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SUPPLEMENTARY

BUSINESS PAPER

 

Ordinary Meeting

 

Wednesday, 15 June, 2011

at 6.30pm

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hornsby Shire Council†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Table of Contents

Page 1

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

SUPPLEMENTARY ITEMS†† ††††††

Item 22†† WK36/11 Stormwater Drainage Design and Projects Prioritisation - Deferred Item from 20 April 2011 Ordinary Meeting††

††††††††††††† Late Item Information in respect of Report No. EN21/11 - Tree and Vegetation Protection Matters

††††††††††††† Late Item Information in respect of Report No. CC35/11 - Council's Application for a Special Rate Variation to Commence from 2011/12††

 


††††††††


 

Executive Manager's Report No. WK36/11

Works Division

Date of Meeting: 15/06/2011

 

22††††† STORMWATER DRAINAGE DESIGN AND PROJECTS PRIORITISATION - DEFERRED ITEM FROM 20 APRIL 2011 ORDINARY MEETING†††

 

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

Council in considering Executive Managerís Report No. WK19/11 at its Ordinary Meeting held on 20 April 2011 resolved ďTHAT consideration of Executive Managerís Report No. WK19/11 be deferred to allow an Informal Briefing Session of Councillors in respect of this matter.Ē

 

The Informal Workshop Briefing for Mayor and Councillors was held on 8 June 2011.† At the conclusion of the briefing session, Councillors indicated their endorsement of the projects prioritisation model and the Major Drainage Projects Priority List.

 

Executive Managerís Report No. WK19/11 is attached and the recommendation is unchanged.

 

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE

 

The purpose of this report is to refresh and seek Councilís endorsements of the design of stormwater drainage systems and the model used in prioritising stormwater improvement projects.†

 

DISCUSSION

 

The Informal Briefing Session of Councillors on Stormwater Drainage Projects Prioritisation was held on 8 June 2011.

 

The Manager, Assets Branch gave a briefing containing:

∑††† Project Prioritisation Background

∑††† Hornsby Shire Major Catchment Areas

∑††† SCMPs Prepared

∑††† Major Drainage Priority List

∑††† Project Prioritisation Model Factors

∑††† Problems/Issue for top 10 Projects

∑††† Solution Toolkit (Drainage Design)

∑††† Way Forward

 

At the conclusion of the briefing session, Councillors indicated their endorsement of the projects prioritisation model and the Major Drainage Projects Priority List.

 

BUDGET

 

As given in Executive Managerís Report No. WK19/11 attached.

 

POLICY

 

As given in Executive Managerís Report No. WK19/11 attached.

 

CONSULTATION

 

Informal Workshop Briefing for Mayor and Councillors on 8 June 2011.

 

TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE SUMMARY

 

As given in Executive Managerís Report No. WK19/11 attached.

 

RESPONSIBLE OFFICER

 

The responsible officer is the Manager, Assets Branch, Mr Chon-Sin Chua, telephone no. 9847 6677.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

 

THAT Council confirm its current practice for the design of stormwater drainage systems and the model used in prioritising Stormwater Drainage Improvement Projects as presented in Executive Managerís Report No. WK19/11 attached.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maxwell Woodward

Executive Manager

Works Division

 

 

Attachments:

1.View

Executive Manager's Report No. WK19/11 - Stormwater Drainage Design and Projects Prioritisation

 

 

 

File Reference:†††††††††† F2004/05959-02

Document Number:†† D01690843


Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. WK36/11 Page 2

 










††


 

Environment Division

Date of Meeting: 15/06/2011

††

 

ITEM 12

EN21/11 - Tree and Vegetation Protection Matters Ė Further Information

 

 

Additional information with CHANGE to Recommendation

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

Attached advice examines the legal mechanism to levy a fee for the use of public land to offset the loss of trees from private land. The advice is that the use of Voluntary Planning Agreements (VPAs) pursuant to development consent is an established mechanism. Use of development contributions is not recommended. VPAs would not be applicable to tree applications under either the Tree Preservation Order or the proposed Tree and Vegetation Protection Chapter of the Comprehensive Development Control Plan.

