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Re: Planning System Overhaul 2008

#106 Post by AG » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:35 am

Will409 wrote:
Wayno wrote:The major trouble being the prospective of living right next to freight trains that come through at ungodly hours each day :?
Let me do the sales of the units and I am sure there will be no problems with getting them filled :twisted: Gunzel sale of the century.
There hasn't really been any issues with the location of TODs by railway lines with freight traffic in other places. The TOD at Rhodes in Sydney sits next to a major freight corridor and has been developing without this being an issue. If residents already living next to railway corridors put up with the trains then there shouldn't really been an issue with dense residential development in TODs by these same railway lines.

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Re: Planning System Overhaul 2008

#107 Post by fishinajar » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:23 am

Having higher density housing around transport coridors means residents have the advantage of having smaller stores so close by that you can walk downstairs/ around the corner for milk, bread, pizza, beer, dvd hire etc. People in these TODs would always go into the cbd district to do there main shopping and business as it would be so convenient. Look at higher density cities and our own cbd (east/westends) for examples of this.

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Re: Planning System Overhaul 2008

#108 Post by Will Derwent » Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:12 pm

I think we might all be getting away from one the key points of the whole TOD/Planning System Overhaul: to make the planning system simpler and easier for private investors to do business. Every one of these amendments that have popped up on the forum will make it more difficult, not less, for a developer to do business here. While they might improve the facility of the buildings that get through the planning process, they will probably reduce the number that get through, and reduce the total amount of development in the end. You end up with a situation similar to Canberra: horribly complex planning systems with too many restrictions that discourages investors and artificially props up high prices. (Which was the whole reason for the planning simplification process in the beginning.)

We need to get used to the idea that the private sector will build pretty much everything from now on. The government is not about to start taking over the construction of these TODs, and nor should it. We need to focus on how we can provide private companies with an incentive to do what the government wants not co-opt them or strong-arm them.

I do have one concern though with the TODs, though not one that I feel should stop it from going ahead.

During the 90s, many inner cities became slums because of a differentiation in the cost of transport. Public transport was cheap - much cheaper than cars. This meant that many poorer people congregated around the cheapest mode of transportation: trains, buses and the cheapest of all, walking. Given this may be the case again in the future (with rising petrol costs and increased investment in public transport), these TODs may well either:

a) Become wealthy areas where well off people choose to live, but nonetheless use their cars to transport to work, because they can afford to and they prefer to use a more flexible method of transportation; or

b) Become poorer concentrations of low-income housing because of cheaper transport solutions.

Any high-income TOD along a tramline that also has low-income TODs won’t want to use their tram no matter how convenient it is. You might find that the tram will be ‘safe’ in the eyes of the high-income types at peak hour times, but not at other times of the day when low-income commuters may outnumber high-income commuters. At off-peak times high-income TOD dwellers will use their cars – because in off peak periods drivers won’t experience as much traffic and high-income types can still afford their cars. Low-income types, unable to afford cars because of higher transport costs, will be forced onto the tram at off peak periods, and only further deter high-income types from using the tram off peak.

A hundred years ago, when trains were the only long distance method of transportation available, private companies got around this problem by offering class separate cars (like first class and economy). While it might not pass as a politically acceptable solution to the problem now, it would encourage more high-income types to use public transport in the event that some TODs become concentrations of low-income housing. Otherwise, no high-income types will use the tramline outside peak hours, unless the cost of private transport becomes really obscene or high-income types outnumber low-income types on the whole tramline (and not just one TOD).

And any effort to permit development in TODs will reduce the life inside the CBD unless the planning changes encourage more development in total. If TODs can increase the total amount of development as well as their share of it, the CBD may maintain its share of life compared to the city as a whole.

