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Saving Verdon Street

By Integra 20 September 2005 37

Help needed in saving Verdon Street!

As per all of the inner suburbs of Canberra, we are being invaded by the developer/urban infill virus. If you have ever been in our street you will know that it is a beautiful tree lined street with many traditional red brick houses, grassy front lawns and beautiful street scape. To add to this we are a close knit group with a majority of the residents being families who all get along. This truely is a beautiful piece of Canberra, we have share christmas bbqs, fireworks nights, games of street cricket and soccer etc…

Due to all the recent developments in the area our little street has become a parking lot. A majority of the traffic is from the people who work in the nearby offices on Northbourne too cheap to pay for parking right outside their building (you are damaging the environment by driving learn to pay for parking like the rest of us). This has lead to our garbage not being collected on 3 occasions over the past few months because the garbo’s can’t fit the trucks into the street or when they do squeeze in they can’t get to the bins due to some ‘bright spark’ parking right in front of them.

Whilst this is bad enough we are now being invaded by a proposed development at the end of our street, who has kindly offered Verdon Street as vistor parking in its planning. On top of the extra noise, traffic and the impact the surrounding houses the proposed units are to be a complete eyesore.

We held a street meeting with the proposed developer last night to discuss the impact. He just said that he didn’t have to listen to any of our concerns as he was happy face us in the AAT. Where I am sure he will bring a lawyer and some paid off experts. We are seeking assistance from other ACT residents who have appealed developments in their area. We are have until next week to lodge our objections and we would love to get some assistance in if not stopping the development at least having our concerns regarding safety, parking, traffic, visual and financial impact on the other houses.

Thanks in advance..

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37 Responses to
Saving Verdon Street
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Tempestas 8:30 pm 21 Sep 05

Zealot is a bit rich, there must be streets in Reid I never travel on and I admit to only a cursory knowledge of Campbell’s streets. Yes both suburbs have had some development, Turner, Braddon and now it looks like O’Connor have had whole streets bulldozed and redeveloped admittedly over a few years but the wholesale change has occured. Reid and Campbell being originally homes to wealthier white people with large blocks by and large have had the odd development but no the wholesale streetscape change. Yet from a planning point of view those large blocks should of been the first to be rezoned. Turner (the flat bits at any rate) had a lot of eastern european immigrants (look at what clubs established there) who are probably easier to buy out or bully away. Its not just $$ there is very obviously a choice that retired well connected senior military and public service people who live/d between Civic and Russell were not worth offending, those suburbs with non anglo less connected people were easier to develop. Perhaps its a relationship between wealth and access to political, business and legal leverage, but that does not make any argument that uses the word class wrong.

Back to Verdon St – its almost a logical extension of Macleay St which means that their is almost solid line of hi-rise development from Barry Drive to Macarthur Ave. Obviously Forbes street and all streets East of McCaughey/MacPherson are now likely to dissapear, drive through that area the number of single storey or duplex houses left is not very many accept for the heritage listed area behind sullivans creek and Haig park.

This debate is about who should really benefit from these wholesale changes, the community or the developers. The other issue, is given the leasehold system we have, why on earth wasn’t a better planning process built to start with.

seepi 7:16 pm 21 Sep 05

Consultation in the ACT generally means dropping a leaflet to one street, or holding one meeting, advertised only in the back of the Chronicle.
Last nght was interesting (DRagway process meeting). Jon Stanhope has sent letters to everyone who wrote to him about it, saying that we would be represented by community representatives on a committe. The committee members last ngiht told us they could not actually take community feedback, but were chosen for their individual expertise.
So essentially there is no chance for consultation on this one. But you can be the govt will say there was.

Thumper 1:10 pm 21 Sep 05

Sorry for the percieved petulance. I simply made a point which you took off on another tangent about God given rights.

I take it then that you are happy and willing to pay for parking where ever you go?


Thumper 1:06 pm 21 Sep 05

Um, our taxes generally pay for the carparks.

And I didn’t say that providing them was free. So what. Action buses run at a huge loss but I’m happy for them to keep running.

I still don’t see why its appropriate except to put more money in government coffers.

Smackbang 1:02 pm 21 Sep 05

For what it is worth, my comment above was in response to your initial posting, and not to your unnecessary and petulant second posting.

Smackbang 1:00 pm 21 Sep 05

The fact is that providing carparks isn’t free. When land in central areas is given over to parking there is an opportunity cost in that the land can’t be sold for other purposes. As you note, much of the land in Civic that was previously for parking has been sold and is being developed. So charging for parking isn’t only some way of encouraging us all to take buses or walk, it also is a means of compensating for the benefits that the community would otherwise get from the land if it were used for other purposes – both through the financial proceeds of sales of prime land and also through the amenity that is brought from having real estate in the centre of town used for a purpose other than holding “immobile vehicles”. Additionally, I think the user pays principle is entirely appropriate here – rather than expecting someone to provide somewhere for cars to be left out of pure benevolence, it is appropriate that when someone needs to make use of such a facility they should have to pay for it.

Thumper 12:51 pm 21 Sep 05

Sorry, these are the bits you obviously didn’t read, so I’ll post them again.

