The only councillors who voted in favour were the always-reliable communal stalwart Michael Lipschutz and newcomer Frank Penhalluriack. The Jewish community should remember this at the next Council elections.
The Yesodei school serves an important segment of our community - nearly all who live in that area's vicinity. They need a new home and this location is for them a rare find. There simply aren't any other suitable building blocks in our areas.
Meanwhile Caulfield Grammar School with its approx 1000 students - most who do not live anywhere near this area - are granted every permit and assistance for expansion - by the very same council. Driving past there for the past decade or so, there has rarely been a time that they haven't been adding new buildings. They are currently putting up another huge edifice - right on their Glen Eira Road boundary. No doubt this will allow them to enroll another few hundred students from all over Victoria, the other states and even overseas. And good luck to them. But why is it that allowing a small Jewish school only a few hundred feet away cannot be tolerated.
Shame Glen Eira Council. Shame.
No doubt this case will end up at VCAT, where we wish Yesodei much Hatzlacha.
See Pages 4-23
Here's the report in the Herald-Sun -
followed by some of the comments on their website:
From Mary Walsh's blog Glen Eira Residents Opinions
(See previous post about her here.)
No prizes on guessing what her opinion is about another Jewish school in the area...
46 Regent Street, Elsternwick
In a rare burst of enlightenment last night, I appreciated the benefit of informed Councillors.
Item 9.1 at last nights Council Meeting was the proposal for a school (Yesodei Ha Torah College) to be built within a narrow suburban street, where once an aged care facility operated.
The Municipal Strategy Statement provided for Institutional and Non Residential Uses in Residential Areas, which was entirely suitable for a passive aged care facility but certainly absolutely a misplaced choice for a school. Not too much traffic visits the elderly but a school is incessant!
A school with a maximum enrolment of 325 boy students. In a community where families can have six children quite often, I believe this figure would (attempt) have been pushed upwards very quickly.
In a suburban street, the operators want to open for business from 7 am to 6 pm (core times) and I think I heard six days a week mentioned!! One only has to see the congestion a throng of 75 kids can make to understand the 88 objectors feelings as their 'castle' space is threatened by invasion of the constant noise and traffic such a busy school would entail! Only a matter of time before the parking up and down the local streets would be on restricted time zones to cater for the put down, pick up daily hassle.
Easy access for buses on school excursions, emergency vehicles, and evacuations must also be considered. And what of playing fields for burning up excessive energy and keeping physically fit?
Then there is the after hours activities throughout the school year compounding the loss of serenity for nearby residents to have space on the surrounding streets to do a bit of private entertainment themselves like the odd family BBQ.
I was appalled that the Council Officers would have made the recommendation to proceed with the proposed project. History has shown that undertakings given to appease residents' anger about noise in other facilities has not necessarily been forthcoming once Council gives them the nod. Over a number of years Council has dealt with complaints from similar establishments and with the residents invariably ending up the losers.
Mayor Tang's outrage at allegations of bias from pseudo secular parties is because that is their experience in dealing with Council business - and is not something he could actually blame me for!! (changing the wording of the Community Grants Funding Guidelines to suitably encompassing narrow interest groups was one such cynical observation I've made! Residents just can't win!)
For those who try to tell us that 60% (195) of the kids will walk to school because they live with a 1.6 km radius of the proposed school. That's today perhaps! but what about within the next ten years??.
From outside the overcrowded Council Chambers, I think the vote to reject the development of the school was 7 against, 2 for. Couldn't hear arguments for and against because of the noise of the gallery, but Cr Whiteside came across loud and clear!
The Councillors definitely got that one right!
"I was appalled that the Council Officers would have made the recommendation to proceed with the proposed project". Dead right!! But once again Mary, you've failed to see the wood for the trees! The recommendation for approval had to be made given the strictures of Glen Eira's current planning scheme. It is, has been, and remains a total shemozzle. Even worse, it's a disaster. Once parameters are set then officers are bound to work within those parameters. They are handcuffed to the inadequacies and shortcomings of the MSS. So if you're looking for who is responsible, the answer can only be the CEO and his handpicked men. Start asking some real questions for a change. Ask yourself why in Newton's reign is Glen Eira without structure plans? Why hasn't there been real involvement by the community in the reviewing, planning, and implementation of the MSS as other councils do? Who benefits from such shoddy piecemeal approaches if not developers? Is this the kind of long term vision that will meet the needs of your kids and their kids?
The three recommendations at last night's meeting should never have seen the light of day. Yes, congratulations to councillors for voting them down. But hey, it also shouldn't take an overflowing gallery of angry, angry, residents to make them see the shortcomings. They must go back to the drawing board and come up with an MSS that does the job it is intended to do. The first step is to lay the blame where it belongs - at Newton's feet. Thus, councillors will only be doing their job if they elect a CEO who suits the community. The past decade in planning alone is another instance of how this man has failed to meet those needs and aspirations.
The Mote in Lipshutz Eye
Last night council meeting sure showed the narrowness of the debate on wether on the proposed Regent St School should proceed. It was knocked back, but for the wrong reasons.
I would have though that a school for children should provide a fair amount of open space for the kids to run and play for starters This development resembled a a 1960’s block of flats not a school. Where were the places to run play and get sunlight? Of course none of this entered the debate. It was traffic traffic and traffic, no one seemed to care for the poor little boys that were going to be condemned to this confined area for a significant part of there life. This would have been a nightmare for me as a child, I needed room to move, and judging from the others kids around me, so did they. How desperate are people to think this development is the best they can do for their children.
“That aside” Cr. Lipschutz once again showed his intractable support for all thing Jewish with stupid statements.
The most ill thought garbage to spill from his mouth was “some residents said Regent street said it was a peaceful street with only moderate traffic, whilst other residents said the street already had too much traffic and was noisy”
Lipschutz said, “Regent Street could not be both things it had to be one or the other” What nonsense.
He used this trumped up divide in supposed logic to condemn the residents as bunch of hysterical ratbags, that did not deserve consideration and punished them by doing what he was always going to do away, he voted for the development to proceed.
Well Cr. Lipshutz “to big” “to small” “to busy” “to colourful” “to crowded” “to long” “to short” to noisy “ “to quiet” “to beautiful” “to ugly” ALL SUBJECTIVE, Cr. Lipschutz. All people perceptions are based on that’s person experiences. What is quiet to someone that’s hard of hearing maybe noisy to someone with good hearing etc. Someone that lived on a main road and just moved into Regent Street may find it tranquil, whilst someone moving into Regent Street from beyond Burketown may find it noisy. Regent Street can and is perceived differently by all its residents, young and old.
How xenophobic is he that everyone has to be singing off the same songbook, the same words, the same key, and all must be reverent too, and just one slip and you’re all condemned.
Cr. Lipshutz tunnel vision of the world is breathe takingly narrow and self justifyingly arrogant, He stood up on his hind-legs and belittle the gallery and other residents with his own ignorance. It didn’t work he looked sheepish and weak and he could hide his predetermined outcome he wanted school at all costs. He knows where his votes come from and here was the payback.