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Re: Planning System Overhaul 2008

#109 Post by AG » Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:46 pm

Will Derwent wrote: We need to get used to the idea that the private sector will build pretty much everything from now on. The government is not about to start taking over the construction of these TODs, and nor should it. We need to focus on how we can provide private companies with an incentive to do what the government wants not co-opt them or strong-arm them.
Absolutely, the government can only make suggestions as to the direction that Adelaide takes. It's up to the private sector to make it happen, because they are ultimately the ones who have the resources, knowledge and experience to make the plan happen. If there's no incentive for developers to get involved, and they can't make a profit or benefit from the development themselves then there won't be any TODs happening.

There also needs to be incentives for residents to live in these TODs. It might come in the form of some affordable housing set aside in the development or some other form.
Will Derwent wrote: I do have one concern though with the TODs, though not one that I feel should stop it from going ahead.

During the 90s, many inner cities became slums because of a differentiation in the cost of transport. Public transport was cheap - much cheaper than cars. This meant that many poorer people congregated around the cheapest mode of transportation: trains, buses and the cheapest of all, walking. Given this may be the case again in the future (with rising petrol costs and increased investment in public transport), these TODs may well either:

a) Become wealthy areas where well off people choose to live, but nonetheless use their cars to transport to work, because they can afford to and they prefer to use a more flexible method of transportation; or

b) Become poorer concentrations of low-income housing because of cheaper transport solutions.

Any high-income TOD along a tramline that also has low-income TODs won’t want to use their tram no matter how convenient it is. You might find that the tram will be ‘safe’ in the eyes of the high-income types at peak hour times, but not at other times of the day when low-income commuters may outnumber high-income commuters. At off-peak times high-income TOD dwellers will use their cars – because in off peak periods drivers won’t experience as much traffic and high-income types can still afford their cars. Low-income types, unable to afford cars because of higher transport costs, will be forced onto the tram at off peak periods, and only further deter high-income types from using the tram off peak.

A hundred years ago, when trains were the only long distance method of transportation available, private companies got around this problem by offering class separate cars (like first class and economy). While it might not pass as a politically acceptable solution to the problem now, it would encourage more high-income types to use public transport in the event that some TODs become concentrations of low-income housing. Otherwise, no high-income types will use the tramline outside peak hours, unless the cost of private transport becomes really obscene or high-income types outnumber low-income types on the whole tramline (and not just one TOD).

And any effort to permit development in TODs will reduce the life inside the CBD unless the planning changes encourage more development in total. If TODs can increase the total amount of development as well as their share of it, the CBD may maintain its share of life compared to the city as a whole.
I think having low-income people driving away wealthier residents from public transport is a myth. There are plenty of cities in the world where public transport services are used by both wealthy and poorer people. A few of New York's subway lines run through areas of completely different social worlds where one end runs through very wealthy districts and the other some of New York's poorest districts, and yet they are well patronised from one end right through to the other. Some of New York's most important leaders don't have cars and use the subway. I suppose it comes down to individual choice as well, it's a bit rich to be generalising the personal choices of a certain type of person in the population as they will vary from person to person.

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Re: Planning System Overhaul 2008

#110 Post by Will » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:49 pm

Will Derwent wrote:We need to get used to the idea that the private sector will build pretty much everything from now on. The government is not about to start taking over the construction of these TODs, and nor should it. We need to focus on how we can provide private companies with an incentive to do what the government wants not co-opt them or strong-arm them.

This is completely unacceptable. We need both a strong private sector and a strong public sector. The governemnt is the only entity in which we all get a vote and decide which ideas we would like to be governed by. If we reduce the importance of the government to a useless debating society we would be going back in time instead of going forward. The private sector whilst efficient at generating profits does not care if people are left behind or are being exploited. That is why we need the government to impose limits on the private sector so as to ensure that all Australians go forward with fairness.

A hundred years ago, when trains were the only long distance method of transportation available, private companies got around this problem by offering class separate cars (like first class and economy). While it might not pass as a politically acceptable solution to the problem now, it would encourage more high-income types to use public transport in the event that some TODs become concentrations of low-income housing. Otherwise, no high-income types will use the tramline outside peak hours, unless the cost of private transport becomes really obscene or high-income types outnumber low-income types on the whole tramline (and not just one TOD).
[/quote]



Instead of accepting or even promoting the re-introduction of the segregated class system of the past, as a society we should instead be seeking solutions to avoid the return of the poverty that would generate demand for segregated class separate cars. As a society we should not foresake our high living standards to allow those that already have a lot of money the opportunity to make even more money at the expense of those at the bottom of the ladder. The USA is a bad example for our country.