“It would seem that the government has made a serious mistake with its planning in the city area. There is simply not enough parking and it costs a fortune.”

“More parking space should be opened up in the city area and, if they must charge for it, then make it a minor, insignificant amount. The outcome? Government makes some money, the punters have parking and are happy, the suburban streets are not choked with cars. Win win solution.”

“But then again, I forgot, all the carparks are getting buildings put on them so the situation is only going to get worse.”

“Put it all down to bad planning.”

Thumper 12:49 pm 21 Sep 05

Indeed, the issue is lack of parking, thank you for bringing that up. Obviously you didn’t read the rest of my comment, just the bit that you wanted to comment upon.

As for your other comment, ‘Only in Canberra do people think they have a god-given right to free parking’. Is this because only everywhere else do people take it for granted that they should have to pay taxes disguised as a parking fee, for an immobile vehicle?

What’s wrong with free parking I ask? I made my point clear. We work, we have to get there, we take a car, we pay taxes for petrol, rego, etc, and then we pay again to park.

I was putting forward a solution. You have added nothing to the discussion whatsoever.

Smackbang 12:36 pm 21 Sep 05

Thumper: “Why should people who already pay taxes have to put more money into the government coffers just so they can go to work?”

Only in Canberra do people think they have a god-given right to free parking.

Anyway, the issue here isn’t paid or free parking, it is just (non-)availability of *any* parking.

bonfire 12:14 pm 21 Sep 05

tempestas you are deluded if you think campbell and reid were avoided by developers. the ex-guvvie i used to live in was demolished and replaced with 4 townhouses!

still zealots have to bring class into everything, when its really $$ that rules.

interesting that with all the comments here over parking not one person has commented on the fact that efficient public transport in the form of light rail would alleviate much of the parking shortfall.

Integra 11:21 am 21 Sep 05

Cheers Simto..

simto 11:15 am 21 Sep 05

It turns out I’ve actually parked a street further back in Bagpt Street(the parking in Verdon Street is 3 hours only). So I apologse for the error there.

And, since it’s not a bin-collection day today, I’m not blocking anyone’s bins. I know – I’ve checked (yet again, couldn’t get a park in my building when arriving at 8AM today).

I am aware of some underutilized parking that’s about another five minutes walk away from my office (over the other side of O’Connor Oval, for example). And if parking was made illegal in that street, I’d probably end up using it.

Which doesn’t change your underlying point, which is that, yes, developers should have to consider and pay for the local impact of their buildings – which includes providing sufficient parking. Giving them a freebie like that is not what I’d call a particularly good planning process. But it’s not necessarily a good idea to chuck out gratuitous insults at people who are victims of exactly the same thing that’s screwing you guys (i.e. lack of provided parking with new buildings).

T_Bone 10:35 am 21 Sep 05


Now I can’t help from a legal aspect, and if you can’t get it stopped you just might want to make it difficult for the developer so that he might think twice about building in a similar location again. You mentioned that sometimes the garbage truck can’t get down the street for the parked cars. I would suggest that much larger trucks will have to get down the street to deliver building material for the development. Maybe a few strategically, legally parked cars at the start of the street could make it annoying for the developer to get material to the site. Also developers are notorious for cutting corners, so make sure they are staying within noise and safety restrictions. A safety inspection for two can really delay development. And development delays cost money.

Also I suggest getting your hands on a few of those orange road marking cones. A friend had the same parking/bin collection problem as you and used orange cones to mark out a spot in front of his house to great effect. The people parking in your street are most likely too lazy to move them.

Integra 10:01 am 21 Sep 05

Simto – You are totally wrong about the parking situation and ACT roads agree. They have indicated to us several designated parking areas in the region that are under utilised, perhaps you may wish to call them for directions?

Or start clock watching your parking unless you like making $68 (or whatever it is) donations to the Government.

As for slashing your tyres I don’t agree with that but if our bins don’t get emptied again because of you may find you have some extra luggage to take home with you on garbage day. We pay our rates like everyone else to have our garbage taken and to have access to our street.

As for you saying it is legal so live with it. It is legal because we live there and we get legitimate visitors who would like be able to park near our houses, not 3 blocks away to come over for a coffee and piece of cake!

Thanks to all the positive comments, we know that development is inevitable but consultation and reasonable options for development should be considered and these people just want to make it about $ and lawyers.

We are not wingers but people who want just want to maintain an equitable level of safety, access and lifestyle that valued when we moved here.

Yet again thanks to all positive comments!

Chris 9:53 am 21 Sep 05

Inner south (my suburb) residents have a certain activist to thank who had the foresight to archive a pledge from our Planning Minister before the election that the proposed infill wouldn’t happen. We’re keeping that in the ammo locker. Oh, and we also think Corbell’s Dad lives in our suburb.

Thumper 9:11 am 21 Sep 05


which is fine if you want to ride a bike 25 klicks every morning and afternoon, and don’t have other responsibilities that preclude you from catching a bus due to time restraints.

RandomGit 8:46 am 21 Sep 05

Future changes in the pipeline will change the law so you cannot object and delay development

Thank you STR.

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