 

The report discusses trials of tree valuations, presented at Attachment 2. The trials have not been conclusive, and further trials are recommended prior to including the preferred method in an amended Green Offsets Code, to be brought to Council (when ready) for adoption. It is recommended that the Green Offsets Code be referenced in the abovementioned Tree and Vegetation Protection chapter, which is also recommended to be amended to make all tree applications development applications so as to enable the use of VPAs for all applications affecting trees.

 

A revised Tree Preservation Order, discussed in Report No. EN21/11 and forming Attachment 3 to this report, is recommended for adoption and gazettal.

 

PURPOSE/OBJECTIVE

 

The purpose of this report is to provide additional information to support Report No EN21/11 and to update the recommendation to take that information into account.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Planning Advice

 

Since the completion of Report EN21/11, advice has been received from planning consultants† SJB Planning, on a legal mechanism for offsetting the loss of canopy trees in Hornsby Shire (Attachment 1).

 

In brief, the advice is that Section 80A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (Ďthe Actí) gives Council the power to set conditions of consent related to offsetting the loss of trees as a result of development. Section 79C lists matters of public importance as matters that may be considered in assessing Development Applications (DAs).

 

Councilís adopted Green Offsets Code is one such document that could be considered a matter of importance to be addressed in consent conditions. The implication of the advice is that the Green Offsets Code should be amended to include a method of calculating the cost of offsetting the loss of canopy trees.

 

Section 93A of the Act allows for the arrangement of a VPA between Council and a developer for the transfer of a monetary contribution for a public benefit (such as offsetting tree loss).

 

It is unlikely that development contributions could be levied under section 94 of the Act for a tree replacement program.

 

The advice is that a VPA is allowable pursuant to development consent but could not be part of consent under the Tree Preservation Order (TPO), or under the adopted Option 1 for the chapter in the Comprehensive DCP, where tree applications and tree permits are mentioned.

 

Instead, Option 1 for the Tree and Vegetation Chapter of the DCP should be amended to make all applications Development Applications. There would be DAs (general) where trees are affected, and DAs relating to trees only, where there are no building works involved.

 

Results of testing of tree valuation methods

 

Since Report EN21/11 was placed on the agenda, the Parks and Landscape Team has completed a report into an assessment of various methods of tree valuation (Attachment 2).

 

Six valuation methods were trialled on four trees of varying condition. The results show a wide variation in the values yielded by application of various methods to the same tree.

 

Already, since this round of trials, more methods have emerged that may be worthy of evaluation. More testing is required before it will be possible to recommend with confidence a method that will suit Councilís purpose: to calculate a fee to offset the cost of tree loss on private land by planting trees on public land.

 

One of the matters for consideration is adopting a valuation method that is fit for this purpose, or adapting a method to make it fit. Of the six methods evaluated, most are used for calculating bonds to be posted against the protection of trees at risk of damage during development site construction, or for asset management purposes.

 

Only the Newcastle City Council method is used to strike a fee for planting trees on public land. Under this system, a simple area measurement is used to calculate a biomass figure for the tree which is then expressed as an equivalent number of replacement trees to be planted, at a standard cost of $700 each. While itís a simple and seemingly applicable method of calculation (and the only method tied to offset planting), it can yield values much lower than other methods trialled here.

 

None of the methods trialled considered land value, either on land occupied by a tree/s to be removed, or the land where offset trees are planted. As foreshadowed in EN21/11, a method that incorporates land value will be developed and trialled for evaluation.

 

A further report will be brought to Council when it is considered further evaluation of tree valuation methods has yielded a reliable result.

 

Amendments to the Green Offsets Code

 

Councilís adopted Green Offsets Code (GOC) has been cited in the planning advice received as a method of calculating the price to offset the loss of areas of native vegetation on public land. The advice notes that the GOC in its current form may not be applicable for the calculation of an offset price for the loss of a single tree because to use the area calculation used for vegetation would produce a negligible value for a single tree.

 

The GOC sets out firm principles, favouring as a first preference the retention of valuable vegetation on site. Where this cannot occur, offsetting the lost vegetation on the same site is the second preference. Only where this cannot occur is the option of offsetting the loss using public land open.