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Re: Planning System Overhaul 2008

#111 Post by Omicron » Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:32 am

If TOD residential buildings are designed with quality, resident facilities and resale value in mind, then close proximity to public transport and high-density developments shall not become the sole refuge of the poorer members of society. If only student housing-esque developments (small rooms, small windows, limited public areas, cheap fittings) are created that will in turn encourage only lower-income permanent residents, then the TOD experiment will be nothing more than a privately-funded public housing scheme - one that facilitates residence out of necessity rather than desirability.

Clever design can alleviate many of the problems associated with purely resident income-driven developments - if a building is desirable for reasons above and beyond its entry price, it is more likely to be populated by those with more respect for their surroundings and more respect for their homes. Conservative, simplistic and cheap design is nothing but an invitation for people with equally low levels of concern for others to take up residence.

It is clear that we do not live within a country that desires absolute integration of low and high-income citizens - the rich show disdain for the poor, and the poor are distrustful of the rich. It is naive to assume that both economic extremes can be housed within close proximity in their respective entireties - this is exactly why rich suburbs are clustered in specific areas, and are far away from poor suburbs. With good design this mindset can be negated to a limited extent, but we should not kid ourselves that all buyers of a $1,000,000 apartment will be happy to share facilities with buyers of a $199,900 apartment. The successful future of TODs relies entirely upon the convergence of the State Government and private interests in the creation of innovative, desirable and quality developments -those which encourage high-income residents given the quality of materials and facilities of such developments, and those which encourage lower-income residents given the inherent quality of its basic design features, roominess and affordability.

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Re: Planning System Overhaul 2008

#112 Post by Go Adelaide » Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:23 pm

If the definition of a TOD is a high density development within 500 to 700 metres of a transport hub - won't any low density development close to a transport hub disappear once the approval to build high density development is made?

For example the detached housing to the North east of the O'Bahn station at TTP could be demolished and high rise development constructed. Perhaps this could be integrated with a linear park along the existing creek that runs through the area? All that needs to happen is a re-zone of the area with conditions on building envelopes and contributions to the linear park development.

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Re: Planning System Overhaul 2008

#113 Post by monotonehell » Sat Jun 28, 2008 6:44 pm

Go Adelaide wrote:If the definition of a TOD is a high density development within 500 to 700 metres of a transport hub - won't any low density development close to a transport hub disappear once the approval to build high density development is made?

For example the detached housing to the North east of the O'Bahn station at TTP could be demolished and high rise development constructed. Perhaps this could be integrated with a linear park along the existing creek that runs through the area? All that needs to happen is a re-zone of the area with conditions on building envelopes and contributions to the linear park development.
This is not SimCity, rezoning areas takes decades to create change where there's existing structures. The owners and occupants of those disparate structures aren't all going to suddenly move out en mass.

But yes, it's a solid idea.
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Re: Planning System Overhaul 2008

#114 Post by Go Adelaide » Sun Jun 29, 2008 11:23 am

I always look at the politics of the moment and it seems to me that Planning SA is prompting open discussion on higher densities/TODs. Isn't this all about testing the water about the shift, getting the general population ready for the shift, and then moving towards implementing the shift?

A point from Recommendation 13 of the Planning System Overhaul report states:

"The Land Management Corporation becoming the lead project management and
implementation agency for TODs and taking responsibility for land assembly...."

So the LMC will assemble the land by working on purchasing the land just as they have done in the past with other developments.

The report also states it's a matter of urgency that the State Government implements the development of TODs - we can only guess what an urgent timeframe means in the business of Government - but let's suppose they mean within 12 to 24 months while we're in a good mood.

