Traffic in Dulwich, Peckham, Anglo. Tessa

Here is the response that residents received from Council regarding concerns bout traffic conditions in these streets:

Re: Traffic in local streets

INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES DIVISION
9 October 2014
I refer to your recent petition to Council regarding traffic on local streets between Pacific Highway and Fullers Road.

Traffic speed and volume counts were recently undertaken in Dulwich Road, Peckham Road, Anglo Street and Tessa Street. The counts showed that in Dulwich Road the 85th percentile speed, (the speed at which 85% of vehicles travel at or below) was 53km/h, which is slightly above the speed limit for the street. This is considered acceptable for local roads, and it should be noted that the count was taken near the bottom of a dip in the street, where cars would be more likely to drive at higher speeds. The 85th percentile speed for the other roads was found to be below the 50km/h speed limit, indicating that speeding is not a problem in these streets.
The traffic counts did show a noticeable increase in traffic travelling towards Fullers Road between 7am and 9am. However this still numbered less than 100 vehicles per hour, which is considered to be a fairly low figure, and well within the environmental capacity of these streets.
Given the results of the traffic counts, the introduction of traffic calming measures in these streets could not be justified. Due to space constraints, it would be unlikely that a 2nd right turn lane from Pacific Highway into Fullers Road could be constructed. It should also be noted that the Pacific Highway lies under the care and control of the RMS, and accordingly it would be the RMS who would decide whether such a project would proceed.

Should you have any comments or questions relating to the matter please contact Council’s Group Leader Traffic & Transport, James Brocklebank on 9777 7750.

Yours faithfully
Paul Collings A/Director Infrastructure Services
Willoughby City Council I 31 Victor Street, Chatswood NSW 2067 I P (02) 9777 1000 PO Box 57, Chatswood NSW 2057 I F (02) 9777 1038 I E email©willoughby.nsw.gov.au http://www.willoughby.nsw.gov.au I ABN 47 974 826 099

A solution to amalgamations?

eurekaNSW Treasurer Andrew Constance reckons we only need five Councils to run Sydney (Telegraph 23 October). It sounds like he is prepared to forcibly amalgamate Councils to achieve that goal.

He claims that the Federation is broken. The Federal Government is tearing up many National Agreements. NSW (under Constance’s watch) will lose tens of millions of dollars.

Many NSW Councils faced with spectre of amalgamation are looking at regional co-operative models to achieve sustainability. Perhaps the answer is to disband the states leaving a model favoured by Gough Whitlam where the Federal Government can directly fund regional organisations to deliver local services.

Changes to Westfield Carpark

WestfieldWestfield has changes to its carpark. The proposed works involve:

Ground floor / Level 1
a) Closure of the existing Albert Ave entry (at Anderson Street intersection) and replace
with pedestrian access and associated additional landscaping
b) New entry with slip lane from Albert Ave and associated modifications to Albert Ave
line marking/lanes
c) Extension of ground floor slab towards Albert Ave to accommodate additional car
spaces, and minor changes to footpath
d) Additional entry point to existing Victor Street entry

Level 2
a) Extension (south side) to accommodate additional car spaces
b) New boom gate and entry point at Devonshire Street ramp

Level 3

a) Extension (south side) to accommodate additional car spaces

Level 4
a) Relocation of boom gates on speed ramp from Albert Ave
b) Removal of ramp up (from Level 4 to 5 near boom gates) for a new circulation aisle
c) Extension (south side) to accommodate additional car spaces

Level 5
a) Infill ramp up (from Level 4 to 5 near boom gates) to accommodate additional car
spaces

Others works
b) Reconfiguration of car spaces and aisles on all levels as necessary for additional car
spaces and general improvements to circulation aisles
c) Removal of trees affected by proposed car park extension (south side/Currey Park)
d) Minor alterations to moulding at the rear of existing water features and associated works

The proposed development is necessary to address the need for additional car parking with
respect to Deferred Commencement Development Consent DA2013/557 recently issued by
the Joint Regional Planning Panel (Sydney East) for the Re-development and refurbishment
of the existing shopping complex (Westfield Shopping Centre Chatswood). Based on the
assessment above, the proposed works are considered to have acceptable impacts to the
environment, and adjoining properties, including Council’s Currey Park subject to the
recommended conditions of consent. The proposal will also result in general upgrade of the
existing Albert Ave Carpark, which is a Council owned public asset servicing the retail
precinct of the Chatswood CBD, and is recommended for support by Council.