 

These same principles are applicable if the issue of tree loss is incorporated into the GOC.

 

It is recommended that after further trialling of tree valuation methods, a further report be brought to Council recommending the adoption of an amended GOC incorporating the best tree valuation method.

 

It is also recommended that the adopted Option 1 for the Tree and Vegetation Chapter of the Comprehensive Development Control Plan is amended to make all applications Development Applications, and to make reference to the GOC as the means that will be used to assess fees to offset tree loss.

 

BUDGET

 

There are no budget implications from this report.

 

POLICY

 

The report recommends changes to adopted policy.

 

CONSULTATION

 

The Planning Division and the Bushland and Biodiversity Team were consulted for this report.

 

TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE SUMMARY

 

Triple Bottom Line is a framework for improving Council decisions by ensuring accountability and transparency on social, environmental and economic factors.† It does this by reporting upon Council's strategic themes.

 

As this report simply provides Council with information and does not propose any actions which require a sustainability assessment, no Triple Bottom Line considerations apply.

 

RESPONSIBLE OFFICER

 

The responsible officer is Peter Kemp, Acting Executive Manager Environment, telephone 9847 6686, between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

 

THAT:

 

1.†† That further investigation of the most suitable methods of tree valuations be conducted and the preferred method be incorporated into an amended Green Offsets Code through a further report .

 

2.†† The adopted Tree and Vegetation Chapter of the proposed Comprehensive Development Control Plan be amended to make all tree applications Development Applications and to incorporate the Green Offsets Code as the instrument for the setting of fees to offset the loss of trees and vegetation from private land.

 

3.†† The attached revised Tree Preservation Order be adopted for gazettal and public notification.

 

1.View

Attachment 1 - Draft Advice - Legal Mechanism for Offsetting the Loss of Canopy Trees

 

 

2.View

Attachment 2 - Tree Valuation Appraisal - June 2011

 

 

3.View

Attachment 3 - Draft Revised TPO

 

 

 

File Reference:†††††††††† F2010/00633

Document Number:†† D01691266


Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. EN21/11 Page 16

 












Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. EN21/11 Page 27

 




































Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. EN21/11 Page 62

 




 

Corporate and Community Division

Date of Meeting: 15/06/2011

††

 

ITEM 10

CC35/11 - Council's Application for a Special Rate Variation to Commence from 2011/12

 

 

Additional information with CHANGE to Recommendation

 

Report No CC35/11 advises that at the Workshop Meeting held on 23 March 2011, Council adopted its Community Plan 2010-2020 and associated documents together with the rating structure to apply for 2011/12, subject to the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunalís (IPARTís) determination of Councilís Special Rate Variation application.

 

Whilst no response in respect of Councilís application had been received when Report No CC35/11 was finalised, IPART provided details on 10 June 2011 of its decision to approve Councilís application. In this regard, a copy of the Executive Summary of IPARTís assessment of the application and a copy of the Instrument of Approval under Section 508A(1) of the Local Government Act are attached for Councilís information.

 

IPARTís advice in respect of Councilís application is that:

 

††††††††† ďWe have decided to accept the special variation as requested by the council. We are allowing a special variation to its general income of 7.8% in 2011/12, 6.0% in 2012/13 and 4.0% in 2013/14. This amounts to an average increase of 3.0% a year above the assumed rate peg over the 3 years.Ē

 

Under a heading titled Summary of IPARTís assessment, it is stated:

 

††††††††† ďIn assessing Hornsby Shire Councilís application, we found that the main purpose of the requested special variation was consistent with community priorities included in councilís strategic plans. We also found that the magnitude of the special variation means that its impact on ratepayers (in terms of increased rates), are moderate, averaging $62 per annum over 3 years (including the rate peg but excluding domestic waste management charges). In addition, we found that the councilís application adequately meets the 6 criteria in the Guidelines for s508A applications.Ē

 

IPARTís findings against each of the six criteria mentioned above are detailed on page 5 of the Executive Summary document.