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News & Discussion: Planning & Building Regulations

#115 Post by Prince George » Sat Jan 31, 2009 1:46 am

A recent post on one of my favourite blogs over here was bemoaning a deadly dull multi-family development that's on the cards for a major intersection marking the gateway to one of Seattle's more interesting neighbourhoods. There was a particularly interesting comment there that caught my eye (#4, from Tony) describing how the combination of zoning ordinances (in particular, the height limit and the Floor-Area Ratio) in that area almost compels the building's simple shape:
Tony wrote:In this case you have NC3-85 on the western half of the property and C1-65 on the eastern half. (85 and 65 are height limits) This zoning almost certainly explains why the east building is 2 stories taller than the west b
uilding. The FAR for these two zones is 6 and 4.75 respectively, basically 6 and 5 stories at full lot coverage. At about 10' per story, the height limits allow 8 and 6 stories.
...
Developers are almost universally going to build out the maximum FAR allowed. If that means completely filling the building envelope, then the code has effectively dictated the exact shape of the building. This would be the case if the height limit were 65 and the FAR were 6. The fact that there is some divergence between these numbers gives us some variety of building shape.
That made me think of many buildings in Adelaide that are simple extrusions of the plot into space. The prime example would be the building I love to hate - 374-400 King William St - but Conservatory, Aurora and the City Centre towers are also sailing pretty close to that wind.

So, what are the zoning constraints on buildings in Adelaide? We know there are height limits, but that by itself could mean a city full of rectangles. Does Adelaide have a constraint like floor-area ratio? Does it have a building envelope like the one that was used in Manhattan (and is the reason for the older stepped towers)?

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The environment, NIMBYs, and ugly buildings

#116 Post by Prince George » Wed Jul 15, 2009 11:46 pm

There's been an interesting debate flare up over here on the subject of density, the environment, and the anti-development attitude of many of the neighbourhoods. It kicked off with this piece in the East Bay Express (a paper covering Berkely, Oakland & the neighbouring areas) - You're Not an Environmentalist If You're Also a NIMBY
Environmentalists who think globally say suburban sprawl and the destruction of rural farmland must stop. ... And some activists who have fought developers for years are now embracing them and calling for so-called "smart growth" or "infill development" — dense urban housing near mass transit. And they note that downtown Berkeley and Oakland, along with the major transportation corridors between the two cities, are nearly perfect for transit-oriented development.

But for the inner East Bay to grow the way it should, it will have to overcome the region's well-developed not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) sensibilities. In Berkeley and North Oakland, in particular, liberals who view themselves as environmentalists have been blocking dense housing developments for decades. They have complained about traffic, overcrowding, and the potential destruction of neighborhood character. But among those who are paying attention to the causes of global warming, there is a growing realization that no-growth activists have to step back and look at the bigger picture. Climate change has forced a paradigm shift in the environmental movement. If you live in an urban area, you can't call yourself an "environmentalist" and continue to act like a NIMBY by blocking new housing.
There's a number of interesting things mentioned in the article, but one of the most important was that requirements on "green building" and on providing 20% affordable housing within a development each threaten to make new developments unfeasible, and that these requirements may be getting used by the NIMBY crowd as tools for blocking development without having to actually say so (as the article says, "After all, who could be against affordable housing and eco-friendly buildings?").

That struck a chord up here in Seattle, which itself has a strong thread of both eco-thinking (they like the trees, the salmon, and snow on their mountains) and NIMBY-ism (they scuppered a bill that would up-zone around the newly opening light-rail stations), leading to talk along the lines of "something must be done ... but my neighbourhood's not the place". A very good recent piece in Seattle's daily paper points out that it would probably be easier to convince people to accept higher density developments if they could see more good examples of it.
The truth is, 15 years after the city first adopted a strategy of developing dense, mixed-use urban centers and villages, I don't think there's one they would proudly point to when trying to sell the concept to new neighborhoods and proclaim: "this is what we want to do for you."