Council Officers have recommended that s94 contributions be waived on the basis that the improvements are beneficial to the public.

Post Office Changes

AustraliaPost

Dear Valued Customers,

We’re making some changes to postal services in the Chatswood community.

The Chatswood and West Chatswood Post Offices will be amalgamated into a brand new postal superstore on the concourse leve! of Chatswood lnterchange.

All existing PO Boxes will also relocate to the new superstore.

The Chatswood Post Office will cease trading at 5pm on Friday 7 November 2014 in preparation for the opening of our new superstore on Monday 10 November 2014..

This means that the Chatswood Post Office will not be open on Saturday 8 November 2014
For your convenience, alternative Post Offices in the Chatswood area include: Willoughby North; Roseville: Artarmon and Willoughby.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by these changes, and we look forward to welcoming you at our new superstore.

lf you have any queries, please come in and see a member of the team.

Amalgamation talks

Giles-GidneyAt the last Council meeting, Mayor Giles-Gidney successfully brought down a Mayor Minute that, on behalf of Council, she would officially initiate talks with neighbouring Councils and the Department of Local Government.

From press reports, it is obvious that any Council who ignores the Department’s call for voluntary amalgamation or other modes of cooperation that ensure the financial sustainability of Council may eventually be forcibly amalgamated.

The Mayor is to be congratulated in taking this monumental step forward in Council that has traditionally resisted calls to be proactive with regard to amalgamation.

GM Resigns

TobinLong serving Willoughby Council employee Nick Tobin has resigned (for personal reasons). Nick started with Council in the role of Director of Corporate Services working with then General Manager John Owen.Together, they took the ‘Civic Place’ project to success at a referendum. After John retired from Council, Nick was fortunate in being appointed as General Manager.

Under Nick’s stewardship, The Concourse emerged as a project achieved on time and under budget. Subsequently, the project has met its financial goals under Nick’s sound financial management skills.

Nick will be missed by his employees, Councillors and many in the community.

Planned rate increases

bridgeRecently you should have received a coloured 4 page brochure from Council titled ‘Community Assets’ containing ‘important information about a proposed infrastructure levy” An infrastructure levy is another name for a proposed rate increase.

It is common knowledge that over the past decades Councils have allowed their physical assets (buildings, roads, parks, footpaths, playgrounds and the like) to deteriorate whilst they increased the range of social services (often competing for clients against the State and Federal Government (as well as private enterprise). This situation has been exacerbated by the State Government’s Rate Pegging which doubly hit Willoughby because that had traditionally low rate.

Now the rooster has come home to roost. Council is trying to rapidly address its deteriorating infrastructure. (This issue is also a driving force in the State Government’s encouragement for Council’s to amalgamate).

Just prior to the recent Mayoral election, the Council Officers had prepared a report on this issue. However, the Councillors deferred consideration of the report. In doing so, they directed the General Manager to investigate where interna; saving could be made.

In Table 2 (p.3) Increased efficiencies and other income sources there is notation of a $500,000 saving in year 1 with sequent year savings on $1,000,000. However, there are not any details of how these savings are to be achieved. It looks like someone has picked a number out of the air and dumped it in the report. Later on, when finances become more dire and planned savings have not been achieved, we will likely be advised that this was a ‘planning’ figure only. We need to see the details of these proposed cost savings. (average $1M pa)

It is planned to generate more revenue from car parks. That will probably mean more and higher costs to park in Chatswood. (Average $150,000 p.a)

Advertising ‘bollards’ are slated to raise millions over the coming years (Average $400,000).That sounds like a hell of a lot of advertising bollards.