 

IPARTís approval of Councilís application will now allow for the various works included in the proposed works program (contained in Appendix A of the Executive Summary document) to be planned and progressed. The program includes the replacement of the Hornsby Aquatic Centre; an extension to the Brickpit Indoor Sports Stadium; a contribution from Council to the George Street pedestrian overbridge; an increased commitment to road improvements; the construction of additional footpaths; matching funds from Council in respect of cycleway projects; an increased commitment to stormwater drainage improvements; improvements to amenities at local ovals, parks and playgrounds; an increased commitment to community building improvements; and upgrades to foreshore facilities.††

 

It is noted that IPARTís approval of Councilís application is subject to the following two conditions:

 

1.†††††† The council uses the Additional Income for the purposes of funding the infrastructure program consistent with councilís application (as listed in Appendix A of IPARTís determination dated June 2011 of the councilís application under section 508A(1) of the Act (IPARTís Determination).

 

Additional Income means:

a)††††† the additional general income raised in accordance with clause 1 of this Order, less

b)††††† the additional general income that would otherwise be available to the council under section 506 of the Act

†††††††††††††

2.†††††† The council reports in its annual report for each rating year over the period from 2011/12 to 2020/21 on:

a)††††† expenditure on the infrastructure program as listed in Appendix A of IPARTís Determination;

b)††††† the outcomes achieved as a result of the special variation;

c)†††††† its asset renewal and maintenance expenditure;

d)††††† its actual productivity savings achieved; and

e)†††††† any significant variations from its financial results as forecast in its Long Term Financial Plan and any corrective action taken or to be taken

__________________________________

 

As mentioned above, on 23 March 2011 Council adopted its Community Plan 2010-2020 and associated documents together with the rating structure to apply for 2011/12, subject to IPARTís determination of Councilís Special Rate Variation application. As the application has now been approved, the adopted rating structure for 2011/12 is appropriate and does not require any further resolution by Council.

 

In Report No CC35/11, it was noted that irrespective of whether Councilís Special Rate Variation application was approved or not, Council will, in the short term, need to determine the specifics of expenditure savings to be achieved in the 2011/12 Budget and beyond. In this regard, Councilís Special Rate Variation application was predicated on the basis that savings of at least $1,450,000 per annum would be achieved across the organisation in the 2011/12 and future Budgets to contribute to the achievement of the program of works/services detailed in Councilís application.

 

Also, during the public exhibition of the proposed Special Rate Variation, representations were made by the cricket organisations that the adopted increase for the hire of Class 1 cricket grounds (i.e. those with turf pitches) should be reviewed if Councilís application was approved. There are also potentially other fees and charges which have been adopted for 2011/12 (e.g. foodshop inspections) which may now also require further consideration.

 

To allow all options available to be fully explored, it is recommended that proposed expenditure savings for 2011/12 (and future years as appropriate) and any proposed changes to fees and charges be further discussed with Councillors at an informal briefing/workshop on 29 June 2011, prior to any changes being formally considered and determined by Council at the 21 July 2011 Ordinary Meeting.

 

 

THAT:

 

1.†††††† The contents of Executive Managerís Report No. CC35/11, the Late Items information associated with that Report, and the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunalís decision in respect of Councilís Special Rate Variation application be received and noted.

 

2.†††††† Council confirm the adoption of its Community Plan 2010-2020 and associated documents together with the rating structure to apply for 2011/12, in line with Councilís resolution in respect General Managerís Report No. GM6/11 at the 25 March 2011 Workshop Meeting.

 

3.†††††† Having regard to Councilís Special Rate Variation application being predicated on the basis that savings of at least $1,450,000 per annum would be achieved across the organisation in the 2011/12 and future Budgets to contribute to the achievement of the program of works/services detailed in Councilís application, the issues of savings and adjustments to fees and charges be the subject of discussion at an informal briefing/workshop of Councillors on 29 June 2011, prior to being formally considered and determined by Council at the 21 July 2011 Ordinary Meeting.

 

 

 

1.View

IPART Local Government - Determination - Executive Summary June 2011

 

 

2.View

IPART Instrument Under Section 508A(1)

 

 

 

File Reference:†††††††††† F2010/00460

Document Number:†† D01691374


Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. CC35/11 Page 68

 















Hornsby Shire Council

Attachment to Report No. CC35/11 Page 82

 


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