Heck, I live in a Ballard townhouse. I love all the stores and restaurants within walking distance, many of which could not exist without all the new residents. But I can't argue that Ballard's many blocks of townhouses are an attractive model. Neither can city officials, which is why they're busy overhauling design rules for townhouses and other multifamily projects.

It's all enough to make people think denser housing can't be attractive and livable, if they've never visited a city that's more than 100 years old.
Certainly, while we've been over here, we've been struck by the fact that so many of the newer, medium-density developments that we've seen are just plain ugly - there is certainly no shortage of examples. Much of the problem there seems to lie with the restrictions that the buildings have to comply to, all of them well-meaning with the intent to preserve some of the feel of "old Seattle", but combining together to more or less prescribe their design. This article lays it out nicely
To try to keep housing within reach, developers have been allowed to squeeze four town homes on what used to be a single-family, 50-by-100-foot lot. Regulatory requirements to shoehorn in amenities once taken for granted — such as off-street garage parking, driveways, a scrap of yard and a privacy fence — are so prescriptive and inflexible that they have resulted in cookie-cutter vertical design.

Architects derisively describe them as "four-packs," like four beer cans jammed together. The code requires a garage for parking, so the ground floor is all garage. But no one wants to look at four garage doors, so typically a driveway splits the four-pack down the middle so that the garage doors face each other across a shadowy, blacktopped courtyard hard to drive in and out of.

The living space typically sits above, like a medieval farmhouse built over the barn. Required setbacks from property lines force each town home be tall and skinny, energy codes limit experimentation with windows, and well-meaning height limits create monotonous gable roofs. Square footage is eaten by stairs, and the beer cans shade each other and their neighbors. The "yard" is a cell-like postage stamp enclosed by a blank cedar fence that walls away the sidewalk.

It's legal. It's relatively affordable — say, $500,000. And it's as homely as it is dull.
The point of all this for Adelaide? It's going to be easier to get people on-board with building new, denser developments if we have good examples that they can see and say to themselves "yes, that's what I would accept in my area", and so the first examples need to be good ones. Allowing ugly developments on the grounds that density is enough of an end by itself is going to galvanize resistance to development in the places where we need it. The city needs to find what options can be built under the current planning/building regulations: if the results are going to get pushback, then they need to find what parts can be changed to really make a difference (height? parking? setbacks? floor-area-ratio?).

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Re: The environment, NIMBYs, and ugly buildings

#117 Post by AtD » Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:41 am

Interesting post. I think a lot of regulators don't realise the second round or third round effects of laws in the world of design.

Do you think we could hold Mawson Lakes up as our example, our suburb to point at and say "this is what we want"? It's not perfect by any means but it's arguably the best example of medium density living in Adelaide outside the city.

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Re: The environment, NIMBYs, and ugly buildings

#118 Post by Prince George » Thu Jul 16, 2009 9:56 am

Admittedly it's been almost 3 years since I last visited the place, but I don't think that Mawson Lakes is going to do the trick. I just couldn't imagine someone trying to get support for the Goodwood Road development turning up at a community meeting and saying "People of Wayville, have you visited Mawson Lakes recently?" and suddenly they all change their minds. Newport Quays, Glenelg - I don't think that they'll work either. Now if you could tell them that you would turn the area into Paris, say something like
ImageImageImage
I think you might start getting some traction. Now, that's hardly going to be feasible, but I just want to underline that the resistance to new developments would be lessened if they are presented with the right kinds of proposal. Something that they think "actually, I'd rather like that at the end of my street".

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Re: The environment, NIMBYs, and ugly buildings

#119 Post by Omicron » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:40 pm

Good post.

I often wonder who would be building what if regulations were relaxed.

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Encroachment Laws

#120 Post by Wayno » Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:40 am

This is an interesting article. The properties in question are in Norwood. Your thoughts - is this court ruling correct?