It is claimed that bus shelters will bring in an average of $800,000 p.a. However, this requires more explanation as Willoughby has always received revenue from bus shelter advertising. So is this truly new revenue?

Finally, the expectation is for another $200,000 per annum from Parking fees in the CBD. An interesting thing about this specific proposal is that the figure is not even indexed – just a straight $200,000per annum.

In summary, what we have been presented in Table 2 is the classical mushroom room farming approach: stick them in a dark space and feed them lots of ….”

 Levy Options

Council has prepared four different levy scenarios:

Scenario 1 is the ‘crash & burn’ one. Standard rate pegging but no money to fix decaying infrastructure.

Scenario 2 leaves a 20% shortfall in required funding.

Scenario 3 meets the renewal gap over the next 7 years and logically should be the one to consider if we can afford it.

Scenario 4 leaves a 5% required funding shortfall.

What would Scenario 3 entail?

Currently, the average residential rates & levies total $1,417.50. Under Scenario 3, for next year, the average would be $1,480.51 ($63.01 increase). Both Scenarios 2 & 4 would incure an average increase of $67.45 next year.

 Community feedback is open to 5pm on 21st October 2014

Planned rate increases

 

Recently you should have received a coloured 4 page brochure from Council titled ‘Community Assets’ containing ‘important information about a proposed infrastructure levy” An infrastructure levy is another name for a proposed rate increase.

It is common knowledge that over the past decades Councils have allowed their physical assets (buildings, roads, parks, footpaths, playgrounds and the like) to deteriorate whilst they increased the range of social services (often competing for clients against the State and Federal Government (as well as private enterprise). This situation has been exacerbated by the State Government’s Rate Pegging which doubly hit Willoughby because that had traditionally low rate.

Now the rooster has come home to roost. Council is trying to rapidly address its deteriorating infrastructure. (This issue is also a driving force in the State Government’s encouragement for Council’s to amalgamate).

Just prior to the recent Mayoral election, the Council Officers had prepared a report on this issue. However, the Councillors deferred consideration of the report. In doing so, they directed the General Manager to investigate where interna; saving could be made.

In Table 2 (p.3) Increased efficiencies and other income sources there is notation of a $500,000 saving in year 1 with sequent year savings on $1,000,000. However, there are not any details of how these savings are to be achieved. It looks like someone has picked a number out of the air and dumped it in the report. Later on, when finances become more dire and planned savings have not been achieved, we will likely be advised that this was a ‘planning’ figure only. We need to see the details of these proposed cost savings. (average $1M pa)

It is planned to generate more revenue from car parks. That will probably mean more and higher costs to park in Chatswood. (Average $150,000 p.a)

Advertising ‘bollards’ are slated to raise millions over the coming years (Average $400,000).That sounds like a hell of a lot of advertising bollards.

It is claimed that bus shelters will bring in an average of $800,000 p.a. However, this requires more explanation as Willoughby has always received revenue from bus shelter advertising. So is this truly new revenue?

Finally, the expectation is for another $200,000 per annum from Parking fees in the CBD. An interesting thing about this specific proposal is that the figure is not even indexed – just a straight $200,000per annum.

In summary, what we have been presented in Table 2 is the classical mushroom room farming approach: stick them in a dark space and feed them lots of ….”

 

Levy Options

Council has prepared four different levy scenarios:

Scenario 1 is the ‘crash & burn’ one. Standard rate pegging but no money to fix decaying infrastructure.

Scenario 2 leaves a 20% shortfall in required funding.

Scenario 3 meets the renewal gap over the next 7 years and logically should be the one to consider if we can afford it.

Scenario 4 leaves a 5% required funding shortfall.


What would Scenario 3 entail?

Currently, the average residential rates & levies total $1,417.50. Under Scenario 3, for next year, the average would be $1,480.51 ($63.01 increase). Both Scenarios 2 & 4 would incure an average increase of $67.45 next year.

 Community feedback is open to 5pm on 21st October 2014

The City of Willoughby and Chatswood is a great place to live, however, like those before us, we may need to make some sacrifices to maintain our quality of life.

