Friday, May 06, 2005

Height Limits

I am puzzled. Your elected council puts into it's laws a height limit, say four stories. A developer wishes to build something eighteen stories high. It should stop there. The developer needs to look in another city area that allows eighteen stories. But no, the developer lodges the application which the council naturally is obliged to reject.

The developer takes the matter to VCAT and although often VCAT goes against a council decision, in this case they did not. The matter ends up in the Supreme Court which has yet to make a decision. In the meantime, the developer lodges an ammended plan for an eight story building, still above the height limit, but this is his fall back position.

But no matter which way the court goes, why does it get past an automatic rejection by council? I know the legal reasons why, but where is the logic?

We have heard so many promises from our state government about planning issues, but until they stop this nonsense, who is going to believe them?


  1. It is a joke. I guess it can allow some flexibilty in a situation where a council might enact an stupid law (not an uncommon thing). It does mean that developers with money can circumvent what is a proper and reasonable planning restriction.

    Having been part of that process, I have found that developers know that they can throw a bit of money around, make some minor concession and the out-of-touch old codgers sitting on the bench are likely to be caring more about their lunch at Flower Drum than the monstrously-inappropriate builiding they are deciding on (assuming that they are awake for the whole court sitting).

  2. I'm trying to think of some double-meaning erection joke, but it's too early in the morning.