Here's the SA Encroachment Act:
encroachment-act-1944.pdf
(22.83 KiB) Downloaded 283 times
From AdelaideNow:
MP in Supreme Court over fence

Former Norwood Mayor, Vini Ciccarello and her neighbour Haydn Bunton, are in dispute over the fence line between their properties. It's a curly tale about a wonky fence that has ramifications for swathes of our suburbs.

Dr Bunton's property on the left and Ms Ciccarello's contested driveway next door.
encroachment.jpg
encroachment.jpg (18.74 KiB) Viewed 9009 times
The Magistrates Court awarded Labor MP Vini Ciccarello, of Norwood, an estimated 23sq m of her neighbour's property without having to pay any compensation.

The court ruled the fenceline had been in the wrong position for such a long time that Ms Cicarello was entitled to the land.

But neighbour Dr Haydn Bunton is now appealing to the Supreme Court over the unusual land swap with the matter to be heard later this month.

He discovered last year that Ms Ciccarello's concrete driveway and their boundary fence overlapped his property when he went to sell the family home, near The Parade.

Dr Bunton, a GP, is the grandson of Haydn Bunton Sr, who won three Brownlow and three WA Sandover medals, and the son of Haydn Bunton Jr, who played for Norwood and coached South Adelaide and Sturt in the SANFL, and twice coached Subiaco to WAFL premierships.

According to court documents, a potential buyer - a builder - requested a survey that found the fenceline had shifted into Dr Bunton's property by about half a metre.

The sale was subsequently made dependent on the fence being moved back to the correct position, which would have widened the narrow driveway on Dr Bunton's property but rendered Ms Ciccarello's driveway largely unusable.

He started court action last May seeking to have the original fence line reinstated plus $40,000 damages.

The court heard when Ms Ciccarello brought her property in 1984, the houses were divided by a corrugated iron fence and she later concreted the gravel driveway and laid pavers up to the fenceline.

Ms Ciccarello submitted sworn affidavits to the court by herself and her brother-in-law Mario Marcuccitti saying the work was done in 1990-91 and a new Colorbond fence put up about the same time.

That date became crucial to the case, as it then emerged Ms Ciccarello's other neighbour, Assunta Porcaro, had alerted her in the mid-1990s that the fences between their properties were significantly misaligned.

In the court case, Dr Bunton produced a birthday video filmed in 1994 that showed the old corrugated iron fence was still in place, as well as aerial photographs that appeared to show Ms Ciccarello's driveway was not concreted and paved until at least September 1999.

In response, Ms Ciccarello, the former mayor of Norwood and Kensington, submitted new affidavits acknowledging the Colorbond fence must have been put up after the 1994 video but that the driveway was concreted at an unknown time prior to this date.

Magistrate Kym Millard accepted Ms Ciccarello's changed testimony because she was a busy person and her explanation was a genuine error of recollection.

He said "on the balance of probabilities the slab was laid some considerable time after the defendant became aware of the potential boundary anomalies".

But the court found that just because Ms Ciccarello was aware of boundary anomalies with Ms Porcaro that did not necessarily mean she knew there was a problem with her other neighbour's boundary.

As the decade-long discrepancy over the boundary unfolded in court, the sale of Dr Bunton's property fell through.

He then sought compensation of $154,500 for the lost strip of land under the Encroachment Act.

But Magistrate Millard ruled the fence should not be moved back to its true boundary, that the disputed land should be transferred to Ms Ciccarello's ownership and that no compensation should be paid to Dr Bunton.

He found Ms Ciccarello was not negligent or intentional in concreting Dr Bunton's land, that she had bought the property in good faith, that the fencelines were correct and that those fencelines had been in place for at least 55 years.

He also warned that if the original fenceline was reinstated it would impact on hundreds of homeowners in older suburbs.

Magistrate Millard was critical of Dr Bunton in his summing up, saying: "He appears more interested in endeavouring to reach the maximum financial return for the sale of his property than a neighbourly resolution of the matter."

Dr Bunton has appealed to the Supreme Court and the case will be heard from February 25. Both he and Ms Ciccarello declined to comment further.
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