654-666 Pacific Highway

In accordance with the Council resolution of 10th June 2014, a Planning Proposal (rezoning application) is on exhibition between 1 October and 29 October 2014 for 654 – 666 Pacific Highway, 2A Oliver Road and 1 Freeman Road, Chatswood. The Planning Proposal involves demolition of all existing buildings and construction of a mixed use development comprising retail / office premises in the basement and ground floor and two residential towers above a podium, the northern tower being 10 storeys and the southern tower being 7 storeys.

The exhibition also includes draft amendments to Willoughby Development Control Plan and a draft Voluntary Planning Agreement and Explanatory Note.

As part of the exhibition, notification letters have been sent to surrounding neighbouring properties and the Chatswood West Ward Progress Association.

All exhibition information may be viewed on Council’s website at www.haveyoursaywilloughby.com.au.

Chatswood High Lights

lightsRe Chatswood High School Oval: I notice that two high priority uses for the Oval, and surrounding grounds have not been mentioned. Perhaps they have been forgotten.
1.  Commissioner Cleland adjudicating on the master plan for “Locality J” obtained agreement with the high school Principal that the oval, and surrounding open space was to be available for passive and active recreation of residents of Locality J, as compensation for failure to provide adequate open space elsewhere in the Locality. This obligation has already been substantially devalued by the intrusion of the primary school into the most restful portion of the site.
2.  In accordance with State law for the nomination of “Safer Places” near bushfire prone areas,
Chatswood High School Oval was nominated by Council as the sole “Safer Area” for Chatswood west of the highway. In fires as intense and extensive as in 1994, the Pacific Highway is gridlocked for hours with evacuees and fire tourists and police road blocks, making further evacuation impossible. It will be necessary in Council’s disaster plan to have facilities designed to be adaptable to meet the needs for shelter, communications, water and food, sanitation, and first aid, for respite of a large number of fire fighters and residents who stayed to fight but had to retreat at the last opportunity to the Safer Place. It is critical that these people return promptly to the residential fire ground to prevent ember fires destroying dwellings.These adaptable designs could be achieved at minimal cost if consciously planned for in this facility upgrade.
3.  Occupational Health and Safety, and sport health care issues with synthetic surfaces should be addressed, taking into account the intensive usage proposed, weather conditions, and the range of physical fitness of users, and the intention to operate to 10 pm.

Out-of-hours work in the CBD

Yet again, out of hours construction work is taking place on the Hutchinson Builders high-rise site atop Chatswood Station. Yesterday (Sunday Sept 21) the operation of heavy machinery (high-rise cranes and associated works) commenced at7am, waking and disturbing residents, and continued until (after dark) 6.30pm.This is not an unusual occurrence and follows more than a week of illegal 5.50am starts involving the operation of both heavy cranes on this site.

This site has been subject of frequent and on-going illegal hours-of-work activity over a long period. The concerns of residents living in the vicinity of the site (including those in Albert, Victor, Parkside and Johnson Streets) are seemingly ignored by Council and trampled by this developer/builder.

Experience has demonstrated that it is  waste of time reporting these activities through the recommended channels. Whenever I have called Council’s out-of-hours number, rangers have subsequently been turned away from the site or had a piece of paper waved at them claiming council approved exemption from normal hours of work – often under the dubious guise of certain work only able to be undertaken on Sundays.

Last Tuesday (Sept 16) I used the Council’s on-line service to lodge a complaint about the dawn starts. No response! From where I live I can see six high rise construction sites and eight cranes. By and large all the other sites seem to comply with the regulations. Why not the Hutchinson Builders site?

This problem finally needs to be addressed.

Why, if it is indeed the case, is permission granted for this site to be allowed to operate heavy and noisy machinery so frequently prior to 7am Mon-Sats and anytime – let alone 7am – on Sundays? Or, if permission is not being given, why is this site not forced to comply with the regulations set down so that neighbouring residents can at least enjoy amenity and some peace outside the stipulated hours of work. As this is an on-going disturbance to residents I am bringing it to the attention of West Ward Councillors, the West Ward Progress Association and North Shore Times.