarrassing) professional standard of how Cr Lake’s dream translate to a procurement criteria for potential investors buying the central car park and developing his dream library. Also fancy imagining Silicon Valley calibre innovators and high flying investors mingling with young kids and the elderly in hallways and sharing the learning/work spaces. Is this an “innovative” Monash perculiar architecture model of mixed human activity and architecture form interfaces?

What Monash want is a virtual library service, and yet their understanding and capacity to implement such forms of library virtualism is very much constrained by their collective level of ICT literacy, and being technology savvy is unfortunately about being mediocre users of today’s technology who have no idea of technology research advancement and innovation development. Conceiving that 3D printers constitute part of future library services without understanding their demand of technical CAD/CAM knowledge and support, and high total cost of ownership is also poor governance in council’s decision making and new service development – cost shifting cannot be the blame for future cost inflation and rate rises because of today’s leadership incompetency. Not long ago, Cr Klisaris thought a social media provider is a language communication specialist who can help improve council’s English language capacity to communicate its city planning proposals to the community (Herald Sun, 17 Nov 2015).

Lost in Translation

Disappearing into the sunset 1Narcissism is becoming the new black in Monash Council leadership and decision making culture, because of the GWAC plan to redevelop the central car park. 2016 is the time such narcissists should ride into the sunset and disappear forever, banished into exile, if needed.

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Glen Wavereley’s Feng Shui Causes & Effects

Feng Shui Symbol 2

Feng shui dragons symbolically represent areas of good energy or chi. People living in such areas prosper in terms of wealth, health and well being. The Indian community also shares similar beliefs through their Vastu knowledge. Hence this feng shui analysis would also present interests to both Chinese and Indian ratepayers and residents in Glen Waverley.

GW Dragon Feng ShuiRegionally, Glen Waverley (GW) represents the tail of a feng shui dragon that spans across Box Hill (as its body) and Doncaster (its head).

This is a common knowledge among Chinese locals and investors, as real estate agents often use this in their overseas marketing and client targeting.

GW city , specially the central car park area is the primary “mouth” of this dragon chi gathering and distribution into GW city (there is a smaller chi entry at The Glen’s car park next to Sullivan Road, which will disappear when The Glen high rise developments occur). This dragon chi flows from Springvale Road (metaphorically a river) and Kingsway is an important channel for pulling the dragon chi into GW city.

Therefore, the central car park is a very important site for Feng Shui and is what is called the “ming tang” – the mouth of chi entry.

Keeping it open and green, and moving sustains the chi flows in GW. Hence for the GW Chinese community, there are 2 options for the central car park redevelopment – (a) do nothing (continues to remain an open space car park), or (b) advocate for a green open space with outdoor recreation activities ( see the community’s John Monash Multicultural Square (JMMS) Proposal 16 Dec 2015)

GW Central Car Park Current Feng Shui

JMMS Possibilities

The worst option is like Council’s proposal, to increase high rise and compact buildings in the area, and blocking part of Kingsway in front of the Ikon Building.

GW Central Car Park Future Feng Shui Scenario.png

This Council proposal will destroy GW’s ming tang, hence cut off good feng shui in the area. The consequences affect the future wealth, health and well being prosperity of those living and owning businesses in the area. For shoppers & customers, they would reduce their visits, because of potential future inconveniences, such as traffic and car parking problems, and other ill social activities in the area.

Pop Brothels and Drug PnPs

For Ikon residents and investors, the worst is yet to come. Presently, the Ikon building is considered a bad feng shui dwelling, because of its back facing the end of the GW railway line. It is a building whose back is constantly charged with and stores attacking sha (bad) feng shui energy every time a train terminates there. The feng shui consequences translate to residents, tenants and owners constantly exposed to life challenges, especially renting and investment issues. As such, to the Chinese community, it is not surprising that low occupancy and difficulty in reselling apartments currently prevail, including brewing risks of pop up brothels and drug parties / trafficking activities as many of its apartments are being rented out to short term tenants such as Airbnb.

The council’s proposal redevelops the central car park with high rise and compact developments, together with Cr Lake’s 2012 election wish of having a new library in front of the Ikon building. The proposal also recommends closing Kingsway in front of the Icon building.

This road closure potentially brings the worst feng shui to Ikon inhabitants and traders.

Because road systems represent waterways, the Kingsway road closure will result in decaying or dying “water” energy (called shi chi) in the area. For Ikon residents, they would be sandwiched with constant bad feng shui from the back, and dying feng shui in the front. For other people in GW, the good dragon chi flowing along Springvale Road is blocked from entering into GW. Shi chi effects can potentially translate to unethical or criminal human activities such as pop up brothels in high rise apartments, increase in local drug trafficking and other dark activities, such as money laundering. Airbnb being a major tenant in Ikon is perhaps linked to this Feng Shui implication. Future popularity of the new library/community hub would be compromised by this potentially permanent bad feng shui prevalence.

Other coming high rise developments, without Council identifying and preparing for services that would mitigate future infrastructure and amenity issues, let alone ill socio-economic impacts (eg brothels, etc), are part of the future effects of bad feng shui arising from the blockage of GW’s primary ming tang, which currently pulls in and contributes to the good dragon energy in GW.

The Underpinning City Planning and Governance Issues:

Good or bad feng shui of city developments correlate and translate to the quality of city planning and implementation management performance.

This GW feng shui analysis shows a first symptom of the reactive and lack of a holistic system thinking approach in council’s city planning and even implementation decision making:

  1. All the structural plans lack liveability impact analysis details, from socio, economic and environment perspectives, missing in clarity and outcome-measures of future infrastructure and amenity requirements that would assure GW residents and businesses high quality liveability.
  1. The planning information is solely from a conceptual architecture/design perspective, which are being translated into ad hoc specifications for inserts in planning schemes. There is no clear and detailed design implementation planning and risk management details, already allowing Councillors to make piecemeal and ill-informed decisions in 2015 that often breach some the specifics of these structural plans and before these structural plans’ specifications are officially incorporated into the next update of Council’s planning scheme (which has not been approved by state planners).
  1. The lack of socio, economic and environmental risk management in council’s city planning and even in past council’s decisions also demonstrates the prevalence of poor social responsibility and governance accountability in city planning and implementation.

These matters can readily Poor Governance & Complianceopen up the opportunities for fostering poor governance and compliance consequences.

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