New Parking Provisions – Change of Use Developments

New Parking Provisions – Change of Use Developments

In an effort to ‘streamline the planning system’, the new car parking provisions have removed the need for a Planning Permit for change of use developments if they comply with the following:

“Unless a schedule to the Parking Overlay or the schedule to Clause 52.06 specifies otherwise, a permit is not required if the required number of car parking spaces for a new use under this clause is less than or equal to the required number of car parking spaces for the existing use and the existing number of car parking spaces is or has not been reduced.” (as per Clause 52.06 of the Victorian Planning Provisions dated 05/06/12 as introduced by amendment VC90)

Notwithstanding the above, a Planning Permit may still be required for other components (i.e. non-car parking) of the change in use (i.e. the new use, advertising signage, loading bays, bicycle parking etc.) so please check local requirements (i.e. zoning, overlays, planning scheme etc.).  A qualified consultant (i.e. Town Planner, Traffic Engineer etc.) could be engaged early on in the process to assist working through the parking provisions as required.

How to do an initial car parking check for change of use developments:

Assuming no other works are required to the existing/past use (i.e. in particular car park layout/access) and the existing car park layout/access generally complies with that of the Victorian Planning Provisions (note: car parking plans showing the car parking layout may not be required for review by the relevant Authority if unchanged), the following initial steps could be performed:

– Review if any Parking Overlays (refer to Clause 45.09 of the Planning Scheme), schedules to Clause 52.06 (if not yet translated into a Parking Overlay) or if other relevant local policies apply (i.e. contact the relevant Authority)

– Confirm that the site has a valid planning permit for the current or past use (i.e. contact the relevant Authority)

– If the use is not currently occupied, confirm when the previous use ended its operation (i.e. contact the owner/agent) as parking credits may no longer be valid (i.e. it is generally accepted that car parking credits for a past use is limited to the two years prior to application; however, contact the local Authority)

– Ensure you have the latest copy of Clause 52.06 (as the rates have changed in the new parking provisions) and calculate the required number of spaces for the existing/past use using Column A of Table 1 of Clause 52.06 (see DPCD Practice Note 22: Using Car Parking Provisions for further information in regards to performing the above calculation)

– Again using Column A of Table 1 of Clause 52.06, calculate the required number of spaces for the proposed use

– If the number of proposed spaces is less than or equal to that of the previous use and the number of on-site spaces is not reduced, then you may not require a Planning Permit for the car parking component of the proposed use.

Notwithstanding the above, always make contact with the local Authority as procedures and interpretation of the Planning Scheme may differ, and individual circumstances (i.e. parking spaces located on another site, shared parking on common property etc.) may alter the outcome.

How to present your proposed change of use to the relevant Authority:

Even though a Planning Permit may not be required for car parking; the local Authority (i.e. Council) may still request an assessment from a qualified Traffic Engineer to confirm adequacy.  Furthermore, some additional traffic related requirements (separate to car parking) may require justification.  This may include (but not limited) to the following:

– Review compliance of existing/proposed on-site car spaces (if the layout changes) with Clause 52.06 of the Planning Scheme and Australian Standard AS/NZS 2890.1:2004 (computer simulation modelling using the required design vehicle may be required)

– Review bicycle facility policy as identified in Clause 52.34 of the Planning Scheme (this includes design is accordance with The Bicycle Victoria Handbook as well as shower facilities)

– Seek out similar use empirical assessments or perform surveys of similar use developments to justify a reduced parking demand for the site (if a car parking waiver is required)

– Review any parking credits associated with the existing use of the subject site (if car parking is not contained on-site for the existing/previous use)

– Determine any additional traffic demands associated with the site (nearby intersection computer simulation modelling may also be required)

– Review land adjacent to a Road Zone Category 1 policy as identified in Clause 52.29 of the Planning Scheme

– Review compliance of proposed on-site loading/refuse bay with Clause 52.07 of the Planning Scheme and Australian Standard AS 2890.2:2002.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please feel free to contact Andrew Zivanovic from Zav Traffic by telephone on 9853 6624 or by email on andrew@zavtraffic.com.au.