RYE URBAN DESIGN GUIDELINES – COUNCIL MEETING
25 February 2020
Cr Fraser – This notice of motion concerns the need to follow a full and complete community consultation process.
It is to ensure that the Rye community have fairly and reasonably put to them the Draft Rye Urban Design Guidelines and an alternative option to the 3 and 4 story buildings proposed by the draft guidelines along Point Nepean Road Rye – an alternative option by way of two stories.
Council so resolved on 16 September on such a public consultation and the public exhibition commenced, so we are told, on 1 November 2019 with a drop in session scheduled for 21 November.
In November Cr Payne and myself had drawn to our attention the management’s published commentary on the Shire website accompanying the two options. On any fair reading, this commentary could not be described as simple factual description of the two options; rather it was an argumentative opinion piece.
We took the matter up with management and understood this publication was to be rectified.
It was not.
Council intervened as a matter of urgent business on 18 November resolving to reschedule the drop in session for the Rye community to a later date.
It was not. To our surprise management announced on 4 February that the Rye Urban Design Guidelines “have now been through a public consultation process” and “the findings of that process will be presented back to Council” on 16 March – a palpably incomplete and inadequate public consultation.
There is concern in the Rye community as to this incomplete process. One concerned correspondent wrote to me –
“As part of the community consultation process, a public forum is critical in allowing residents and other interested stakeholders the opportunity to discuss and examine the proposed options and, to hear in further detail from the MPS councilors and staff regarding the data that supports the forecasts for population growth and increased requirements for commercial premises.”
I am pleased that management have responded and now rescheduled the drop in session.
The published officer commentary of the Shire’s website requires further attention to fairly present the descriptive facts of each option and not opinion. This motion deals with that matter requiring that “the two options shall be factually described in the media without comment, opinion or argument.”
I look forward to the officers considered recommendations at the completion of this consultation – after taking further expert advice and undertaking the further work necessary by a mediated workshop of stakeholders to resolve the tensions between the Rye Township Plan (prepared by REALM Studios) and the draft Rye Urban Design Guidelines (prepared by the new consultants SJB URBAN).